Conquer Your Cycle – Part Three
Prepping for Period
Leading up to your period, your body undergoes a couple of changes which may results in what’s known as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) which let’s be honest, no one needs in their life. Here are some explanations as to what is going on and what you can do about it:
My Back Hurts!
Increase in the relaxin hormone about 7-`10days before menstruation means that women become vulnerable to pelvic dysfunctions the hormone creates ligmentous laxity, causing pelvic ligaments to become more prone to injury. This relaxin hormone is reabsorbed by the body during your period so if your pelvis and sacrum is aligned during this time, everything returns to normal. It has been observed that if there is a dysfunction and it is not corrected, the instability will remain even if the relaxin has been reabsorbed. This is why some women experience sore backs closer to their period, by making sure your pelvis and sacrum is functioning well, this discomfort may be minimised.
Everything Feels Swollen!
The increase in progesterone means there is excess water retention in the body. This means swollen face, breasts and even legs! Women usually store an extra 2-3kg of fluid in their bodies around this time of the month. Changes in your hormone also promote blood flow to the uterus and breast which can cause those areas to become swollen and tender. They also change your gut motility which can lead to gas retention and a bloated abdomen! During this time, it is important not to give into those salty cravings and load up on Vitamin B6 rich foods such as tuna, salmon, banana and avocado. Evening primrose oil also helps with premenstrual tenderness and swelling.
I Feel Sore and Uncomfortable!
As the uterine lining sheds, leading to your period, prostaglandins are released as a result. They are involved in inflammatory response, dilating blood vessels, contracting smooth muscle tissue and preventing blood clots from forming. It has been shown that too much prostaglandin is a major factor in abdominal pain before and during periods. This is due to the excess cramping of the uterus. Heat and magnesium are fantastic to calm the cramping down. Some great ways to get magnesium into your system is by eating leafy greens, using Epsom salts for a bath or taking supplements with good bio-availability. Clinical trials have also reported that spinal manipulation may help decrease the circulating plasma levels of prostaglandin.
Lydia Feng is a chiropractor at the Kings Cross clinic.
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