Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a more severe premenstrual syndrome. Medication and lifestyle changes can help in getting rid of it. It shows up as severe symptoms of depression, irritability, and tension before the onset of the menstrual cycle. Most often, it occurs before 5 to 11 days of periods and causes a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. 



Anatomy of the female internal reproductive organs


The female reproductive organs constitute the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and vagina.

The ovaries are responsible for producing an egg (ovum) every month, and the uterus is responsible for bearing the fetus throughout the pregnancy. The fallopian tubes, also known as oviducts, connect the uterus with the ovaries giving a passage for the egg to come to the uterus. The uterus is connected to the vagina or birth canal-a muscular canal that is responsible for the reception of the penis during sexual intercourse and the provision of a passageway for the baby during childbirth. The vagina connects the uterus to the external reproductive organs.



Symptoms 


The symptoms of the premenstrual dysphoric disorder occur almost a week before periods. It may cause such severe symptoms that you may not be able to function properly at work or home, and causes bouts of depression, irritability, and other symptoms. Moreover, it may also affect your relationships. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder can cause the following signs and symptoms;


  • forgetfulness

  • abdominal bloating

  • increased appetite

  • gastrointestinal upset

  • fainting

  • sleeplessness

  • mood changes, including irritability, nervousness, depression, and anxiety

  • crying 

  • emotional sensitivity

  • difficulty concentrating

  • heart palpitations

  • paranoia and issues with self-image

  • coordination difficulties

  • decreased libido

  • vision changes 

  • eye complaints

  • respiratory complaints, such as allergies and infections

  • painful menses

  • severe fatigue

  • easy bruising

  • heightened sensitivity

  • headaches

  • backache

  • muscle spasms, numbness, or tingling in the extremities

  • hot flashes

  • dizziness


Fluid retention that can, in turn, cause;

  • breast tenderness

  • decreased urine production

  • swelling of the hand's feet and ankles

  • temporary weight gain.


It may also cause skin problems like;


  • Acne 

  • Inflammation 

  • Cold sores

  • Itching


Causes


The exact cause of premenstrual dysphoric disorder is unknown. However, it can occur due to hormonal changes before periods. The brain responds abnormally to the fluctuating hormones, eventually causing abnormal symptoms. It can also lead to a deficiency of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which in turns causes depression. 


Women having a history of postpartum depression, mood swings, and depression are at risk of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Other risk factors can be;


  • Thyroid disorders

  • Being overweight

  • Alcohol or substance abuse

  • Having a mother with a history of the premenstrual dysphoric disorder

  • Lack of exercise


Prevention 


To prevent premenstrual dysphoric disorder the following tips can help;


  • Take a regular part in pap smear and breast cancer examinations.

  • Exercise regularly

  • Eat a healthy diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables.

  • Do not smoke. Also, avoid exposure to second-hand smoke.

  • Maintain a healthy body weight


Treatment 


To treat the premenstrual dysphoric syndrome, the healthcare providers may prescribe;


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs like fluoxetine, sertraline, and citalopram

Oral contraceptives

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs such as leuprolide, nafarelin, and goserelin.

Danazol 


Conclusion 


The premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a premenstrual syndrome that is more severe. Medication and lifestyle changes can help in getting rid of it. It shows up as severe symptoms of depression, irritability, and tension before the onset of the menstrual cycle. Most often, it occurs before 5 to 11 days of periods and causes a variety of physical and emotional symptoms.


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