Posted by: Santa Barbara Dreaming | October 30, 2008

A *special* visit

Oh the joys of being a woman. Once a month, every month, for a good % of our lives, we get a lovely aunt that comes to visit us. You know which one I’m talking about, right?

Well…. I was wondering. Every month, around *that time* I get

a)      Really hungry

b)      Really tired

c)       Really bloated

d)      Really teary ;(

e)      Really “plugged up”… (glamorous I know… don’t know why I’m sharing this with the world…)

f)       Really hard time working out – I feel like I am made out of lead

And there’s nothing that I can really do about it, except to grin and bear it whine about it endlessly.

how i feel sometimes

how i feel sometimes

Do men ever have monthly fluctuations like this? Or are only women made to endure these pesky monthly changes? What would it feel like to be able to never have these emotional and physical ups and downs?

I wasn’t satisfied with the “Oh, it’s just your hormones acting up” answer, so I set out to see what I could find about why I get all these fun symptoms every month.

Estrogen: the levels of estrogen and progesterone go down just before menstruation, and this is thought to cause PMS. PMS typically happens near the end of the menstrual cycle, within a week or two before Aunt Flo comes-a-knockin’.

Mineralocorticoids: a group of hormones that regulates our fluids and electrolytes. When the levels of these hormones change, it can cause bloating.

Serotonin: regulates mood and sleep patterns. Reduced estrogen may be linked to reduced serotonin, which makes us cry when the light turns red, a leaf falls from the tree, or you see a kitten.

Sooo… what’s a girl to do?

Apparently, taking a multi-vitamin that contains folic acid, and a calcium (with vitamin D) supplement can help us with these nasty symptoms. Avoiding simple carbs (like candy, soda, bread, you get the idea) also helps (what am I supposed to do when those unbearable chocolate cravings strike…?) Avoiding Caffeine, alcohol, and salt are also ways to prevent bloating and mood swings.

I didn’t know that: eating complex carbs like whole grains and fiber and actually help you feel better.

Soooooooo I can’t completely stop feeling crappy weird every month, but I’m going to try to follow these tips to see if anything changes next month!

What do YOU to to keep feeling and perky despite these pesky nuisances? Any tried and true tips?

Sources: Familydoctor.org (they lave a really lovely long list of symptoms we are so lucky to get to experience), womenshealthchannel.com, and howstuffworks.com

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Responses

  1. I hate feeling bloated and workouts always feel so much tougher!

    My cycle’s really irregular so I take the pill to regulate it and I love it. Anyway calcium, fish oil is supposed to help. I can’t stay away from caffeine though as I adore local milky tea with condensed milk.

    I used to complain everytime I had my period and my then bf mentioned that I should be used to the inconvenience since it happens so often. Anyway my period feels manageable now that I’m on the pill so don’t feel as bad these days. 😛

  2. haha, it’s so funny how boys don’t get it – this isn’t something we can ‘get used to’!!! It’s different every month….
    Haven’t tried fish oil… Maybe I should give it a try! Thanks for the info Alicia 🙂


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