How This Menstrual Cycle Went

How This Menstrual Cycle Went

Pages from my planner/journal

I love to keep track of how my menstrual cycle is going in my planner. This is because I am still trying to figure out my body and see how I can make my cycles easier.

This past cycle is an example of a bad one for me and I wanted to share it!

A reminder of what our hormones do

Our hormones fluctuate in different ways throughout our cycle. Here is a brief overview of what they do in a 28 day cycle and what we may feel because of it:

Days 1-7: On these days, estrogen levels are up. This is when we usually are bleeding if we do get our periods. For some, these days provide relief of symptoms that may have occurred leading up to their bleeding. For others, the uncomfortable feelings continue or get worse.

Days 8-14: This is when estrogen and testosterone are high. Many may feel great at this time-mentally and physically. Those that are really sensitive to hormonal fluctuations may report PMS-type symptoms.

Days 15-22: The first part of this time in our cycles has progesterone levels rising as estrogen and testosterone fall. Estrogen rises up again towards the end. One may have mild PMS pop up from time to time during these days. This is also when more fat is burned.

Days 23-28: Estrogen and progesterone plummet during this time. This is typically when one will have more intense PMS symptoms if they get any at all.

As far as PMS symptoms go, there are said to be 150 different ones. Here is a list of them: https://drlisawatson.com/150-symptoms-of-pms

My recent, 28 day cycle

Days-

1-2. A little bit on the sad side. No real physical symptoms aside from bleeding.

3-9. Happy and motivated. Bleeding ended on day 5.

10. Horrible GI issues including stomach burning/cramping, severe bloating and intense nausea. Also, moody throughout the day.

11. Still felt sick but better than the day before.

12-17. Happy and motivated for the most part.

18. Horrible issues early in the morning- crampy abdomen, pain in ovaries, nausea, bloating, gassiness, irritability, air hunger and increased heart rate.

19. Full on PMS symptoms- headache, fatigue, lightheadedness, nausea early in the morning, air hunger, increased heart rate and moodiness the whole day.

20. Happy, feeling slightly sedated and lightheadedness.

21. Calm and happy.

22. Horrible day- Insomnia, crying spells, bloating, nausea, headaches, post nasal drip and feelings of panic.

23. Feeling off-balanced, neck pain, focused, motivated and itchy.

24. Pink eye, neck pain, itchy, motivated, calm and really hungry in the evening.

25. Itchy, really hungry, sad and groggy.

26. Really hungry, mild body aches, smelling like blood and craving chocolate.

27-28. Feeling cute for whatever reason, forehead zit showed up and had a good amount of energy.

Why did I have so many physical issues?

I can not figure that question out for myself.

I did not change my diet, take new supplements nor did my sleep habits change (in a bad way). Stress was also not a problem during this cycle.

After looking this all over, my thoughts have gone to a possible COVID-19 reinfection despite a negative swab test (they can be wrong) during this cycle. I am unsure of this though.

I have continued to take vitamin B6 each day but I do not think it is helping that much. Also, I had been trying out hemp for nausea but I determined that it was causing stomach pains so I did not use it during the cycle.

All that being said, I have no idea what makes my cycles more severe seemingly every other month. *Shrug*

Health Journaling will happen daily

Although I have not figured out what to do to make my cycles easier on me, I will still write down how I am feeling each day. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to look at my journals and find a clear pattern(s) that will lead to a reduction in symptoms.

Do your menstrual cycles vary in their intensity like mine do? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

#menstrualcycles #periodproblems #pcos #womenshealth #hormones #sick #symptoms #journals

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

Is This PMDD? I certainly Think So!

Is This PMDD? I certainly Think So!

This is my mood certain days of the month.

Something sure is up with me. My menstrual cycle symptoms in general are just ridiculous.

In doing one of my many Google searches for other’s experiences with severe hormonal issues, I came across a condition called PMDD. I decided to look into this more and talk about in this post!

What is PMDD?

PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and is considered the severe form of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). It is said to affect about 5% of women.

