PMDD or Perimenopause: Understanding the Differences

Is it PMDD or perimenopause?

Navigating Hormonal Changes

Are you on a quest to understand the nuances of hormonal fluctuations during your perimenopause journey? If you've found yourself frantically Googling terms like PMDD and perimenopause, you're not alone. I have too!

In this blog, we'll delve into these complex hormonal transitions and how they can impact your mood and well-being.

I have spent my whole life navigating the ability to balance hormones. 


Unleashing the Fury: My Personal Experience

Last week, I experienced an explosive episode that culminated in the dramatic launch of a cherished tea cup across the room, leaving a trail of tea splatters in its wake. This sudden outburst, characterized by a seemingly uncontrollable surge of anger, was completely out of character for me.

Interestingly, I had encountered a similar episode of intense anger during my stint on medication for endometriosis, which temporarily induced menopause. On that occasion, it was a plate and a wall that bore the brunt of my emotions. These unexplained outbursts left me feeling deflated and, to some extent, apprehensive about these uncharacteristic behaviours.

Understanding PMDD: A Deep Dive

What is PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder)?

PMDD, a severe and disabling form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), affects up to 5-8% of women of reproductive age. It manifests during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, causing significant distress and impairing daily functioning.

Common PMDD Symptoms

PMDD symptoms include:

  1. Mood swings
  2. Irritability
  3. Anxiety
  4. Depression
  5. Fatigue
  6. Sleep disturbances
  7. Changes in appetite

Distinguishing PMDD from Perimenopause

While PMDD and perimenopause may exhibit similar symptoms, they have notable differences:

PMDD: The Distinct Medical Condition

PMDD is a recognized medical condition with specific diagnostic criteria and treatment options. It occurs in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

Perimenopause: A Natural Transition

Perimenopause is a natural stage of aging and may exhibit symptoms at any time, even after periods have ceased.

Recognizing the Importance of Differentiation

Distinguishing between PMDD and perimenopause is crucial as each necessitates a unique approach to management.

Managing PMDD and Perimenopause: Tailored Approaches

For effective management of PMDD:

  1. Seek a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare provider.
  2. Explore lifestyle changes, including stress reduction, sufficient sleep, and a balanced diet.
  3. Consider medications such as hormonal therapy or antidepressants.

For perimenopause:

  1. Focus on lifestyle adjustments, including a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and stress management.
  2. Hormonal therapy like estrogen replacement may be advised in specific cases.

PMDD vs. PMS: Clarifying the Confusion

Understanding the difference between PMDD and PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome):

  • PMS encompasses a collection of physical and emotional symptoms.
  • PMDD is a more severe form of PMS, causing intense sadness, irritability, and anger, along with physical symptoms.

Natural Support for Hormonal Changes

Optimal well-being during these transitions can be supported naturally:

1. Diet: Consume a balanced diet with abundant fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Reduce caffeine, sugar, and alcohol intake.

2. Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity to regulate hormones, enhance mood, and improve sleep.

3. Herbs and Supplements: Explore the benefits of herbs like chasteberry, ginger, Ashwagandha, and evening primrose oil. Additionally, consider supplements like vitamin B6, magnesium, and calcium.

4. Stress Management: Employ stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.

5. Sleep: Prioritize adequate sleep for hormone regulation and overall health.

6. Trigger Avoidance: Identify and steer clear of triggers like caffeine, sugar, and alcohol.

Discover the Power of Herbal Teas

Recommended Herbal Teas:

  • Ashwagandha Tea: Eases stress and anxiety, balancing hormones and boosting energy levels.
  • Chasteberry Tea: Traditionally used to regulate menstrual cycles and alleviate PMS symptoms.
  • Ginger Tea: Harnesses anti-inflammatory properties to relieve cramps and bloating.
  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: Rich in antioxidants, it supports female reproductive health.
  • Peppermint Tea: Soothes the digestive system, aiding in reducing bloating and cramps.
  • Valerian Root Tea: Promotes relaxation, reducing stress and enhancing sleep quality.  


Introducing the Wellness Collection

Mother Cuppa Wellness collection

For a convenient and comprehensive exploration of these herbal teas and holistic support during these transformative phases, I highly recommend trying my Wellness collection. Designed to accompany you through this challenging period of life, it provides natural support and comfort.

A range of wellness herbal teas collection for women. A choice of blended tea infusions designed to support women's wellbeing. This collection comprises all blended herbs (Energise, Hydrate, and Relax blends), featuring natural herbal blends for women, with natural flavourings, zero caffeine, and zero calories.


Conclusion: Empowering Your Journey


Understanding whether you're dealing with PMDD or perimenopause is the first step toward effective management. Armed with knowledge and personalized support, you can confidently navigate these transformative phases with greater ease and well-being.

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