Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) Natural Treatments

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What is PMDD?

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a condition that can be characterized by intense emotional and physical symptoms that typically occur seven to ten days before menstruation begins. The symptoms are more severe than those associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and usually interfere with functions of daily life. 1 

Common Symptoms of PMDD

  • Irritability/anger
  • Overwhelm
  • Depressed or anxious mood
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Inflammation
  • Tender breasts
  • Joint pain 2 

PMDD is a medical condition that requires professional diagnosis and management. It is more common than you might think, affecting two to five percent of premenopausal women. 3 Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, medication, and therapy to help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life during the affected time of the menstrual cycle. The following natural approaches may be helpful to alleviate some of the symptoms for those experiencing PMDD.

 

Natural Treatments for PMDD

Find & Address the Root Cause

Work with a naturopathic doctor to help you identify and address the root cause of your PMDD. Endocrine health is one of the key foundational pieces to ND care, and core endocrine imbalances can contribute to the severity of PMDD symptoms. Your naturopathic doctor will work with you to suggest lifestyle, supplement and dietary changes designed to help balance your endocrine system.

Reduce Stress

Stress contributes to overall health and wellbeing, including endocrine health. If you are struggling with PMDD, take a look at what stressors you have in your life. Are there any that you can reduce or eliminate? Reducing stress, managing your stress response where you can and working on developing healthy coping mechanisms may help you feel better.

Mindful Meditation

Research indicates that engaging in consistent mindful meditation may enhance mood and alleviate anxiety symptoms caused by PMDD. 4 Many people are hesitant to start a meditation practice because they think it will be too time consuming, but incorporating meditation into your daily routine doesn’t need to be a big time commitment. There are many quick and easy meditation techniques that can fit into your day regardless of how busy your schedule is. 

 

Herbal Supplements

More extensive research needs to be conducted on the effectiveness of herbal supplements on PMDD, but many people feel that certain herbal remedies help alleviate their symptoms. Popular herbal supplements for PMDD include:

  • St. John’s Wort
  • Chaste Tree
  • Evening Primrose
  • Fenugreek
  • Hops
  • Red Clover
  • Valerian root 5 

When purchasing supplements, always look for high quality brands that conduct third-party testing. If you are new to using herbal supplements, consult with a naturopathic doctor to help you determine the right product and dosage for you.

Yoga

Research shows that yoga can reduce cramps associated with menstruation and may help alleviate emotional symptoms of PMS and PMDD as well. 6 7 Start by doing a gentle, 15-minute yoga session and see how it makes you feel. There are plenty of free instructional yoga videos available online, or you can join a class in your community.

Acupuncture

More research is needed on acupuncture’s effect on PMDD, but initial studies suggest that it may help reduce premenstrual discomfort. 8 Painful inflammation often accompanies PMDD as a result of an excess of prostaglandin, a hormone that aids in shedding the uterine lining. 9 Acupuncture is commonly used to treat inflammation because it can impact the brain’s limbic system and reduce pain. 10 

Eat a Nutritious Diet

Eating a diet of healthy, whole foods is essential in managing PMDD symptoms. Make sure that you are getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet and limit your intake of heavily processed foods, refined sugars, and alcohol.  A naturopathic doctor can help you develop a dietary and lifestyle plan that is tailored to your individual symptoms and needs. 

The information presented on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

 

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