Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), causes physical and mood-related symptoms that seriously disrupt a woman's life and relationships. PMDD symptoms develop during the latter half of each menstrual cycle, after ovulation, and go away during the first few days of each menstrual period.

PMDD symptoms are related to hormone changes during the menstrual cycle. Emotional symptoms include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, irritability and sensitivity, anger, being overwhelmed, and the need to withdraw from others. Physical and behavioral symptoms include lack of energy, problems with concentrating, sleep problems, food cravings or binge eating, breast tenderness, bloating and weight gain, headaches, and joint or muscle pain.

Women diagnosed with PMDD are typically encouraged to use healthy lifestyle choices and prescription medication to manage their symptoms.

Last Updated: June 19, 2008

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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