Here are some symptoms of PMDD:

  1. Extreme mood shifts- Changing between different moods
  2. Extreme moods- Intense depression, aggression, anxiety, paranoia etc.
  3. Physical symptoms- Heart palpitations, fatigue, cravings, breast pain, bloating, GI upset etc.
  4. Brain fog
  5. Sensory sensitivity

Some of the things listed above can occur with PMS but the difference is that they are more intense and disrupting of life with PMDD.

Doctors diagnose women with this condition if they experience at least five symptoms that are intense and get in the way of their daily lives. The following is an example of a PMDD diagnosis profile:

  1. Severe depression
  2. Feeling like people in their life do not like/love them
  3. Lack of interest in things that they normally like
  4. Binge eating
  5. Quitting jobs suddenly based on temporarily heightened emotions
  6. Bad insomnia

If one is wondering whether they have PMDD, it is a great idea to keep track of the symptoms they experience each day of their cycle. A health planner would be wonderful for this or just a regular notebook.

The cause of PMDD is not well known. It is postulated that women who fit the diagnosis criteria are just extremely sensitive to hormonal fluctuations that occur each menstrual cycle.

The current PMDD treatment options are as follows:

  1. Diet- cutting out caffeine, excess sugars, and alcohol.
  2. Antidepressants
  3. Birth control pills- Examples of some that may help PMDD more than others include Seasonique, Amethyst, Mirena and Lo Loestrin FE.
  4. Getting good sleep
  5. Supplements- Some have had success with calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium and fish oil.
  6. Meditation

There have been some reports of women with PMDD having success with micro dosing psilocybin, CBD and weed to treat their symptoms. It is important to look into these three things before trying them out.

My hormonal issues

Like I said before, my menstrual cycle symptoms are bad! I have always had discomfort at certain days during the month but ever since I had a child, things have gotten much worse.

Here are all of the lovely things I deal with during my menstrual cycle:

  1. Intense bouts of sadness during fertile window and before my period starts.
  2. Massive cravings
  3. Quick to anger
  4. Extreme Irritability
  5. Feeling like I am worthless and dumb.
  6. Can not stop thinking about the sexual/emotional abuse I endured at 14-15 years old.
  7. Severe GI upset and bloating
  8. Panic attacks and anxiety
  9. Trembling legs
  10. Severe itching

These problems have definitely disrupted my life in that they have led me to quit jobs. I find it so hard to work when I am dealing with all these things going on.

If having severe menstrual cycle symptoms were more common than it is, I do not believe that many women would be able to be successful in the workforce. Feeling extremely upset, enraged, mentally fogged up, panic stricken, like you are going to throw up all the time and more is not conducive to successful days at work.

I have PMDD

I am just going to go ahead and diagnose myself with this condition. There is no use having a doctor’s appointment for it because they will not help me at all.

I have been trying for a long time to fix my hormonal issues and I am still searching for the right thing (or things) that can help. I would say that the physical symptoms are the worst part of all this for me so I need to find something that will address them better.

I will continue doing/taking these things for PMDD:

  1. Vitamin B6
  2. Getting good sleep
  3. Intermittent fasting for 16 hours and watching my carbs
  4. Anti-nausea supplements that take the edge off

I may consider the following:

  1. Adding in magnesium into my routine- The magnesium spray I had been using was giving me bad stomach cramps and insomnia which made me stop taking it. I need to find one that does not make me feel like that because it is an important nutrient.
  2. Reducing my caffeine intake- Right now I take 500 mg of caffeine a day which is considered over the recommended amount. I might try to get this down to 200 mg a day to see if that helps anything.
  3. Adding in calcium into my routine- I had planned on doing this a while back but never ended up doing it.
  4. Meditation- I keep reading about how much this can help different ailments so I may start trying it.

I feel for anyone who deals with horrible hormonal symptoms

PMDD sucks for sure. I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

I really hope that one day, I will be able to overcome my severe hormonal issues or at least reduce them by a lot.

Do any of you have tough menstrual cycles, too?

Thanks for reading!

Sources-

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/expert-answers/pmdd/faq-20058315

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder-pmdd

https://iapmd.org/about-pmdd

#pmdd  #pms  #pcos  #womenshealth  #periodproblems  #menstrualcycle  #health  #supplements  #mentalhealth 

Be Careful with Supplements: My Experience with Evening Primrose Oil

Be Careful with Supplements: My Experience with Evening Primrose Oil

If you have read my other blog posts you would know that I am definitely not opposed to taking supplements. The unfortunate thing is that they are not always good for me.

