Periods Shouldn’t Hurt

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Periods Shouldn’t Hurt

I’ve been wanting to write a blog on endo for a while. They (whomever “they” are) say the guideline for choosing a blog topic is to pick something you have mentioned to at least 3 clients. I talk about endo so much, I forget that most people have never heard of it. I can talk about endo with 3 clients in one afternoon. I, a master’s level therapist in a teeny, tiny practice in the middle of the country, know more about endo than at least half of the primary care doctors. So yeah, I should probably write a blog about it.

Let’s start off with explaining what endometriosis (or endo) is. Endo is a disease in which endometrial tissue (which belongs inside the uterus) ends up in other areas of the body as lesions and internal bleeding, impacting multiple systems. The most common being gastrointestinal, bladder, ovaries, nerves, abdominal muscles, pelvic muscles, and diaphragm. It can lead to dysfunction to all the body parts I just listed above and chronic pain.

Now, when I titled this blog, I should have added an asterisk. Periods are uncomfortable. I should amend that too and say, the Dreamstime Xxl 123233537entire menstrual cycle is uncomfortable, because ovulation and the luteal phase (roughly the week prior to your period) can come with their own annoying symptoms. We are told in health class, by our mothers and grandmothers, by culture that periods are painful, and it is normal. Normal is being uncomfortable and treating the symptoms with ibuprofen. Normal IS NOT being unable to work, attend classes, participate in hobbies, vomiting, shitting yourself, being unable to get out of bed, or having suicidal thoughts because nothing else will stop the pain.

And yet, at least 1 in 10 women not only experience what is not normal but will have multiple doctors tell them there is nothing wrong with them. It takes 8-10 years, on average, for people to receive an endo diagnosis. And in that decade, they have seen doctor after doctor, had multiple trips to the ER, been unable to work, drop out of college, lose friendships, and are not believed by family members. And even once someone receives a diagnosis, the treatment options are outdated, harmful, and can result in multiple surgeries, including unnecessary hysterectomies. The most effective option for treating the pain and the multiple systems dysfunctions is excision surgery. Which is often denied by insurance companies and is only performed by a handful of surgeons. Even with excision surgery, due to the delay in receiving a diagnosis and being unable to access (or afford) the surgery, many people are still left with chronic pain, infertility, and other dysfunctions because the damage done by the endo is so severe.

Dreamstime Xxl 89362446If you suspect you may have endometriosis because you experience period pain that isn’t addressed with OTC pain meds, have GI issues that doctors haven’t been able to explain, issues with urination, or pain with sex, let me be the first person who likely has said this to you: Your pain is real. Your suspicion that something is wrong is right. What you are experiencing is not normal. You are the expert of your body and I believe you.

Because it isn’t the fact that endo impacts over 190 million people worldwide and yet is grossly under researched. It is also not because women learn more about the disease from Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok than their doctors. It is not even the gaslighting women receive from those same doctors, making them believe they are crazy and need psych meds and a therapist. All of that is par for the course in women’s health. No, I am passionate and angry about endo because the economic cost of this disease is up to $119 billion in the U.S. Most of that number is due to productivity loss. Every week I meet with women who can’t work, who miss work, who forgo promotions, who can’t attend college, who struggle to graduate high school. These women are fucking brilliant, creative, hard-working, passionate, and think in ways that could change the world. And yet, are forced to devote all that energy to getting through to the next day because the medical system is broken.Dreamstime Xxl 262175661

For more information, check out these links below. They not only have information, resources, passion, but also ways you can help those who are living with invisible disease.

Endometriosis Foundation of America
Endometriosis Research Center
The Center for Endometriosis Care
Endo What? film
Below the Belt film
This Podcast Will Kill You, Ep. 88 Endometriosis: Menstrual Backwash


Any information provided about medical matters is purely educational and the author is not a medical professional and is not recommending any specific intervention for any specific person or giving medical advice. Please consult your own medical provider for information about your own situation

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not create any type of therapeutic relationship. For specific assistance, please consult your own medical and/or mental health provider.

“Hey Girlie…”: Why that girl from high school didn’t lose 100 lbs. from a MLM product and you won’t either

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“Hey Girlie…”: Why that girl from high school didn’t lose 100 lbs. from a MLM product and you won’t either


A couple of weeks ago, I received a Facebook friend request from a name that was vaguely familiar. I looked at the woman’s profile and saw she was from my hometown. I saw we had a bunch of FB friends in common, including my sister. So, I texted my sister…

Me: Who is (insert woman’s name here) and why is she sending me a FB friend request?

