Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
A disorder that is rather severe than the symptoms that occur in premenstrual syndrome, associated mainly with changes in hormonal levels during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, and characterized by incapacitating physical, psychological and emotional symptoms
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. It is characterized by physical and emotional symptoms that interrupt normal or daily activities. Some of the most predominant symptoms include headache, swelling of ankles, feet, and hands, backache, abdominal cramps, heaviness or pain, bloating and/or gas, muscle spasms, breast tenderness, weight gain, recurrent cold sores, acne, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, food cravings, anxiety or panic, confusion, difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness, poor judgment, and depression.1
The symptoms are felt five to eleven days before a woman's monthly period and are resolved at the onset of menstruation. The underlying cause of this disorder is still unclear. Genetic studies though implicate the possibility of genetic correlation. Twin studies indicated a positive correlation with heritability and PMDD symptoms.1 It is also associated with changes in hormonal levels prior to menstruation. This condition affects 3% of menstruating women, i.e. 25 to 30 years of age.2
Abbreviation / Acronym: PMDD
1 premenstrual dysphoric disorder. (n.d.) Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. (2008). Retrieved from .
2 premenstrual dysphoric disorder. (n.d.) Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. (2009). Retrieved from