Our menstrual cycles are more than a monthly bleed. They are a way for our bodies to communicate with us. They tell us what is going well and where we may need to slow down and refocus in our lives.
One way we get information is from our actual period. Based on when we get it, how heavy it is, or the amount of pain/discomfort, our bodies are giving us signs that something is or isn't off. But understanding what our period is trying to tell us can be challenging when we’ve only ever looked at our period as a monthly bleeding cycle.
Listening to what our period is trying to tell us starts with noticing symptoms or changes that happen from month to month. Here are a few things that may be happening, and how you can go about taking care of them for the month to come.
But wait, I’m late!
We understand our period as part of our natural monthly cycle, so it’s easy to understand why one of the main questions I often get asked is ‘why...
Please note - if you are peri/post menopausal, you likely need more support than nutrition and lifestyle interventions. Discussing your concerns with your doctor and/or functional practitioner are key for getting the support you need.
Low progesterone is common in the stressful world we live in. When our bodies are in a stressed state, it does not prioritize hormone production, including the production of progesterone. Chronic stress also negatively impacts communication from the brain to the ovaries, which can reduce how much progesterone is produced, even if you are ovulating.
However, common does not mean normal, and consistent low progesterone levels are not the state that our bodies should be functioning in. Understanding the signs and root causes of low progesterone, along with what can be done to improve progesterone levels, is important for your overall health.
Recognizing when our progesterone is low is the first step in...
There’s something we’ve been taught - it’s normal it’s normal to feel crazy, have painful cramps, heavy bleeding, and overall a very stressful event that is your period each month.
But, that’s wrong.
It may be common, but it’s not normal.
Feeling like a completely different person for a week (or two or more) every month due to your period may be something that happens to a lot of women, but it’s not something that is normal. Instead, these changes in our emotions and feelings are related to changes in our hormones that, while natural, can be challenging to navigate and tough to manage.
The good news is that there are ways we can improve our overall well-being during this time of the month, and most of the options for managing your period and the changes that come along with it are simple, easy, and totally practical.
Here are five ways you can have better periods:
Just because something is common doesn’t mean that it’s normal. Take period pain, for example. Each month, many women suffer through what they think is a normal part of their period, the excruciating pain that comes with their cycle. Other women experience it as well, so they never question whether or not the days or weeks of intense pain that come along with their regular flow are something to question.
However, even though pain surrounding your period is common, it’s not necessarily normal and can actually be due to a number of different factors and reasons. It’s important to work with a practitioner to identify the root cause of the pain, and how you can eliminate or manage pain surrounding your period.
Having tools on hand, though, for period pain is a great resource to help you manage your pain now or while you are completing a protocol with your practitioner. Even after you’ve balanced your hormones, having tools on hand for period pain can...
The connection between stress and your hormones is no secret, but the effects of stress on the management of polycystic ovarian syndrome are something that we don’t talk about nearly as much as we should. I’ve found, though, that reducing stress is essential for long term management of symptoms related to polycystic ovarian syndrome and the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.
How they’re connected
You may have heard the term ‘fight or flight’, but there is a lot of physiology that goes into understanding this concept around stress and our body systems. As I’m sure you know, ‘fight or flight’ describes a reaction to stress that’s often associated with animals who find themselves in danger. When introduced to a stressor - for example, a predator chasing them through the jungle - an animal can have a ‘fight or flight’ reaction that drives their body to either stay and defend themselves (fight) or run and...
Understanding polycystic ovarian syndrome isn’t just about understanding the symptoms and medication options. It’s also about understanding how this condition can affect your day to day life, and the things you can do to help alleviate symptoms on your own.
While there is no one size fits all approach, lifestyle changes, such as skin care options and nutrition recommendations, can help you manage the symptoms of your PCOS. Check out some of my favorite lifestyle recommendations below.
Still not familiar with PCOS? Be sure to check out the first three installments in my Understanding PCOS series first, starting with Part 1 here!
PCOS and Skin Care:
The majority of the women I treat with PCOS experience acne as a symptom of their condition. What contributes to acne anyway? Well, it's never just one thing. Often high androgens like testosterone and DHT are the culprit for PCOS, but they aren't the only issue.
You also have to remember what leads to those...
When women find themselves diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), one of the first treatment options they’re often offered is the pill. And, it’s no surprise - hormonal birth control is the most common treatment for PCOS within conventional medicine.
But, it may not be the best.
When it comes to the pill and its relationship with polycystic ovarian syndrome, there is a lot to unpack. That’s why I’ve put together the six main points you should know and consider before getting started on the pill to manage your polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Do I think the pill isn’t a good choice for anyone? Of course not - all treatment options work differently for different patients, but understanding the risks and benefits of each is important when making the decision on which is best...
It’s easy for people to misunderstand polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, as simply a disease of the ovaries. But, as we know, it’s so much more than that (and, if you don’t know, be sure to check out part one in our Understanding PCOS series here).
PCOS is identified by three main criteria - delayed ovulation or menstrual cycles, high androgens, and polycystic ovaries - and is broken down into four subtypes. Each type has specific criteria, but many have something in common, and that is insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is what happens when we have too much insulin in our bodies. While we need insulin - it tells our cells to open up and take in the glucose we’ve broken down from our food - insulin resistance can cause our bodies to stop responding to the insulin we have, leading us to produce more and more until, one day, our bodies stop responding all together. When our bodies stop responding, we can develop weight gain, heart and bone...
It’s a term you may have heard before, but with the amount of information swirling around the internet, it can be hard to define. And it’s understandable that you feel confused, overwhelmed, or downright lost when trying to understand it.
It’s polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, and it affects nearly one in every ten women of child bearing age.
Understanding PCOS is the first step in getting control of your condition, and that can mean learning a lot about things like cysts, insulin resistance, and the right nutrition and supplement options for you and your PCOS. In this four part series, we cover it all, from what PCOS is and the different types, to the relationship between PCOS and insulin, and how they’re all supported by your choices you make about your nutrition.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a “common health problem caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones” that can lead to the development of...
Looking for a balanced, tasty, and hormone supportive treat? These chocolate coconut collagen bites are going to be your new best friend. Not only are they a perfect balance of protein, carbs, and fats, but they contain metabolism boosting ingredients.
1. Coconut: coconut is one of my favorite functional foods. It contains MCT's, specific type of thyroid boosting fats. It also has saturated fats, which are much more stable than unsaturated. Plus, it's high in potassium, which most women are deficient in.
2. Dates: dates contain beneficial carbohydrates, fiber, potassium, and fructose, which is beneficial for blood sugar and liver.
3. Collagen: collagen in the form of bone broth is another one of my favorite functional foods. It contains beneficial proteins, amino acids, and minerals. I like this brand of bone broth protein that gives you all of the benefits of bone broth in a convenient, flavorless, powder form.
4. Sea Salt: sea salt contains over 60...