Why Progesterone Is Both Good and Bad for Mood (and How to Treat PMDD)

Mood effects of progesterone.Progesterone is usually calming but can produce a paradoxical anxiety response in some women. It’s called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) or neurosteroid change sensitivity and affects about one in twenty women.

It happens because progesterone interacts with GABA receptors in the brain and normally has a calming effect. The same natural level of progesterone can have a stimulating effect in women with PMDD due to a problem with the GABA receptors.

Read moreWhy Progesterone Is Both Good and Bad for Mood (and How to Treat PMDD)

The Dos and Don’ts of Vitex for Period Problems

Vitex or chaste tree for period problemsVitex (also called Chaste tree or Chaste berry) is a herbal medicine prepared from the berries of a large Mediterranean tree (Vitex agnus-castus). In ancient times, it was used to suppress the libido of monks, hence the name. Fortunately, it does not have that effect on women.

Vitex is effective medicine for breast pain, irregular periods, premenstrual mood symptoms, and some types of acne.

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The Role of Histamine and Mast Cells in PMS and PMDD

histamine and PMDD

Mast cell activation and histamine can play a role in premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). 

That’s why both ovulatory and premenstrual mood symptoms can be relieved by over-the-counter antihistamines as well as natural histamine-reducing strategies such as vitamin B6, SAM-e, and a dairy-free diet. 

Read moreThe Role of Histamine and Mast Cells in PMS and PMDD

How Vitamin B6 Relieves Premenstrual Mood Symptoms

PMS cureThank you to my nutrition professor who first taught me about vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) for PMS. It is a reliable treatment for premenstrual mood problems including PMDD.

I still remember B6 as the eureka moment in how I thought about periods. Suddenly, I had much higher expectations of what a period should be like. Premenstrual mood symptoms are common, but they’re not normal. 

Read moreHow Vitamin B6 Relieves Premenstrual Mood Symptoms

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