A couple years ago, I tried taking evening primrose oil and I found out the hard way that it was not the right thing for my body. I wanted to share what happened to me.

About evening primrose oil

The evening primrose plants are native to North America. Needing full sun, the plants grow quickly and easily. They can produce yellow, pink, lavender and white colored flowers which may have a lemon scent to them depending on the variety

These plants are edible. The roots have even been used like vegetables in cooking.

The evening primrose oil is extracted from the seeds. It contains fatty acids that includes gamma linolenic acid, linoleic and omega-3. This oil is said to help certain health ailments which are as follows:

  1. PMS- Taking the oil by mouth may help with some symptoms women get before their periods.
  2. Diabetic neuropathy
  3. Osteoporosis
  4. Eczema
  5. Acne
  6. Dry eyes
  7. Rheumatoid arthritis
  8. Asthma
  9. Psoriasis

Evening primrose oil is sold in softgels to be taken by mouth and in the oil form. The dosage by mouth is between 1-8 grams.

It is important to note that ingesting this oil may cause the following side effects:

  1. GI issues
  2. Headaches
  3. Seizures in people with epilepsy or a general seizure disorder
  4. Adverse interactions with anticoagulant medications, anesthesia and anti-psychotics
  5. Making PMS symptoms even worse.

Why I wanted to start taking evening primrose oil

My physical PMS symptoms have been pretty severe for the past 5 years. The dread that I feel each month for certain parts of my cycle, is horrific. I hate it.

A couple of years ago, I had been on one of my many searches to find something that could help make my PMS easier to handle. I came across evening primrose oil on a forum and was really interested due to the positive experiences people were posting.

When I looked up evening primrose oil on Amazon, the reviews I read sounded great too. I became sold on it. I ended up buying a bottle of softgels from Sports Research and was excited for it to come in the mail!

First and last time taking it

I was in the midst of horrible PMS when my order arrived. Knowing that it would need time to build up in my system if it was going to work at all, did not deter me from taking it a few hours after I got it out of the box.

The dosage on the bottle has three softgels as a serving size. Since I am sensitive to things, I decided to take just one the first time and then work my way up. I made sure to take the softgel with a snack as it said to do on the bottle.

About thirty minutes after taking it, I noticed a warm feeling come over me. The warmth quickly changed to hot. It was like my skin was burning. I then got really dizzy and had severe nausea. Those feelings together were all too familiar to me.

I was feeling like I was going to have a seizure.

Seizures were something that I used to experience in the evenings. They went away once I started on medication thankfully. The fact that I felt I was going to have one again terrified me.

My husband was around to help me that night and tried to call me down.  I woke up the next day with no memory of what happened after my husband came into our bedroom and sat with me.

I did not know at the time if I definitively had a seizure or not. After reading recently that it is not good for someone with a history of seizures to take, I am leaning towards the idea that it did cause me to have a seizure.

Evening primrose oil was not good for me at all. It was a scary experience that I never want to have happen again.

Make sure to do research the supplements you want to take

If you read a blurb about a supplement and it says it may help with a health issue that you have, look into it as much as you can. This is important so you know whether or not you should take it.

I really should have looked at the adverse effects of evening primrose oil instead of just focusing on the positive things that people were saying about it. Things just do not work for everyone. I am really glad that it works for others though.

Still searching for something that will help me

My hormones are completely out of whack. They may be even worse than they were back when I tried the evening primrose oil.

I am currently on the hunt for a supplement and or dietary changes that will help me have better menstrual cycles. Living like this is tough.

Have any of you tried evening primrose oil before? If so, what was your experience with it?

Thanks for reading!

#supplements #hormones #womenshealth  #periods  #pms #pcos

Is Myo-Inositol Worth Taking?

Is Myo-Inositol Worth Taking?

I hate having PCOS. It has made me have screwed up skin, excess hair, pain, nausea and problems conceiving.

Over the years I have read up so much on the disease and the various ways to control it. One of the things women with PCOS have had success with is using a supplement called, myo-inositol. I have actually tried it before and still have a bag of it left.

