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What causes premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?

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Researchers don’t know the exact cause of PMDD. Most, however, think it may be an abnormal reaction to hormone changes related to your menstrual cycle.

Studies have shown a connection between PMDD and low levels of serotonin, a chemical in your brain that helps transmit nerve signals. Certain brain cells that use serotonin also control mood, attention, sleep, and pain. Hormonal changes may cause a decrease in serotonin, leading to PMDD symptoms.

From: What Is PMDD? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Madison Institute for Medicine.

Mayo Clinic: "Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): Different from PMS?", “Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).”

FamilyDoctor.org: "Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder."

Harvard Mental Health Letter: “Treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).”

Reviewed by Kecia Gaither on July 7, 2018

SOURCES:

Madison Institute for Medicine.

Mayo Clinic: "Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): Different from PMS?", “Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).”

FamilyDoctor.org: "Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder."

Harvard Mental Health Letter: “Treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).”

Reviewed by Kecia Gaither on July 7, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

When do symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) begin and how serious are they?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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