What is PMDD?
Most people have heard or know of PMS, but have you ever heard of PMDD? Premenstrual Syndrome, PMS, is the change in physical and emotional reactions that occur between ovulation and the start of one’s period for those that have a uterus. Symptoms usually present themselves in the form of cramping, mood swings, tender breasts, fatigue, cravings, etc. Not everyone experiences PMS, but most people have mild symptoms, while for others they can seem pretty intense. For a very small percentage of people, somewhere between 5%-8% of those with menstruation cycles, experience something much more intense. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD, is a very extreme and severe type of PMS.
What are the symptoms of PMDD?
Those suffering from PMDD experience a wide range of symptoms that can include: depression, anxiety, anger and irritability, trouble concentrating, hot flashes, feeling overwhelmed or out of control, and even suicidal thoughts and ideations. The “intermittent change in mental health and functionality” for those suffering from PMDD can disrupt daily life and functions such as work and relationships and can be extremely difficult to deal with. Most with PMDD experience these symptoms 10-20 days before the beginning of their menstrual cycle and will usually last a few days after bleeding begins. The biggest difference between PMS and PMDD is that PMDD’s symptoms last longer, are more extreme, and have a larger impact on mental health and wellness than PMS does.
What causes PMDD?
Unfortunately researchers do not know exactly what causes PMDD, but there are a few key factors that could play a role. It could be caused by hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle, or by the serotonin levels in the brain that also can fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. There is also research being conducted on the genetic and heritability of PMDD. Some other risk factors that could cause PMDD are obesity, extreme stress, and/or a history of sexual abuse or trauma.
The main goal of treatment for PMDD is to reduce the severe symptoms that are experienced 2-3 weeks before a menstrual cycle. The most prominent treatment for PMDD is the use of SSRIs, or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Taking a SSRI, which is an antidepressant, can help alleviate some of the emotional side effects that PMDD can cause. Other treatment options include hormone therapy, such as the use of birth control pills. Besides these two drug treatment options, doctors suggest that a healthy diet change that reduces sugar, salt, alcohol, and caffeine, and increases proteins and carbohydrates could also help with symptoms. Other treatment options are exercise, vitamin supplements that include B6, magnesium, and calcium, anti-inflammatories, and stress management. However, some of these treatments are not for everyone. Coming from personal experience, the side effects of taking SSRIs can impact one’s personal life more than just PMDD on its own. So for those that do not want to take pharmaceuticals to treat the symptoms of PMDD, are there other options besides diet, exercise, and vitamin supplements?
CBD and PMDD:
One safe and healthy alternative to taking SSRIs or antidepressants could be the use of CBD. Cannabidiol, or CBD, interacts with the receptors within our endocannabinoid system. Many of these receptors in the brain “regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviors”. Using CBD for the 10-20 days before one’s menstrual cycle could help alleviate some of the symptoms of PMDD. CBD may help reduce anxiety, stress, and inflammation, which could help lessen irritability and mood swings. CBD has the potential to also help with insomnia and promote a healthier sleep cycle, which can ease fatigue and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Using CBD along with a healthy lifestyle that includes regular diet and exercise could provide positive results for those suffering from PMDD.
PMDD is a serious condition that needs to be treated. The use of SSRIs and antidepressants can definitely help a lot of people, and should not be overlooked. However CBD could be an alternative or additive to these treatments. Using a CBD tincture, such as our Broad Spectrum or Full Spectrum tinctures, could be a way to quickly ease symptoms of PMDD. Even our Active Oil Transdermal Patches could be used when cramping occurs before and during menses. Having an army of CBD products on hand when PMDD flares up can ensure that you are ready to combat the monthly battle. Anyone interested in trying CBD to help treat the symptoms of PMDD should talk to their doctor or OB/GYN before starting any CBD products.
As stated above, PMDD is serious and can cause extreme emotional and mental distress. If you or anyone you know is suffering from suicidal thoughts please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
If you have any questions about our CBD products please feel free to contact us at 1-888-875-HEMP or 719-666-7219 or chat with us online!