When it comes to PMS, you’re likely familiar with the common symptoms: bloating, cramping, breast tenderness and back pain. But what about the not-so-common weird symptoms of PMS?
I mean this isn’t something that’s openly discussed because there’s always been a bit of stigma surrounding our menstrual cycles, but here’s a newsflash: There is absolutely nothing you need to be ashamed of. Which is why I decided to write about the:
Weird symptoms of PMS and what you can do about them.
So let’s break down what some of them are, shall we?
Hot flashes & night sweats before your period.
If you’ve ever experienced this, you may actually feel that you’re going into perimenopause, but that isn’t the case (well, at least not yet!). The most common reason why this happens is generally because your estrogen, and possibly even your progesterone levels, are a bit low. When this happens, you may experience hot flashes and/or night sweats a day or two before your period (or even a day or two into your period).
Possible remedies: I suggest taking 1/2 tsp of sage tincture (you can get this at your local health food store) first thing in the morning (away from food) about 4-5 days before your expected bleed. Once you bleed, discontinue. This may take a couple of cycles before you notice a change, so be patient.
Feeling clumsy or off-balance before your period.
Ever try a basic yoga pose before your period and completely fall out of it? The biggest reason for this is a drop in progesterone, which for some women can affect their coordination, movement, and even their vision. This isn’t to say that progesterone is the only culprit, a dip in estrogen has left women feeling a bit fuzzy in the brain as well.
Possible remedies: Before getting into this one, it’s important to note that throughout our menstrual cycles our hormones will fluctuate. This is the main reason why I don’t believe women are biologically built to be consistent.
And before you get your pitchforks out understand this: women are all about fluidity. I mean, just think about it: try hustling for 30 days out of the month and let me know how that works out for ya!
We as phenomenal, magical creatures, need to adapt with the ebbs and flows, and this clumsy/off-balance time before our periods is no different. This is the Batgirl call for you to seriously set some boundaries, manage your stress levels (and yes, there are some that are in your control) and get some extra sleep. When you’re not controlling your stress levels, over time, the hormone cortisol will begin to compete with your sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
Your allergies worsen before your period.
This may surprise you because you likely never guessed these could be connected! Well the reality is, they are.
If you’re a woman who happens to be estrogen-dominant (like in many cases of PCOS, fibroids and endometriosis), your allergies are likely flaring up around this time. The reason for this is estrogen will stimulate mast cells in your gut, and mast cells produce histamine, which is the component that will create the flurry of allergy symptoms you may be used to having. When there’s an abundance of histamine, it begins to down-regulate an enzyme called diamine oxidase (aka. “DAO”), that would otherwise function to eat away at histamine if the amounts of histamine weren’t so darn high.
Possible remedies: Really focus on a low carb, high fat diet. Excess carbs can influence insulin levels (which tells the body to store fat). The more fat you have, the more estrogen will follow (and vice versa).
Here’s a tip: stop running away from your pain with yet another glass of wine (the wine memes are seriously not funny anymore). The reason I say this is because women today are soaring in the stats for binge-drinking, and I’ll tell you that alcohol greatly increases insulin and estrogen levels.
From a food perspective, you’ll want to love up your liver, which means lots of lemon water and greens – particularly broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables which are high in a component called indole-3-carbinol (which munches away on estrogen).
This isn’t to say that broccoli alone will be your saviour – Always go by the method of ‘test versus guess’. It’s why in Sexy Lady Balls, my hormone membership program, we offer a low monthly rate so women can choose to upgrade to get their hormones tested (you will get prompted after you purchase the membership before you hit our thank you page).
Your poops get funky before and during your period.
This is probably the most taboo out of all the points I’ve listed because women don’t poop, and they sure as heck don’t fart – we simply whisper in our undies, right?
Alright so here’s the reality check: the reason why this happens is due to an increased amount of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which can cause contractions in muscles that are otherwise smooth. If you don’t have enough of them, as is often the case before your period, you’ll get constipated.
During your period, you may experience having too many of them, which can lead to loose poop.
Possible remedies: Incorporating a whole food, anti-inflammatory diet, along with staying hydrated, is key to regulating prostaglandin levels. From a supplement perspective, adding in fish oils (2 teaspoons daily) can greatly help. If you’re feeling a wee bit bunged up before your period, adding in magnesium citrate can be really helpful for elimination. However, you may want to stay away from magnesium during your period given it’s a muscle relaxant, so it may worsen your loose poops.
Cravings that can take over, leading to the destruction of anyone in your path.
Before my period there are two things I’m craving: chocolate and carbs. Chocolate is generally a cry for magnesium, but I still indulge in a bit of high quality chocolate (70% or higher), and love the Lily brand which is sweetened with stevia versus cane sugar.
From a carb perspective, I try to search for alternatives that give me the rich, creamy comfort that can accompany my ass on the couch as I cry through another episode of This Is Us or The Bachelor (don’t judge).
So I thought I’d leave you with a recipe from Sexy Lady Balls that I actually made during our monthly live cooking class. It’s SO easy and has been my go-to every month.
- 2-3 strips of bacon diced
- 1 Spanish onion, diced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 chicken breast, cubed
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 2 large zucchini, spiralized
- MOCK ALFREDO SAUCE
- 1 cup of cashews soaked in warm water for 10minutes
- Water to thin (roughly 1/3 cup)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- Juice from one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Begin by adding bacon to a pan on medium heat and cook for five minutes.
- Add in diced onion and garlic and stir for another 5-7 minutes.
- Add in chicken breast and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add in frozen peas and cook for a couple minutes and set aside.
- Once sauce (below) has been made, mix your chicken mixture in a bowl with the sauce and serve.
- Add all ingredients from Mock Alfredo Sauce into a high powered blender and blend.
- Slowly add in water and add in more if needed to thin out further.
- Store sauce in a small mason jar and it will stay good for 3-4 days.
- You will need to add a pinch more water after it's been in the fridge!