My sister: She is (insert family context) and she is on a MLM selling some herbal (expletive) that makes you less bloated, glowy skin all that (expletive).

Me: Ahh, so she is trying to sell me (expletive).

My sister: Yup

Me: I am currently eating cold Panda Express at 7:30pm. Pretty sure herbs aren’t going to make me less bloated.

My sister: #truth

Dreamstime Xs 103770987Every day I work with women who are living with chronic conditions which usually include chronic pain. Regularly, these women tell me stories of medical providers who attribute pain and other symptoms to their weight. Often women trust doctors and blame themselves for their situation, leading to low self-esteem and hopelessness. What surprises them is my reaction to this because I get pissed off.

I will not get into the history of why the medical community continues to perpetuate these myths about weight and body size. It would only end up being a million-word blog, and at least 1/3 of those words being swear words and threats of violence. But to summarize it in a sentence… this delightfully broken system is confusing correlation with causation.

So, I want to explain some reasons (besides the all-popular “lack of self-control/discipline”) people, particularly women, can gain weight and then struggle to try to lose it.

But before I do, I will jump ahead and explain how people lose a lot of weight in a short period, and it isn’t some magic MLM drink. It’s weight-loss surgery. And I am confident in that answer because of one basic “if, then” statement. If some product/service caused a person to lose 80-100 lbs. in a year, then some richer-than-me person would have bought up the rights to that product and sold the shit of out it. Google “Ozempic” to see this in real time.

The inability to lose weight is not a character flaw. Read that last sentence again, but this time out loud. How’d that feel? I’m guessing it possibly felt fake because it is in direct conflict with the messaging we get about weight-loss in our culture.

There are reasons why meal prepping, protein shakes, and social media weight loss secrets may not work for you.


The body creates the hormone as part of our fight-or-flight response and its function is to reduce inflammation (i.e. pain). To reduce inflammation, cortisol suppresses the immune system. It also controls metabolism by controlling our body’s use of fat, proteins, and carbs. It also affects our sleep-wake cycles, regulates blood pressure and blood sugar.

Ten Effects Of Excessive Cortisol

Ten Effects of Excessive Cortisol

High-levels of cortisol results in body-wide dysfunction. It reduces pain by suppressing the immune system, but too much can lead to a weaker immune system and more inflammation. (Increased inflammation and a dysfunctional immune system are markers of autoimmune diseases.)

Cortisol triggers your liver to release glucose (blood sugar) for a quick energy boost. If your body doesn’t use the glucose, it helpfully stores it for later…as fat. Which means if you begin a fat-burning program, the glucose is released back into the body. And again, if your body doesn’t use the glucose, it helpfully stores it for later…as fat. Rinse and repeat. Weight gain tied to glucose is incredibly hard to lose. The body holds onto these pounds like (insert inappropriate, probably political, joke here).

Some of you may be thinking that high levels of cortisol must be linked to a rare disease or syndrome. Nope…well mostly…


        • Dreamstime Xxl 108609725Chronic stress, particularly childhood stress, is one cause. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a list of potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood/adolescents and, in the U.S., about 64% of adults report they have experienced at least one of them. Research has connected ACEs to an overwhelming list of consequences that affect us as adults. Including diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, depression, anxiety, cancer, autoimmune disease, suicide, substance misuse, etc. Research attribute chronic stress and activation of the fight/flight response to causing healthy body functions to become dysfunctional. This is also why you crave sweets when you are stressed. It’s the body’s way of encouraging you to give it sugar so it can turn it into glucose for energy.
        • Corticosteroids are commonly prescribed as a first line of defense to treat pain, particularly pain related to autoimmune diseases. Steroids are a lab-created version of the cortisol the body naturally produces. However, we know that stress releases cortisol and I think we can agree that pain is stressful. Taking steroids means the body now has an abundance of cortisol floating around, triggering the liver to release glucose. And we remember what happens when the body doesn’t use all that glucose? Right! It helpfully stores it for later…as fat.
        • Cushing Syndrome is the “well mostly” from above. It is a syndrome that is associated with having too much cortisol in the body. It results from tumors on the pituitary gland (and sometimes the lungs, pancreas, and thyroid) that cause the hormone (ACTH) that controls how much cortisol ends up in the body to go bonkers.
Dreamstime Xxl 176529150PCOS:

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that is very common and affects 5-6 million (likely an underestimate) people in the U.S. And is the most common cause of infertility, which means the doctor most likely to diagnosis it is the gynecologist at a fertility clinic. This means that individuals who don’t seek fertility treatment are unlikely to receive an accurate diagnosis.

