How can I help my PMDD and PMS naturally?

Pre -Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder aka PMDD, is becoming increasingly common.

This condition has severe symptoms, and they often last for 7-14 days out of a cycle.

It is described as a spectrum of mood and physical symptoms that occur during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle​ and it is classified as a psychiatric disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)​

Premenstrual syndrome PMS can be challenging and for a few days before a period.​It is common for the medical model has normalised PMS, heavy or irregular periods. This needs to be addressed because any irregularities in menstrual bleeding must be seen as a red flag and dealt with accordingly.

It can take decades to get a diagnosis of PMDD or severe PMS, and sometimes only after misdiagnosis for illnesses like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder:

Symptoms of PMDD and severe PMS can include:

  • mood swings​
  • feeling down or anxious​
  • feeling irritable​
  • feeling bloated – your tummy sticks out more than normal
  • headaches or migraines​
  • breast tenderness or changes​
  • loss of interest in sex​
  • changes in skin (like spots or dryness)​
  • changes in appetite​
  • tiredness and/or difficulty sleeping / insomnia​
  • extreme fatigue and sleepiness​
  • food cravings (that often result in binge eating)​
  • joint pain​
  • weight gain​
  • trouble concentrating

PMDD is a huge risk factor for suicide, with one recent global study suggesting that up to ​

  • 34% of people with PMDD have attempted suicide​.
  •  51% experience self-harm.
  • 87% experience passive suicidal ideation​.


Another study found that:

  • 17% of subjects reported having lost a job due to PMDD.​
  • 57% had lost a partner.
  • 43% reported problems with parenting.​
  • Just over 10% of respondents said they felt completely unable to parent during the worst parts of their cycle​.
  • Women with PMDD often must rearrange their lives and work to accommodate their monthly cycle.

In order for a woman to be officially diagnosed with PMDD, she would need to keep a diary of her symptoms over a few months to determine whether her symptoms appear cyclically.  ​


According to the DSM-5, “at least 5 of the following 11 symptoms (including at least 1 of the first 4 listed) should be present for diagnosis.​

  1. Markedly depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, or self-deprecating thoughts​.
  2. Marked anxiety, tension, feelings of being “keyed up” or “on edge”​
  3. Marked affective lability​.
  4. Persistent and marked anger or irritability or increased interpersonal conflicts.
  5. Decreased interest in usual activities (eg, work, school, friends, and hobbies)​.
  6. Subjective sense of difficulty in concentrating​.
  7. Lethargy, easy fatigability, or marked lack of energy​.
  8. Marked change in appetite, overeating, or specific food cravings.​
  9. Hypersomnia or insomnia​.
  10. A subjective sense of being overwhelmed or out of control​.
  11. Other physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness or swelling, headaches, joint or muscle pain, a sensation

Treatments include​:

  • SSRI antidepressants to modulate GABA receptors.​
  • hormonal birth control to shut down ovulation and progesterone.​
  • HRT​.
  • In some cases surgical intervention such as a hysterectomy is offered.

However​ –

  • SSRI antidepressants have side effects including may increase the risk of osteoporosis​.
  • Contraceptive progestin drugs carry their own set of mood side effects​.
  • Women need ovulation and progesterone for long-term health.
  • Contraceptive progestin drugs are bad for mood.​
  • Contraceptive progestins have been linked with anxiety and depression.​
  • They are not the same as natural progesterone and can often be why progesterone is demonised in mood conditions. ​
  • Mood symptoms

There is still no clear understanding of what causes premenstrual mood symptoms​.

A traditional view is people with PMDD have a neurobiological sensitivity to hormonal changes and are “wired differently”​.

However, we work with PMDD as an inflammation, gut, blood sugar and oestrogen / progesterone imbalance.

What are the options for alternative treatments and natural therapy?

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