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In part 1 of this article, you learned how new research shows that the supplement inositol benefits patients with PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), panic disorder, anxiety and other disorders. But, before you begin taking inositol for PMDD treatment, you first need to evaluate whether or not you actually have the PMDD symptoms. First, you’ll need to print out this article and circle the PMDD symptoms below that apply to you.
Do you have these common PMDD symptoms?
So how do you know if you have PMDD? You will know if you have five (or more) of the following PMDD symptoms during the week before you start your period in most menstrual cycles during the past year. These PMDD symptoms must interfere with work or school or with usual social activities and relationships with others. For instance, you may avoid social activities or be less productive or efficient at work or school. Once you get your period the PMDD symptoms ease. And they disappear altogether the week following your period. Also, having at least one of the first four PMDD symptoms listed below is a requirement for true PMDD:
- Depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, or self-deprecating thoughts
- Anxiety, tension, feelings of being “keyed up,” or “on edge”
- Mood swings (e.g., feeling suddenly sad or tearful or increased sensitivity to rejection)
- Anger or irritability or increased interpersonal conflicts
- Decreased interest in usual activities (e.g., work, school, friends, hobbies)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lethargy, easy fatigability, or marked lack of energy
- Change in appetite, overeating, or specific food cravings
- Sleeping too much or insomnia
- Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
- Other physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness or swelling, headaches, joint or muscle pain, a sensation of “bloating,” or weight gain.
How to use inositol for PMDD treatment:
If you have severe depression, anxiety, and other symptoms before your period indicative of PMDD, a trial of supplemental inositol is definitely in order. Inositol is a B-vitamin-like compound that has previously been studied as a natural PMDD treatment as well as a natural therapy for a number of other conditions. See our part 1 article for a discussion and the research citations on how inositol helps PMDD symptoms, polycystic ovarian syndrome, insulin resistance, panic disorder, depression, and anxiety. But as a PMDD treatment, you will need to take at least 2 grams of myo-inositol powder twice a day in order to receive the full benefits of this therapy. You may want to increase the dose to 4 grams twice a day starting about one or two weeks before the first day of your next period. Many women with severe PMS or PMDD symptoms also have depression and anxiety the rest of the month, just not as severe. If this is the case for you, a more comprehensive approach to beating depression is likely needed.