My HormonologyWhich week are you on in your cycle?

Week 1
First day of period to Day 7
Today’s hormone-cast: You may take the time to notice the first signs of spring, a gorgeous sunset, a beautiful moonrise or other bits of beauty today as rising estrogen sparks a rise in feel-good brain chemicals that inspire you to take a greater interest in natural wonders.

Week 2
Day 8 to Day 13
Today’s hormone-cast: You may be tempted to blow your whole bank account on a big purchase today (like a new car, flat-screen TV or vacation) and convince yourself that you’ll cover the bills somehow. High estrogen makes you overly optimistic about how much money you have or will have in the future and testosterone is making you impulsive, which is a perfect recipe for a fat commission check for any savvy salesperson who gets within 10 feet of you.

Week 3
Day 14 (or ovulation) to Day 22
Today’s hormone-cast: You’ll be hungry more frequently today thanks to rising progesterone, which wants you to eat, eat, eat in case your egg got fertilized during ovulation and you now have another mouth (or umibilical cord) to feed. If you’re worried about your waistline, but want to avoid the hunger grumpies that come from ignoring stomach pangs, simply switch from three big meals to four or five smaller ones spaced throughout the day. You’ll quiet tummy growls without adding any more calories to your daily diet.

Week 4
Day 23 to the end of cycle
Today’s hormone-cast: The other night I had a dream about an Advil pill flying toward me in a Superman cape. I happened to be having a bad night’s sleep because of back pain and it was definitely a message that I should have popped an Advil before turning in. I bring this up because plunging estrogen is amplifying aches and pains this week, so you should take painkillers if you need them. I especially recommend ibuprofen (in Advil and Motrin) since it’s proven to reduce or altogether eliminate menstrual cramps when taken on the three days leading up to your period. If that weren’t enough, emerging research also suggests that people who pop ibuprofen to douse discomfort are also significantly less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease thanks to this painkiller’s inflammation-fighting effects.