By Robyn Srigley, BA, PTS, CNP, NNCP
My hubby didn’t wash the dishes. That jerk cut me off in traffic. The dog ate my homework. All (seemingly) logical reasons for a little emotional swing. But what happens when these mood swings are ALL. THE. TIME? Simply- your relationships, activities and well-being end up in the toilet like yesterday’s dinner.
High Estrogen/Low Progesterone
Estrogen and progesterone are the two main sex hormones in the female body. They have an extremely delicate balance that is easily thrown off by environment, diet, lifestyle and emotional factors- to name a few. For many women, the chronic symptoms of mood swings, depression, bloating and general PMS come from an imbalance in these two hormones. Estrogen becomes dominant as stress steals your body’s ability to make progesterone. Estrogen will take up residence in your fat cells because that’s a WAY cushier home than being excreted through your urine and bowels. Progesterone keeps you feeling calm, centred and peaceful- so if you don’t feel this way, you may have an imbalance! Click to continue reading… »
By Robyn Srigley, BA, PTS, CNP, NNCP
Big or small, round or droopy– breasts are a part of our lives every day! Whether we wish they were bigger or smaller or perkier, they are here to stay and we should love them with all we’ve got! It’s pretty common knowledge that most women at some point feel PMS symptoms (up to 90%). One of the major symptoms is breast pain or tenderness.
This is something I’ve ALWAYS suffered with. Some cycles, it would be just a little discomfort or swelling, and sometimes I’ve had cycles where I can hardly move or breathe without pain. For me, it was part of my PCOS, a hormonal imbalance that plagues women with severe PMS, among other things. So how can we kick this pain in the boob to the curb?
There could be many causes of breast pain in relation to PMS. I’m going to talk briefly about the top 3 causes. Take a gander and see where YOU fit in! Click to continue reading… »
By Robyn Srigley, BA, PTS, CNP, NNCP
Midol, Tylenol, Advil and Pamprin- which one are you using for menstrual cramp relief? We have all experienced cramps when Aunt Flo comes around. Our cramps can leave us feeling exhausted, nauseous, dizzy and sick. They can have us doubled over in pain and lying on the couch with a heating pad. And sometimes, not heating pad nor pill will help.
Those over-the-counter Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDS) can be a quick fix to grab from the medicine cabinet when the pain becomes too much. BUT- did you know that use of NSAIDs is linked to disease? Make an informed choice and find the best menstrual cramps remedy for you.
NSAIDS and Their Risks
Millions of people are using NSAIDs for pain management. Whether it be over-the-counter or prescription, everyone’s got some in their medicine cabinet. They seem harmless- pop a couple, get relief pretty quickly. But use of these little painkillers is on the rise- and poses some serious health risks. Read on and think twice before grabbing a bottle when you have menstrual cramps.
A study has shown that the use of non-aspirin NSAIDs in early pregnancy more than doubles your risk of miscarriage. And this is with any type or dosage of the popular painkillers. And don’t think you’re out of the water once you’re in the third trimester of pregnancy- use of NSAIDs during this time increases the risk of heart problems for the baby, as well as prolonging labour in the Mum. Click to continue reading… »
By Leslie Vandever
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), up to three out of four women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms each month during their fertile years. Researchers believe changes in brain hormone levels, along with social, cultural, biological, and psychological factors might be the culprits, but so far, the exact cause is still a mystery.
Physical symptoms of PMS may include:
• bloating and gas
• abdominal cramps
• tender breasts
• diarrhea or constipation
• food cravings
• insomnia or oversleeping
Mental symptoms may include:
• difficulty concentrating
• tension and anxiety
• mood swings
• changes in libido
• fear and guilt
• poor self-image
By Marcela De Vivo
When I first read Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume, I was still in my pre-teens—so the whole bra-wearing, period-having, growing up angst was something that I related to and wanted to know more about (except the angst part). I honestly believed that you could “increase your bust” with an odd rhyme and even odder exercise—and the fact that the girls were so desperate to get their period made me want mine too.
Boy, did they misrepresent the experience. When I finally got my period, it wasn’t a misty-eyed entrance into womanhood with moderate spotting and a proud mother. No, mine was a hormonal nightmare complete with acne flare-ups, inexplicable rages and tears, and cramping that I wouldn’t wish even on the mean girls who tormented me at school.
