Marla Ahlgrimm | Women’s Health News for January 2017

Marla AhlgrimmAn early 2017 study published by the US National Library of Medicine reveals that PMDD, an extreme form of PMS, may be linked to a response by certain genes to female sex hormones, reports women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm.

Q: What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, is what I would describe as a severe form of PMS. Unlike PMS, PMDD doesn’t respond as well to traditional forms of therapy and may include extreme depression, mood swings, and debilitating anxiety.

Q: What causes it?

Marla Ahlgrimm: We know for sure that PMDD and PMS are both caused by issues surrounding female reproductive hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone. However, according to Dr. Peter Schmidt, a researcher for the National Institute of Mental Health, scientists now have evidence at the cellular level that indicates certain women may have sudden cyclic behavioral changes due to a sensitivity to these sex hormones.

Q: Where does this reaction occur within the body?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Preliminary evidence based on gene expression research found a complex of genes that react differently in the white blood cells of women with PMDD as opposed to women who don’t suffer with the disorder.

Q: How does this affect the future of PMDD and PMS treatment?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The discoveries are still in the early research stages, but this is still big news for women’s health. Essentially, the search results offers the first concrete evidence that women with PMDD have a built-in difference in their molecular structure in response to sex hormones. Though we’ve come a long way in the last three decades, many people still believe that the emotional and mental distress brought on by hormone disorders such as PMDD are voluntary and should be easily controlled with willpower alone. These findings further support what many doctors, compounding pharmacists, and endocrinologists have been saying for decades.

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