We’ve all heard of PMS, but what about PMDD? The weeks leading up to your period can be particularly challenging.
Changes in mood, energy and food preferences can make day-to-day activities feel much harder than usual. But how do we know what’s considered “normal” and when to seek support from a health practitioner?
Today we’re shedding a light on PMDD — what it is, when to ask for help and how your diet can impact your symptoms. If you or someone you know is experiencing particularly difficult period symptoms or has been diagnosed with PMDD, keep reading to find out exactly what is going on and what you should do.
When we really strip it down, PMDD is essentially characterized by an exceptionally uncomfortable, frustrating week leading up to your period. The symptoms may also last a few days into your period as well. After hearing this, you may think to yourself — oh, that’s me! I get intense cramps, mood swings and some pretty crazy cravings the weeks prior to my period, that must mean I have PMDD? Not exactly.
PMDD is much more severe than PMS, plus it isn’t nearly as common. About 20-40% of women experience typical PMS symptoms ranging from mild to severe. On the other hand, only 3-8% of women experience symptoms so severe that they prevent them from functioning regularly in their day-to-day lives – this is PMDD (1).
What is PMDD?
PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. This disorder causes severe, debilitating