READER QUESTION: “You say Week 1 should be a happy time, but it’s not for me!”

My Hormonology

READER QUESTION: “You say Week 1 should be a happy time, but it’s not for me!”

My HormonologyHeidi, a Hormonology newsletter subscriber, asks: “Why do I get moody (angry, sad, etc.) three to four days into my period. Specifically at the very tail end? I’ve been noticing this for a year or so now.”

My answer: A few hours after you start menstruating in Week 1, estrogen and testosterone start to rise, which should be making you happier, sharper, more energetic and more even-keeled as your week goes on. However, if your mood actually gets worse day after day, chances are, it’s due to iron loss from bleeding, which is a common problem in menstruating women. Low iron can make you tired, irritable, crabby, blue and foggy-headed by depleting your mental and physical energy.

Luckily, the fix is easy: Simply take a daily iron supplement (optimally as part of a multi-vitamin with minerals) and/or increase your daily intake of iron-rich foods, which include dark, leafy greens, egg yolks, beef, iron-enriched cereals, clams, beans and artichokes. You’ll probably notice a big difference in your mood and energy next time your period comes around!

Have a question of your own? For instance, how Hormonology works, which is the best week of your cycle to do an activity or how your hormones impact you in a certain way? Ask me! Send your question to gabrielle [at] It could end up in the next Hormonology post!

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