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PMS and Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

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Regular PMS or PMDD ?

Are you still having a menstrual cycle and feel your PMS symptoms have been spiraling out of control? Are you experiencing extreme mood changes and physical symptoms that occur around the start of your period and is now effecting your quality of life? If so, then you may be experiencing a more serious condition called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). 

What is PMDD ?

PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a severe form of PMS with over 3 million women newly diagnosed each year in the U.S. This condition causes extreme mood shifts and often leads to difficulty managing daily activities prior to and during your menstrual cycle. In some cases, PMDD may even prevent you from being able to maintain healthy relationships and manage your work-life. 

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What causes PMDD ?

Short answer: We don't exactly know. But that does not mean effective treatment is not available. 

It is believed that PMDD is an abnormal change in hormone levels occurring with your menstrual cycle causing changes in a natural chemical (serotonin) that is found in the brain and body. These changes can lead to both mental and physical symptoms ranging from mild to severe and should not go untreated.  

Should I be concerned about PMDD ?

Chances are, if you are still reading this then you have experienced PMS symptoms and are concerned that they might not be normal.


Check out this brief checklist below to help identify which symptoms are concerning and require further investigation. Please note: this list is not all-inclusive and symptoms may vary by individual. 


  • Bloating

  • Breast tenderness & swelling

  • Joint or muscle pain

  • Anxiety

  • Confusion

  • Depression

  • Irritability


PMS symptoms plus 1 or more of the below:

  • Extreme mood swings or sudden fluctuation in mood

  • Extreme irritability or anger

  • Extreme anxiety, tension, or feeling on edge 

  • Decreased interest in daily activities

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Severe fatigue

  • Extreme changes in appetite

  • Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much

  • Feeling easily overwhelmed or out of control

You can also screen your symptoms using our FREE online PMDD Quiz below!

Schedule an appointment with a board certified Nurse Practitioner for your formal PMDD evaluation and personalized treatment plan today!

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