A few months ago now, I decided to start tracking how I feel each during my menstrual cycle. This was due to me wanting to figure out if there is a pattern to my moderate to severe physical issues I go through each month.
This tracking has given me more insight into what may be the problem. In this post, I wanted to sum up what I have learned and talk about my next steps in treating it.
What I experience during my menstrual cycles
I seem to experience a lot during my cycles! The following will be a break down of what my cycle days look like:
Physical and Mental symptoms
Days 1-9: These are the days during our cycles when estrogen begins to rise after having been low for a while. During this time I experience GI issues, sadness, irritability, happiness, headaches and usually some post-COVID symptoms (chest aches, tickly throat at night, post-nasal drip and itchy nose).
It seems like if I only have bad GI issues, I experience the sadness and irritability. If I only have really mild GI issues with the post-COVID issues, I feel happy. Weird!
Days 10-17: This is when estrogen and testosterone are rising up (days 10-14). Then on days 15-17, the estrogen and testosterone drop while progesterone rises. On these days I am happy, motivated, energetic, creative, confident, clear minded, sexual and deal with bleeding gums. I also have cravings for certain things on days 15-17.
Days 18-22: On these days, progesterone is pretty high and estrogen is rising up a little. These days are the worst for me. I experience severe GI issues, no sex drive, sometimes spotting (days 20-21), decrease in physical/mental energy, sadness, irritability, post-COVID stuff (chest aches and air hunger), lightheadedness and headaches.
Days 23-27: On these days, progesterone and estrogen get low. I experience cravings, appetite increase, nervous energy, bloating, aches/pains, itchiness, easy to tears over dumb things, laziness, insomnia, happiness at times, air hunger (day 26), chest aches (days 25-26), tingly left foot (days 25-26) and feeling ugly.
I also get pink eye at least once during my cycle and for the past 25 days have had stomach pains that do not go away that much with Tylenol. My belief is that these are only due to my post-viral condition and not hormonally related.
What I take from all of this
After looking over all of this, I think that I am very sensitive to my estrogen level rising. This is due to the fact that my horrible symptoms seem to happen when this hormone is starting to rise.
Symptoms of high estrogen or a sensitivity to it are said to be as follows:
- Bleeding and spotting
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings
- Low sex drive
- Brain fog
- Fatigue during the day
- Terrible PMS symptoms
The above list is basically what I experience when the estrogen is rising. I can not find anything about rising estrogen causing GI issues though. Maybe it is just something that happens to me.
This past cycle was pretty bad with bleeding at days 20-21 and a scary, hard black clot falling out of me. This current cycle is also bad so far. I am on day nine so hopefully I will be feeling better tomorrow so I can have a break from this awfulness.
What I am going to do
I am not 100% sure on what will help me. My symptoms have been bad for years and I have yet to figure out things that reduce them.
The following is a list of ideas I came up with:
- Keep watching my carbs and doing IF- I plan to keep on doing this type of eating even though it really does not seem to be helping with my hormone issues. I still think it has benefits though.
- Keep taking anti-nausea stuff as needed (and I will need it for the foreseeable future!).
- Try breathing exercises- I read that these can help with mental distress so I am going to try and find some to do.
- Possible progesterone cream during my worst moments- On the most recent day where I was in horrible physical/mental distress, my husband put a tiny bit of progesterone cream on me as an experiment. This really calmed me down. I might apply some on other days that are like that.
- Take an antihistamine and avoid foods that are high in histamines- The Period Repair Manual book and ladies at the PMDD sub-reddit, mention hormonal issues as being a histamine intolerance problem. I may try to reduce the amount of histamines I take in and take something like Claritin to see if that helps any.
In conclusion: I still have a ways to go
It may take a while longer for me to fix or reduce these hormonal related issues I have. I am going to keep up the faith that I will find some relief some day.
Tracking how I am feeling each day has been really helpful and I highly recommend it for everyone. The is especially true if they are dealing with health issues that they are trying to figure out.
Here are some resources to look at regarding hormones:
Do any of you have issues with your menstrual cycles? Let me know!
Thanks for reading!
#menstrualcycle #periodproblems #pcos #hormones #larabriden #pms #pmdd #symptoms #covid19