STRAIGHT TALK ON MENSTRUATION WITH DR. ERIN STOKES, N.D.
Erin Stokes, Naturopathic Doctor, MegaFood Medical Director | January 2020
The nature of menstruation can have a big impact on our lives! Find out more.
It’s about time for some straight talk on menstruation, isn’t it?
For something that we tend to chat about so little, the nature of menstruation can have a big impact on our lives! Premenstrual symptoms can include mood swings, sleep disturbances, bloating and difficulty concentrating. Once bleeding starts, some women experience heavy bleeding, have menstrual cramps and may feel fatigued. As always, it’s important to discuss any symptoms you experience with your doctor.
Let’s talk about steps you can take to make this time (and the entire month) better:
Track it. It’s always nice to know what’s around the corner, and how to get ready for it, especially when it comes to your period. Record day 1, and also count how many days between cycles. When you know that you’re about to start your period be sure to have supplies handy in your purse, at your desk, and be extra good to yourself. Take a warm bath with Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender essential oil, and try to get a little extra rest by going to bed 30 minutes earlier.
Get moving. With hormonal shifts, there is a natural dip in serotonin that happens just prior to bleeding, which leaves many women feeling out of sorts - enter PMS! Exercise can be the perfect remedy as a mood booster both before and during your period. We’re not talking about anything extreme, as even a 20-minute walk outside can lift your mood. Or try a yoga class, which can bring in gentle movement when you’re having cramping.
And … also take a break. We all want to feel our best all of the time, and by listening to what our bodies are saying (and sometimes screaming), we can get closer to this ideal. This a perfect time of the month to give yourself a break from trying to be superwoman, and “doing it all”. Treat yourself with something you love, and while dark chocolate (in moderation!) is delicious, you can also think more broadly. Need some ideas? Schedule a fun date with a friend, indulge yourself in your favorite new body lotion or skincare product, or let yourself sleep in as late as you can on a weekend day.
- Identify deficiencies. It’s always wise to keep your doctor informed about your menstrual cycle, and of course your health in general. If you’re experiencing heavy bleeding or are feeling fatigued on a regular basis, you may be low in iron. Women lose iron every month when we menstruate, so it’s important to keep tabs on this crucial mineral that literally delivers oxygen to all of the tissues in our bodies.
Interested in which MegaFood supplements can help keep your energy levels right where you want them? Learn more.