Two New PMS/PMDD Symptoms: Misophonia and Hyperacusis

Two New PMS/PMDD Symptoms: Misophonia and Hyperacusis

Things have gotten worse over the past few years when it comes to my menstrual cycle symptoms. Some go away for a while then resurface again, some lessen in severity and some increase in severity.

Unfortunately, the past few cycles have yielded new symptoms for me- misophonia and hyperacusis. I know that some other women experience them during their cycles too.

In this post I will talk more about these two annoying symptoms!

What misophonia and hyperacusis are

These two disorders are slightly similar in that certain sounds pose an issue to one’s body and mind. Here is some information about each of them:

Misophonia

This is a relatively new term that was coined in 2001. It involves experiencing negative feelings/thoughts and physical reactions (not pain) to common sounds. These sounds that can trigger bad reactions include slurping, chewing, crunching, lip smacking and joints cracking.

To many, these common sounds are no big deal. For people with misophonia, they are awful and sound louder than they actually are. Some reactions to the sounds are as follows:

  • Panic-One may feel an overwhelming amount of fear all of a sudden after hearing the sound. The feeling of panic can also bring on uncomfortable physical sensations. They also may try to run away from the sound.
  • Irritability/annoyance- The trigger sounds may cause one to feel this way which in turn could make them seem grumpy to whoever is around them (or whoever is making the sound).
  • Anger/rage- The sound (s) may make one have a more extreme response such as yelling, screaming, throwing/kicking things and possibly hurting others.

Misophonia may range from mild to severe. If it is bad enough it may disrupt one’s life due to these trigger sounds being an ordinary part of life.

This disorder is not very well known in the medical community and there are some uncertainties about it. Because of this, the official diagnosis of it may be hard to get. It usually involves a full physical and mental workup to rule out other issues first.

The cause of it is one of the things that the medical community is not totally certain of. The main theory is that it possibly is a dysfunction of the central auditory system. Some people may just hear certain sounds and have them create an overexaggerated response in the part of our brains that control emotions (anterior insular cortex).

It also may be a genetic thing. 23andMe has actually identified genes that could cause the disorder and will tell you on your DNA profile what your odds are of having it.

Misophonia can occur with other mental conditions (i.e. anxiety) and on its own.

Hyperacusis

This disorder is when one is sensitive to ranges of sounds. They will seem a lot louder to the person with the disorder then they do to others. The difference between this and misophonia is that there will be pain involved when the sound is heard.

The pain that people with hyperacusis feel is in addition to the negative mental reactions that they may also feel (the same ones felt with misophonia). When one is exposed to sounds that trigger their hyperacusis, their pain is usually in their inner. They may also experience a headache with the sound and/or tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

There are multiple causes of hyperacusis. These include brain injuries, MS, migraines, inner ear damage, chronic ear infections and prolonged exposure to loud sounds. It also tends to occur along with anxiety, autism and ADHD.

Hyperacusis is diagnosed by audiograms with the discomfort levels being noted as the test is done.

Both misophonia and hyperacusis are hard to treat. Things that have had some success in people include therapy for changing the way one reacts to the sounds, therapy for helping one be less aware of the sounds and using noise cancellation products.

Hormones causing misophonia and hyperacusis

Now that we know what these disorders are, there are a few reasons as to why they may show up during parts of your cycle. They are as follows:

  1. Your estrogen is high- According to Gabrielle Lichterman of Hormonology, your hearing is more sensitive when your estrogen is high (week two of your cycle). This means that you may have issues with certain sounds and ranges of sounds during this time.
  2. Migraines- If you are prone to experiencing migraines during your cycle, you may experience hyperacusis because of it.
  3. Just plain sensitive- Before your period, you may be very sensitive in general-mentally and physically. Because of this you may have issues with sounds.

What to do about these disorders

As stated before, treatment for both of the disorders is limited. Here are some things that you can do if you have issues with them on certain days of your cycle:

  • Be prepared-If you know when in your cycle the issues with sounds happen, you should take note of that on your calendar so you are aware of what you may experience each day.
  • Let others know- If you are having a hard time with sounds, tell your family and friends (if you are going to be around them) so that they can try to not make them in your presence if possible.
  • Get and wear noise cancelling headphones- There are headphones that you can get that cancel out environmental noises. These can be worn in situations in public where there are noises that bother you or at home.
  • Get and wear ear plugs- There are some good noise cancelling ear plugs on the market. This can be another option if you don’t like the look of headphones on yourself. The ear plugs and/or headphones could be kept in your PMS/PMDD toolbox if you made yourself one.
  • Try meditation- There are some great meditation videos on YouTube that can help relax you when you are experiencing difficulty with sounds.
  • Use a heated blanket- These can be comforting and stress relieving in general which in turn may help you deal with trigger sounds.
  • Do some room soundproofing- You can put things like fans, air purifiers and white noise machines in your room (s). This can reduce the trigger sounds.

