Is Your Period Normal?
I talk to a lot of women about their periods, so I’m privy to a lot of info that normally doesn’t get shared.
There are three things that I’ve learned: 1) Lots of women don’t know very much about their periods; 2) There are a lot of women out there suffering from dysfunctional periods; and 3) The dysfunction comes in lots of shades and none of them are fun.
It could be cramps ranging from mildly annoying to the sensation of your uterus trying to escape through your belly button. It could be scaring your friends and family with the swiftness and ferocity with which your emotions make a U-turn. Or it might mean having periods so unpredictable that white pants are always a risk.
While these symptoms might sound normal to you, because so many women suffer from them, they aren’t.
They’re all signs that something in your hormone cycle or overall health is not quite right.
If your body was functioning optimally, your period would pretty much be a non-event.
It would show up every 27-29 days, it would last about 4 days and you’d go through about 4 or 5 regular pads a day. Not too heavy, not too light, like a period for Goldilocks.
You’d know when your period’s coming, not because it’s sending you threatening letters the week(s?) before, but because it follows a predictable cycle.
There’d be no spotting before your period starts and no cramping. Your boobs wouldn’t get sore, your face wouldn’t break out, and you wouldn’t feel the urge to scream at strangers and loved ones or cry at passing puppies and corny commercials.
You might actually resemble the women in tampon commercials.
So why isn't your period all sunshine and rainbows?
Did you cross someone in a past life? Are you the end product of shoddy genetics passed down from generation to generation?
Did you win the unlucky lottery?
Nope. Sorry. There isn’t some Evil Curse we can point to and blame for your hormonal woes.
Likely, it’s a lot of little things that have been slowly snowballing into a huge ugly Yeti monster of a period over the course of your lifetime.
Things like constant exposure to the onslaught of unsafe chemicals in our food, water, air, and products.
Things like improper diet leading to inflammation and inadequate nutrient supplies.
Things like the Go! Go! Go! lifestyle that is presented as normal and expected even though it leads to exhaustion and chronic disease.
And yes, maybe there’s a little predisposition from your genetics that have been plaguing your ancestors since the olden days.
The good news is that it’s often easier to fix a lot of little things than it is to fix one major thing.
So by making some tweaks in your diet, chemical exposure, and stress handling strategies, you can make some pretty significant changes in reducing the suckiness of your period.
The basic outline is this:
Eat whole, real foods and as many vegetables as you can.
Avoid the most inflammatory foods: vegetable oils (canola, corn, soy, cottonseed, etc.); artificial trans fats (artificially solid fats and butter substitutes made from the above oils); refined white sugar and high fructose corn syrup; refined flours and flour products; excessive alcohol; conventional meat and dairy that comes from cows fed corn, soy, and other grains.
Stop using products in your home and on your body that are damaging your cells, disrupting your hormones, and poisoning your nervous system.
Opt out of the obligations that stress you out the most and give yourself permission to do less.
Figure out how to bring more relaxation, fun, and creativity into your life to help you deal with the stress you can’t opt out of.
Support your body’s ability to metabolize old hormones, manage inflammation, and handle physical and emotional stress by using tonic and adaptogenic herbs.
Of course sometimes, despite your best efforts, you’ll need some extra help getting your period problems under control. Health is complicated and you’re an individual with your own unique circumstances. And sometimes you need help form trained professionals who are specialists in hormone health (like me!).
You can always start with your doctor, but if the only thing they have to offer you is the pill - or tell you your symptoms are normal, please - Please!, don’t let that be where your journey ends.
If you’d like to know more about how you can have a better period schedule your free 15 minute consultation, either over the phone or in my office.