I don’t usually partake in reading “health” magazines, since the information in there is typically laughable, but I came across the cover of one particular magazine that caught my eye with what was spelled out on the cover:
“BURN FAT ALL DAY: Surprising ways to boost your metabolism”.
Needless to say, it spiked my interest as to what they could possibly say…nothing of which I am an advocate, I was assured in my head. Feeling as if I was spying on my opponent, I opened up “Women’s Health”, their September 2014 issue.
I started aimlessly flipping from back to front and came across something much more intriguing than burning fat. The article was entitled, “Hellish Period? Not Anymore”, which displayed women’s “mysterious, wackier woes”, or their personal experiences surrounding their menstrual cycle:
“My knees ache like I’m developing arthritis.”-Reanna L.;
“I get a severe throat infection every month!”-Ainey J.;
“I always crave steak, even though I’ve been a vegetarian for two years.”-Monica R.;
“Hot flashes and heart palpitations.”-Pamela M.;
“I get really cold—for two weeks I just freeze.”-Marie L.;
“My toes cramp up every time.”-Heather B.;
“I get random bruises!”-Christine L.;
“I feel as if I could sleep for a week.”-Trisha L.;
“I have insatiable cravings. I want to eat everything in sight.”-Melissa B.;
and on goes the list.
I’m sure if you are a female reading this, you may be able to relate.
The thoughts running through my head? It sounds like these women have symptoms of fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, and anemia, but what’s screaming out to me even more is the fact that these women are malnourished and hypo-metabolic (have a slow and/or damaged metabolism).
My next thought flashing in my head: So what is this pop-culture, health bible going to suggest?
Here is one genius solution “Women’s Health” provides women everywhere:
“CAN YOU OUTTHINK PMS? Imagine if some symptoms were all in your head.”
Oh. No. They. DIDN’T. I was enraged. It was an instant reminder of why I do not read mainstream magazines. Their suggestions were even worse than I had imagined.
They continued to explain: “Controversial new research has found that there’s little scientific evidence behind some PMS symptoms. Rather, America’s ‘period hysteria’ culture could be to blame, making women anticipate a meltdown in the days before their flow begins. ‘The idea that hormonal fluctuations lead to negative moods for all women is a socially constructed one,’ says Gillian Einstein, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at the University of Toronto. In other words, a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
If I didn’t have PMS symptoms before, I did at this moment. Not knowing how to cope with my murderous thoughts, I uncontrollably busted out with hysteric laughter, and then the depression set in….what has our society come to? All of the women reading this nonsense are going to be told once again by our culture that we are crazy.
Hormonal fluctuations leading to mood swings for women is merely a socially constructed idea? How amazing would it be for it to simply be a figment of our imaginations? That would be the easy way out, and PMS would be magically eradicated if women could just mentally accept the fact that what we think and how we feel isn’t real.
I felt the shame of women all over the country reading this….and then I realized: I do not need a research study or an “expert” with the last name Einstein to tell me whether or not my body’s experiences are real according to scientific evidence. What IS real, however, is that PMS is not solely an American thing known as, ‘period hysteria’. It’s the female body’s natural reaction to being nutrient and mineral-deficient, and it can happen to women from all parts of the world.
Needless to say, like an onlooker at the scene of an accident, I couldn’t look away. I was captivated by the ignorance of the entire article. The nonsense continued....
Problem: “The bloating is horrible; it’s like this massive pressure.”-Laura H.
“Women’s Health” Explanation: “Some 73 percent of women reported unpleasant gut symptoms before and during their periods. Surprisingly, no one knows exactly what triggers this monthly spike in water retention, but it’s known that salt and alcohol can make it worse….”
FACT: Someone who understands physiology knows what triggers this monthly spike in water retention. Just because you may not understand it, does not mean that NO ONE understands this “phenomenon”.
Here’s what the article SHOULD have said, from a PHYSIOLOGICAL standpoint:
The body can bloat when you are not fueling your body efficiently with quality food. Since your body will find some way to compensate and get the energy it needs to survive if you are not feeding it properly, it can cause a bloating reaction, and here’s one reason why. Typically, if your body does not have food coming in, it will ask your liver to release stored sugar (glycogen) in order to keep up with your energy demands throughout the day. Your energy demands go up during this time of the month when your body is preparing to shed tissue. Therefore, you should be eating and resting more to cope with this stress. If you're not eating and resting adequately, your body will react.
