PMS is nothing new; women have experienced at least one week of PMS since the dawn of time. And yet, guys haven’t seemed to come up with a defense or, at the very least, a way to avoid the collateral damage. It seems most men are willing to endure every cycle and wonder, for one week each calendar month, why God even made women. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what is going on in her head and her body? What is actually happening with her hormones?
Listen up guys, you’re about to be given life-saving advice. It’s time for a “Hormones 101” course that will help you, and her, out. I’m not out to defend women because I am one; hormonal swings are real and can make women (and subsequently men) act crazy. This lesson in estrogen will positively affect your relationships with the special ladies in your life (mother, sister, daughter, significant other, etc.).
With years of experience studying and working with women’s hormones, I’ve identified the one true hormonal “shift” that causes an imbalance in female sex hormones directly connected to a woman’s irritability, mood swings, depression, headaches, menstrual cramps, bloating, fluid retention, weight gain, and the like. Here’s why this “shift” happens. Compared to other developed countries like those in South America and Europe, American women tend to be under heavier, more frequent mental and emotional stress.
This chronic stress causes her body to need higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It’s normal and natural and meant to happen, as real danger and resulting stress evokes a “fight or flight response.” But, because overly stressed American women never stop working or thinking or nagging you, their bodies keep over-producing cortisol as if they’re in real danger (think bear running after you in the woods).
After a while, her body cannot keep up with the demand to make enough cortisol. So, as a backup plan, her body uses the molecularly similar sex hormone progesterone. Progesterone is a soothing hormone that makes her feel calm, happy, relaxed, and allows her to sleep well. (Now that sounds more like the woman you remember!) But this draining of progesterone upsets the delicate, and I mean very delicate, balance of her two main sex hormones, progesterone and estrogen.
What Stress Does
Because of this “shift,” she now has more estrogen in relation to progesterone, a simple condition called “estrogen dominance” that peaks about one week before a woman’s monthly period and causes all of the terrible PMS and menopausal symptoms women suffer with, as well as weight gain and even an elevated risk of female-related cancers. And, as a woman gets older and closer to menopause, she oftentimes becomes more “estrogen dominant” and can have up to three bad “PMS Weeks” and only one good week. The horror.
This is not good, for you or for her. Estrogen is an excitatory hormone that continually stimulates all the cells in her body. But, don’t get too excited about this “stimulation” because her libido will be down as well at this point. Unless you come up with some sort of agreement for you to leave town for seven days, the best thing to do is keep her comfortable and don’t do anything to irritate her during this time of the month. (Easier said than done, right?) Honestly, this idea of you walking on egg shells or leaving town for a week may have some effect, but it’s a lot of pressure on you.
Every day in my holistic health center I see women with terrible “shift” symptoms. They’re repeatedly told they can’t be helped medically, except for strong medication or risky supplemental hormones; this is simply not true. Women are their happy selves the first two to three weeks of their cycle month because their hormones are more balanced, but become increasingly imbalanced as each day passes getting closer to her monthly period.
How Men Can Help
Now I pose a life-altering question: what if there was an easier way to “fix” her hormonal imbalance? Luckily, there is. Here’s the top 6 ways to help her lose weight, improve her mood, and want to have sex more. And along with being effective, they’re easy, natural and safe. Here they are:
- Make sure you are aware of her cycle date so the week before you can be on your best behavior.
- Spontaneously plan a foot massage, do the dishes, or take her out to eat during her PMS week.
- Buy her a relaxation CD (brainsync.com). She should do this every day for 20 minutes right after work or after dinner to lower her stress hormones.
- Ask for a list of things she would like done around the house; be more efficient with her time.
- Cut carbs, too. Keep these foods out of the house. This is vital to keeping her mood being stable, especially in her PMS week when she is more tempted to over-eat them!
- These simple changes will relax her and naturally raise her libido. Plan a special massage night; warm the oil mixed with a few drops of aromatherapy… Note: her libido is highest mid-cycle.
These are principles that could literally change her (and your) life right now and help her avoid even more intense symptoms in the future. So give them a shot and good luck being her knight in shining armor!
Dawn M. Cutillo is a holistic health practitioner, author of The Hormone “Shift” and Owner of The Rejuvenation Center.