You may not get total relief of misophonia or hyperacusis but these ideas may help take the edge off during certain times of the month.

What I experience

As stated before, I have been experiencing both of the disorders. They come on a week or so before my period starts. Here is what I go through with each of them:

  • Misophonia- I get extremely triggered by slurping and chewing noises. This has caused me to have outbursts of anger.
  • Hyperacusis- I can’t handle things falling on the floor in my office the week before my period. It actually makes me cry due to the pain.

As a solution to these, I will be getting noise cancelling ear plugs and doing some meditation. I find this sensitivity very uncomfortable so I really need to do something to make things better.

In conclusion

It is amazing all of the things that hormones can cause. Some things they cause are good and some are bad- as is the case regarding these two disorders.

Dealing with misophonia and hyperacusis can be really hard. If you find it gets worse at certain times, there is some evidence that it could be a hormonal thing. Hopefully this post will give you some ideas as to how you can treat it.

Do you have any issues with sound at certain parts of your menstrual cycle?

Thanks for reading!

Here are some resources:

https://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/hyperacusis/treatment

https://www.neurologylive.com/view/misophonia-triggers-management

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2018.00036/full

#pmstreatment #pmddtreatment #noisereduction #misophonia #hyperacusis #centralauditorysystem #womenshealth #menstrualcycles #periods

Claritin for Severe PMS/PMDD: My Experiment and Results

Claritin for Severe PMS/PMDD: My Experiment and Results

If you have read any of my blog posts before, you may know that I deal with pretty bad PMS/PMDD symptoms. This has led me down the path of trying to “crack the code” on myself. By that I mean I have been searching for ways to fix these hormonal problems of mine.

A couple of months ago, I read about using anti-histamines (like Claritin) to possibly treat PMS and/or PMDD. I was skeptical about it but I decided to try it recently to see if it would do anything for me at all.

This post will be explaining about why anti-histamines may be of use for hormonal issues and my experience using one of them.

Histamine and PMS/PMDD

What usually comes to mind when one thinks of allergies is a reaction to things like pollen, mold, dust, weed, grass, flowers, food etc. They typically do not think that a person can be allergic to their hormones.

Believe it or not, the cause of women’s bouts with bad PMS or PMDD could actually be from an allergic response to our hormones. Interesting, huh?!

The cause of allergic responses comes down to something called, histamine.

A histamine is a compound that plays roles in many different responses and functions that happen inside of us. One of the responses is that of producing an allergic reaction in our bodies. When our immune system does not like something, too much histamine is released which then causes the allergy symptoms.

Histamine is also involved in the digestion process and neurotransmission. Because of all this, symptoms of too much histamine can look like the following:

  • Itching
  • Accelerated heart rate.
  • Skin flushing.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loose stools
  • Sneezing, stuffy nose, post nasal drip
  • Headaches
  • Excess burping and/or flatulence.
  • Abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Hives and/or rashes.
  • Fatigue and/or insomnia.
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Brain fog
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • OCD behaviors.

Do any of these symptoms look/sound familiar? They are all things that happen to many women when they are in certain phases of their menstrual cycles. Hence, the idea that some of us have allergic responses to our hormone levels that make it so our symptoms are worse than the average woman might report.

Using anti-histamines to treat severe PMS and PMDD

Because of the idea that histamine has a role to play in PMS and PMDD symptoms, anti-histamines may be of use.

There are some on the market that most people have heard of. They are as follows:

  • Benadryl- This is a “first generation” anti-histamine. It is also used for sleeping and nausea. Tends to have more side effects than the other ones.
  • Claritin- This is a newer anti-histamine. Causes less drowsiness than Benadryl.
  • Zyrtec -This is a newer anti-histamine. Causes less drowsiness than Benadryl.
  • Allegra- This is a newer anti-histamine. Causes less drowsiness than all of the others.

If one wants to try out taking an anti-histamine for their hormonal symptoms, it is important to do some research to see which one would be the best for them to try (if they have no experience with these medications). Also, one must make sure to stick to the correct dosage and not go over it.