With a less than optimal amount of food intake, the liver is essentially asked to go into survival mode, so your body starts eating itself (causing muscle tissue loss and fat tissue gain). This stresses the body, making it difficult to produce energy the proper way. The most efficient way for the body to produce energy is if the body is fed well. Carbon Dioxide (CO2, like what’s in carbonated drinks) is supposed to be produced, along with water, and ATP (energy). If the body does not have fuel because of food deprivation, lactic acid is produced instead of carbon dioxide, and the oxygen from water molecules in the body are soaked up by your tissues to get the oxygen that it needs. This is edema, commonly known as bloating and swelling. If there is a lack of oxygen, your cells will swell with water in order to breathe.
Boom. Yes, hormones play a role in this, but for brevity purposes, we'll stick with the basics.
The article carried on:
Problem: “I have cramps that feel like I’m giving birth to the spawn of Satan.”-Millarie K.
“Women’s Health” Solution: “There’s a reason it feels like you’re in labor—your uterine muscles are contracting….Using a heating pad for 10 to 15 minutes can help dilute uterine blood vessels….If OTC anti-inflammatory painkillers aren’t helping and you’ve exhausted all natural options—including yoga and acupuncture—see an ob-gyn….The first line of treatment is typically the Pill or another hormonal contraceptive, which can reduce your overall amount of uterine tissue.”
FACT: A heating pad, Advil, yoga sessions, and some therapeutic needles are not what I would call anyone having “exhausted all natural options”. Furthermore, the Pill or another hormonal contraceptive is setting your body up for catastrophe and is a less-than-stellar suggestion. If you have painful menstrual cramps, it’s not because you have a birth control pill deficiency. You have a compromised immune system and a mineral and nutrient deficiency from a lack of eating properly. Skipping meals and eating processed 100 calorie packs, salads, veggie burgers, and slim fast does not equate to adequate nutrition. Your body is in desperate need of magnesium to alleviate painful cramps, but it also needs other nutrients and minerals for magnesium to work its magic.
More “Women’s Health” Solutions: “While you’re at it, stick with snacks that include some calcium; for unknown reasons, the mineral can reduce a handful of PMS symptoms.”-Toby Smithson, R.D.N., of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Ummmm, you’re a Registered Dietitian, a person who is supposed to be an expert in understanding the fundamentals of how food chemistry works inside the human body, and you have no idea how calcium can help alleviate symptoms of PMS?? The intelligence level of the "experts" we are supposed to trust today is quickly diminishing. This concept is the equivalent of nutrition 101.
FACT: Calcium happens to be the most abundant and important mineral in the human body. 99% of the calcium in our bodies resides in our bones, and the rest is in other tissues and the blood. The 1% that is found in the blood is critical for life. When a diet is low in calcium and/or magnesium, the body’s soft tissues and organs steal the calcium that it needs from the bones. This leads to osteoporosis and the calcification (hardening) of organs and soft tissues, like arteries.
The excess of calcium in the cell tissue causes swelling (bloating), alkalinity (lower immune system), and the cells convert glycogen (sugar) into lactic acid (slowing down the metabolism, causing you to feel tired and sluggish). It also causes a loss in potassium and magnesium, two vital minerals in helping alleviate cramps and balancing hormones and electrolyte levels. This can, furthermore, lead to headaches, acne, changes in appetite, hormonal and libido swings, and other PMS problems. Also, in order to maximize the absorption of calcium and the body’s ability to use calcium efficiently, the following are needed:
-Adequate Vitamin A, C, and D
-Adequate protein and fat consumption [tip: listen to your food cravings, like steak (grass-fed and organic is preferable) and chocolate (organic and dark—Enjoy Life brand—is optimal)]
-Adequate HCl (stomach acid)
So no, it’s not in your head. It’s physiology. Which also happens to be backed by research.
These vitamins and minerals that you’re lacking should be coming from your food.
Ladies: You have to eat and eat well—dump the processed garbage and the hormone pills. They aren’t helping.
Periods are not supposed to be painful. Actually, they are supposed to be pretty seamless. You shouldn’t have to shudder at the thought of your cycle, feeling like it’s biblical karmic backlash for tempting Adam in the Garden of Eden.
You are a goddess; it’s time to start eating like one.
For more information on how to combat PMS, feel free to contact me.