There seems to be a new level of PMS being identified among women—it is called extreme PMS or PMDD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The symptoms are the same or similar to PMS, but the severity of the symptoms is much worse. PMDD is a condition with severe physical and emotional problems related closely to the menstrual cycle. Symptoms usually occur regularly in the second half of the cycle and end when your period starts. PMS seems to affect about 75% of menstruating women and PMDD is affecting about 5% of menstruating women.
Symptoms include depression, irritability, moodiness, weepiness, anxiety, tension, night sweats, muscle aches and pains, severe bloating, breast tenderness and headaches and over eating.
Some have chosen treatment with low doses of Prozac when ovulation starts, as well as higher doses of calcium folate and magnesium. Also shown to work are primrose oil and mega fatty acids. The FDA has approved four prescription drugs for treating PMDD: Sarafem, Paxil CR, Zoloft, together with YAZ.
Other important things in the treatment and management of PMDD are exercise and relaxation as well as diet modification along with vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies.
To know if you suffer from PMDD it is best to keep a diary of your symptoms for a few months. There is also a brief screening on-line at www.pmddfactsforhealth.org. There is help for those suffering from this extreme PMS. It is not all in our heads!