I didn’t quite get that they were all PMS symptoms for a while, since I wasn’t regular yet and hadn’t figured out when my period was coming. As I got older, I started making the connection between the awful symptoms and the impending monthly menses.
Once I understood the association, I started trying any number of remedies to relieve my PMS—for my sake and the sake of those around me. What I found was that yoga and meditation did a lot to help alleviate those issues.
I used to be that girl who dreaded my period AND the week before my period. It would begin with the ridiculous sugar cravings (yes the kind where eating a whole chocolate cake would be just fine), then the bloating would start (probably because of the whole chocolate cake), and it would culminate in the worst cramps ever (think the kind of cramps that make you throw up and want to pass out). And then I’d get my period! That was my life for many years and I felt like I had no control over my body or what was happening to it every month. Approximately 75% of women struggle with similar issues every single month so I’m sure you can relate.
Eventually I figured out that I do have control – I have control over the food that I eat and how I live my life. Who knew!? I have learned over the years that every bite you take counts when it comes to how your body functions and how you want to feel physically and emotionally. I have also learned that the main cause of PMS is an underlying hormonal imbalance in which your estrogen levels increase while your progesterone levels decrease. This is known as estrogen dominance.
Until my 20’s, I struggled with PMS. Whether it was backaches, migraines, excessive cramping, etc. it was a constant struggle. I always did the obvious, painkillers, PMS tea, read all the tips from magazines and it seemed, nothing worked. It wasn’t until my late 20’s I met a modern day goddess (and yoga guru), Zahra Haji. She fashioned unique practices for women to connect with their feminine energy, under her business Yoga Goddess. Amongst her different series of classes, she had a very special offering Moon Goddess. This class focused on how women’s bodies connect spiritually with the moon, and how women are cyclical just like the moon. Each phase of the moon, connected with one of the four phases of the monthly cycle a woman goes through. It was through this series of kundalini yoga, meditations, and using specific yoga poses for each part of the cycle I go through with my body, that helped me achieve the most important success in my struggle with PMS; love and acceptance of my body, what I go through and how it makes me unique.
By Samantha Gluck
As the name implies, women experience the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) for one to two weeks before their monthly menstruation begins. For some women, these symptoms are very mild and barely noticeable, but for others the symptoms cause considerable emotional, physical, and psychological discomfort.
Don’t let PMS symptoms stop you from enjoying life.
Lifestyle Affects PMS Severity
Some research suggests that a woman’s lifestyle has a significant impact on the severity of PMS symptoms. Women, who smoke, drink excessive alcohol and caffeine, do not exercise, and get inadequate sleep experience more pronounced symptoms associated with PMS. Oral contraceptives may affect the severity of symptoms as well. Some women report that oral contraceptives make the symptoms worse, while others report relief from PMS as a result of the birth control pill. This difference is likely due to the type of pill taken and the individual body chemistry and metabolism of the woman taking them. Talk to your OB/GYN physician if you feel the birth control pill is making your PMS worse.
Among the menstruating women, a painful menstruation or menstrual cramps are quite common. Medically this problem is termed as Dysmenorrhea. Mainly younger women experience this painful menstrual cramp. Usually this symptom gradually subsides after pregnancy or with the older age. For some women these menstrual cramps may be severe, while many women may not even experience this pain at all throughout their fertility period. Usually this painful cramp starts before 2-3 days prior to menstruation and gradually subsides in 1-2 days after periods.
Some of the important symptoms of this painful menstruation are varying degrees of pain in the abdominal and pelvic area during the periods; other symptoms include vomiting, nausea, loose motion and also dizziness. These are the symptoms which accompany painful menstruation.
Women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) experience a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).As with PMS, the physical and emotional symptoms occur about a week before menstruation starts and dissipate soon after. Unlike PMS, PMDD symptoms disrupt and interfere with social, work, and relationship activities. OB/GYN physicians can prescribe medication to women, who meet the criteria for PMDD, to reduce the symptoms as well as educate patients about lifestyle choices thought to help minimize the physical manifestations of the condition naturally.
PMDD Signs and Symptoms
While over 30 percent of women with regular menstrual cycles experience common PMS symptoms, only 3 % to 8 % of menstruating women meet the diagnostic criteria for PMDD. Click to continue reading… »