A healthy life with PMDD must be supported with proper diet and nutrition. While there is no known specialized diet or nutritional supplements alone will completely resolve the symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, there are several important steps that can be taken to improve quality of life and even life longevity.
Gut Microbiome and PMDD
Recent studies show a direct correlation between gut microbiome and mental health. The gut appears to help maintain brain function and has been increasingly proven to influence the risk of psychiatric and neurological disorders, including anxiety, depression, and autism.1,6
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), gut bacteria produce an array of neurochemicals that the brain uses for the regulation of physiological and mental processes, including memory, learning, and mood. In fact, 95% of the body's supply of serotonin is produced by gut bacteria, according to the APA.
In a 2014 study published in the journal, Psychopharmacology, found that prebiotics (carbohydrates that boost healthy bacteria in the gut) may be effective for reducing stress and anxiety. This may be the reason for the intense carbohydrate cravings experienced by women with this disorder.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy diet can encourage the presence of good gut bacteria. They note that consuming fermented foods - such as miso and sauerkraut - increases the level of fermenting bacteria in the gut. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain fibers and sugars that can boost the health of gut bacteria.7
Micro Nutrients and PMDD
Research also suggests that a variety of nutrients may have an important role in the phase-related mood and behavioral disturbances including premenstrual syndrome or PMS. There is scientific evidence, at least for a few of these micronutrients, specifically calcium and vitamin D, supporting cyclic fluctuations during the menstrual cycle that may help explain some of the psychiatric symptoms of PMDD including depression, anxiety and the dysphoria.2
It is important to note that while several clinical studies on proper nutrition have proven to be positive for women with premenstrual syndromes, fewer studies have been conducted on women specifically with PMDD. Based on the information that is currently available for PMDD, there is an increased need for the B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D, zinc and other micro minerals during the luteal phase. 3,4
Micro minerals also include: chromium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc.5
It is also important to note that these micro nutrients can also increase progesterone levels. Further studies are needed on the efficacy of increasing these trace minerals as progesterone intolerance is common among women with PMDD.