Superfood Diet Trial - Reduced Cyclical Breast Pain ???
… Well, it certainly looks that way this week! Welcome back to my ordinary blog in an ordinary life. As ordinary as it gets with a 21 day menstrual cycle, that is. With 7 days of that spent menstruating, 7 days spent growling, snarling or crying and not being quite “with it” , that leaves a 7 day window of opportunity to approach me if you'd like to get something done.
4 years ago I was sterilised, with the often common result that my cycle changed. Soon after, hormone tests via my GP showed that levels of PROGESTERONE (produced during the cycle's 2nd half and responsible for sustaining uterine lining and therefore theoretically enabling pregnancy) were significantly lower than expected for my age. The result being that hormone levels drop, my period comes earlier because the lining of the womb is unable to stay put. I'm still not sure why the periods manage to last a whole week though..... where on earth does it all come from?
Cyclical Breast Pain Relief
In addition to this, premenstrual symptoms, especially breast pain, were very severe. I promise I am not a mad crazy woman... my family think somewhat differently, one week out of three! So as an all round health issue, this needs addressing as it affects my life in a very considerable way. Last weekend my breasts had increased by a full cup size and were agony. My mood was OK though, I have to say. I started smoothies and reformed eating habits on Monday of week 2 of my cycle, by Thursday the pain was noticeably less, thankfully. On Saturday it had gone. On Sunday I got my period. Grrr.
Given the medical intervention involved, and the fact that my GP recommended Evening Primrose Oil to help with the pain, I went online to check how this kind of thing works.... have a look here for the official NHS view on this... The site states that no noticeable effect is received fom Evening Primrose oil as opposed to a placebo.... so why doctors recommend it, I cannot say. But I can say for definite that most of our diets here in the Western world are deficient in omega 3 and 6 oils, simply because very few people eat oily fish such as mackerel or salmon each week. And GLA (gamma linoleic acid) is known to be low in women with breast pain. Multivitamins alone will not provide these essential oils and acids, and even taken as a supplement the conversion process in the body can often be inefficient, leading to a lack. I happily accept that the superfoods I have chosen contain high levels of these nutrients, amongst a myriad of others. It makes complete sense to supplement an improved diet with something the body can process as a proper food, rather than with something the medical profession seems to regard as a somewhat more ineffective pill.
I'm happy to report that my smoothie mix from the last blog entry works extremely well with no added sweeteners.... berries, banana, rice milk, whizzed up with HEMP, MACA and BARLEYGRASS. Not just palatable, but pleasant. So it's been easy to bring this into my breakfast routine. I know from past experience as a slimming consultant and successful slimmer using an eating plan based largely around simple foots such as lean meats, complex carbohydrates and fruit and vegetables, with very little fat, that if I eat less cheap, cheerful and fatty food (white bread, doughnuts, biscuits, chocolate) around my PMT week, I actually do feel better for it. But it's easy to forget. So this week I altered my diet too, and ditched the simple carbs, expecting to feel starved cravings, tiredness etc etc as it was a bit of cold turkey really. The only thing I have not managed is to drink more water, still on the coffee and tea, I'm afraid. So I am delighted to report that a superfood smoothie in a morning ,with a light breakfast of an egg, tomato and some ham, carried me through till lunchtime without a single food craving of any kind! Now that is definitely a start. I had horrific breast pain at the start, in part due to my recently appalling diet of take aways and easy to grab foods, but also due, I believe, to the intervention of my GP in prescribing Cerazette, a progesterone only mini pill (birth control pills), to try and calm my periods.
So what has emerged from this first week? 1. A superfood smoothie seems to start the day well, helping eliminate the sugary and starchy food cravings that make beginning a plan of healthy eating so difficult. 2. My mood has remained fine through the entire premenstrual week. (My family may argue with this, but I have felt fine!) 3. MY BREASTS DON'T HURT! (This one is my favourite). On Tuesday I clocked a rather unhealthy 12 st 13 ½ lbs, which borders on the “obese” section of the outdated but still worrying charts used by doctors and nurses to determine healthy weight ranges. I have tried to exercise a little more too. As yet, I have not weighed myself this week, but you can be sure I will report back when I do.... even though I did have toffee popcorn at the weekend! Well, a girl's got to live a little! I enjoyed every mouthful!