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February 27, 2015

Combat PMS: Once & for All.

period, cramps, menstruation

PMS is fun!

Said no woman ever.

I’ve had gnarly PMS my whole life. My transition into womanhood arrived at a young age and I experienced severe pain, mood swings and lethargy for many years. Sometimes my PMS would last for two weeks every month. The ups and downs were draining and a pain for those around me, I was a little monster.

It’s easy to fluff off and say its like this for every woman and PMS is just a fact of life.

This is true to an extent, as women it’s completely normal to experience highs and lows in energy and fertility. The monthly cycle should be honoured as a time of renewal. But, for many women it’s become a time of dread and frustration. I learned through trial, error and lots of reading, that I could bring my hormones into balance naturally and drastically alleviate most of my symptoms.

What causes hormonal imbalance.

Modern gals have to factor in more than our ancestors did, when it comes to environmental substances—which affect our hormones. With many environmental toxins and strange food additives that mimic estrogen, our bodies are getting pretty confused.

Let me be clear that these substances affect men too, just in different ways. For us women it’s important to have balanced levels of estrogen and progesterone. This keeps us in check, it’s like ensuring we get enough vitamins and minerals.

The top four substances that mess with our hormones.

1. Plastic.

The use of plastic in almost everything has become ubiquitous, rarely does food come in glass, even most things in our homes are made from petroleum products. While certain groups are committed to protecting the environment, we seldom think about the effect environmental plastics have on us. There are many chemicals in plastic—too many to list—and even in small amounts they are all harmful to our endocrine systems.

2. Conventional meat.

It is a shame that we took animals that were meant to eat grass and forced them to eat grain—not just for the animals but also for the humans consuming. Cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, turkeys—none are meant to eat a predominantly grain-based diet, especially when that grain is commonly soy and nearly always GMO.

Soy contains high levels of xenoestrogen, a substance which isn’t quite estrogen but tricks the body into believing it is. There are traditional ways of preparing soy, like fermentation which break down the xenoestrogen, but this isn’t the soy primarily used in our food supply.

Even if we think we’re not eating soy or GMO’s, unfortunately it’s what all conventionally raised animals are fed.

There’s also the issue of growth hormone being injected into animals to get them to grow faster. The old adage “you are what you eat” comes to mind.

3. Water.

For many of us, city water is our only option, maybe trickled through a Brita or other pseudo water filter. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those filters really don’t do much of anything, aside from removing a bit of chlorine. The truth is, there are far more harmful invisible elements in city water.

Fluoride calcifies the pineal gland. There are also residual pharmaceutical compounds, which we ingest in our water. For instance, many women take birth control pills and a portion of them re-enter the water supply when we urinate—they are far from being filtered out.

An excess of synthetic hormones will mess anyone up.

4. Pollution.

The health affects from growing environmental pollutants greatly affect our hormonal health. With over 188 airborne pollutants and 129 toxic water pollutants—thats a lot for our bodies to cope with.

Many of these pollutants directly affect our endocrine systems and can cause severe hormonal imbalance.

Not only is the environment suffering, but so are we. There’s no escaping pollution, so we must find ways to combat its physical effects both internally and externally.

Bringing Back Balance

1. Protect yourself, and help the environment by not drinking bottled water or storing our food in plastic. Make the switch to glass or stainless steel.

2. Making the switch to organic, pasture-raised or free-range meat, eggs and dairy is a huge step forward towards healthier hormones—not to mention, a lot more humane. Yes it’s more expensive, but our health is worth it.

 

References:

http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/188polls.html

http://water.epa.gov/scitech/methods/cwa/pollutants-background.cfm

~

Relephant Read:

PMS? No Problem. Top 9 Foods that Ease Aunt Flo’s Monthly Visit

 

Author: Chantelle Zakariasen

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr

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