As you grow and mature into an adult, your hormone levels begin to even out. While you won’t have the roller coaster hormones you had during puberty, you may notice changes in your ADHD as part of your monthly cycle.
Some women with ADHD will find that their ADD symptoms and the severity of them will change throughout the month. (You may want to begin a journal tracking symptoms and your monthly cycle to see if your ADHD is being affected by hormonal changes).
Many women have found that their ADHD symptoms are less severe in the first two weeks of their cycle and more severe during the last two weeks. Scientists have attributed this to hormonal changes.
Estrogen, produced in the first two weeks, releases serotonin and dopamine (the “feel good” neurotransmitters) into the brain.
In the last two weeks of your cycle, your progesterone level increases, diminishing the effects of the estrogen. You may also find that your ADHD medications are not as effective during this time and that you are more prone to depression and anxiety.
Many women with ADHD also have more symptoms of PMS than women without ADHD.
If you find that your ADHD symptoms are affected by your monthly cycle to the point that it disrupts your life, talk to your doctor about possible solutions. You may have to consult with both your gynecologist and the doctor who prescribes your ADHD medication in order to come up with a workable solution.
Simple things, like reducing sodium content (check your Diet Coke!), drinking more water, and just being aware of why you feel the way you do can also help.