If you google PCOS, you will probably read that it is caused by the ovaries producing too much androgen. However, we don’t know definitively what causes PCOS. The medical community is quick to point to androgen because they find high levels in 60-80% of cases. PCOS is characterized by irregular periods, excess weight, facial hair, and thin hair. The unseen symptoms are ovarian cysts, high androgen levels, insulin resistance, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

The specific symptom I want to pull out is “insulin resistance.” Insulin is what the body uses to reduce glucose (blood sugar) in the blood by shipping it off to the cells. This relationship between glucose and insulin is important to understand because we are about to see it referenced several times. “Insulin resistance” means this relationship isn’t working, resulting in an excess of glucose in the blood because the insulin receptors burnout, producing high levels of insulin in response to high levels of glucose.

And by now, I hope it’s been well established that the body takes excess glucose and turns it into fat.

I’ve heard from dozens of women with PCOS and hear story after story about how their doctor will lecture them why they need to lose weight. Other women working with endocrinologists or fertility specialists are told that weight-loss surgery is the only way to lose weight because it’s difficult to lose body fat created by glucose.

The researchers who believe high androgen levels cause PCOS also state it is the androgen levels that cause insulin over-production, leading to dysfunctional insulin receptors leading to insulin resistance. However, other researchers suggest it is the dysfunctional insulin levels that cause androgen to increase too. Suggesting androgen isn’t causing PCOS, rather insulin resistance is.

A quick recap before we jump forward. Cortisol causes excess glucose because it triggers the liver to pump it into the bloodstream. PCOS results in excess glucose because the insulin receptors begin to dysfunction because they are overworked trying to keep up with the glucose levels.


Dreamstime Xxl 86567811Diabetes:

I am guessing most of you have read all this information about glucose and insulin resistance and have thought about diabetes. And you would be correct to do so. Type 2 diabetes is caused when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to keep the glucose in check and/or insulin resistance.Whereas we categorize Type 1 diabetes as an autoimmune disease, Type 2 is an endocrine dysfunction. Now, if you were to google “What causes Type 2 diabetes” the answer you will get is obesity. This is because the medical community is jumping ahead of you and answering, “What causes insulin resistance?”

I really hope that by now, you are very confused because this is where I get confused too.

And here is why, we have:

        • research that shows excess cortisol levels can lead to excess glucose in the bloodstream
        • research that shows insulin receptors can burn out when trying to keep up with high levels of glucose, resulting in insulin resistance and even more glucose in the bloodstream because now insulin can’t get it to the cells effectively
        • research that shows the body stores excess glucose as fat and burning fat releases the glucose back in the bloodstream, causing the entire cycle to repeat itself

I am not a researcher, so I may be missing a very vital step, but it seems like obesity doesn’t cause insulin resistance, but insulin resistance and obesity are both caused by chronic excessive glucose levels in the bloodstream.

And if cortisol is released when the body is under stress or threatened and one of the primary effects of cortisol is causing the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream. It seems reasonable to conclude chronic stress leads to a high level of glucose.

So…wouldn’t chronic stress possibly be a cause of insulin resistance? And when doctors point to family members having the same diagnoses as being proof of a genetic component, couldn’t the same proof point to intergenerational trauma?

You now have all this information, but not an obvious answer on how to lose excess body fat. Good nutrition and being physically active are fantastic at helping the body function at its best and is great for your mental health, but not if the thought of it causes you stress because you aren’t losing weight. I recommend you find a doctor who can talk to you and conceptualize your situation in the terms I listed above. Most often I recommend functional medicine doctors, endocrinologists, or clinics that specialize in weight-loss. There are supplements, vitamins, mental health support, and pharmaceutical drugs available. However, it all may still lead to weight-loss surgery and if it does, it doesn’t mean you should feel shame, or its proof of your lack of self-control. This is for your physical and mental health, fuck all the haters who make you feel you are less than and weight-loss medication or surgery is the “easy” way out.

What are your thoughts? How are you viewing your own weight gain through this lens? Have you tried weight-loss medication or surgery and kept it a secret?


