I couldn’t understand it since I knew I was still in the mellow half of my Week 3 when the combo of rising estrogen and progesterone chills you out. So, it couldn’t be my premenstrual Week 4 plunging estrogen triggering the irritation.
Then, it hit me: It was because of my stupid diet.
I’ve been juuuusst outside my normal BMI for awhile now and recently decided it’s time to get myself inside that normal BMI range. Even though I’m a health journalist and vegetarian, I admit I find it hard to resist the lure of fattening foods, like French macaron cookies (can anyone on Earth resist them though–they’re like eating sweet, colorful clouds!), snapea crisps (seriously, a little weird but SO addictive) and fried tofu. Mmmm, fried tofuuuu. So, I’ve cut back on these foods and calories in general.
But, last night’s completely unwarranted outbursts reminded me of a new Ohio State University study that shows folks who are hungry are more prone to fighting with their partner due to a drop in blood sugar that makes you “hangry”.
So, I took the hint and ate some edamame and cranberry salad–and within minutes became my calm, cool, serene Week 3 self once again.
Why do I bring all this up? Because during the second half of your monthly cycle–Week 3 and Week 4–progesterone makes you more sensitive to drops in blood sugar when your stomach is on Empty.
As a result, when you haven’t eaten in awhile, you may notice PMS-like symptoms: you’re snappish, more easily frustrated, weepy, tired or foggy. Just like I became last night.
However, unlike PMS, these symptoms can be easily reversed in minutes by simply eating.
So, the next time you feel PMS-like symptoms coming on in the second half of your cycle, ask yourself:
“Is this because of my hormones or my hunger?”
If you realize your stomach is grumbly, go fill it. You may be pleasantly surprised to find you quickly return to a happy, calm, relaxed state once again!