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Hacking My Cycle: Eliminating PMS Naturally PART ONE

I go and find the only other woman on the floor

Is the secretary sitting at the desk by the door

I ask her if she's got a tampon I could use

She says

Oh honey, what a hassle for you

Sure I do

You know I do

I say

It ain't no hassle, no, it ain't no mess

Right now it's the only power

That I possess

These businessmen got the money

They got the instruments of death

But I can make life

I can make breath

Sitting in the boardroom

The I'm-so-bored room

Listening to the suits talk about their world

I didn't really have much to say

The whole time I was there

So I just left a big brown bloodstain

On their white chair

Last verse From the song Blood in the Boardroom by Ani DiFranco.

Ani Difranco’s anthem to menstruation is brilliant. It is a reminder that women’s bodies are the site of life giving force and that our menstrual cycle is a source of power. Yet for many women it is not just a “hassle” and a “mess.” It is a bringer of headaches, bloating, cramps, low energy and pimples. After transitioning to neutral soled shoes a few years ago I stopped getting menstrual cramps. when I cut down on sugar (processed and natural) my premenstrual energy stayed more constant and for the past few months I have been experimenting with getting to the source of my other symptoms pre and menstrual. And, I have been doing a lot. So much in fact that I’ve broken it all down into two blog posts. This first one is a general overview of my approach, the second gets into specifics. So here goes:

General Oestrogen Balancing - Giving Progesterone a Chance

Before I could do anything about bloating or grumpiness or headaches I first needed to get to the source of the problem. PMS happens when oestrogen and and progesterone levels become imbalanced. Progesterone is a sensitive wee flower and it gets depleted or dominated really easily. It is boosted through getting lots of good quality sleep and it converts into cortisol when we are stressed. I don’t know many people with young children who are well rested and stress free so I moved on to areas that I do have more control over. like my old friends

  • sugar and refined carbohydrates. These foods cause insulin to spike which then leads to lower levels of sex hormone binding globulin being produced which helps the body get rid of excess oestrogen and testosterone in the blood. I tried to keep my blood sugar levels constant which really means that I snacked on a whole lot of nuts, seeds hummus and vegetables in the two weeks preceding my period. I had sweet treats occasionally and didn’t beat myself up over it either.