The belief that we’re supposed to feel terrible during our menstrual cycle is a total myth. I’m on a journey to support my body to feel better during each phase of my cycle.
This post contains affiliate links.
A couple of years ago, I had an appointment with my functional medicine doctor and she said something that was totally life-changing for me. She told me that painful period symptoms mean there’s something out of balance in your body.
She told me this after she had asked what my periods were like and I mentioned painful cramps, but dismissed them as normal.
I sought help from a functional medicine doctor because I was experiencing hormonal migraines and multiple gynecologists didn’t take my concerns seriously and didn’t offer any suggestions for relief. My intuition told me that my migraines meant something was wrong, but I brushed off all the other symptoms I was having as normal.
Society tells us that cramps, bloating, mood swings, fatigue and more are all totally normal. But I’ve learned that that message is a complete myth.
Which is why I’ve been on a years-long journey to support and balance my hormones to ease my period symptoms and feel good during each phase of my cycle.
You may think “years-long” seems a little crazy. But our health and wellness is a journey and often takes trying different things until you find the things that work. Our bodies also change over time, so we must change our wellness routines as our bodies change.
Luckily, my migraines were alleviated by going off of birth control. I stopped taking birth control in July 2016 and haven’t had a migraine since. *This was my experience stopping the usage of birth control. This is probably something you should consult with your doctor about. I recommend a functional medicine or holistic practitioner.
Even though my migraines during my period have subsided, I’ve still been experiencing painful cramps, occasional minor headaches, fatigue, mood swings and bloating. Keeping that message from my functional medicine doctor in mind, I began my journey to learn more about hormones and heal my period.
I want you to know that I’m still in it. I’m still experimenting with supplements and habits. Some months have been better than others, and I try to track and be aware of what’s working.
One thing that I’ll note before I share the things I’ve used in my hormone balancing journey is that I get my blood tested once a year to check my hormone levels, liver function and vitamin levels. The results of that test help guide what supplements I take, foods I incorporate into my diet, etc.
Here are the things that have worked for me so far…
I track my period and my symptoms using this tracker. I love this app because it has in-depth information about each cycle phase. The four phases of your cycle are Follicular, Ovulation, Luteal and Menstrual. I didn’t know anything about the follicular and luteal phases of my cycle when I started this journey, so this app has really taught me a lot.
For each phase of your cycle, the app tells you what’s happening with your hormones, what the best type of exercise is, what you should incorporate into your diet and what you should focus on with work and relationships. You can also have an email sent to your partner when your cycle phase changes, so they know what’s going on with your hormones.
I’m definitely not trying to get pregnant, but I like that this program has a yoga practice for each phase of your cycle. The teacher, Tiffany Cruikshank, has a background in Traditional Chinese Medicine and focuses on educating, uplifting and supporting you through each phase of your cycle. There’s also a PMS meditation that you can do every day.
You do have to have a subscription to Glo.com to access this series, but if you have a regular yoga practice this is a great investment.
Milk thistle is a flowering plant that comes from the same family as the daisy. One of the most common uses for milk thistle is for liver support. The active ingredient in milk thistle, silymarin, acts as an antioxidant reducing free radicals.
It’s important for the liver to be working efficiently because the liver breaks down and processes excess hormones.
In my last blood test, my liver enzymes were a little high, which means there could be some inflammation in the cells in my liver. I take a milk thistle supplement daily to support my liver.
Chaste berry is the fruit of the chaste tree, a member of the mint family. Chaste berry doesn’t contain any hormones or hormone-like compounds, but it can influence hormonal activity by stimulating the pituitary gland. This can trigger the ovaries to increase their production of progesterone.
This can help alleviate bloating and irritability, relieve menstrual pain and help regulate the menstrual cycle.
In my last blood test, my estrogen levels were high and progesterone was low, so I take a chaste berry supplement to help balance my hormone levels.
FemiGen combines whole-food herbs such as wild yam, damiana, and dong quai, along with synergistic amino acids and select essential oils like clary sage and ylang ylang that may be supportive for the female system.
This essential oil blend can help support healthy thyroid function. The thyroid’s hormones regulate vital body functions including menstrual cycles and nervous systems. The central nervous system controls emotions and the release of some hormones, and it also triggers stress responses. This is important because stress can play a major role in how we feel during our menstrual cycle.
So supporting our thyroid is vital! I apply this oil blend topically on my throat where the thyroid glands are located daily.
This is a pure progesterone serum formulated from wild yam, which the body easily absorbs. Progessence Plus also contains essential oils such as Copaiba, Sacred Frankincense, Cedarwood, Bergamot, Peppermint, and Clove giving it added benefits for supporting and stabilizing mood.
I apply this oil topically on my abdomen, inner thighs or wrists daily.
This is an essential oil blend that I use during the menstrual phase of my cycle to ease my symptoms. I apply it topically along with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) to my abdomen.
What symptoms would you like some relief from during your period? Share in the comments!
To discover how you can begin feeling more nourished – mind, body and soul, ditch dieting, shift your focus from weight to health, heal your relationship with food and find more balance, take my quiz here.
To find out more about my holistic health coaching programs, click here.