DIET AND LIFESTYLE FIXES
Sometimes, menstruation issues can be eased by taking a closer look at eating habits, exercise and stress levels, says Briden. Here are some of the key factors that can be linked to problematic periods…
A Lack of carbs
Nobody has formally studied this, but I see many women really struggling on a low-carb diet. The body needs to be fully nourished to be able to ovulate, and undereating is becoming increasingly common. Menstrual disruption is one of the first signs that eating patterns might not be right. It’s also important to know that women have very different nutritional requirements to men, and women in their reproductive years have different requirements to those after menopause.
Inflammatory foods & drinks
For issues with PMS, it can be useful to cut back on foods that are inflammatory. The key culprit is processed sugar, but alcohol often gets left out of the conversation, but it’s really not good for women’s health either.
I don’t see soy as a big player in period health. With vegetarian or vegan women who are eating a lot of soy, I have seen cases where soy can have an anti-oestrogen effect, although this is often in the context of not being fully nourished in other ways.
Through my clinical observation, dairy is problematic for some women. If you have period pain and PMS, it’s worth trying a few months without cow’s dairy, as this can relieve symptoms.
This has a huge effect on period health. There’s a lot of science about it now, and it can impact on everything from breast tenderness to fatigue. Hormonal symptoms are worsened due to the way stress hormones interact with our female hormones.