Tag Archives: pms

Periods suck.

It’s not OK to plan your life around your period, it’s not OK to have to go home from work or cancel plans because of it, and it’s definitely not OK to throw up because your period cramps are that painful. If you aren’t interested in reading about periods then I’d probably stop reading now.

If you’ve followed here for a while you might have heard me mention some issues with my period before. I’ve always had painful periods since I first started them. I did go through a time in university when I developed amenorrhoea, and it was actually a relief to not have periods for a while so I didn’t have to deal with the pain on a monthly basis. However, once my cycle settled down again the pain unfortunately returned, at first it was every few months or so, but it’s now got to the stage where it’s every single month, and the pain is so severe that I can’t function at all, it has woken me up at night, brought me to tears, and I have been sick due to the pain being so extreme, and I have a really high pain tolerance.

It’s pretty frustrating that I can’t figure out what has caused this, and have tried so many things to improve it, but it just doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I did go to my GP a few months back, who wanted to either prescribe really strong painkillers, or give me hormonal medication (not a route I want to go down, due to too many side effects and longer term issues), and she also told me that my pain would likely go away if I had a baby (actual facepalm) so that was the end of that. I’m pretty convinced due to the whole host of other symptoms I have alongside the chronic pain that I have endometriosis, but getting a diagnosis for that can take years and years, and it’s pretty poorly understood.

Although I previously mentioned how happy I was with how balanced my diet is, and how free I felt around food these days, I don’t think my diet currently is helping me to manage the pain and inflammation. I want to take it a bit more back to basics, reduce my intake of processed foods, sugar and gluten, and omega-6 rich nuts/seeds just to see if it makes any difference in my symptoms. It’s really not something I want to do, but I can’t continue to deal with the chronic pain and other symptoms so it’s worth giving it a shot if it provides some relief. I feel that the symptoms weren’t as bad when my diet was a bit tighter, so we shall see if it helps.

The other issue is exercise, I recently did an adrenal stress test, which shows my cortisol is very dysregulated and considerably higher than in should be in the morning and afternoon. I believe long term endurance exercise has led to this dysregulation. Obviously exercise isn’t something I want to budge on, but I just need to strike more of a balance, so I’ve started going to yoga once a week and I’m going to pick back up my daily meditation practice to help lower my cortisol levels. The link here with periods, is that when the body is under stress, and cortisol levels are increased then more progesterone is used to make cortisol, this can subsequently throw out the balance of progesterone/oestrogen and lead to low progesterone levels which can cause PMS and make endometriosis symptoms worse. I know running has caused my cortisol levels to be out of whack, and ultimately long term it might be something I have to reconsider, which would be pretty devastating, hence why I am trying to get on top of this now, and trying anything possible to see if I can gain any benefits.

I’ve got to the stage, where I now have to plan in advance around the day my period is due, which is ridiculous really, I feel like I’ve suffered for so long with this, and just thought oh it’s only one day a month, or most women suffer from cramps- but it’s become apparent to me, that what I am dealing with is far from normal. The other symptoms I suffer from have got so bad, that it pretty much means for 7-10 days every month, I’m suffering from various things ranging from pain, extreme fatigue, insomnia and bloating amongst others, leaving me feeling wiped out, frustrated, shattered and not myself. Basically the situation at the moment is pretty crappy, but I’m fully aware that it could be much much worse, and I’ll keep trying things to see if I can get some improvement or management of symptoms. It’s been really frustrating because I feel like my lifestyle, diet etc should of been enough to combat this, but actually when I look at it perhaps if I didn’t look after myself as well, then my symptoms would be even worse. I’ll keep posted here on my journey with this, and do let me know if any of you have similar issues and have found anything beneficial.

A Juicy Weekend

Post Ultra we went out with my family/extended family and my aunt had mentioned that she had recently done a 3 day juice cleanse- which I thought was awesome. I’m a huge fan of juicing, and have done a few periods of juicing in the past. Randomly that evening Nick said to me that he wanted to try it out, which I was shocked and amazed at, he’s always looked on in disdain whenever I’ve juiced in the past, so I was excited that he wanted to get involved.juicy fridge

I’d been thinking about juicing again for a while now, as I’ve had the most horrific few months of hay-fever symptoms including awful fatigue, and I wanted to try and sort out these allergies. I’ve also been getting increasingly bad period cramps as well as other symptoms and I wanted to kind of do a reset to try and see if I can pinpoint what’s causing it and alleviate it. Post Ultra I was feeling a bit blah both physically and mentally, drowning in a world of carbs pre/post-race and struggling mentally with feeling a little lost now it’s over. So what better way to give myself a boost than by juicing.

I know people are wary/skeptical of juicing/detoxing, but I do think it’s a good thing to do every now and again. Yes our kidneys/liver etc are very capable of detoxing, but the environment we now live in, toxins/pollution, and our food are all extra stressors on the body that we just weren’t adapted to deal with, hence why it’s good to give it a little juicy boost every now and again.

green juice

I decided 3 days would be a good amount of time for us, and so on Friday we got under way. I didn’t have a nutrition lecture this week, so was at home, which made it easier to juice, but also difficult to keep myself distracted. I had a lot of reading to do for the course so got stuck into that. We’ve been having 5-6 juices a day, filled with fruit (more for Nick, less for me), veggies (mostly me!), avocados and super-food powders.

On Friday, Nick was a bit later going into work so I made him a breakfast/brunch juice, and then he took some Savse juices with him to have during the day, as it was easier to transport. He resisted temptation with beers/doughnuts in the office which I was super impressed with! We had evening juices when he came home, and also a warm apple/cinnamon juice as a cosy evening treat.

