What Are The Causes Of Pmdd
The exact causes are still not fully understood but researchers believe that PMMD is caused by being very sensitive to changes in hormone levels. Recent research suggests that PMDD is associated with increased sensitivity to the normal hormonal changes that occur during your monthly menstrual cycle.
See the International Association for Premenstrual Disorders website for further information on hormones and PMDD.
There is research to suggest other possible causes for PMDD, as well as things that may make your PMDD worse. Some of these possible factors are:
- Genetics. Some research suggests that increased sensitivity to changes in hormone levels may be caused by genetic variations.
- Smoking. Some research suggests that smoking can have an impact on your hormone sensitivity.
- Trauma and stress. Other research has shown that in some cases PMDD may be linked to stressful and traumatic past events, such as emotional or physical abuse. Stress may also make your PMDD symptoms worse.
Causes Of Depression During Periods
Its not known exactly how PMS causes depression, but its probably connected to the hormonal fluctuations that occur during the second half of the menstrual cycle, sensitivity of the central nervous system to reproductive hormones, genetic factors, and psychosocial factors such as stress.
Changes in levels of progesterone and estrogen can affect levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate appetite, sleep cycle, and mood. Low serotonin levels may lead to feelings of irritability and sadness, unusual food cravings, and trouble sleeping, all of which are symptoms of PMS. In addition to these symptoms and depression while on your period you may also have:
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Eating too little or too much
- Tiredness or fatigue
Not Having Control Over A Situation
Because of the pandemic, this anxiety trigger is one that a lot of people have especially experienced within the past year. Many people have loved ones who have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 or of dying if they do contract it, yet they can’t see these at-risk loved ones because of the virus.
“The loss of control associated with COVID makes even more difficult to deal with,” Dr. McCann tells Health. “When we have a sense of control and can see things and interact with things, it’s calming in a way. But the absolute inability to see or reach out to or help people who you love and care for from afar can be very anxiety provoking.”
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Pms Remedy: Other Medications
Antidepressants may help women with severe mood swings or PMDD. The most commonly used drugs are known as SSRIs. However, other types of antidepressants are often prescribed to treat PMDD. Some antidepressants may be taken for 10 to 14 days before each period or throughout the menstrual cycle. Those prescribed to treat PMS include:
What Are The Risk Factors For Pmdd
While any woman can develop PMDD, the following may be at increased risk:
- Women with a family history of PMS or PMDD
- Women with a personal or family history of depression, postpartum depression, or other mood disorders
Other possible risk factors include lower education and cigarette smoking
Talk with your healthcare provider for more information.
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How Is Pmdd Managed Or Treated
Your healthcare provider may recommend one or more of these treatments to help manage PMDD:
- Antidepressants to help manage your brains serotonin levels.
- Dietary changes, such as cutting back on salty, fatty or sugary foods and caffeine.
- Over-the-counter pain medicines to ease cramps , headaches, breast tenderness and other physical symptoms.
- Regular exercise to improve mood.
- Stress management tools, such as deep breathing exercises and meditation.
Physical Symptoms Of Pms And Mental Health
Symptoms of PMS are not limited to mood swings, however. There are many physical symptoms associated with these hormonal changes that can greatly impact upon a womans mental health.
In the weeks and days leading up to a period, women may experience a whole range of changes such as greasy hair and skin , as well as changes to their sex drive and sleeping difficulties. Any one of these symptoms can have a direct impact on a womans mental health — especially her self-esteem.
Even during menstruation itself, symptoms such as migraines, nausea or dysmenorrhea can cause stress, as they can drastically disrupt a womans day and routine, particularly if they are very severe.
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Explore Hormone Replacement Therapy
It can also help to read up on hormone replacement therapy, which can help relieve symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, reduced sex drive and mood swings. It can also help prevent weakening of the bones, known as osteoporosis. Some types of HRT can increase your risk of breast cancer, but the benefits of HRT are believed to outweigh the risks for many women.
“The risks are smaller than previously published, but your history, risks and family history all need to be taken into account,” says Vohra. “If your anxiety is hormone-related, then replacing the hormones with HRT should help. Do consider what medications or contraception you are taking – this includes over-the-counter medication as it can help your health professional evaluate your need.”
What Is The Link Between Stress And The Female Reproductive System
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is a hormonal pathway in the body that is activated by stress. Increased levels of cortisol and corticotropin-releasing hormone are associated with HPA axis activation. The HPA axis, cortisol, and CRH all help to regulate the body’s stress response.
