Why Do People Feel Insatiably Hungry During Their Period
Do you get cravings before or during your period? Turns out there are several reasons why!
Everyone that gets or ever has gotten a period knows that the symptoms can be rough. Some months are fine, but then some months seem to be worse than ever.
One symptom I get nearly every month is unrelenting food cravings. For a short period of time each month, all I want to do is stuff my face with whatever food I can get my hands on. I never seem to get full, craving more and eating my way through leftovers containers, boxes of cereal, and whatever food crosses my path. It doesnt even matter if its a food I dont like. When Im on my period, Ill eat it anyway and still want more.
I never thought much of my PMS food cravings until I lived in my first apartment and started buying my own groceries. That sheer amount of food I consumed during my period was alarming.
It turns out that there might actually be more than one reason. While estrogen levels are highest during ovulation, progesterone peaks right before your period. The problem is that, according to S. Zev Williams, MD, PhD, the chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Columbia University Medical Center, progesterone has been linked to an increased appetite while the opposite is true of estrogen. Progesterone increasing the appetite combined with a few other reasons, can make someone feel ravenous, especially right before their period starts.
Cover image .
And What Certainly Isn’t Normal
The pre-period fatigue we just mentioned, should be just that, pre-period. Struggling with energy levels 2 or 3 weeks out of 4 in the month is a sign that your body, hormones and energy production may need some attention.
Other signs of fatigue that youll want to watch out for are:
- Getting a good 8 hours of sleep each night yet struggling to make it through the day.
- Relying on pick-me-ups like coffee, sugary foods or energy drinks for a buzz.
- Your 3pm slump has turned into more of an all day erryday slump.
- Waking up regularly feeling like youve had a night on the tequila, when you were really you were in bed by 9pm, sans liquor.
- Finding it difficult to wake up in the morning, but struggling to fall asleep at night.
- Feeling as though you dont have the energy for even gentle exercise. Heck, just walking upstairs feels like a workout!
The reality is that feeling tired all the time has become so common for many of us that we accept this foggy state as normal. Sure, it may be common. But that doesnt make it normal.
What You Can Do About It
Whether you experience odd days or ongoing weeks of low energy, its important to have natural ways to support your energy supplies, mood, concentration and general ability to do life.
Here are some of our favourite natural energy supports:
As mentioned above, B vits are essential for great energy. They work as catalysts in the body, converting the food you eat into energy.
Hormonally speaking, vitamin B2 also plays a role in hormone production by the adrenal glands , while studies show that vitamin B6 supports mood, brain health, PMS and more.
If you suspect that your fatigue is hormonal, we invite you to take a look at balancing your sex hormone levels. Vitex is the OG hormone-balancing herb, and has been used for centuries to balance and regulate the menstrual cycle by optimising ovulation. Happy ovulation = a happy period with less fatigue. Needless to say, we added a LOT of Vitex to Period Pal
Our favourite thing about this herb is its ability to provide an immediate energy boost. 200mgs of a good quality Panax ginseng will feel much like your morning flat white, sans the jitters and adrenaline rush.
This well renowned, antioxidant-rich herb has also been used for centuries as a support for mental clarity, immunity and both physical and mental fatigue.
This reduces occurrences of fatigue, exhaustion, brain fog, burnout and anxiety and also supports exercise performance, mental clarity, mood and vitality.
Also Check: 90 Day Employee Probationary Period Template
How Can Your Period Cause A Lack Of Energy
There are a number of ways in which your menstrual cycle could be contributing to a lack of energy.
