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Is it just PMS or are you suffering from the more serious premenstrual dysphoric disorder? It’s time to find out

Updated on:17 March 2020, 15:15pm IST
Ladies, the premenstrual dysphoric disorder is real and can make your life way more miserable than a regular PMS can ever do.
Sonakshi Kohli
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It’s time to figure out if your excessive mood swings are caused by PMS or something else? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Craving for chocolate? It must be PMS. Angry because someone didn’t turn up on time as promised? Stop PMSing, girl. Having issues with a toxic boyfriend? It’s just the PMS bringing out your nagging side. 

Come on, we’ve all been on the receiving and the giving end of such statements. In fact, we often the terrible PMS symptoms like headaches, nausea, excruciating stomach cramps, dip in the mood, fatigue, and what not very lightly. 

But, as much as you need to start taking PMS seriously, you’ve also got to consider that you might be suffering from the serious Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

Is it just PMS?
“As compared to PMS, the effects of PMDD are more intense. The psychological and physical effects of PMDD can disturb the personal and professional life of a woman if not attended to effectively,” Deshpande warns.

The symptoms of period pain while you PMS does bring in gruesome damage to our body and life yet the  PMS pain often subsides with adding specific foods and exercise in our lifestyle.

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Enter PMS 2.0: The Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
“PMDD is a severe form of PMS that includes physical and behavioural symptoms that occur before the initiation of menstrual bleeding,” explains Dr Gayatri Deshpande, senior consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology department, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai.

But why does this evil strike you?
We all know how throughout the menstrual cycle, your body undergoes a natural rise and fall in the levels of the hormones, mainly estrogen and progesterone. This can have an effect on other hormones, especially serotonin, which plays a vital role in regulating your mood.

“Research points out that people with PMDD undergo genetic changes that make their cells overtly sensitive to these hormonal fluctuations. It is the resulting overreaction that may be responsible for PMDD symptoms,” explains Dr Swati Mittal, senior consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.

Quiz time: Is it crazy PMS symptom or something else? Take this quiz to find out

So, are you suffering from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?
Just like any other disorder in the body,  Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder has certain telling symptoms too. Take a look:

1. Physical Symptoms
According to Dr Mittal, the following physical symptoms maybe your body’s cry for help against PMDD:

  • Acne
  • Back pain
  • Bloating
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Gastrointestinal issues, including constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Dizziness, headache
  • Heart palpitations
  • Appetite changes
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Painful periods
  • Reduced sex drive

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2. Behavioural symptoms

  • Agitation or nervousness
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Crying spells
  • Feeling out of control
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of interest in activities and relationships
  • Irritability
  • Moodiness
  • Panic attacks/paranoia
  • Sadness
  • Thoughts of suicide

Here’s what you can do to fight PMDD
“Exercising regularly and consuming a healthy diet including high fibre fruits and vegetable can ease off the symptoms of PMDD to a certain extent,” she says.

PMS vs PMDD
It’s time to chomp on a high fibre diet to beat PMDD to the curb. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Mind relaxation techniques and practising yoga can offer significant pain relief too,” she adds.

It’s time to visit your doctor!
Unfortunately, the symptoms of PMDD are so intense that you might not be able to handle the trauma yourself. A visit to the doctor can lead to an informed diagnosis and treatment in the form of hormonal pills, anti-depressants, and dietary supplements like folic acid, calcium, and vitamins for better results.

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Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.