PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) is a health issue that is similar to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) but it has more intense side effects. PMDD can create feelings of deep-rooted irritability, depression, or anxiety a week to two before your period begins.
Studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) help people manage their mood, lessen anxiety, and relieve stress. As a result, there’s a growing belief that CBD can help women treat PMDD to lessen the side effects.
Below, we’ll dive further into what PMDD is, how it can worsen as you age, natural ways to treat it, and how CBD can help.
What is PMDD?
As stated above, PMDD is a health issue that affects women and is similar to PMS, but the side effects of PMDD can be a lot more serious and can make it more difficult for women to go about their daily routines.
While you may have heard of PMDD less than PMS, it’s not a rare health problem for women to run into. In fact, almost 5% of all women who have a period also have PMDD.
What causes PMDD?
Unfortunately, researchers don’t know yet what causes some women to experience PMDD. Some researchers think that a chemical in the brain called serotonin could be responsible for whether women will be affected by PMDD or not. When you go through your menstrual cycle, your hormone levels change and your serotonin levels can drop. Some women who are more sensitive to this change in their serotonin levels may experience PMDD.
How long does PMDD last?
The effects of PMDD can start a week or two before your period starts and symptoms tend to fade two to three days after you start your period, but how long these symptoms last can vary for everyone.
What are the main symptoms of PMDD?
The main symptoms of PMDD include a prolonged sense of irritability, depression, or anxiety when you don’t usually experience these emotions or if they’re significantly less the rest of the month.
Other main symptoms of PMDD can include:
- Panic attacks
- Trouble focusing on everyday tasks
- An unshakable feeling of fatigue
- Lack of energy
- Trouble falling asleep (and staying asleep)
- Food cravings or binge eating
- Physical symptoms like intense cramps, increased bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, or muscle pain.
To know if you are experiencing PMDD, schedule a meeting with your regular physician or gynecologist. They’ll perform a physical examination and discuss your health history with you. From there, they’ll likely recommend that you keep a calendar or a diary of your menstrual cycle and how you’re feeling on the individual days of your cycle.
For your doctor to diagnose you with PMDD, you must be experiencing five or more of the above symptoms, including at least one mood-altering symptom.
Does PMDD worsen with age?
This is a tricky question, and the short answer is that it depends. Lifestyle can have a huge impact on how severe a woman’s PMDD is. So, for younger women who don’t prioritize sleep and are leading busy lives, PMDD can be much worse. Women in their twenties are also more likely to have larger hormone fluctuations, which will worsen PMDD as well.
Having a child or entering your thirties can lessen some of PMDD’s nasty side effects. If you’re having a child, the pregnancy will stop ovulation and regular periods. Without having a period, you won’t experience PMDD. If you’re in your thirties, your PMDD symptoms might lessen due to less hormone fluctuation taking place in your body.
Once a woman’s hormone levels fluctuate less throughout her menstrual cycle, she might not experience serious PMDD for years. However, before menopause, PMDD can come back with a vengeance. During perimenopause, the five- to 10- year timespan before menopause takes place, it’s likely that your PMDD symptoms will increase again.
Regardless of your age, try to follow a couple of the natural tips below to lessen your PMDD symptoms.
What helps PMDD naturally?
Regardless of your age, there are several natural ways to treat PMDD. One of the largest things that can affect PMDD is your lifestyle. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle- like eating right and working out on a regular basis can both help your PMDD not be as intense. On top of this, you’ll want to take time for yourself to do activities that relieve your stress or anxiety. These could include reading a book, going for a walk outside, practicing yoga, or taking a hot bath (this one is especially helpful if you experience a lot of cramps.)
While you might not be able to eradicate your PMDD symptoms completely, living a healthy lifestyle and taking the time to give yourself self-care should make you feel better during the few weeks leading up to your period.
How does CBD help PMDD?
On top of living a healthy lifestyle, mixing some form of CBD into your routine could also help lessen your PMDD symptoms. Research has shown that CBD helps to lessen stress and anxiety while also giving you more control over managing your mood because CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) acts as a signaling system that can help your body stay balanced and has been linked to affecting both physical and mental conditions, such as anxiety and depression, energy levels, sleep, and appetite.
CBD, and its other natural compounds, interact with your ECS network. These cannabinoids can trigger the same receptors as the endocannabinoids that your body produces.
What does the ECS network have to do with my PMDD?
The long and the short of it is that your PMDD is caused by hormonal fluctuations that cause you to feel bad shortly before your period. Since the ECS network can help control your mood and levels of anxiety, it’s imperative to try and keep your ECS network as consistent and stable as possible.
Unfortunately, though, our bodies don’t always produce enough of the endocannabinoids we need for our ECS system to do its best job. And that’s where CBD comes into play.
CBD can help to regulate your ECS network and get it back on track. Due to this, the ECS can help to lessen the amount of PMDD symptoms that you experience.
When looking for the right products, try to stick to high-quality CBD oils or softgels that incorporate other natural ingredients. These products will be the most likely to bring you relief!