I don’t typically like to play into the “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” debate, but when it comes to our physical bodies, we really are so different. Especially where our hormones are concerned.
Our sex hormones influence so much more than just when we will get our period and when we ovulate. Our mood is one area that is heavily implicated.
Perhaps we have all experienced the common PMS symptoms; grumpy, moody, a little down and out, irritable, angry and even anxious at times. Some months are worse than others, sometimes it doesn’t even happen at all. And then sometimes women face an extremely challenging time in the lead up to their cycle and experience PMDD: pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder.
In complete transparency I have experienced extreme PMS, verging on the side of PMDD, twice in the lead up to my cycle and it was truly horrible. Without even realising you slip into a depressive state that is completely out of your control. No amount of positive self-talk, affirmations or good intentions will pull you out if it. But once your cycle rolls around it’s like the fog lifts and there is a bright new day. It really made me empathise with those suffering with depression, and how this fog often times doesn’t lift.
After my first experience with what I would equate to PMDD, I brushed it off. I just thought it was a bad month. But when over 12 months later it happened again I decided I needed to do a little more digging. I wanted to understand this more, so that I could find ways to ultimately prevent it from happening again.
So what is PMDD and how do you know if you’re experiencing the common PMS moody symptoms or perhaps if it is PMDD instead?
Women who experience PMDD have a differential response to “normal” hormonal situations. PMDD is very much a response to hormonal imbalances and communications throughout the body – particularly with the brain and gut.
The technical diagnostic criteria for PMDD includes:
Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV)
what can be done about PMDD?
First things first. Get to know your flow. Get to know your cycle and understand if hormone imbalances could be at play for you. You will require the support of a nutritionist, naturopath or functional medicine doctor to get to the bottom of this.
I recommend starting with a blood test Hormone Assay to see where your hormones are at. This may progress to a deeper understanding through a functional medicine test to really get into the nitty gritty of your hormones, how you are metabolising these and how they are being utilised in your body.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that, what you eat has a big impact on all your bodily functions – especially your hormones. So addressing the diet is also a key starting point for me. Some recommendations I’d walk you through would be moderating carbohydrate intake – particularly refined carbohydrates – increase proteins, reduce caffeine, alcohol and sugar and supporting nutritional deficiencies – i.e. magnesium, B vitamins, and so on.
Managing stress, movement and lifestyle factors is imperative. Chronic stress will have a devastating impact on your hormones, and if it’s not eliminated, all other efforts may be rendered somewhat useless!
Finally the gut. Because as we know, all disease starts in the gut. It’s important to investigate if there is some imbalance of good and bad bacteria, yeast infection or parasite infection. Any infection, inflammation or imbalance in the gut can have a real impact on how you metabolise your hormones and how they are excreted from the body.
Where to next?
If you currently experience PMDD, or perhaps have PMS symptoms or painful periods that you no longer want to live with, just know there is a way out. Something can be done!
Your cycle shouldn’t be a painful, terrible, daunting experience. It should be a beautiful, easy, pain free period (wink) in your life. It should come and go, without any major symptoms. And I’d love to help you get to that place.
Let’s have a chat and see what we can do to help you in your journey. Book in for a FREE 20-minute Disovery Consultation see how I can help you reach a place of peace within your body. I’d love to get you there.
While we know that all disease begins in the gut, we also know that our energy is a direct reflection of our gut health and is often seen alongside most disease states. In clinic we are seeing a lot of clients that are expressing feelings and symptoms of having low energy.
So how does the gut directly influence our energy? And what exactly is our “energy”?
Today as I sat in Orchard St sipping on my Turmeric latte and then at Mackenzie’s Point devouring my Poke bowl, the notion of being on my own sprung to mind.
It’s a conversation I’ve had with many people about my ability to be completely okay and comfortable in my own company. But I wasn’t always this way and I know so many people that struggle with the idea of being on their own or being in their own company.
Sometimes even the simplest things make you feel most uncomfortable. Once you move past the idea that everyone’s looking at you and you don’t know what to do with your hands, you become completely okay in engrossing yourself in your surrounding and being in your own company
How to supersize your smoothie: a low-sugar, nutrient dense option for those that usually feel like they need to miss out.