My experience so far

I had first read about histamine and hormones in the Period Repair Manual book by Lara Briden. To be honest, I did not really think much about the theory until I was on the PMDD subreddit a few weeks back. On there, some women were saying that they felt almost cured from their hormonal symptoms after taking an anti-histamine.

That really intrigued me of course.

I had some Claritin Kid’s syrup in the cupboard for my son so I decided that I was going to start taking it everyday and see what happened. Since I am always worried about side effects, I was nervous about how it might affect me but I knew that it would probably not be as bad as Benadryl.

The dosage for people aged 6 and up for Claritin is 10 mg. I decided to start taking 5 mg in the morning and then 5 mg at night.

The only thing I remember from the first day of taking it was that my nose was significantly less itchy ( I think I may have environmental allergies, too). Nothing much beyond that though.

Fast forward to now (about two weeks later), I have noticed so many positive things that taking Claritin has done for me! I have had virtually none of my hormonal symptoms I am used to having on certain days of my cycles.

This is so exciting to me!

I have not experienced any brain fog, itchiness, severe gastric distress, hysterical crying, headaches, cramps, rumination, anger, post-nasal drip, aches or lightheadedness. Amazing!

I still had a little bit of nausea before my period started on the day of typing this post but it was not to the level I usually deal with. It was actually barely of bother to me.

I plan on continuing to take Claritin but possibly cycle on and off so that my body does not get too used it.

Worth a try!

I am really glad that I stumbled across this theory as it seems to have provided a good solution to my hormonal issues.

If you deal with severe PMS or PMDD and you are at your wits end, consider trying an antihistamine. It is important to not expect miracles though as the histamine intolerance may not be what is driving your symptoms.

Thanks for reading!

If you have bad physical PMS/PMDD symptoms, head on over to my subreddit to talk about it! You can find it here: https://www.reddit.com/r/SeverePhysicalPMS/

Disclosure: Some of the links on my site may be affiliate links. This means that I will earn a commission on links you click through and make a purchase.

#allergytesting #hormonalimbalance #estrogen #progesterone #claritind #claritingeneric #larabriden #menstrualcycle #ovulation #pms #pmdd

Period Power Book+ Review

Period Power Book+ Review

I love to read stuff about women’s health. The topic is just really interesting to me.

 Previously, I did a review of a book about women’s health. It had some good information in it and I overall enjoyed it. I came across another one about periods called, Period Power by Maisie Hill and I just had to buy it.

This post will discuss the book’s content and my personal opinions about it.

About the author

The name of the author is Maisie Hill. She has training and education in Chinese Medicine acupuncture, Abdominal Therapy, aromatherapy, reflexology and women’s health. She is also a birth doula.

She wants to help other women with their hormones and menstrual problems they may have.

About her book

Period Power was written to show women how to gain control of their hormones and make them work for us. There are a few different ways to do that and going by this book is supposed to be one of them

The very first section of the books is all about sex education. It goes into anatomy, hormones, ovulation and menstruation. This is to give readers a further understanding of their bodies so that the rest of the book makes more sense.

The second section goes into the cycle tracking strategy that the author came up with (called, The Cycle Strategy), why it is good to track your cycles and how to track them.

The Cycle Strategy has the different parts of our menstrual cycle broken up into different seasons. Winter is during the menstruation time, spring is the time before ovulation, summer is the time around ovulation and autumn is the time before your period.

After a brief description of how The Cycle Strategy works, the author then goes into detail about each menstrual cycle “season.” She talks about what the hormones are doing, good/bad things that may happen, things to avoid during that time and what can help for the issues one may face during each season.

The remaining topics given information on in the book include birth control methods, hormonal changes throughout the years, self-care as it relates to our cycles and conditions that have an effect on our hormones.

At the end of the book, the author shows an example of The Cycle Strategy tracking dial as well as gives resources for readers to seek out.

My opinion

Period Power was packed with great information. Even though I have read a lot about women’s health, I still was able to enjoy it and gain some new knowledge from it.

Just like with everything, it is not perfect. Here are my likes and dislikes of this book:

Likes-

*Amazing information provided in the first section of the book (sex education refresher!).

*The Cycle Strategy: I loved this new way of thinking about and tracking my menstrual cycle.

*What women may feel during each day of their cycles: Even though I have read about what feelings our hormones cause and even have the Hormone Horoscope app, I still learned some new things.

*Even though I do menstruate regularly, I appreciated how the author gave an alternative way to track a cycle for women that are not regular.

