Amy Elifritz was age 20, menstruating and using tampons, when she came down with what appeared to be the flu. She died four days later from Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). After Amy’s death, her mother, Lisa, founded You ARE Loved, a nonprofit that raises awareness about tampon related Toxic Shock Syndrome and provides factual menstrual information.
Since launching the You ARE Lovedwebsite, we have received and posted several stories of girls and young women who developed tampon related TSS in recent years: Sarah and Brittany, both age 15 – Alex, age 16 – Katelyn, 17 – Amanda, 19 – Lauren, 20 – Nikki, who died of TSS at 21 – Shenikwa, a college student – Heather, a new mom….
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.