I just wanted to discuss myo-inositol a little bit, my short-term experience with it and if I will try taking it again.

What myo-inositol is and the alleged benefits

Myo-inositol is a sugary substance found in foods (ex. cantaloupe, eggs, pears, beans and brown rice) and is made naturally in the body. It is considered to be a pseudovitamin.

It seems to have been studied quite a bit and shows some ability to treat certain conditions. The following is a list of the medical issues that myo-inositol may be of benefit for:

  1. PCOS- Supplementing with this may improve the symptoms that can come with a PCOS diagnosis. These include fertility issues (especially when combined with folic acid), too high testosterone levels, insulin resistance, irregular cycles, abnormal blood glucose levels, excess body weight, excess hair and elevated bad cholesterol levels.
  2. Binge eating disorder and Bulimia- This may help reduce the appetite and behavior that can come with these two types of eating disorders.
  3. Anxiety
  4. Panic attacks- Supplementing with this may reduce the frequency of the attacks.
  5. Depression
  6. OCD
  7. Psoriasis from Lithium- Lithium is a mood stabilizer that can cause psoriasis. Myo-inositol may improve the condition.
  8. Acne- Supplementing with this may improve acne in people with or without PCOS.
  9. Pre-diabetes and diabetes- May help control blood sugar levels.

The above list of possible benefits all sounds very impressive. It is important to note that the evidence for some of these is not as strong as it is for the others. In general, myo-inositol looks to be very promising in its use for medical conditions.

You can find myo-inositol sold in the form of capsules and powders. In quite a few products it is combined with another form of inositol called, d-chiro-inositol. This form helps the myo-inositol be even more effective.

Myo-inositol in powder form, has a mildly sweet taste so it is very easy to get down. You can put it in any beverage and either not notice any difference or notice that it tastes a little sweeter than normal.

Studies show that there needs to be specific doses taken to treat the different medical conditions listed. For the mental health benefits, a high amount of it is needed at a range of 14,000-18,000 mg. For the other benefits, a range of 200-4,000 mg is necessary.

As with a lot of supplements and medication, side effects can occur. The ones that are commonly reported include nausea, stomach cramps and headaches. There have also been some women who claim that supplementing with this made PCOS symptoms even worse. It is important to be aware of and watch out for all of these things.

I tried it before, should I try it again?

A year or so ago I decided to buy some myo-inositol powder. I was interested in trying it due to the fact that it can help manage PCOS. What I was hoping that it would help me improve was acne, menstrual cramps, insulin resistance (if I have/had it), excess hair and my chances of getting pregnant.

Since my stomach is extremely sensitive, I decided to start off taking just a 1/8th of a tsp which is equal to 341 mg.  This dosage is not enough to have much of an affect on PCOS but I felt that I needed to work my way up.

Within around 30 minutes of consuming it for the first time, I felt a rush of energy that continued for quite a while. It was like taking caffeine! This was pretty exciting to me.

I kept taking this dose for a while but unfortunately did not get the courage to increase it. The side effects that could happen at higher doses really worried me. Because of this, I was most likely not going to get much benefit from it in regards to my PCOS symptoms.

I eventually stopped taking it altogether and kind of forgot about it. The reason why I have thought about taking it again was because my hormones have been so messed up this cycle. It has been absolutely awful the past two weeks and I do not want that to be my norm again.

Not 100% sure yet

I still do not know if I will take myo-inositol again. My plan is to update this blog about it if I do decide to.

Right now, I am pretty desperate to get my hormones under control so I am looking into everything that could possibly help me. It is really frustrating, and I hope I can figure something out as soon as possible.

If you have any ideas/tips for me on this, please let me know! Also, let me know your experiences with myo-inositol if you have taken it.

Thanks for reading!

Sources-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2834624/#:~:text=Exacerbation%20of%20psoriasis%20occurring%20during,with%20beneficial%20results%20%5B3%5D.

https://www.chiralbalance.com/blog/post/myo-inositol-versus-d-chiro-inositol.html

https://examine.com/supplements/inositol/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5011528/

#myoinositol  #supplements  #periodproblems  #PMS  #hormones  #womenshealth  #pcos