Normal levels of reproductive hormones can be suppressed by CRH and cortisol release, potentially leading to abnormal ovulation, anovulation , or amenorrhea . Furthermore, abnormal CRH levels in reproductive tissue have been linked to poor pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth.
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What Causes An Anxiety Spike During Your Period
If you’ve noticed your anxiety spike before or during your period, it’s likely not just an unfortunate coincidence. “Because of differences in brain chemistry and the impact of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, women are already more likely than men to suffer from anxiety disorders and even panic attacks,” explains Dr. Hall. “And these can definitely be more pronounced right before and during their periods.”
Hormones control and regulate our bodies as well as our mental health. Hall says that “due to hormonal fluctuations, PMS interrupts and upsets that balance, often triggering symptoms like increased anxiety.” Not sure if you’re experiencing some common symptoms of PMS? Dr. Ross outlines what to look out for:
- Mood swings
- Crying spells
- Feeling worthless
If you’ve experienced one or more of these symptoms one to two weeks before your period, it’s very likely these emotions are caused by PMS.
Having A Diet Thats Not Too Healthy
It’s no secret that if you haven’t been eating well you might not physically feel your best. But a poor diet can impact your mental health as well. According to Lily Brown, PhD, director of the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania, a poor diet and the way it makes you feel can make you more sensitive to the impact of anxiety.
Recent research shows that eating a lot of processed carbohydrates can increase the risk of anxiety. The researchers think this might be because of the repeated and rapid changes in blood glucose levels. Recurrent low blood sugar is also associated with mood disorders.
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Stress Can Affect The Length Of Your Cycle
One study of stress in female nurses discovered links between high stress and both anovulation and longer cycles, though these findings could be explained in part by rotating shift work which is common for nurses. On the other hand, high-stress jobs have been linked to shorter cycles.
These studies may have focused on outcomes because the stress levels of study participants were not equal. People’s bodies may react differently depending on the level and duration of stress exposure. For instance, in one study perimenopausal people with high stress were no more likely than low-stress people to have altered cycles after one year. However, high stress was linked to shorter menstrual cycles after two years.
Speak To A Health Professional
“Do speak to a health professional if you are feeling these symptoms, as seeking help can start the process to differentiate symptoms of menopause impacting your mental health from depression,” says Vohra. “Some women who have a past history of sensitivity to their own hormone changes, such as premenstrual syndrome or postnatal depression, may be more likely to experience these types of symptoms during the menopause.”
A GP is a good place to start if you are struggling with anxiety, as they will be able to recommend different treatment options. “Understanding the pattern of your mood and anxiety with all of the above, will help you share these concerns with a GP or health professional,” says Vohra. “Prepare and take a deep breath before you consult and know that you know your mind and body best.”
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Harnessing Hormonal Ebbs And Flows
We cant all feel at our best all of the time. A bit of self reflection and down time can be the perfect antidote to a hectic month. If youre naturally a little introverted, having a great excuse to slow things down can be a welcome relief. It can be the perfect time to give yourself some much-needed space for self-reflection and a little extra TLC.
Understanding your own personal cycle gives you the opportunity to make plans knowing in advance how you might feel. PMS week may not be the best to try out that new dancing spot, instead, schedule some one-on-one time with a close friend, a night in with some good food or even just a bath or hitting the sack early.
If youre feeling emotional or teary, it can be exhausting trying to bottle your emotions up. Allow yourself to cry if thats how you feel. Finding an outlet like watching a weepy film or listening to music in a space of your own, on your own terms, can be cathartic.
Ways Your Period Can Affect Your Mental Health
Along with symptoms such as cramps and bloating, getting your period can impact your mental health, whether this is due to hormonal changes or environmental factors. While it might not be possible to eliminate the mental health effects your period can present completely, it is possible to treat them. By being aware of the factors that cause those situational feelings of anxiety, depression and moodiness, youll be better equipped to deal with those unwanted feelings when they arrive.
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When To Contact A Doctor
In some cases, home treatment may be enough to reduce the symptoms of anxiety related to PMS or PMDD.
If a persons anxiety or other symptoms associated with PMS interfere with daily life and activities, a person should seek guidance from a doctor. A doctor can recommend additional treatment options or prescribe medication that may help.
It is possible that a person will not receive the correct diagnosis due to the similarities between PMDD and PME.
If the treatments are not working or become less effective, a person should contact a doctor about adjusting their treatment and ensuring they have the correct diagnosis.
Can Stress Cause You To Have Your Period
Stress can definitely cause you to have your period. In fact, its one of the most common causes of irregular periods. And, while theres no one answer as to why this happens, stress can actually lead to a number of things inside your body, including changes in your menstrual cycle.
