Brain Haze Courtesy of PMS
In the June issue of Cosmopolitan magazine there was an article entitled ‘Beat the PMS Brain Haze’ which discussed the very real but often obscure symptom of PMS which can be identified by indecision, forgetfulness and unusual stress. Sara Gottfried, MD and the author of ‘The Hormone Cure’ explains how during our menstrual cycle our hormones fluctuate and in the days leading up to our period our bodies release the stress chemical cortisol and there is a decrease in GABA which is a calming chemical. Sara states on her website “I believe PMS is a legitimate health concern, no different than a sprained ankle (albeit a recurring one) or a broken leg and I believe the health issues unique to women have been shamed and minimized and mocked and stereotyped for too long. There’s no reason for women to be ashamed about menstruating or menopause or to be embarrassed about being women. I believe that needs to change. I believe in changing it. I believe in women. I believe in tending your flame. I believe that proactively managing and optimizing your health is your divine responsibility and path to personal power. I believe there’s probably a reason you’ve lost your mojo and that reason is probably hormonal. And I believe you can – and should – do something about it. I believe in you.” I believe in Sara and her quest for a better understanding of ourselves and our lives.
The Cosmo article goes on to offer various ways to combat this problem including :
- Reduce your schedule the week prior to your period to avoid getting overwhelmed.
- Drink coffee but no more than 3 cups a day.
- Watch a comedy or get together with a friend who makes you laugh as laughter brings a serotonin rush which helps you refocus.
- Eat oatmeal for it’s similar serotonin surge.
- Reduce your cortisol levels and increase endorphins (the feel good hormones) with a massage.
-Listen to music that you feel an emotional connection to which will also result in an endorphin flush.
At the end of the day (and menstrual cycle) I find it comforting to know that we can take control of our bodies and how we feel no matter what time of the month it is.