Any information provided about medical matters is purely educational and the author is not a medical professional and is not recommending any specific intervention for any specific person or giving medical advice. Please consult your own medical provider for information about your own situation

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not create any type of therapeutic relationship. For specific assistance, please consult your own medical and/or mental health provider.

10 minutes of Self Care: Dysregulation Part 2, Behaviors

10 minutes of Self Care is designed to be a guided grounding activity encouraging you to reflect, wonder and consider. Topics are wide-ranging and will include emotional intelligence, anxiety, self-reflection, relationships, panic, self-esteem, sex, body issues, and many more.
Today’s topic: Dysregulation Part 2
Dysregulation is a word I use that encompasses the human experience of uncomfortable emotions. It happens when our nervous system, or mammalian brain, senses a threat and activates our fight/flight system. This 10 minutes of Self Care will focus on how to recognize when you are dysregulated by noticing behaviors.

Understanding the Fawn Response

Following up to last week’s post, what is happening when you go along with what a medical provider (or anyone) says/wants/does even though you think/want/know differently?

The short answer, the fight-or-flight (F/F) system activates. To get a broad overview, read my earlier post on the F/F system here.

The F/F system (a system designed to keep us alive) takes over our brain when it perceives we are facing a threat. A system that is fantastic when we are facing a mountain lion. But what kind of threat is a medical provider? For women and BIPOC, a big threat. Due to the systemic sexism and racism built into our western medical system, women and BIPOC often do not receive the same level of care as men or white people.


Origin of fawning

In school, most of us learn about the F/F stress response but never hear about the fawn aspect of that response. The person credited naming the fawn response is a psychotherapist out of California, Pete Walker, who wrote the book Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving.

Fawning is basically when you attempt to please the threat. I usually give the example of possums playing dead or humans
playing dead when facing a brown bear. When the threat assumes you are dead, it becomes appeased and moves on because you are no longer a threat to it.

This same behavior shows up with people pleasing. If the person likes you because you are amenable and easy to get along with, that person becomes less of a threat to you. A study done in 2020 out of Israel showed that a history of trauma results in people’s nervous system going straight to a fawn response.

Fight or Flight Ladder


Another way I explain the F/F system is as a ladder. When faced with a threat, the first option your nervous system will want you to do is to flee. If a dinosaur was running down the street, you would start running the other way. Every once in a while, there will be a social media video featuring random people seeing others start running in one direction, and they too will begin running. This is because your nervous system decided to interpret the behaviors in others as evidence of a threat and encourage you to run too.


The 2nd behavior your nervous system will choose if running is not a viable option at the moment, is fight. I specifically say “at the moment” because the F/F response will constantly be trying to find an opportunity to run. An example of this is say a mountain lion drops onto the path behind you. You cannot outrun a mountain lion. So, your F/F response is going to send you the energy and chemicals you need to punch, kick, bite your way out of this threat.

Dinosaur Scaled


The 3rd behavior is fawn, which shows up if you can’t fight your way out of the threat. I have a hypothesis as to why we are seeing more fawn responses than fight responses to day-to-day threats, such as interactions with a medical provider, at work, sometimes in our relationships. I think as we move away from accepting a physical response (i.e., fight) we are leaving people with either flee or fawn, and most of us can’t easily flee our jobs, our homes, or the medical system. Every day I reframe my clients’ stories within the fawn response. Some of those stories start out with a client frustrated that they didn’t stand up for themselves, and others are stories of sexual assault and the client is blaming themselves because they didn’t say no or fight back.

When it comes to women, fawning is an important piece of the puzzle. As a culture, we often label fawning as selflessness, caring, and kindness. We reward girls for being amenable and nice. If you are doing something nice for someone in hopes they are please, less scary, won’t remove privileges, you are fawning.

Now, I want to stress, that fawning is a completely acceptable response to a threat and is by no means less valuable than fleeing or fighting. It is keeping you safe. However, if you see yourself in these examples, I encourage you to work with a mental health provider to understand why you are feeling threatened and if you can do something about it.

Play Dead

The Tale of the Two Pre-Op Nurses

Returning to my story from last week, why did I just go along with the pregnancy test? Because appeasing the 2nd pre-op nurse was the safest thing for me to do. The threat at that moment wasn’t necessarily the nurse, it was the hospital system in general. I was cornered. It was Dec 30th, the final day of the year the hospital was having scheduled surgeries. What if me refusing the pregnancy test was escalated to the point that someone decided that unless I did it, my procedure couldn’t happen. And if my procedure couldn’t happen that day, I was going to have to pay my deductible all over again when it was rescheduled. So, I fawned. I placated the system because in that moment, fighting the system wasn’t an option for me. And that is okay because maybe next time I can fight or maybe next time, I don’t want to risk care being pulled from me, and I will fawn again. Regardless, my fawning isn’t a character flaw that I am to be blamed for, but rather, evidence I am interaction with a system that feels threatening to people like me.