I found the first day quite tough to be honest, I think a combination of coming from such a high calorie intake after the ultra, not exercising (which I find actually helps when juicing) and just being in the house made it feel tough. I just felt really drained and lacking in energy, although I have been feeling like that for a while now anyway. I was also really really hungry, which is unusual as I don’t remember feeling like that when I have juiced before.

Saturday we were up early for house viewings. I made us a breakfast juice and a huge vat of juice to take with us. We viewed 4 properties, 3 of which we liked, so hopefully after two recent failed attempts, something might come good for us. We ended up walking over 9 miles all over Greenwich/Charlton, and I felt pretty awful, just weak and lethargic like my legs didn’t want to work! We stopped at a health store in Greenwich to pick up some more fresh juices as we were out for longer than intended, and pretty hungry. Nick had some fruity ones, and I stuck to more vegetable based ones.

Nick has really struggled the whole way, he just keeps asking me if he can have a burger/pizza, I’m trying to tell him that that isn’t the point of this but he doesn’t seem to get it, and is just craving junky food- which he doesn’t even eat that often anyway! In contrast I am massively craving a huge salad! I was in a bit of a cooking/food slump pre juicing, so I’m hoping this will really encourage me to get back into it.

Unfortunately I broke the juicer when I stuck a spoon in it to try and get the sieve out which formed some kind of vacuum, the spoon went right through the mesh and created a huge hole. No bueno. I spent the afternoon/evening/this morning making our juices with a vitamix and straining them, they were nowhere near as good which made it a bit more challenging!

IMG_2011

This morning we went to the farmers market, I got some lovely strawberries which I am looking forward to having tomorrow. Nick thought it was like torture being at the market! I went for my first run post ultra, a gentle 3 miler, with a few niggles/aches here and there. The body wasn’t overly happy to be back out there! I ran to Argos where I picked up a new Phillips juicer, slightly upgraded from my old cheap Argos one. I carried the thing home and set about juicing. The first juice with it tasted so so good! I’ve actually felt much better today too, less tired and less hungry.

Nick really struggled this afternoon and was thinking about giving in and having something solid for dinner, but I’ve told him he has to ease out gently with something healthy- I think that has fallen on deaf ears though. I’m pleased to say despite feeling pretty hungry/weak, he is still going. I’m trying to explain that it isn’t the juice that’s making him feel bad but the foods he was eating before, unfortunately he doesn’t see it this way!

I watched Super Juice Me last night, and it made me so pleased I had rediscovered juicing, and will be incorporating it on a regular basis again. It’s free to watch this weekend, and I urge you to do so, it just totally fits with my view of the power of healing with food. 8 people with pretty chronic conditions, and on stacks of medication, turned to juice for 28 days to try and heal- the results are incredible.

I’m going to ease out of this slowly, with probably more juice featuring for breakfast/snacks tomorrow, as well as salad, whole fruit, psuedo-grains and beans. So excited for a salad! I think Nick is massively regretting ever suggesting doing this, and I can’t see him doing it again, although I’m proud of him for lasting the three days.

It’s been a pretty expensive few days- downside of juicing organic fruit/veggies- but I’m glad we’ve done it, I feel a bit better already physically/mentally and I’m glad to have rediscovered juicing!

Live Below the Line Day 2

Yesterday was Day 2 of my Live Below the Line experience. I slept really well the night before and woke up feeling pretty good. I headed straight out for another run without fuel, this time Nick tagged along for his first run in months- I was so happy to have a run buddy again! He told me to go slow- which was no problem with the marathon legs ha! He did 2.5 miles with me, and then I carried on for a bit to get it up to 4 miles, I felt pretty good during the run but did start to feel quite hungry towards the end of my run, having not eaten for getting on for 16 hours.

Carrot Porridge

Once I got home I whipped up some porridge, I didn’t have enough bananas to have one each day, so I grated a 1/4 of a carrot into my breakfast porridge and it actually worked quite well!

It didn’t really hold me over that well and I had 2 of the burgers I made the day before as a snack before I headed out for a job interview- I just landed a new job last week, which is part time two days a week, and I was going for this temporary position as well which is one day a week for 3 months, fingers crossed- I felt OK during the interview, but was pretty hungry by the time I got home.

dahl and rice

I quickly threw together some leftover dahl and chickpeas, and cooked up some rice to go alongside it. Again I had another major energy slump between 3-6pm. I was trying to do some studying for my nutrition course, but I just couldn’t focus at all. I just wanted to lay my head down on the book, and sleep! I was thoroughly unproductive and managed to get little done, I kept finding myself just staring into space without realising I was doing it!

chickpeas

I had some more chickpeas in the afternoon to get me through to dinner. I cooked up some sort of lentil, tomato and vegetable stew- it was incredibly bland without any spices/salt, and I served it over more rice to get some more calories in.

tomato lentil veg stew

In the end I only ended up spending 66p for the day! I got 1769 calories, which wasn’t bad, again my carbs and protein were high, but fats and sugars were even lower than the day before. It is really the Vitamins A, C, E and K and calcium that I am missing out on from my usual fruit and veggie rich diet.

I’m missing fruit immensely, and smoothies a lot. Going on Pinterest is like some cruel form of torture, and even worse Nick isn’t doing the challenge so cooking his dinner is just cruel! The sweet potato fries yesterday looked so good :(

Yesterday evening I had horrendous cramps and nausea (PMS related). It’s interesting to note that I haven’t had them that bad for a few months since I tried to change my diet slightly to help, and add in flax and maca on a near daily basis. Could be related to my diet the last few days or just be coincidence. I spent most of the evening writhing in pain, and then didn’t sleep well, partly due to that and partly due to hunger.

At least I’m nearly at the half way point…