PMDD Brain Fog? PMDD Messes With Your Memory, Concentration, & Focus

by Dr. Daniel J. Heller November 16, 2011

A new study is going to be published in the next few months (you heard it here first!) that shows that women with PMDD have a hard time with difficult memory tasks in the couple of weeks before their period.  This symptom is familiar to millions of women with PMS and PMDD, and it’s not news to doctors and others who understand PMDD symptoms

What is new is that this research proved, by giving women with and without PMDD a memory task, and measuring the results. Before this, all we really knew is that women who suffer from PMDD symptoms (and PMS symptoms, for that matter) reported that before their period, they had more trouble concentrating and focusing.

I believe, however, that what this study proves goes much further in explaining premenstrual suffering. If you have difficulty using your memory to solve complex problems—which can be anywhere from “what was I just doing?” to “how do I integrate this set of data into this spreadsheet?”—of course, that is going to mess with your concentration.

But that’s not all. Wouldn’t that make you feel confused? Of course—and confusion is a real symptom of PMDD. (I get a little tired of saying this, but I’ll say it again: the symptoms of PMS are the symptoms of PMDD, one hundred percent. The premenstrual symptoms of these two conditions are identical. The only difference is the intensity, and the degree to which they interfere with life.) Wouldn’t problems with memory and concentration lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed? Certainly, and feeling overwhelmed before your period is another important PMS symptom. Might all of these premenstrual symptoms combine to make you feel irritable? No doubt. 

Could PMDD difficulty concentrating and PMS confusion and premenstrual irritability combine to make a woman feel depressed and out of it? Could all of these add up to the classic PMS brain cloud or PMDD brain fog? Absolutely.

My point here is that all these premenstrual symptoms are connected, and the connection is that women with PMDD—and probably those with moderate or severe PMS, too—have brains and hormones that don’t play nicely together for roughly two weeks out of the month. And now, there’s scientific proof that all those symptoms are real.

I can imagine you might be reading this and thinking “OK, great, but what can I do about it?” We have a whole site, and holistic premenstrual relief programs, that answer just that question. For the moment, though, women with PMDD will appreciate knowing that that premenstrual brain fog is a scientific fact. 

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About The PMS Comfort Blog

The PMS Comfort Blog is our informal way of keeping you up to date on women’s health issues that we think are important; timely; underappreciated; useful; or just interesting. And, we’ll admit, sometimes we can’t resist poking some good-natured fun at the way the mainstream media portrays health, natural health, and women’s health issues. As always, we’d love to hear from you and are interested in knowing what you think and feel about these or other topics. Leave a comment for us, we’ll always respond. And, if there’s a women’s health topic that’s of interest to you, or that you find confusing, let us know! We want this blog to be helpful to you.


Dr. Daniel Heller is the primary author of this blog, the developer of our PMS Natural Relief Programs, and the founder of He is a holistic naturopathic doctor in Northern California with over 16 years experience helping thousands of women recover from PMS, PMDD, as well as helping women, children, and families find natural answers to all manner of health challenges.


PMS Comfort is here to support you with detailed, practical knowledge presented in a balanced manner you can trust. We are committed to educating, informing, and empowering womenregarding PMS, PMDD, and women’s health, and to providing natural relief for premenstrual symptoms.



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