We have all heard of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), which affects up to 85% of women in the week or days leading up to their menstrual cycle. It is what we can blame for our food cravings, breakouts, bloating, and breast tenderness around “that time of the month.” An extension of that is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, and although it is less common and less frequently talked about, it can be very debilitating for women suffering with it.
PMDD can include some of the more common PMS symptoms, but also involves more severe changes in mood which can include mood swings, feeling sad and tearful, irritability or anger, depressed mood, anxiety, and feeling “on edge”. In women who experience PMDD, it can cause significant distress and interference with work, school, social activities and/or relationships with others.
There are a number of theories behind the cause of PMDD, some of which include hormonal imbalances (such as a more rapid decline in progesterone), lower levels of certain neurotransmitters, including GABA and serotonin, and higher levels of inflammatory cytokines.
As naturopathic doctors, our job is to look at the whole picture and provide you with a treatment approach that is going to best fit what is going on in your individual case. Some examples of a treatment approach may include nutrient support (magnesium, vitamin B6, iron), addressing lifestyle factors (diet, caffeine consumption, sleep, exercise, stress), and/or the use of botanical medicine (to balance hormones, support mood, reduce inflammation).
You shouldn’t have to suffer every month. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for more information or book your free 15-minute meet-and-greet today!