What is PMDD?
PMDD or Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder is severe PMS where the mental and emotional symptoms are most problematic. Symptoms typically present during the luteal phase in the second half of the cycle — the two weeks leading up to menstruation.
Although the condition is an endocrine disorder, it is defined in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders 2013, making it a mental health condition.
The critical thing that separates PMDD from PMS is its impact on your life. If you track symptoms that cause significant disruption to your everyday life and damage your relationships for three consecutive months, that is sufficient to diagnose PMDD.
Whilst it’s helpful to be aware of the condition, one complication with getting diagnosed with PMDD is the common misbelief that symptom management is the only option for PMDD. I feel troubled that so many sufferers believe healing this condition isn’t possible. This belief is a complete misnomer that stems partly from the inaccurate but wildly popular belief that PMDD does not result from a hormonal imbalance.
The fact is that PMDD, in the same way as PMS, stems from a systemic hormonal imbalance in the body. Are there other factors at play? Of course. We might be more sensitive to our hormones; there may be a genetic component; our trauma patterns might contribute to our experience. But when our hormones are functioning as they should – well balanced with each other – the fluctuations, thankfully, don’t trigger the kind of intense reactions we are used to with PMDD. I’m speaking here as a fully recovered former PMDD sufferer.
This rhetoric around PMDD not being due to a hormonal imbalance results partly from an insufficient approach to testing. Blood tests offered by your medical doctor measure a single hormone level. When checked against an arbitrary range, this often returns a result of “normal”. But this completely disregards the critical fact that hormonal balance comes from the interplay between the different hormones.
Thankfully the DUTCH test has revolutionised the insights available from hormone testing. This at-home urine test can be arranged privately and gives a detailed picture of the levels of 35 different hormones as well as how your body is processing those. This is a really useful tool in identifying specific imbalances in your hormones, allowing us to tailor a healing plan specifically for you.
The DUTCH test – Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones – is the most advanced test on the market for investigating exactly what is happening with the hormones. It provides an accurate picture of the levels of each hormone at different times of the day. It also indicates how the body is using and processing those hormones which helps us to identify any problem areas which need extra support. It is a great first step to beginning your healing journey. Click through to find out more about it.