*Lots of information on self-care

*Great and thorough information on hormonal-related conditions

*Interesting and informative chart about all the different types of birth control.

*Information about how our hormones change over the years.

Dislikes-

*Author’s writing voice seemed to have a judgmental tone at times.

*Although I liked the birth control information, the author seemed to denounce using them a bit.

*There was part of the book where she talked about period euphoria. It was kind of weird. Like, what the hell?

I highly recommend Period Power

Reading this book was a pleasure and I am glad I bought it. It went over things I already knew in a different way and I learned some new things as well.

I would recommend this for any woman/non-binary person who wants to learn more about our specific, sexual and hormonal health.

Thanks Maisie Hill!

#periodpower  #periods  #menstrualcycle  #womenshealth  #hormones  #books

HealthMinder Journal + Daily Women’s Health Planner

HealthMinder Journal + Daily Women’s Health Planner

I love using planners/journals and just writing things in general. There are many apps available so I could do planning/recording without writing, but I prefer the tactile experience of using a pen and paper.

I frequently look online for planners and/or journals to buy that might suit my needs better than the one (or ones!) I am using at the time. This means that I go through way too many planners to count.

Recently, I started using a journal called, HealthMinder. This post will provide a review of it as well as show the planner/journal I created.

The HealthMinder

The cover got screwed up….

This is a great journal that allows you to keep track of your health each day. The reason why I bought was because I wanted to stay on top of my symptoms that I get from hormonal changes and being a Post-COVID “Long-Hauler.”

HealthMinder separates out things you can record about how you are feeling each day mentally and physically as well as any other things that you like to take note of (blood pressure, blood sugar, weight etc.). I really like this feature because it makes it easier to look back and see what area problems are happening in.

The symptoms glossary can really help you with putting into words what you may be feeling. It also shows you what part of the body the feelings may fall under.

Although it is a pretty small section, I do like that there is space to put down what you ate each day. This is important if one is trying to figure out if diet is playing a role in the symptoms they are having.

I also love the health recording section in the back of the book. You can put down your medical history, insurance information, test results, contact information for your health care providers and any questions you may have so that you can remember to ask them at your appointments.

The aforementioned section in the back, allows you to have information all in one place. This makes it easier so that you do not have to search around in a bunch of different places to look things up.

In conclusion, the HealthMinder is a wonderful way to keep track and take care of your health. I would highly recommend it.

The following are pictures of the inside of the journal:

The company that makes the HealthMinder also makes other journals. These include the DietMinder (mainly for tracking food but also fitness), BodyMinder (mainly for tracking exercise but also food), CruiseMinder (for planning a cruise ship vacation), MaintenanceMinder (for helping one maintain their weight), DietMinder Junior (for helping children keep track of their food intake and exercise) and CodeMinder (helps you keep track of usernames and passwords).

The HealthMinder on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/HEALTHMINDER-Personal-Wellness-Journal-Symptoms/dp/0963796879/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=HealthMinder&qid=1602196410&sr=8-1

The MemoryMinder site to look at the other journals: http://www.memoryminder.com

My creation

While I really like the HealthMinder, there are some other things I want in a planner/journal. This is what led me to create my own!

I decided to call it the Daily Women’s Health Planner. This is because it is a combination of a health journal (like the HealthMinder) and a daily planner. Its features are as follows:

  1. Goals page- Provides space to write down any goals you want to reach.
  2. Health issues page- Space to write down your current and past health issues
  3. Workout plan pages- There are three of these pages so that you can write down the routine you want to have each week. This is great if you are like me and keep up the same workout routine for about six weeks.
  4. Menstrual cycle information page- This page gives a run down of what our hormones may be doing each day of our cycle and what our vaginal discharge should be like. It is nice to look back on to see what you may be feeling each day.
  5. The daily planner/journal pages- There are 180 days for you to track. Each day includes two pages. The first page for each day allows you to record the date, personal menstrual cycle information, mental/physical symptoms, supplements/medications taken, other health related things you want to track (blood pressure, O2 stats, hours slept etc.) and how your workout for the day went (if you did one). The second page for each day allows you to record a to-do list/schedule, your diet and how you thought your day was overall.
  6. Supplement/medication tracker- This provides spaces for you to write down the supplements/medications you currently take (and how they affect you) and supplements/medications you are interested in taking (and what you think they will do for you).
  7. Resources- This is just a short list of health-related apps, books and sites that may be of value to you.