- Hormones Hormones are often the root cause of many symptoms of menstrual periods. This makes sense as these hormones fluctuate in a similar way each month and if there is some imbalance then you could suffer recurring symptoms each time you menstruate. In terms of sex hormones, the two main ones are oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen is often referred to as the stimulating sex hormone, whereas progesterone is the calming one. Basically progesterone is there to balance oestrogen and the two should coordinate quite nicely. Sometimes we need one to be dominant, for example for ovulation, but they should be in sync with each other most of the time if one dominates when it shouldnt or levels are too high or too low, it can be quite problematic. In the few days before your period, oestrogen is at an all time low. Your stimulating hormone oestrogen being down can leave you feeling zapped of all energy. This is can be made worse if progesterone is particularly high relative to the levels of oestrogen. This is common in the menopause but can occur in many women, especially if you are prone to very light, irregular periods
Webb, P. 24-hour energy expenditure and the menstrual cycle. Am J Clin Nutr. 44: 614-619
There’s A Reason You’re Extra Tired During Your Period
You’re not just imagining it you really are exhausted AF.
When you’re dealing with bleeding, bloating, cramps, acne, and all the other fun side effects of your period, you want to feel top-notch so you can power through it. But unfortunately, your flow can seem to drain your energy, and it sucks. It turns out there’s an actual medical reason that explains why you get so tired on your period.
Detroit-based pediatrician Dr. Molly O’Shea broke down the science for U by Kotex.
In the 10 days or so before your period, your body is geared up in the hopes that the egg you sent down the old fallopian tube met some sperm there and landed in a plush uterus ready to grow a baby. When your uterine lining isn’t invaded by a fertilized egg, the hormones sustaining the environment aren’t needed anymore and the hormone levels plummet. When this happens, your body goes from high alert to nothing hormonally and that shift causes other changes too and all of those changes are exhausting. Until your hormone levels increase again, you are really tired.
Your hormones start to climb about a week after your period begins, and they hit their peak when you ovulate . As your hormones surge, so does your energy.
More From Seventeen
On days you’re feeling more zombie than human, you can recharge by staying hydrated, exercising, eating regular healthy meals, and getting a minimum of eight hours of sleep. And if that’s still not cutting it, just know that your energy is coming back in a few days.
You May Like: 90 Day Employment Probationary Period Template
Firstly Why Do We Need Sleep
Our bodies require a long period of sleep for optimal health and wellbeing. During sleep, our bodies consolidate memories and experiences, restore and rejuvenate, repair tissues, grow muscle, and synthesize hormones. When we do not get enough consecutive hours of sleep, our bodies are not able to complete all of these necessary tasks in order to perform at our best.
Interestingly, our bodies regulate sleep similarly to the way we regulate breathing, eating, and drinking. Therefore, while scientists are still exploring theories for why we sleep, there is consensus that sleep serves a critical role in our health and well-being. Unfortunately, when we are in perimenopause, there are a number of symptoms that prevent women from getting enough sleep. Consequently, fatigue during perimenopause further aggravates an already stressed body.
Remedies For Premenstrual Fatigue
Now that you know some of the causes, letâs look at some premenstrual fatigue remedies:
There is good scientific evidence that properly prescribed herbal medicine â not the over-the-counter variety, and can be very beneficial for many PMS symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information aims to answer some of your questions or concerns. If you are worried about your health, talk to your family doctor or your gynecologist for professional medical advice.
You May Like: Can You Donate Blood While Menstruating
The Causes Of Women’s Fatigue
Why are you so tired? We ask leading health experts what makes women so exhausted.
Worn out and weary, women across the country named fatigue among their top five health concerns of 2010 in WebMD’s annual Year in Health survey . Here are seven of the biggest reasons you may be dragging, and ways to put the spring back into your step.
An Introduction To Periods And Low Energy
Do you feel drained whilst you are on your period? Many women feel the same but its important to look after yourself as best you can understanding whats really going on is important. Lack of energy is one of the most common complaints for many of us, whether we are on our period, male or female or whatever, so it can be quite confusing and hard to work out the root of the problem! There are a whole host of factors that could potentially be to blame and its important to take the time to slow down and look at the bigger picture in order to try and figure it out.
On this page I look at period-specific issues that could be making you long for your bed and then I go on to discuss what dietary and lifestyles changes help as well as some useful herbal remedies.
