Premenstrual syndrome is characterized by a series of unpleasant physical and emotional problems. Mood swings are often associated with premenstrual syndrome. Sometimes the mood swings and depression can become so severe that the woman experiencing it loses control over her emotions. In medical terms, premenstrual mood swings or depression is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Nearly 5 percent of menstruating women experiencing premenstrual syndrome suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Researchers are not completely aware of the exact factors responsible for changes in emotional behavior before the beginning of the menstrual bleeding. Hormonal changes are believed to trigger mood swings during this period. Although severe forms of mood swings during this period need medical intervention, mild depression could be easily healed with simple behavioral modifications and nutritional changes.
Symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder
If you are suddenly feeling sad without any apparent reason, it is possible that you are experiencing premenstrual depression. Hopelessness, loneliness, hypersensitivity, irritability, lack of energy and sleeping difficulties that occur a few days before your menstrual bleeding starts are the common symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Regular aerobic exercises could help to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual depression. Breathing exercises and meditation can help to relax your mind.
Your diet plays an important role in regulating your mood. Increasing consumption of carbohydrates helps to lift the level of serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, which regulates mood. Low levels of serotonin cause depression. To control mood swings, often women resort to binge eating. However, overeating would only worsen your mood while adding extra pounds to your body. You should consider having frequent small meals comprising of complex carbohydrate foods such as whole grain products, fruits and vegetables. Intake of certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and zinc could help to improve your mood. Folk healers recommend evening primrose oil, chaste tree fruit extract and St. John’s wort for treating the premenstrual mood swings. To prevent premenstrual depression, you should limit intake of caffeine, alcohol, salt and refined sugar. Cigarette smoking could further worsen your problems.