Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) facts
- What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?
- What causes PMDD?
- What are the symptoms of PMDD?
- When should I call a doctor about PMDD?
- How is PMDD diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for PMDD?
- What are the complications of PMDD?
- Can PMDD be prevented?
- What is the outlook for PMDD?
- Take the PMDD Quiz!
- A Visual Guide to PMS Slideshow
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) FAQs
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
What causes PMDD?
Although the precise cause of PMS and PMDD is unknown, it is believed that these conditions result from the interaction of hormones produced by the ovaries at different stages in the menstrual cycle (such as estrogen and progesterone) with the neurotransmitters (chemicals that serve as messengers) in the brain. While the ovarian hormone levels are normal in women with PMDD, it is likely that the brain's response to these normally-fluctuating hormone levels is abnormal.
Most evidence suggests that PMS and PMDD do not result from any specific personality traits or personality types. While stress clearly is associated with PMS and PMDD, it is not considered to be a cause of PMDD. Rather, the associated stress is more likely to be a result of the PMS or PMDD symptoms. Vitamin or other nutritional deficiencies have not been shown to cause PMS or PMDD.
What are the symptoms of PMDD?
Symptoms of PMS and PMDD can be similar but are more intense and debilitating in PMDD. The symptoms of PMDD also may vary among affected women. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms include:
- mood changes,
- abdominal bloating,
- breast tenderness,
- increased appetite,
- oversensitivity to environmental stimuli,
- hot flashes,
- heart palpitations,
- easy crying,
- difficulty concentrating,
- forgetfulness, and
- gastrointestinal (stomach, bowel) upset.
PMDD symptoms are related to the menstrual cycle, typically occurring in the second half (luteal phase) of the cycle, and resolving within the first few days after the menstrual period has begun.
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