PMDS – What you need to know about premenstrual dysphoric disorderThese symptoms occur with PMDS, this treatment is possible to.
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One in three women experience problems in the days or weeks before menstruation. The back or head hurts, the chest pulls, a general feeling of malaise sets in: typical signs of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. If psychological problems are also present, the condition is referred to as PMDS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Around 15 percent of all women of childbearing age suffer from it – sometimes without knowing that their condition has a name. In about seven percent of women, the problems are so severe that they also massively restrict the everyday life of the affected person. But how does a woman recognize that she has PMDS, what symptoms does PMDS cause, what treatment is suitable?
What is PMDS? What are the symptoms of PMDS??
PMDS refers to premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Dysphoric describes an emotional state associated with a depressed, depressive mood. Some women also become irritable, unfocused, exhausted, and sometimes aggressive. These symptoms of PMDS are sometimes, but not always, in addition to the described premenstrual physical symptoms. The psychological symptoms often also have an impact on the professional and private lives of the sufferers.
How PMDS differs from other diseases?
PMDS differs from other mental illnesses, such as depression, because the symptoms are linked to the menstrual cycle. They appear four to 14 days before menstruation. Are gone at the onset of menstruation. If a woman suffers from cramping abdominal pain just before and during her period, it may also be endometriosis. In this case, it is important to contact a doctor in time to prevent this disease from progressing further.
Who is often affected by PMDS?
Basically, any woman of childbearing age can develop PMDS symptoms; the disease often first appears in the late 20s. Scientists believe that some women are more sensitive to natural hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle than others. "Overweight patients are also often affected because the subcutaneous fat produces abundant estrogens. This in turn leads to an imbalance between the two ovarian hormones estrogen and progestin," explains gynecologist Dr. Alexander Klostermann. The causes of PMDS have not yet been conclusively researched. The disease can be favored by family predisposition or can be triggered by stress and nutrition.
A quick question for Dr. Alexander Klostermann
Dr. Alexander Klostermann is a gynecologist based in Hamburg, Germany, and a specialist contributor to 4sigma. 4sigma is a provider of health services and partner of SBK.
Mr. Klostermann, which doctor should I see if I think I have PMDS??
First of all, affected women should talk to their family doctor or gynecologist about their symptoms. If necessary, they can be referred to an endocrinologist, i.e. an expert in hormone disorders, or in rare cases to a neurologist.
How is PMDS diagnosed?
There is no specific test to diagnose PMDS. The diagnosis is based on the woman's own medical history, the time of onset – from the middle of the menstrual cycle onwards – and, in the case of a doctor, possibly also on the basis of a sonography or palpation findings.
What helps against PMDS?
First of all, women can try to manage the symptoms of PMDS through their diet, by preferring low-salt foods and making sure they get plenty of vitamins and minerals from their food. Also endurance sports. Mindfulness exercises are appropriate. In addition, women suffering from PMDS should avoid alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and also chocolate. If the above-mentioned measures do not work, those affected can also take medication in consultation with their doctor to alleviate PMDS. Depending on the symptoms and their severity, the doctor will recommend different medications, for example monk's pepper or St. John's wort, or, if necessary, prescribe an individually tailored antidepressant.