Recently we made a post about Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), which is an extreme form of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) that many women experience. To recap, PMDD is a disorder that affects around 5% of the female population in America. Many women experience extreme mood swings, including bouts of depression, anxiety, panic, and irritability. They often feel that they are out of control and unable to participate in their daily life the week before their period. More about this disorder can be found in our previous post about PMDD.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, you may want to get in contact with a mental health professional or doctor in order to best address your symptoms. There are, however, ways to alleviate some of the symptoms at home to make PMDD feel more manageable. Today we are going to discuss a few of these ways.
Many doctors suggest dietary or lifestyle changes to help ease symptoms of PMDD. According to Harvard Health, consuming higher protein foods and complex carbohydrates can help increase important hormones and neurotransmitters related to PMDD. Some examples of these foods could be eggs, almonds, chicken breast, or oats for high protein and brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, and legumes such as black beans or chickpeas for complex carbs. Increasing these foods overall have a chance to alleviate symptoms brought on by PMDD, especially If incorporated to a daily food plan. It is also advised to try and avoid caffeine and alcohol during the week before the period.
Another common way of alleviating physical and emotional symptoms is by participating in aerobic or mindful activity. Aerobic and stretching activity can help relieve aching muscles or cramps caused by PMDD. Mindful behaviors are important for taking care of the emotional symptoms and can help alleviate feelings of anxiety. These activities can vary from yoga, Pilates, walking, meditation, or even taking a warm bath. Yoga, Pilates, and meditation guides can be found online on places like YouTube or apps on your phone so you can easily follow along! We also have detailed instructions on relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness on previous blog posts, so make sure to check those out.
Using a combination or either of these forms of at home treatment can be helpful to alleviate symptoms caused by PMDD. They are simple changes to make a difference in your mood and to help your body. They can be helpful to even those who do not experience PMDD.
Written by Emma, 2021 Undergraduate Intern
If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about this and are in the Chicago area, please feel free to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.
Harvard Health Publishing. (2019, July 30). Treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/treating-premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder
McDermott, A. (2018, September 29). 10 Natural Treatment Options for PMDD. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/pmdd-natural-treatment#warm-bath