Aside from the necessary reminder that you’re not having a hipster stranger’s baby, periods suck. You’re moody, eating a piece of cheese will transform your body into a manatee and your uterus feels like it’s being sucked out of your body by a demon. Or, as Jess perfectly describes:
Yeah. It’s not great, and new scientific research is only making things worse. Thanks to researchers from the National Institutes of Health, there may be a reason for feeling extra PMS-y during your period. Scientists discovered that there are molecular mechanisms that may alter a woman’s ability to turn off traditional PMS symptoms like irritability, sadness and anxiety leading up to her cycle. Welcome to the life of PMDD.
The above description is a nice way of saying that women who have PMDD – or as those doctor people like to call it, premenstrual dysphoric disorder — are guaranteed to feel like pieces of human garbage during that time of the month. Fortunately it’s a very small amount of women who experience these symptoms — roughly 3 to 5 percent — but still, we feel for them.
When initially studied in the ’90s, NIMH noticed that even though women’s hormone levels were considered to be normal, many experienced fluctuations in their moods during their period. After experimentally turning off estrogen and progesterone, researchers noticed that PMDD symptoms were instantly eliminated, proving there was a biological reason for the change. In other words, it’s not just in our heads, a**holes.
“This is a big moment for women’s health,” David Goldman, MD, of NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism stated. “It establishes that women with PMDD have an intrinsic difference in their molecular apparatus for response to sex hormones — not just emotional behaviors they should be able to voluntarily control.”
They also discovered that a gene called ESC/E(Z) (also referred to as Extra Sex Combs/Enhancer of Zeste) is in charge of transcribing genes into proteins, which occurs as a response cause by sex hormones.
“For the first time, we now have cellular evidence of abnormal signaling in cells derived form when with PMDD, and a plausible biological cause for their abnormal behavioral sensitivity to estrogen and progesterone,” Peter Schmidt, MS, of the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health, Behavioral Endocrinology Branch, said.
In short: it’s not your fault you feel like sh*t when you’re on your period. Fingers crossed a treatment that involves chocolate, hot men and puppies is in the near future.
[H/T: Elite Daily]