Premenstrual syndrome and menstrual cramps afftect more that 50% of all menstruating women.
Just like with every common desease, the pharmaceutical companies want us to believe that women suffer from premenstrual syndorme and menstrual cramps by default. When we accept something as the norm, it is easy to medicate and ignore the issue. However, premenstrual mood swings, bloating, feeling irritable and developing menstrual cramps are not the norm and can be aliviated or entirely elliminated by following a few simple steps.
"There's evidence that diet is involved in either the development of PMS or contributes to the severity of symptoms," says Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson, ScD, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, who has studied nutrition's role in PMS.
The cause of PMS and menstrual cramps is often a hormonal imbalance that increases the levels of estrogen in our bodies, which then decreases progesterone levels and creates a hormonal chaos, the results of which you experience month after month.
Diet high in simple sugars, refined carbs, caffeine, alcohol, exposure to stress, and environmental estrogen, and sedetary life all lead to sluggish and overwhlemed liver which in turn cannot function well to expell all of the excessive estrogen from the body. If you are constipated often, the body re-absorbs estrogen from the colon back into the blood.
There are a few simple steps that you can take to start balancing your hormones and to have a better period experience. Start small so you do not get scared and turn in the opposite direction – at first, you can commit to the below changes for one week only, but make sure it is the week just before you get your period. Over time, and as you begin to reap the benefits of your new lifestyle, naturally you would want to continue so you feel like your best self.
WHOLE FOODS AND GOOD FATS
The typical Western diet lacks adequate amounts of essential fatty acids, Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s, which are important for nutrient absorption, healthy brain and healthy heart. Best sources of essential fatty acids are unheated cold-pressed olive and flax oil, fatty fish such as sardines and mackarel, ground flax seeds, leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts.
Focus on whole foods which inlude fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. Next time, replace your potatoes with sweet ones or yams, white rice for brown, or even black or red, and focus on consuming more quoinoa, buckwheat and millet – all complex grains that will take longer to digest in your body while offering you more table blood sugar levels.
You know that feeling when you let the day go by and you mean to have a proper meal but everything gets in the way? Try your hardest to avoid those days and plan ahead – make extra for dinner the night before and bring the leftovers to work for lunch the next day or buy your lunch on your way to work if you know you will have a busy day. Missing meals, or delaying them too long affects your blood sugar levels which in turn throw off your hormone production and regulation.
Aim to eat at regular intervals to avoid dips and spikes in blood sugar, says Joanne Piscitelli, MD, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University in Durham, N.C.
Chemical-laden cosmetics and domestic clening detergents expose the body to environmental estrogen and toxins. If you are eating a typical Western diet and are using convenional cosmetics and cleaning products, you are doubling up your estrogen level exposure. Whenevr possible, replace harsh chemical-focused cleaning solutions with gentler options and make informed decisions when purchasing cosmetics.
You have heard it a million times – moving is essential for your well-being and health. It is equally important to move in an effort to eliminate PMS and menstrual cramps – moving detoxifies your body, helps the liver to process all of the toxins it is exposed to, and generates endorphins which make you simply happy.