I've read all your great stories about easier periods after eating paleo for a while.
I am 33 years old have been eating Paleo (including some dairy) for two months and in a few days my second "Paleo period" will start.
So far I have not noticed any positive changes in PMS. My cravings are enormous. I get depressed, anxious, extremely tired and isolate myself one week before period. My last cycle was the longest (37 days) I have ever experienced. I really hope my p\Paleo eating can contribute to normalize my PMS in the future.
How long did it take for you to ease your PMS symptoms after switching to Paleo?
It took me about four cycles to notice any discernible difference, but all the changes have very been positive.
Admittedly, I was vegetarian/vegan from before I began menstruating until my mid-20s and suffered from amenorrhoea the entire time (I got my period maybe twice a year with extreme cramping and for 10-15 days at a time, had crazy emotional PMS for days before I started bleeding, etc) so my standard of normality is a bit skewed. However, my slow transition to paleo eating has directly paralleled my transition to having a better period. When I returned to SAD-ish omnivorous eating I began getting my period every few months. When I went low carb I began menstruating regularly (every 40 days, almost like clockwork), my cramps started becoming more tolerable and my period shortened to five days maximum. Several months of paleo eating has almost completely eliminated my cramps, shortened my period to three light days, and my cycle is slowly shortening (at 35 days currently). I also have one emotional crying day prior to bleeding instead of three or four.
As a side note, I've found tracking my cycle on a site like mymonthlycycles and following FAM symptoms (tempeture and cervical mucus) has given me a better insight into my lady workings/self, and has only become possible with my post-paleo periods.
Give it a while and things should even out/improve.
For me, it was a gradual progression of improvement. Some months are better than others so it's not a straight line. I think it took a few months before I noticed much though. This last one was the best yet. No cramps beforehand and only one or two tiny little cramps on the first day. I felt a bit tired the day before, but it wasn't enough for me to really notice. The end result is I am not getting much forewarning that it's coming! I will have to start actually paying attention to the calendar at this rate.. But my monthly visitor has always been moderate in severity. I don't know if someone who has had a more severe situation would reach the same end point as I did. I do suspect that most people will experience some improvement over the long haul though.
I have had one big change in the positive direction: no more cramps! Yay! When I do not eat Paleo I usually have severe cramps for at least two days, sometimes so bad I can't get out of bed. If I eat Paleo I have a little discomfort, but nothing like before and a few Tylenol will take care of it. Sometimes, no cramps at all.
I wish I had known about this going all the way back to high school. It has been something that's really been a problem in the past.
I notice immediately the improvement in PMS symptoms (especially emotional) when i'm eating paleo ( or even low carb) relative to when I have sugar, alcohol, and lots od carbs in diet. I still get cramps during, but not too bad, and still get a migraine at beginning and end of period. But the emotional stuff...night and day. Maybe some mild crankiness but not the monthly "I want a divorce and a new life" feelings. Are you using alcohol at all? You might look at that.
My PMS eased up right away. And the blood flow is not as bad as it used to be. I used to wake up in a puddle of blood. Looked like some murder scene. Now my sheets are clean :) Very happy about that! Oh, and it used to be 30 days - now my cycle is 26 and I am in sync with full moon!
But there is something you need to know: my Paleo and your Paleo are different. When people say "Paleo" it is very very different for everyone.
I want to share what I eat and you figure out the difference:
Notice how I have no nuts or oils in my diet - cannot tolerate them.
I forgot to mention that my cramps were so severe I would spend a couple of hours throwing up. I could not function. Now I still have cramps but they are tolerable compared to what I used to have. I don't even need painkillers anymore!
Occasionally I have binges - leftover from the time I had to follow my very low calorie diet, but I am noticing they are getting less severe with time as well. During those binges I buy special gluten-free chocolate/almond cakes (no milk, no grain, no artificial colorings) so even though I know they are bad for me (sugar) I think they are still semi-Paleo.
It has been all over the place, but I think I've figured out why. It seems to depend on how much of the bad juju I was exposed to in the past (15 years of color photo chemistry, 6 years of oil painting) is being released into my system. When losing weight rapidly it is worse, and I've been pretty weight stable lately so I was a little confused when I had worse PMS than I can ever remember this month. I had some really intensive body work done this month with a series of myofascial treatments, with a lot of work in the abdomen, so that probably squidged some stuff out into my system that is being dealt with now.
I've been paleo off and on for 2 of the last 4 years, and winter seems to be hardest on the lady system regardless of what I eat, maybe I'm letting my D get too low, never been able to get it above 35 in the summer and last year when I had it tested in February it was 22 taking 2000 IUs/day.
In general much better, and with the addition of zinc supplements a few times per week cramping is much reduced, even non-existent sometimes (and I used to nearly pass out from the pain, worse than labor pains without the relief of coming and going like contractions). So that is better, I'll take what I can get, and hopefully the other hormonal imbalances are getting worked out with time and slowly rebuilding my body with bio-appropriate ingredients.
For me the most fascinating change has been in the color and "tempo" of my period. My blood has always been black/brown at the beginning, and end, and now is a BEAUTIFUL red. Really it is gorgeous. There is no other way to describe it. I also don't have the Start/stop/start issues that I faced for 30 years. Whoa, oops, you mean I'm not "done"? Yes, it was quite frustrating...
I've also found that eating liver once a week REALLY influences minimizing PMS and the length of my cycle. I have NO symptoms now. REALLY AMAZING.
It really is amazing to me how the 'little things' add up.
I was just wanting to write about this. This is my second period on paleo and I feel AMAZING. I had no PMS symptoms whatsoever (in the past, my breasts would get swollen and hurt like a bitch, I would retain water like crazy and have massive cravings) but they reduced to NOTHING. I have no cramps and I feel great. I'm not eating dairy, fruit, seeds, tubers or legumes and very little nuts (all of this because I'm trying to lose some very stubborn weight) but I think the most important factors are sugar,grains and dairy.
It can take longer for some people, I've never had horrible periods so maybe that's why it's been so great for me. Keep it going and see!
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