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Period Symptom Series

Last week we talked about cramps and the main root causes or reasons you may be experiencing them month after month.  Even though period cramps may be common, they are not normal.

Why can food cravings and binging happen more in the luteal phase?

Our brain’s inner sunshine mood chemical, serotonin, drops in the luteal phase.  Carbs can give us a little serotonin boost-why we may gravitate towards them more.

Cravings for foods with fat may be due to needing fatty acids.  Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to balance the effects of prostaglandins – inflammatory compounds released right before your period to help shed the uterine lining.

Insulin sensitivity decreases in the luteal phase, meaning it’s extra important to incorporate protein and healthy fats at meals and snacks to help keep blood sugar balanced.

Blood sugar crashes resulting from long periods of time between meals, not enough protein/fat, or overly restricting food can lead us to unintentionally overdo it.

Stress is closely tied to our blood sugar balance – cortisol actually triggers a process called gluconeogenesis (making of new glucose) as a way to provide the body with glucose (energy) to literally run or fight (fight or flight).

Our brain chemistry and mood chemicals can be behind our food cravings.  We need amino acids from protein foods plus certain vitamins/minerals to build our main mood chemicals.

Food may also be a way we have learned to manage our emotions for comfort or control.  Overeating after a period of restriction is a normal physiological response the body has to make sure it has what it needs.  It is not a personal failure or anything to do with “willpower”.  This is nothing to beat yourself up about!  Start to get curious about what is driving your food cravings!

For help with these cravings and other period related symptoms and concerns, book a discovery call to review your symptoms and set up a plan of action.  You can schedule one here!

Stay tuned next week for our discussion on cyclical acne!

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