So if youre experiencing a lot of stress in your life, dont be surprised if that starts causing problems with your menstrual cycle too. However, there are ways to deal with stress and hopefully get back on track with regularity. First and foremost, try to take some time for yourself each day \u2014 whether that means going for a walk or relaxing with some good books or movies. And if that doesnt work? Talk to someone about whats stressing you out \u2014 maybe a friend or family member can help point you in the right direction.
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What Changes In The Menstrual Cycle Can Be Caused By Stress
Stress can have an impact on a woman’s cycle length and the symptoms they experience during their menstrual cycle. High-stress levels are linked to:
- Painful periods
- Premenstrual symptoms such as nausea, bloating, breast tenderness, and weight changes
- Menstrual cycles that are irregular, with longer or shorter cycles than usual
High levels of stress can even prevent ovulation and menstruation. This is known as functional hypothalamic amenorrhea and it occurs when cortisol instructs the hypothalamus to stop the menstrual cycle. This is also what happens when a woman stops menstruating as a result of strenuous exercise or malnutrition. In this way, our bodies are attempting to protect us in situations where the body may not be capable of supporting a healthy pregnancy.
Key Points About Pmdd
PMDD is a much more severe form of t premenstrual syndrome .
The exact cause of PMDD is not known.
- The main symptoms that distinguish PMDD from other mood disorders or menstrual conditions is when symptoms start and how long they last.
- Symptoms of PMDD are so severe that it affects your ability to function at home, work and in relationships.
- Aside from a complete medical history and physical and pelvic exam, there are very few tests to diagnose the condition.
- Over the course of a year, during most menstrual cycles, 5 or more of the following symptoms must be present:
- Depressed mood
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Insomnia or feeling very sleepy
- Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
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Home Remedies To Alleviate Feeling Anxious With Your Period
Laurie Steelsmith, ND, a naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist, and author of Natural Choices for Womens Health recommends the following self-care strategies.
- Exercise You dont have to go to the gym. Dance at home, go for a walk or run. Move in all directions, not just up and down. You increase your oxygen intake and circulation through movement, which increases blood flow to your liver. This helps your liver break down your hormones, says Dr. Steelsmith.
- Restorative yoga This practice puts you into a parasympathetic state. It takes you right out of that fight-or-flight anxious feeling, she says.
- Avoid caffeine This stimulant can cause your heart to race, which mimics a panic attack.
- Magnesium The crucial mineral can balance the neurotransmittersglutamate and GABA . The first is a stimulating neurotransmitter or brain chemical the second is a calming one. Consult your doctor before you add this or any supplement to your regular diet.
- Vitamin B6 According to the National Institutes of Health, there is some preliminary data showing that this B vitamin can help with PMS symptoms.
- L-theanine Found in green tea, this amino acid has been shown to relax the mind without making you sleepy, according to research published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
How To Look After Your Mental Health During Your Menstrual Cycle
Self-care is important at all times, but it could be even more valuable when you have your period. The impact that your menstrual cycle can have on your overall mental well-being is often underestimated, but there are steps you can take to manage your stress levels and reduce the chance of existing mental illnesses being exacerbated during your menstrual cycle.
23-Dec-21·9 mins read
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Can Stress Cause Spotting
Absolutely. That fight-or-flight response we mentioned above isnât limited to just shutting your period down or delaying it for a few days. Stress can also cause spotting, aka when you kind of have a little blood coming out , but not enough for you to qualify as a full period. This often happens between periods, leading you to be like, âwhy is this happening 15 days early?â
Stress Impacts Your Menstrual Cycle
The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls your period. Its sensitive to external factors like exercise, sleep, stressor family drama. When working correctly, your hypothalamus releases chemicals that stimulate the pituitary gland, which then stimulate your ovary to release the period-inducing hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Enter cortisol, which is a hormone your body makes when youre under stress. It can wreak havoc on the hypothalamus/pituitary/ovary interaction and result in irregular periods.
When under stress, your body produces cortisol. Depending on how your body tolerates stress, the cortisol may lead to delayed or light periods or no period at all , says Dr. Kollikonda. If stress continues, you can go without a period for a long time.
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Mental Health And Period Stigma
Of all the ways that women can change their lifestyle and their habits to help make their periods as smooth as possible, stigma is a problem that does not have an easy solution. Its only through open conversation and spreading awareness that women can begin to feel supported, and menstruate without fear of embarrassment or judgment — whatever their period and mental health symptoms may be.