Are you suffering from “post-PMS”? What it is–and how to fix it

My Hormonology

Are you suffering from “post-PMS”? What it is–and how to fix it

I’ve recently received a few emails from Hormonology readers voicing the same complaint:

During the middle and end of their period in Week 1 of their monthly cycle, they feel like premenstrual symptoms return.

They say they have aches, fatigue, foggy-headedness, the blues and/or irritability–not the happier mood, increasing energy and decrease in pain that rising estrogen on these days of their cycle should be triggering.

If you’re bothered by similar PMS-like symptoms toward the end of your period–a kind of “post-PMS”–here’s what could be a key part of the problem: low iron.

Your iron levels naturally drop during menstruation as you bleed–and research shows that even a slight dip in this key mineral that sends energizing oxygen throughout the brain and body can cause side effects that mimic premenstrual symptoms–the aches, fatigue, irritability, mental fogginess, etc.

Luckily, fixing the problem is easy: Simply eat more foods that are good sources of iron (such as beans, dark, leafy greens, iron-enriched cereal, lean beef and tofu). Or take a daily iron supplement (14 mg. for women ages 14 to 18; 18 mg. for women ages 19 to 50). And, keep up your iron intake all cycle long–not just during your period.

By keeping your iron levels from dipping, you can lower your risk of experiencing this “post-PMS” phase and enjoy your Week 1 a lot more.

Note: Before upping your iron intake, check with your family and healthcare provider to ensure you don’t have an iron metabolizing disorder, such as hemochromatosis.

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