1

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Argg...my period is much worse on paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 22, 2012 at 11:08 PM

I've been paleo/whole30 compliant since the first week of May of this year. Can anyone tell me why my period has been longer, heavier flow, worse cramps, severe breakouts, worse bloating, worse headaches - basically every common menstrual side effect has been made exponentially worse since being paleo and I have now had my period twice since starting.

I have been eating HF/LC, a very wide variety of types of meats and veggies, staying hydrated...

Any idea of why my body is reacting this way? I have had no other negative side effects and feel better than I ever have in my life and lost over 20 lbs (even went out and bought 2 new pairs of smaller jeans today). Any suggestions on how to combat this?

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on November 24, 2012
at 07:12 AM

Might need to get more carbohydrates.

46c9fbd45b82453f6a2dfe614a853314

(1876)

on November 24, 2012
at 01:25 AM

I have lost about 20 lbs +/- (as I mentioned in my question)...I can honestly say that while I feel 99% better eating paleo, my period has still not improved and I have now been paleo 6 full months...

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 23, 2012
at 03:41 PM

Absolutely. I get mine through an acupuncturist. I suggested Googling for information, but should have said to seek out profesional advice specifically.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 23, 2012
at 03:17 PM

When going this route, it's also advisable to seek out a herbologist or Chinese medicine specialist in your area- I get a bit sketched by some of the internet recommendations because they don't always take interactions into account, so if you are new to treating with herbs at least a consultation would be a good introduction.

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10 Answers

5
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on June 22, 2012
at 11:25 PM

I will say that for me I got a ton of relief from cramps, etc., by taking zinc and magnesium supplements. I only take the zinc a few days before and through the duration of my period. Magnesium I take daily. I also cut back on caffeine during my cycle. (All this based on a few menstruation-related threads here, though I don't have the links for you.)

FWIW, I have had terrible cramping (to the point of passing out several times) and other menstrual symptoms since I started menstruating. My period still lasts a long time, but the symptoms are MUCH more manageable now. Paleo did nothing to help, but the supplementation did. I suspect I was magnesium-deficient before.

4
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 23, 2012
at 12:50 AM

Your hormones are balancing out & different women have different experiences initially when going Paleo/Primal.

Also body fat is a storage site for estrogen & by losing body fat, you may have temporarily become estrogen dominant, which matches the symptoms you describe.

As blueballoon stated, Magnesium & Zinc can help. 200-600 mg Mag Citrate or Glycinate daily. 50-100 gm Zinc Picolinate prior to menstruation (or 50 mg daily, if you suspect a long-term deficiency.)

Also, get your D3 level tested. D3 is a precursor for hormones and you sound like your system needs more of the building blocks of hormones so it can balance itself. 50-60 ng/ml is the blood level to aim for via sunning and/or supplements.

Personally, I would avoid Chinese herbs at this point since this is a recent change. I suspect things will sort themselves out in a few months, if you focus on replenishing nutrients.

3
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 23, 2012
at 12:49 AM

I eat VLC except the week of my period. Usually I keep carbs under 20 grams per day, but my cramps, mood, bloating were notably worse than before.

I stopped this by adding more carbs: from the 2 days before my period through the end I up that to a minimum of 100 grams. I get the additional carbs from fruit and vegetables.

I've done this for 2 cycles now and it has normalized my 'period symptoms', your mileage may vary, but it definitely has made a difference for me.

1
82385e7fd2e87e3a38573e73ab9e13e1

on November 23, 2012
at 03:29 AM

Thats interesting. I have been Paleo for nine months, since going paleo my actual periods are MUCH better I used to have to take a sick day at work because of extreme cramping, vomiting, I would get the cold sweats, you name it. Now I have less cramping and flow. But the week before my period starts I have been experiencing weight gain, acne, body aches, breast tenderness basically all the PMS symptoms that you can think of. This is whats weird, before I went paleo, I never noticed problems BEFORE my period started BUT my period was TERRIBLE and unbearable when it was going on. Now that I am paleo, I have more symptoms just less severity. I will take the latter any day. Its been interesting to me to see how my hormones have changed.

1
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on September 19, 2012
at 05:24 AM

Are you eating a lot of flax by any chance? I found out that I'm sensitive to the phytoestrogens in flax--8 weeks of very heavy bleeding stopped as soon as I stopped eating flax daily.

I still have flax but only occasionally now.

1
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 22, 2012
at 11:41 PM

I take Chinese herbs to control the super heavy, massive clotting, anemia causing periods I have had since puberty. I can now make it through my period without changing my sheets daily. It's still heavy, but about half of what it was before. There are quite a number of herbs available online and in health food stores. Google "heavy periods herbs" and you find all sorts of information.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 23, 2012
at 03:17 PM

When going this route, it's also advisable to seek out a herbologist or Chinese medicine specialist in your area- I get a bit sketched by some of the internet recommendations because they don't always take interactions into account, so if you are new to treating with herbs at least a consultation would be a good introduction.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 23, 2012
at 03:41 PM

Absolutely. I get mine through an acupuncturist. I suggested Googling for information, but should have said to seek out profesional advice specifically.

0
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on November 23, 2012
at 07:19 AM

Have you lost any weight? Sometimes when I have a big weightloss month my cycle gets a little wonky. I've read that estrogen and hormones are in your fat tissue so maybe it's being re-released back in your system. Also, sometimes when you're suddenly getting the fat soluables vitamins your body needs, it can take a couple months for your hormones to adjust. My cycle is much better eating clean, but it often does calm down for most people I've talked to. Good luck!

46c9fbd45b82453f6a2dfe614a853314

(1876)

on November 24, 2012
at 01:25 AM

I have lost about 20 lbs +/- (as I mentioned in my question)...I can honestly say that while I feel 99% better eating paleo, my period has still not improved and I have now been paleo 6 full months...

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on November 24, 2012
at 07:12 AM

Might need to get more carbohydrates.

0
27ffd647e66423c27de848f2bedc3645

on September 19, 2012
at 04:19 AM

I have been doing paleo for 2 weeks now. I have had my period 2 different times in 2 wks. I have been on the mirena IUD for 3 yrs which had made my period virtually non existent so now having heavy periods back to back is a bit of a shock. If estrogen is stored in the fat this makes sense since I am overweight and have already lost 10lbs. Just hoping things settle out quickly.

0
C8dd4c2254f4bbf597377e1e0c0b67ac

(55)

on June 23, 2012
at 01:22 PM

I am so glad I read this! I just went to my primary and she put me on BCP because my PMS was horrid. It was the worst depression/anxiety/mood swing of my life. It makes sense that it's from the flux of hormones related to weight loss, I'm down 28 lbs in just 3 months.

I had started a B6 supplement and Vitex to regulate and I read that was supposed to help with PMS but it hasn't yet.

0
Ec1dc4f8143b6bdaa0ff64fafa55d424

(246)

on June 23, 2012
at 05:17 AM

being past all that myself, you have my sympathy; at a guess I would think it is part of the de-toxification; it is just that the uterus/ovaries runs on a much longer cycle than many other systems. 2nd on the micro-nutrient supplementation; and don;t forget your iron as well as Mg, K and such. Hope that helps! stay strong.

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