How to treat PMDD

PMDD stands for Pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder, which is basically a severe form of PMS, occurring in about 1 in 20 women.

August 6, 2021
Hormones

PMDD stands for Pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder, which is basically a severe form of PMS, occurring in about 1 in 20 women. For most women the progesterone released after ovulation, helps to soothe and relax the brain due to the action of progesterone on GABA production. GABA is our calming neurotransmitter helping to reduce anxiety ,improve sleep and soothe mood. For most women, progesterone makes women feel good because it converts to a neurosteroid called allopregnanolone which calms GABA receptors in the brain. Unfortunately, women with PMDD, rather than allopregnanolone calming GABA receptors, does the opposite and produces anxiety and other intense mood symptoms.

Natural Treatment of PMDD

  • 5HTP works by regulating serotonin and GABA production
  • Magnesium supports healthy GABA production, and works to normalise how progesterone works on the CNS (central nervous system). Aim for 300-400mg daily. Best form is magnesium glycinate.
  • VitaminB6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate) is the precursor for GABA production, so helps boost levels. I prescribe dosages of around 50mg per day, but please work with a health care practitioner when prescribing vitamin B6, as high doses can cause peripheral neuropathy.
  • Calcium has been found to improve PMDD symptoms in particular sadness and anxiety.Aim for 300mg twice daily.
  • ChasteTree (vitex) works to relieves breast tenderness and boosts progesterone.
  • Saffron has been found to improve all symptoms of PMDD. Aim for 15mg twice daily.

Megan Haralampou — The Biomedical Naturopath

Naturopath & Women’s Health Expert

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