Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) - Causes

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What causes PMDD?

Although the precise cause of PMS and PMDD is unknown, it is believed that these conditions result from the interaction of hormones produced by the ovaries at different stages in the menstrual cycle (such as estrogen and progesterone) with the neurotransmitters (chemicals that serve as messengers) in the brain. While the ovarian hormone levels are normal in women with PMDD, it is likely that the brain's response to these normally-fluctuating hormone levels is abnormal.

Most evidence suggests that PMS and PMDD do not result from any specific personality traits or personality types. While stress clearly is associated with PMS and PMDD, it is not considered to be a cause of PMDD. Rather, the associated stress is more likely to be a result of the PMS or PMDD symptoms. Vitamin or other nutritional deficiencies have not been shown to cause PMS or PMDD.

Return to Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

See what others are saying

Comment from: nesreen, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

PMDD happened to me just after marriage. I have food craving, palpitation, low blood pressure all the time except for the menstruation period. Life is so difficult to me.

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Comment from: Annie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I am 33, married and have a 2 year old. I finally spoke to my doctor about my severe mood changes during what I thought was PMS premenstrual syndrome). She prescribed fluoxetine. Once I started researching the drug and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), it was like someone put what I was feeling on paper. Almost every symptom was present and I was lashing out at my husband and daughter, followed by periods of deep guilt. I am normally overly laid back and very outgoing and upbeat, so the severe switch takes my life by storm. Mental illness does run in my family along with Crohn"s disease (I also have this) and I have very, very low blood pressure, even while I was pregnant. This is a new diagnosis for me and scary, but now I know and can help my family understand and take action against it.

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