What about the fawn response speaks to your experience?

Any information provided about medical matters is purely educational and the author is not a medical professional and is not recommending any specific intervention for any specific person or giving medical advice. Please consult your own medical provider for information about your own situation

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not create any type of therapeutic relationship. For specific assistance, please consult your own medical and/or mental health provider.

Why You Don’t Speak Up…The Tale of Two Pre-Op Nurses

Female Patient AloneA colleague and I were talking about the medical system and how we have found ourselves in the very situations we coach clients to advocate for themselves, and yet walked out of those situations simply going along with the situation rather than challenge the provider. So, what is going on here?

Let me take a step back and tell you the story I like to title, The Tale of Two Pre-Op Nurses. I am guessing this story will resonate with many women and their own experiences. The medical system seems to know nothing about female anatomy or hormones, a topic I would love to get into in a later post.

The Tale of Two Pre-Op Nurses

In late 2020, I had two procedures, three months apart. The same surgeon, the same hospital. The procedures required me to be under twilight, or conscious, sedation. Most people experience this type of sedation when they get wisdom teeth removed or have a colonoscopy. Since the procedure involved anesthesia, I was asked upon each check-in if it was possible I could be pregnant. Both times I explained I had an IUD.

IUD Effectiveness and Ectopic Pregnancies

According to article after article about IUDs, they are 99+% effective in preventing pregnancy. The only more effective birth control for sexually active individuals is a vasectomy. If someone would become pregnancy with an IUD, they are at 3-5 times more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus. Early signs of an ectopic pregnancy are vaginal bleeding, dizziness, and pain. Pain in the lower back, pelvic pain, pain in the shoulder.

I explain all of this because I have been trying to prevent pregnancy for 20 years with a 100% success rate. And if on the tiny chance I could be pregnant, there is a high risk of ectopic pregnancy, which would not only cause me pain, but would not be a viable pregnancy. Meaning anesthesia would not be a risk to the fetus.

Procedure 1

The pre-op nurse I had for the first procedure was a woman, seeming in her 50s. She revisited the question about whether I could be pregnant. When I explained I had an IUD for two years, which is easily verifiable in my medical records because I use the same hospital system for my primary care services too. That nurse explained that they usually require a pregnancy test in pre-op for any woman who could possibly be pregnant but since I had an IUD, she didn’t think it was necessary. And I went on my merry way into the surgical suite and under twilight anesthesia, a place, apparently, I tell very inappropriate jokes.

Procedure 2

Three months later, I was scheduled for the 2nd procedure because the first one was not successful. Since the healthcare system was overloaded in late 2020 and messages and follow-ups were dropped, my procedure was scheduled December 30th, the last day the hospital was scheduling surgeries for the year. This pre-op nurse was male and probably in his late 20s. He explained I needed to take a pregnancy test. I explained back that I had an IUD and I kid you not, he just stared at me and told me it was required. I told him that I wasn’t pregnant. He repeated that it was required. Since I needed this procedure done prior to the start of the new year and before my health insurance deductible restarted, I wasn’t in a position to risk the procedure not happening. I told myself I wasn’t paying for the test, and all I had to do was pee in a cup. My attitude and mood must have been very evident because a different pre-op nurse showed up for the rest of my stay. Except, just before going back to the surgical suite, the original nurse returned to tell me my pregnancy test was negative. I looked at him and replied, in a deadpanned tone, “Shocking.”

I know there are probably some readers who are nodding their heads and thinking of their own stories. And there are probably other readers who don’t understand why this was such a big deal when it didn’t really cost me anything. Regardless, it highlights is how much medical providers don’t understand female anatomy or their own science! The first nurse was able to use her critical thinking skills and determine a pregnancy test wasn’t necessary. The second nurse, I would venture to guess, had no idea how IUDs worked! How many other things are women subjected to because we don’t understand, much less teach, medical providers basic female anatomy.

Fawn Response

But the point of this story was to explore what is happening with my nervous system and my fight-or-flight response when I knew I wasn’t pregnant but let someone who I perceived had power over me, push me into taking a pregnancy test. It was the fawn response. And next week, we will look at how the fawn response shows up when we feel threatened.

