If you had to describe how you experience your cycle, would you say…
It’s as though something else takes over my body (and mind). Giving me snappy rollercoaster-like moods (oh my goodness, am I irritable) and jeans that have become tight even though I haven’t changed my food, not to mention headachey, in the lead up to my period. Followed by several days in agony once my period finally arrives.
Or, my cycle is so unpredictable, most of the time I have no idea where my cycle is at or when my period is going to arrive. There are days when I feel so puffy and swollen, like I’ve gained weight, and I think my period is coming and sometimes it does and other times it doesn’t. And don’t get me started on my skin breakouts.
Or, it’s all easy. No pain, no symptoms in the lead up, to be honest I barely notice it.
In our experience, most women we talk to are in the first two camps. And it doesn’t need to be this way.
Your period is supposed to just show up, no symptoms, pain or suffering. We are led to believe that PMS is almost a ‘side effect’ of having a period. It’s not. And it is possible to ease this hormonal suffering, naturally.
The two hormonal profiles that cause the most suffering are what we call “low progesterone” and “estrogen excess” — with many woman experiencing both at the same time.
For too many women, their progesterone levels don’t reach optimal amounts (in relation to where their estrogen levels are) and they can experience symptoms such as:
- Low mood
- Anxious feelings
- Disturbed sleep
- Insatiable hunger
- Bloating or a feeling of puffiness
- Fluid retention
- Decreased libido.
Supporting low progesterone
To support your body’s progesterone production, focus on stress reduction techniques and nourishing both your adrenals and ovarian follicles—the two places progesterone is made.
Excess estrogen can occur with or without low progesterone, but symptoms are often more intense if progesterone levels are low, which is common these days.
- Heavy, clotty periods
- Painful menstruation
- Breast swelling and tenderness
- Depressed mood
- Cold hands and feet, often just before menstruation
Supporting excess estrogen
Support your liver. Specifically, estrogen detoxification via the liver. Eat more antioxidants and increase your intake of the brassica vegetables. Turmeric, dandelion and St Mary’s thistle are also excellent for this. For an easy antioxidant boost, and some extra liver support, try our Organic Daily Greens product.
Low progesterone + Excess estrogen
It can be common for a woman to experience both low progesterone and excess estrogen. If you feel like this is your profile, focus simultaneously on supporting your adrenal, ovarian and liver health.
This includes reducing your output of stress hormones and increasing your intake of antioxidants and nutrients that support efficient liver function. Make sure your intake of zinc is optimal as this nutrient is vital for great sex hormone balance and too many people today don’t consume adequate zinc as it is no longer widely available in the food supply (very few foods are still rich sources).
Remember that your body is always trying to reach a homeostatic balance and our job is to offer it the right nutrients and environment to support it in doing this.