Don’t Miss: New Hire 90 Day-probationary Period Template
You Can Get Pregnant During Your Period
Itâs time to squash that age-old myth: Your period doesnât protect you from pregnancy. There are a couple of reasons why. First, some women may bleed when their ovaries release an egg each month, called ovulation, and mistake it for their period. Youâre at your peak fertility when you ovulate. So if you have sex during this time, it could actually make you more likely to get pregnant.
Second, you may ovulate before your period is over or within a few days after the bleeding stops. Since sperm can hang out in your body for up to 3 days, having sex during your period could lead to conception.
Use a condom or other form of birth control to prevent an unplanned pregnancy, no matter what time of the month it is.
Ways To Fight Fatigue Before Your Period
Cramps, nausea, headaches, bloating, breakouts, fatigueâ¦ Your period really does a number on your body. The last one tends to hit you the hardest about a week before you get your period. You find yourself yawning during important meetings. Or you feel too tired to go out to dinner with friends. Or it’s extra hard to get out of bed in the mornings. The fatigue certainly doesn’t help the other PMS symptoms you have to deal with, either.
But why do we get so damn tired? Your body thinks it’s prepping for a baby and ramps up the hormone process. Yes, even if you’re nowhere near ready for a baby, your body does the work every cycle.
“The progesterone hormone peaks around day 21 of your cycle,” says Heather Bartos, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn and founder of Be. Women’s Health and Wellness clinic. “It’s just like when you first become pregnant and that progesterone hormone is super highâwomen literally fall asleep in their foodâso it slows you down, and some women become just super, super tired. There’s a physiological reason to get you ready in case you’re going to be pregnant.”
Maskot/Getty Images Sergey Filimonov/Stocksy
While you can’t exactly stop your body from doing this, there are a few steps you can take to feel less tired or increase your energy levels. Here’s what to try.
Recommended Reading: Usaa Auto Loan Grace Period
What Is Menstrual Fatigue
Menstrual fatigue occurs as a result of hormonal changes during our body, reproductive hormones, particularly. This happens because a menstrual cycle lasts a whole month. At the beginning of a menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs, and estrogen, the main reproductive hormone in womens peak.
However, as the menstrual cycle is approaching the end and your period is near, estrogen levels will suddenly drop causing a plethora of fatigue symptoms in women. Some of them can include fatigue and drowsiness, while other symptoms could be responsible for headaches, cramps, and even flu-like feeling.
All these combined can make period extremely uncomfortable for women, which leads to overall fatigue. Of course, there are other causes of feeling tired during the period and well discuss them and their solutions below.
Engaging In Aerobic Exercise
2014 study investigated the effects of aerobic exercise on 30 young women with PMS symptoms. All of the participants received daily vitamin B6 and calcium supplements. Some also performed aerobic exercise three times a week for 3 months.
In comparison with the control group, the participants who exercised regularly showed a significant reduction in period fatigue. Alongside this were improvements in blood health, including increased hemoglobin levels.
Don’t Miss: Usaa Car Insurance Grace Period
Track Your Menstrual Cycle With A Free App To Make Sure You’re Tired *because* Of Your Period
“Women who have had periods for years and years donât recognize whatâs going on,” Dr. Dweck tells Bustle. She says half the battle is knowing when you’re due to menstruate, so you can properly prepare for the symptoms that affect your daily life the most. There are tons of apps at your fingertips that will help you keep track of your cycle. That way, you know what to expect.
Tiredness Before Your Period
While you might think that 7-days of menstrual fatigue sounds manageable, this tiredness can actually begin several days before your period does. For many women, PMS or PMDD causes fatigue and other negative symptoms in the days or weeks leading up to their period.
- PMS is common, affecting more than 90% of menstruating women. Symptoms include bloating, headaches, moodiness, and fatigue.
- PMDD is a less common and more severe form of PMS, impacting up to 5% of menstruating women.
When you feel tired before your period even begins, what chance do you stand against fatigue? This tiredness can carry through the end of your cycle. It may be especially unmanageable when you do not get the rest and recovery time you need before your period begins.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Period Blood Out Of Blanket