A moody woman is a dangerous woman! You might not know what could irritate or trigger her anger and pent up emotions to explode. While any woman can act this way almost every woman undergoes these roller coaster ride of emotions every month before her menstruation begins. In this regard, we must appreciate every woman for moving on with everyday life despite various hormones playing tricks on her mental and physical well-being every time before the dreaded 3-day cycle and also every man for bearing up with all the tantrums thrown by his beloved queen!
It isn’t weird when we claim that women sometimes go into the self-destruct mode every month when she awaits her periods. We call it self-destruction because she troubles herself with suicidal thoughts, mood swings, hopelessness and anxiety all of which are symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a very severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
PMDD is the severe form of PMS that interrupts the woman’s ability to stay calm. It happens in 5-8% of the female gender causing extreme physical and emotional symptoms during every month a week or two before periods start. Known as severe PMS worldwide change in hormonal levels can cause physical distress. Though we are not sure of the cause behind PMDD until now its been assumed that hormonal changes throughout the menstrual cycle may play a role besides serotonin, a brain chemical. Its no deal that serotonin levels keep changing throughout the menstrual cycle but the difference comes in because some women are more sensitive to these changes. Such changes in sensitivity alter brain chemicals and neurologic pathway that control mood and well-being.
Often, women with PMDD are misdiagnosed as there are no specific tests to prove the presence of the disorder. Sometimes they remain undiagnosed while some other times they are overdiagnosed even branding them to be suffering from bipolar disorder. Physicians make the diagnosis purely based on the type and timing of the symptom.
To be declared to be suffering from PMDD the woman should display symptoms including feeling extremely irritated or angry, very down or depressed, feeling very anxious, stressed or tense, or avoiding performing your regular day-to-day activities. Facing difficulties in concentration, feeling exhausted and tired, sleeping profusely (sometimes even for 15-18 hours), feeling overwhelmed, binge eating, craving for a specific food or experiencing breast tenderness, weight gain and bloating are common. If you experience these symptoms any time of the month without sticking to the two-week time frame then you are suffering from some other disorder that needs attention.
Though an endocrine disorder, PMDD has recently been added to the list of mental health problems due to its different symptoms such as depression and suicidal feelings.
Antidepressants are generally prescribed besides birth control pills for controlling mood fluctuations and hormonal changes. Physical pain in the form of joint pain, cramps, breast tenderness and headaches are resolved using over-the-counter pain killers. Women are also advised to take up stress management tips, involve in relaxation techniques and engage in activities that interest them to minimise their pain. Besides these, lifestyle changes do help the individual cope up with PMDD symptoms in a better way:
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.