Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Sep 15, 2021
  • Author: Thwe T Htay, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Ana Hategan, MD, FRCPC  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is underdiagnosed and undertreated. No definitive laboratory or ancillary procedure aids in the diagnosis, and no definitive treatment is available for the symptoms associated with the syndrome; however, many options are available.

Identifying and treating PMDD is challenging for a primary care physician. On one hand, a patient with another mood disorder may have preconceptions that she has premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or PMDD, and consequently, the diagnosis of PMDD may be incorrect. On the other hand, a patient may not have intellectually connected her symptoms to her menstrual cycle, and the diagnosis of PMDD may be missed. The correct diagnosis depends on extended patient education and correction of previously received misinformation.

In addition to the conditions listed in the differential diagnosis (see below), other problems to be considered include the following:

  • Eating disorder

  • Disorders of adrenal system

  • Catamenial migraine

  • Catamenial epilepsy

  • Collagen-vascular disease

Differential Diagnoses