There finally may be a scientific reason why you get severe PMS symptoms every damn month.
According to recent research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) based in the U.S., premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) — a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) — could be genetic.
“We found dysregulated expression in a suspect gene complex which adds to evidence that PMDD is a disorder of cellular response to estrogen and progesterone,” the research notes.
Great, thanks Mom, thanks Dad.
The report points out PMDD affects two to five per cent of women of a reproductive age, and PMS is a lot more common.
“Learning more about the role of this gene complex holds hope for improved treatment of such prevalent reproductive endocrine-related mood disorders," said NIH's Dr. Peter Schmidt in a statement.
The research, which was published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal on Jan. 3, also notes that by the late '90s, the health organization found that women who "regularly experience mood disorder symptoms just prior to their periods were abnormally sensitive to normal changes in sex hormones," even when their hormone levels were normal.
Turns out this always remained a mystery.
“This is a big moment for women’s health, because it establishes that women with PMDD have an intrinsic difference in their molecular apparatus for response to sex hormones – not just emotional behaviours they should be able to voluntarily control," the research adds.
So no, you're not just having a crappy day.
As Cosmo magazine adds, researchers took a look at white blood cells of different groups of women. Women with PMDD had a very specific gene complex compared to the women in the controlled group.
“For the first time, we now have cellular evidence of abnormal signaling in cells derived from women with PMDD, and a plausible biological cause for their abnormal behavioural sensitivity to estrogen and progesterone,” Schmidt continued.
Generally, symptoms of PMDD include bloating, abdominal pain, vomiting and backaches, Johns Hopkins Medicine notes. Psychological symptoms include nervousness, confusion, anxiety, moodiness, crying spells and trouble sleeping.
Other indications of PMDD can include fainting, acne, hot flashes and a low sex drive.
Typically, this chronic condition can be treated with exercise, changes in the diet (eating less sugar, salt and caffeine) and sometimes, birth control. If you do feel like your PMS symptoms are getting more severe, talk to a doctor.