Understanding PMDD: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, And More

Woman with stomach spasm, cramp, headache, head pain

Are you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and exhausted all the time? It could be PMDD, a lesser-known but very real disorder that affects many women. This article is designed to help demystify the hidden struggle that is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and offers real, practical solutions to help you cope.


What is PMDD?

PMDD is a serious premenstrual disorder that is often overlooked and misunderstood. It is a hormonal condition that affects the menstrual cycle and is characterized by extreme emotional, behavioral, and physical changes. These changes can be so severe that they interfere with daily life. It is estimated that up to 8% of women of reproductive age are affected by PMDD, although this number may be higher due to underdiagnosis.


PMDD Symptoms


woman having abdominal pain and headache


The symptoms of PMDD can vary from person to person. Common symptoms include mood swings, anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, changes in appetite, headaches or migraines, and physical symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, and cramping. These symptoms usually start a few days before the onset of the menstrual cycle and can last until the cycle ends.



It is important to note that PMDD is not the same as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS is a common disorder that affects most women to some extent. It is characterized by mild physical and emotional symptoms that usually occur a few days before the menstrual cycle. PMDD, on the other hand, is much more severe and can have a significant impact on a person's life.


Diagnosis of PMDD

The diagnosis of PMDD is based on the woman's symptoms and must be made by a healthcare professional. If a woman experiences any of the symptoms listed above, she should speak to her doctor about it. Her doctor may refer her to a specialist for further evaluation.


Treatment of PMDD

The treatment of PMDD depends on the severity of the symptoms. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as exercise, stress management, and dietary changes can be beneficial. In more severe cases, medications such as antidepressants or hormonal treatments may be recommended. Psychotherapy can also be helpful in managing the symptoms of PMDD.


The Impact of PMDD

PMDD can have a significant impact on a woman's life. The physical and emotional symptoms can interfere with relationships, work, and other activities. It can also lead to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and low self-esteem.


Coping Strategies for PMDD

Although PMDD is a serious disorder, there are things that can be done to help manage the symptoms. It is important to remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Some strategies that can be helpful include:


Stress Management

It is important to find ways to manage stress. This can include relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. It can also be helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor to help manage any underlying issues that may be contributing to the symptoms of PMDD.


Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help to manage the symptoms of PMDD. It is important to include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in the diet. Avoiding processed foods and limiting caffeine and alcohol can also be beneficial. Hydration is also an important aspect of daily routine, not only does it help in detoxing your body but it also helps in keeping your body functioning at an optimal level.




woman practicing yoga at home


Regular exercise can help to reduce stress and improve mood. It can also help to reduce fatigue and improve energy levels.


Support Network

It can be helpful to have a support network of family and friends who can provide emotional support. This can be especially helpful when dealing with the symptoms of PMDD.


Also read: https://womenwire.com/lifestyle/21309-healthy-lifestyle-habits-hacks-for-your-menstrual-cycle



PMDD is a serious disorder that can have a significant impact on a woman's life. It is important to speak to a healthcare professional if you think you may be affected. There are treatments and coping strategies available that can help to manage the symptoms of PMDD and improve quality of life.