Do you have an experience in which you felt pressured by a medial provider to go along with something you know was a waste of time or unnecessary? Post it in the comments below.

Any information provided about medical matters is purely educational and the author is not a medical professional and is not recommending any specific intervention for any specific person or giving medical advice. Please consult your own medical provider for information about your own situation

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not create any type of therapeutic relationship. For specific assistance, please consult your own medical and/or mental health provider.

What is PMDD and why it should matter?

Due to the type of clients I specialize in working with, I tend to hear about issues caused by female sex hormones. Most of the time it is PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome), a topic I plan to dive into in a future post. But recently, PMDD was mentioned, and I wanted to research it so I better understood it.

The medical community describes PMDD (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder) as a severe form of PMS that can cause physical and emotional symptoms severe enough to interfere with work, school, and social activities. I have an issue with this, because throwing PMDD in the same category as PMS can, and probably does, result in it being dismissed, ignored, or talked down about by medical providers. PMDD is more than just PMS, and it is not simply “being moody” or “PMS on steroids.”PMDD is a real medical condition that affects an estimated 3%-8% of women of childbearing age.

Confused Doctor

PMDD has been found to run in families, suggesting that there may be a genetic component. However, the exact cause of PMDD is unknown and not surprisingly, there is no cure. So, what is it?

PMDD, what is it?

The first thing I noticed in the research was the medical community has no idea what causes PMDD. I was not surprised by this, sometimes I think we know more about space than we know about the impact of female sex hormones. According to the article I found on the John Hopkins Medicine website, the medical community’s currently theory is PMDD is an abnormal reaction to the hormone fluctuations that happen within the menstrual cycle, particularly that the hormone changes result in a serotonin deficiency. Serotonin impacts mood, sleep, digestion, sex drive, etc.

Symptoms of PMDD

What does PMDD look like? Again, citing the John Hopkins Medicine website, they have a list of common symptoms. That list has 49 symptoms!!! And all the symptoms listed could and are symptoms of other things. You can see the full list here, but I will at least list the categories the symptoms are broken down into: psychological, fluid retention, respiratory problems, eye complaints, gastrointestinal, skin problems, neurologic and vascular, and other.


Diagnosing PMDD

How do you know if you have PMDD? If I read between the lines, most medical providers kick patients over to mental health providers because of the litany of psychological symptoms. Since PMDD is a result of hormone fluctuations and mental health providers can’t run tests on your hormones, I am guessing most people aren’t ever actually diagnosed with PMDD. However, there are some criteria to diagnosing PMDD, which is listed in the DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which reinforces the idea that this is a mental problem and not the actual problem, which is hormonal, but I digress.

To diagnose PMDD, over the course of a year, five or more of the following symptoms must be present during most menstrual cycles (this confuses me because anyone not on hormonal birth control are perpetually in a menstrual cycle, this term is not restricted to the phase of the cycle in which you have your period…):

  • Depressed mood
  • Anger or irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Moodiness
  • Increased appetite
  • Insomnia or fatigue
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Physical symptoms including bloating, breast tenderness, headache.

These symptoms must also disrupt your life or work.

Confused Doctor

Treating PMDD

What are the PMDD treatment options? As I mentioned earlier, there is no cure. Reading over the list of treatments that can help reduce the symptoms, I don’t see anything that suggests any solid research went into the treatment, but rather, it is a list everyone should follow to be a healthy adult and to simply treat a multitude of disorders. I can also see how they are treating the symptoms versus the disorder itself:

  • Increase protein and carbs, decrease sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol
  • Regular exercise
  • Stress management
  • Vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium
  • Anti-inflammatory meds
  • SSRIs (depression medication)
  • Birth control pills

So, in a nutshell, if you haven’t already put it together, PMDD sounds like a nightmare and one that is ignored because it’s a “women’s issue”, which means no research money and is blamed on stress. Telling women that all their physical struggles are a result of stress in the modern-day equivalent of telling women 100 years ago their issue was hysteria.


Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), John Hopkins Medicine

Serotonin, Cleveland Clinic

Any information provided about medical matters is purely educational and the author is not a medical professional and is not recommending any specific intervention for any specific person or giving medical advice. Please consult your own medical provider for information about your own situation

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not create any type of therapeutic relationship. For specific assistance, please consult your own medical and/or mental health provider.

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