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The Dark Side of Womanhood: PMDD is the Result of Fluctuating Hormones and Neurotransmitters in the Brain

Her 38-year-old friend suffers from PMDD, a form of PMS in which the symptoms are even more marked. This woman does not want to take prescription SSRIs but struggles with mood swings, depression and other problems. An herbal formula can help her regain control of her life without posing the side effects of SSRIs.
Case #: 1120

I have a friend who is like my daughter (I am 55, she is 38). She suffers from the following symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): irritability, extreme mood swings, depression, sleep problems, anger, etc. She is hesitant to take SSRIs the doctor wants to prescribe. Can you help her?

It’s quite possible that premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the worst aspect of being a woman. It occurs every month, seven to 14 days before menstruation, and includes such symptoms as irritability, abdominal cramping, headaches, fatigue, bloating, and mild depression. Around 75 percent of women suffer from PMS during their childbearing years.
A more severe form of PMS is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It affects less than 10 percent of the female population but is a real and chronic medical condition recognized by health care professionals. PMDD involves all the symptoms of PMS but to a degree that interferes with routine activities. Many women with PMDD struggle to maintain personal relationships, and their symptoms can be so severe that one to two weeks before menstruation they avoid all contact with the outside world.
The Exact Nature of PMDD

As already discussed, PMS and PMDD are quite similar. The only difference is that the severity of PMDD symptoms interferes with a woman’s ability to perform routine activities. Diagnosing between the two is often difficult because both mimic psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression. In order for a woman to be treated for PMDD, she must suffer from at least five of the most common PMS symptoms. These include apparent anger, decreased interest in common activities and irritability.
Linking Serotonin with PMDD

For many years, medical professionals erroneously attributed PMDD to hormonal imbalances. A woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels naturally fluctuate during her monthly cycle, dramatically rising and falling before menstruation to prepare the body for pregnancy. Hence, doctors once believed these vacillations caused the symptoms associated with PMS and PMDD.
But the real explanation is a little more complex and involves the neurotransmitter serotonin. This chemical serves many functions in the body and is crucial to regulating mood. Low levels of serotonin may even lead to anxiety and depression, whereas normal levels promote feelings of calm and well-being. Serotonin also helps regulate sleep cycles.
Hormone fluxes prior to menstruation cause serotonin levels to vary. Rising levels of progesterone are believed to directly cause serotonin levels in the brain to drop. This decrease adversely affects mood and causes the anxiety and depression so often experienced during PMS and PMDD. The fluctuations in progesterone during this time, which also cause serotonin levels to change, explain female mood swings and sleep disturbances as well.
Reasons to Avoid SSRIs

PMDD in and of itself is an unstable condition, and it wreaks havoc on the lives of women who suffer from it. To alleviate symptoms, doctors often prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These alter communication signals in the brain and subsequently increase serotonin levels. While SSRIs notably reduce the impact of PMDD, they pose their own list of side effects that can similarly alter lives. The most troubling of these include weight gain, sleep interruptions and sexual dysfunction. SSRIS may also interfere with romantic relationships by making it harder for women to feel emotionally connected to their partners.
Better Alternative to Manage PMDD

No cure exists for PMS or PMDD, but symptoms can be managed with an all-natural blend of herbs and minerals designed specifically for the female body. (SEE: PMS Herbal Relief Formula) Such herbs as Wild Yam and Dong Quai have long and well-documented histories of balancing hormones, while Passion Flower alleviates depression and irritability. A blend of these and other beneficial ingredients can help a woman feel calmer in the days before menstruation and lead a normal, productive life.

What to do

PMS: Pretty Miserable Syndrome – No More!

Often, the distress and pain associated with PMS is normal and endurable. But for some women, the pain can be a source of agony and stress. Most of the discomfort can be reduced or relieved thanks to a realignment of the body’s hormonal production...

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Views: 340

Ideas: Women's, PMS Problems

Blog ID: 61324

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