Often Experiencing Extreme PMS Symptoms? Blame Your Genes!

In some cases, PMS symptoms are so severe that they cause depression. Recent studies have found that the condition is linked to genes.

Often Experiencing Extreme PMS Symptoms? Blame Your Genes In some cases, PMS symptoms are so severe that they cause depression. (Thinkstock)
Easily tired, mood so unstable, always hungry, cramps, bloating, is a symptom premenstrual syndrome (PMS) commonly felt by most women. However, in some cases, PMS symptoms are so severe that they cause depression.

As is the case with Amanda LaFleur, 37, the mother of two children who suffer from severe PMS symptoms since the first menstruation at the age of 13 years. Whenever her period is nearing, LaFleur is depressed, anxious, even a suicidal impulse. He also suffers from misophonia, which is the extreme sensitivity to sound that can trigger anxiety, resentment and anger. (Read more about misophonia here.)

"I have trouble going to the store. I can not stand the voices around or the view of anyone who sees me. In the worst times, I lock myself in a closet, because I can not stand the sound of children or anyone talking to me, "LaFleur told the Huffington Post.
Doctors diagnose LaFleur with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), an extreme form of PMS with extreme symptoms that can trigger depression. It is estimated that about two to five percent of women who menstruate suffer from PMDD.

LaFleur family physicians try all forms of treatment that can be done, ranging from birth control pills, anxiety relief drugs, antipsychotic drugs, to drugs for bipolar disorder. Everything does not work.

Recently, a recent study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry found the reason why the drugs did not work in the case of LaFleur. In the study, researchers have identified specific disorders in women's genes with PMDD. This difference at the molecular level can explain why their symptoms can be so severe.

"Previous studies have found that people with PMDD have different sensitivities to sex hormones they release during menstruation. Experts suspect, that's what causes the symptoms to be more severe, "said Peter Schmidt, one of the study's authors who is also the head of the branch of Endocrinology Behavior at the National Institute of Mental Health.

In this study, Schmidt and his team compared 10 women who were diagnosed with PMDD and 9 with normal menstrual cycles without PMDD. When women with PMDD are given drugs to block the release of sex hormones that are common during menstruation-estradiol or progesterone, they do not experience the severe symptoms that usually occur when they menstruate. However, these symptoms re-occur when PMDD sufferers exposed to hormones estradiol and progesterone. The results of this study reinforce findings in previous studies.

When the researchers studied the cells of the participants in the laboratory, the specific gene tissues that play a role in responding to hormones in PMDD cells turned out to be different from women with normal PMS symptoms.

To be sure, the researchers analyzed the gene sequences in the larger group, 34 women with PMDD and 30 normal women. The results of the analysis revealed that PMDD patients in larger groups also experienced changes in similar genetic tissues.

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"This is the first evidence that hormone sensitivity differences in PMDD patients are based on biological differences that occur at the cellular level," Schmidt said.

Although women who suffer from PMDD do not benefit from this research in the near future, but these findings are an important step in the effort to design new treatments for them.
"A better understanding of the causes of PMDD and its differences with PMS may help researchers design better drugs and therapies for PMDD patients," Schmidt said.

LaFleur finally decided to do menopause surgery in 2015 ago, so he no longer suffered from symptoms of PMDD. He hoped that a new understanding of the study could give birth to a new, better treatment so that other women do not have to do extreme ways like themselves to avoid PMDD symptoms.

"Unless you experience it yourself, it's very difficult to understand how terrible the PMDD is. Proper understanding and treatment, that's what really needs, "he concluded.

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