Causes and Risk Factors of PMDD
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Causes and Risk Factors of PMDD
An illness known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is thought to be caused by changes in your brain’s neurochemistry and communication pathways. Mood swings are a hallmark of premenstrual dysphoria, and they usually subside within a week or two of the start of your period.
PMDD is caused by fluctuations in the female hormones, however, certain women may be predisposed to it due to hereditary traits or environmental stressors. PMDD is more significant than the unpleasant symptoms that most women experience in the days leading up to their period.
In the second half of their menstrual cycle, 3 to 8 percent of women suffer from this mood condition.
The premenstrual dysphoric condition has eluded researchers for years. An inappropriate response to hormonal changes associated with your menstrual cycle, according to most experts. Up to 5% of women of childbearing age suffer from PMDD. Many women who suffer from PMDD also suffer from anxiety or sadness.
A molecule in your brain called serotonin has been linked to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PMDD). Additionally, serotonin-producing brain cells affect mood, focus, sleep as well as pain.
A reduction in serotonin may lead to PMDD symptoms as a result of hormonal changes.
A woman’s ovaries create estrogen and progesterone, which are released during her menstrual cycle. As the hormones interact with brain chemicals, they can alter mood, and this is thought to be a contributing factor in the development of PMDD.
Neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, known as “feel good” chemicals, can be affected by estrogen and progesterone, specifically.
There are the following common causes of PMDD:
It is during the luteal phase, which occurs from ovulation to the first day of bleeding when women with PMDD have symptoms. Cycle days 14 to 28 in an average 28-day menstrual cycle.
Progesterone is transformed into allopregnanolone by the ovaries at ovulation. (ALLO).
Progesterone and ALLO levels continue to grow until the beginning of your menstrual cycle, at which point they begin to rapidly decrease.
In areas of the brain that control agitation, anxiety and irritability, ALLO interacts with GABA receptors.
Women with PMDD tend to have an atypical response to ALLO, which has a soothing effect.
Researchers aren’t sure what’s causing it, but two possibilities have emerged:
It is possible that women with PMDD experience a shift in GABA-receptor sensitivity to ALLO in the luteal phase, or that ALLO production is defective.
Immediately after ovulation, estrogen levels decrease. For instance, serotonin is affected by estrogen, which interacts with a number of brain chemicals that influence mood.
Serotonin regulates mood, sleep, and appetite, among other functions.
The neurotransmitter serotonin also has an effect on your cognition, or the process by which you gather, process, and interpret data from your surroundings.
Estrogen enhances serotonin’s beneficial effects. Serotonin levels may be abnormally low in women with PMDD.
PMDD is characterized by a gloomy mood, excessive food cravings, and diminished cognitive abilities due to low serotonin levels.
Because of this, selective serotonin receptor inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed treatment for PMDD.PMDD is not necessarily the result of a hormonal imbalance or deficiency, but your healthcare professional will generally undertake testing to rule that out.
Health Risk Factors
The mix of heredity, stress and chronic medical issues can make certain women more vulnerable to mood swings during a hormone fluctuation.
There are the following health risk factors:
- Immune Activation and Inflammation
- History of Mood Disorders
The hormonal sensitivities that appear to be at play in PMDD have a hereditary basis. Changes in one of the gene complexes controlling how estrogen and progesterone respond have been observed in women with PMDD, according to National Institutes of Health researchers.
If you suffer from PMDD, you may find this discovery to be incredibly reassuring.
It provides hard scientific proof that your mood swings are caused by something biological and outside of your control.
Immune Activation and Inflammation
The immune system has been found to be associated with depressive illnesses. Systemic inflammation, such as that caused by infections or other conditions, can exacerbate symptoms for those who already have mental health problems.
A preliminary study in this field reveals that women with more severe premenstrual symptoms may experience an elevated inflammation during the luteal phase compared to those who have fewer premenstrual symptoms.
However, the connection between PMDD and inflammation remains a mystery.
Women with PMDD are being studied to see if there is a link between ALLO and their stress response. In times of stress, ALLO is known to have a relaxing and sedative impact on the body. Experimental investigations, on the other hand, show that persistent stress reduces this response.
Women with PMDD may have a history of considerable stress exposure, such as childhood physical, emotional or sexual abuse. This may explain why some but not all women with PMDD have a history of significant stress exposure.
In addition to causing symptoms, chronic stress can also worsen them.
Stress and the aggravation of PMDD symptoms are now being studied in relation to one another.
The fact that stress may be linked to PMDD lends credence to the common sense first-line treatments for PMDD, such as dietary changes and stress reduction.
History of Mood Disorders
According to studies, 50% of women with PMDD also suffer from an anxiety problem, compared to only 22% of women who do not suffer from PMDD.
Depressive disorder was diagnosed in 30% of women with PMDD, but only in 12% of women without PMDD.
People who have relatives with mood problems are more likely to suffer from PMDD.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, smoking cigarettes is associated with an increased risk of severe PMS and PMDD.
Study participants aged 27 to 44 who had smoked were twice as likely to develop premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as those who had never smoked.
Those who began smoking before the age of 15 had a 2.5-fold increased risk. There is a chance that PMDD will be next.