nauseaLast night as I was hanging my head in the toilet and tossing my cookies trying to figure out what contaminated food I ate that was prompting my unexpected outpour, I remembered it was the latter half of my Week 2.

And that reminded me of hormone research that’s pretty useful for you to know:

While high estrogen during your Week 2 can boost your mood, energy, motivation, confidence and other good feelings, it can come at a price:

At the end of your Week 2 during ovulation (in the middle of your monthly cycle), your immune system weakens, making you more vulnerable to infections, for instance, you’re more likely to catch a cold, develop an infection in a wound, catch a sexually transmitted disease, struggle with a yeast infection or, as I was vividly recalling with every heave, get a stomach bug.

Researchers theorize that high estrogen triggers this drop in immunity to help prevent the body from attacking sperm during ovulation, upping your chance of pregnancy.

Luckily, you can take simple precautions when you’re entering this phase of your cycle to improve your chances of staying healthy, for instance, by washing your hands more frequently to avoid catching whatever virus is going around, cleaning cuts and sores, using condoms, reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates and alcohol, which can increase your risk for a yeast infection, and making sure you eat food that’s been properly cooked and stored.

As for me, while I thought for sure I had a foodborne illness (and I was cursing my high hormones for, perhaps, making me less able to fend it off), turns out, my twin sister clued me in to the fact that we have a sensitivity to raw garlic–which I coincidentally happened to have eaten by the truckload yesterday–that causes severe stomach distress. So, lesson learned!

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[Photo: Evil Erin]