This planner is perfect for me because everything I want to track is all in one place. I hope it will work out for anyone else who decides to use it too!

I made three different covers for the journal. In the near future, I plan on making the journal ring-bound because it makes it easier to open and use.

Here is my planner and one of the three covers it comes in:

Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KJGW4ZR

Planners and journals can be great

Not everyone likes to use them but those of us who do, find them very helpful. There are so many of them to choose from that everyone who likes using them is likely to find one that suits their need.

The one I made is great for women and non-binary people who like to track and plan multiple things each day.

Do you like using journals and planners? Let me know which ones you like!

Thanks for reading!

#journaling #planners #todolists #health #symptoms #menstrualcycles #women #nonbinary

Fitpolo Fitness Watch + Review

Fitpolo Fitness Watch + Review

Fitness watches seem to be very popular these days. One look around (pre-pandemic!) and you can see many people wearing them.

I decided to get in on the action recently by buying a one. It is called the Fitpolo Fitness Tracker and this post will be discussing what it does as well as my opinion of it.

I had a fitness watch years ago

Back when I was in college, I decided to spend money on a Garmin fitness watch. It came with a strap that had to go around my chest which I found to be annoying. I still thought it was cool though.

I wore it for every workout. It was really interesting to see the amount of calories I burned during each one. I was pleasantly surprised by the numbers!

The watch lasted for a couple months and then it seemed to be malfunctioning. I had planned on seeing if I could get it fixed but never ended up doing that.

It just stayed in my drawer and I pretty much forgot about it.

Why buy a fitness watch again?

I became interested in fitness watches again when my mother was telling me about her Fitbit. She seemed really happy with it. This prompted me to look them up on Amazon.

Unfortunately, the Fitbits are too expensive for me. I was still really interested in getting a fitness watch so I looked for cheaper options. This search led me to the FitPolo!

About the Fitpolo Fitness Tracker

This fitness watch costs around $36-a lot less than a Fitbit. It comes in black, gray, green and pink. The following are the different features of this watch:

Large screen-

This Fitpolo boasts a large touch-screen like some of the other fitness watches out on the market. You are able to swipe up, down, left and right.

VeryFitPro App-

The Fitpolo is to be synced up to an app called, VeryFitPro. This is so that you can get the most of out it.

Once they are synced, you are to personalize it. This means that you put in your age, gender, height and weight. You can also add in your menstrual cycle information if you are a woman or non-binary and want to track it.

What it tracks-

The fitpolo tracks these things:

  1. Calories burned during workouts by your heart rate.
  2. How many steps you have taken during the day.
  3. Calories burned based on the steps taken.
  4. How many miles you have walked based on steps taken.
  5. How much deep sleep, light sleep and awake time you got each night (sleep monitoring). This is shown on the phone in the app.
  6. Your baseline heart rate.
  7. What day you are on in your menstrual cycle.
  8. Rankings on steps taken against other people who have the app. This is shown on the phone in the app.

Other things about it-

The fitpolo is also water proof, has a battery that lasts a few days, notifies the wearer of calls/messages, helps with breathing to calm the wearer down and has an alarm/timer.

My opinion of the Fitpolo watch

I did not have a high hopes that this watch would be any good. Needless to say, I am very impressed with it!

I like the way it looks on me. It is super cute. Also, it feels very comfortable and does not leave a rash.

I do not have vision issues (when wearing contacts or glasses at least) but the bright numbers and letters are very much appreciated. The touch screen is very slick and easy to move which is great because I have dealt with touch screens that are not like that.

It tracks everything I want it to track and more. In terms of the menstrual cycle tracking feature, I do not need it but I bet other other women/non-binary people would love having that.

Seeing the amount of calories burned during my workouts and the day is pretty eye-opening. I thought I would be burning more than that. Not entirely sure how I have gotten away with eating so many calories and not gaining any weight.

My all time favorite feature of this watch is the sleep tracker. I just think it is so cool to see the amount of sleep I get each night. The healthy amount of deep sleep one should get is between 1-2 hours a night and I get at least 1.5 hours. Yay!

Would I recommend this watch?

Yes, I totally would! It works very well and is great for someone who is on a budget.

If you are in the market for a fitness watch, make sure to check the Fitpolo out!

Do any of you guys have a fitness watch? What kind is it and what do you like/dislike about it?

Thanks for reading!

Disclosure: Some links you see on my site may be affiliate links. This means that I will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase.

#fitnesswatch #fitnessgadgets #health #fitness #diet #sleep