Premenstrual depression (PMD) is a condition that affects many women. For too long, PPD has been stigmatized and dismissed as “just” premenstrual syndrome. But now, the science behind it is becoming clear – and it may be the key to helping those affected by PMD. Recent research has revealed that decreased serotonin levels in the brain may play a role in premenstrual depression.
What is serotonin?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, that helps transmit messages between nerve cells in the brain. It is involved in the regulation of mood, hunger, sleep, memory and learning, etc. It is thought that low serotonin levels may contribute to depression.
What does the research suggest?
Recent research suggests that low serotonin levels may indeed be linked to premenstrual depression (PMD). In one study, researchers examined 22 healthy women over two menstrual cycles and measured their brain activity during each cycle. They found that during the luteal phase – the period immediately before menstruation – women had lower levels of serotonin in their brains than during the follicular phase, which is at the beginning of the cycle, when hormone levels are low and PMD symptoms are not yet present. This suggests that low serotonin levels may be involved in causing PMDD symptoms.
What can be done?
Research into premenstrual depression and its possible causes is still ongoing, but this new research opens up some treatment possibilities. One potential treatment for PMDD would be to increase the production or absorption of serotonin to normal levels throughout the menstrual cycle. This would require supplementing dietary intake with foods rich in tryptophan – an amino acid that contributes to serotonin production – such as turkey, salmon, eggs and nuts. Other lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, have also been shown to help improve mood by naturally increasing serotonin production in the brain!
Premenstrual depression can have a serious impact on a person’s life, but fortunately, there are ways to help! Recent research has suggested that low serotonin levels may be partly responsible for the symptoms of PMS depression. Boost your serotonin levels with [MY] Serenity Essentials, our anti-stress and anti-fringe dietary supplement designed to promote good mental energy by helping to synthesize our “happy” and motivational hormones while promoting good hormonal balance.
You can find our article on neurotransmitters to learn more, which is related to the happiness hormones.
If you think you may be affected, consider trying dietary changes or other lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, to help boost your serotonin production naturally! Of course, if this doesn’t work, you can always seek professional help.
In any case, if you suffer from PMS or any other period-related problem, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor: the menstrual cycle is not supposed to be painful. It is not a “necessary evil” and suffering is not normal or acceptable. All pain and symptoms should be reported so that doctors can investigate the cause and help their patients.
How to naturally increase your serotonin level?
In principle, serotonin levels can also be influenced by eating habits. Therefore, the study concludes that future research is needed to determine precisely whether premenstrual dysphoric disorder symptoms can be specifically influenced by diet and light therapy.
However, gentle exercise should not be overlooked as it can relieve bloating as well as irritability, anxiety and insomnia.
Some such as chasteberry extracts from the agnus castus fruit, vitamin B6, and vitamin E may indeed have a slight effect on the symptoms.