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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) Overview

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a particularly severe form of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Both PMS and PMDD cause disturbing symptoms during the second half, known as the luteal phase, of a woman's menstrual cycle. The symptoms tend to worsen over the week prior to the onset of the menstrual period and then improve within a few days after the period starts.

PMDD can cause a number of different symptoms, but fatigue, tiredness, mood changes, and bloating are common. A low percentage of menstruating women are estimated to suffer from PMDD. In contrast to PMS, the symptoms of PMDD are severe enough to have a significant impact upon the woman's daily activities and functioning.

PMDD Causes

PMS and PMDD are believed to be caused by a complex interaction of the hormones produced by the ovaries during a normal menstrual cycle (estrogen and progesterone) with neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is believed to be important in the development of PMDD, and PMDD may be the result of alterations in brain serotonin levels. The exact mechanism by which neurotransmitters and hormones interact to cause PMDD is not yet understood.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2014

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