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What causes premenstrual dysphoric disorder?

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Quick Answer

As of 2015, the cause of premenstrual dysphoric disorder is unknown, notes MedicineNet. Researchers believe that this condition occurs from the interaction between neurotransmitters, or brain messengers, and hormones that ovaries produce during stages of the menstrual cycle, such as progesterone and estrogen.

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Full Answer

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome and can cause extreme mood shift, states Mayo Clinic. The brain responds abnormally to fluctuating levels of ovarian hormones, causing PMDD, suggests MedicineNet. Studies have shown a relationship between this condition and low levels of serotonin, which is a messenger in the brain involved with the transition of nerve signals, explains WebMD.

Symptoms vary among women and typically occur in the second half of the menstrual cycle. They include sleeplessness, forgetfulness, mood changes and depression, states MedicineNet. PMDD may not be the cause of these symptoms if they do not improve with menstruation, says WebMD.

Patients with emotional symptoms related to the menstrual cycle should seek medical care. PMDD diagnosis requires a thorough physical examination and a review of medical history to rule out the conditions that may account for the PMDD symptoms, as conditions such as thyroid disease and anxiety or mood disorders may have symptoms of PMDD, stresses MedicineNet. Conditions to rule out include depression, endometriosis, menopause and fibroids, states WebMD.

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