I have been eating 80/20 paleo for about 6 months, very strict (almost 100%) for about the last 2 months. I have never been on hormonal birth control. I am 26 and of average weight; I eat moderate carbs but no sugar, fruit, dairy, or nuts.
One reason I decided to live a paleo lifestyle was that I hoped to get rid of my awful PMS symptoms. For the last 5 or 6 years, I would get severely depressed for a few days before my period, so much so that sometimes I would miss work or class and instead spend up to 8 straight hours crying in bed. It was awful! But I know it was PMS because it always came out of nowhere and then vanished as soon as I started bleeding. I would also get break-outs, swollen painful breasts, bloating, exhaustion, cravings, and other textbook PMS symptoms, all of which would vanish almost immediately as soon as I started bleeding. I used to just try to pass the hours until whatever hormonal surge kicked in to make me feel better. Oh, and my cramps were so painful that I would nearly fall down if I wasn't doped up on lots of ibuprofen for the first few days every cycle.
I can report that the cramps have improved very much. I still get the occasional twinge but I haven't used any pain meds for the last 4 months, which I'm happy about. I was happy during my last period because I didn't even seem to have any PMS --- my mood was fine, no digestive issues, and I only gained like a pound of water weight as opposed to 3 or 4. But then, after my period ended, I started having my normal PMS symptoms: depression, irritability, swollen breasts, skin inflammation. It's persisted for a few days and it's confusing and upsetting me. Has anyone else had this happen? Anyone know why this would be the case and what I could do in the future to prevent it? I thought I had foiled PMS for good!
asked byJula15 (35)
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on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM
Dude, I totally googled this just now and found your post. Weird that I didn't see it when you first posted it a few days ago, but I'm relieved to see I'm not the only one experiencing this.
I'm much like you, though: 27, healthy weight, and when I was pre-Paleo, I had periods from hell and even had taken days off from school/work due to it.
My period ended a couple days ago, and I've felt bloated, loggy, fat, irritable, and overall icky ever since. My weight is up two-ish pounds and my fingers are swollen, and I've wanted nothing but sweets and chocolate since. Blah.
The thing is, I had none of my typical mid-cycle cramping or pain, and my period arrived without fanfare or edema or any of the typical markers of the curse'd symptoms of my monthly cycle. Like, I felt /great/ in the days leading up to my menses, and had a very easy period.
But yeah, now? Moody city (Speaker for the Dead has made me weep helplessly THRICE and I'm only 119 pages into it this go-around) and Lindt 85% is ambrosial. Hiss, boo!
I hope others can possibly chime in with answers, but until then, I'm gonna resume my googling and I'll report back if I learn anything. Hopefully, you're feeling better by now?
on July 20, 2012
at 11:19 AM
Hello everyone. Many thanks KK for the link. I too have started having post-menstrual symptoms. I used to have horrendous pre-menstrual symptoms which improved by 95-100% after taking Evening Primrose oil for a couple of months. I'm not on a paleo diet but these last few months I've started eating much more vegetables than usual after seeing a video by Terry Warhl who cured her MS by eating 9 cups of veggies a day! Anyway, these last two months I've started having horrible post-menstrual symptoms, achy legs, headaches and tenderness, bloated belly, pains around the body etc. It starts immediately after my period stops and returns to normal after a week or so. After reading the link you've posted I'm wondering if I'm getting too much zinc and not enough copper from all the extra veggies I'm eating. Will certainly change things to see if there's improvement. Hope you all find a cure. :-)
on July 19, 2012
at 03:15 AM
I am a kind of relieved by your post:)Just to see that I am not the only one experiencing this.I too have switched from a Pre MS to post MS for the past couple of months(say around 4 months)I am 34 yrs old,mum of a 4 n half year old son,totally fit,with normal weight and diet. But for the past 4 months I have been feeling miserable..as you say very weepy,emotional,anxious,increased heart rate,slight heaviness and fatigue.(.enough to irritate you and take a leave from work)From mild headache to migraine,achy legs..etc etc..energyless!!I went to Gynecologist in June,only to know all was normal,my uterus perfectly fine and was suggested to see a Psychiatrist for stress and depression like symptoms.She said there is nothing called PMS after periods.I got very pissed off with her as I had already done enough research on google before visiting her and I knew women do suffer with such symptoms.I came back feeling disheartened and was made to feel that I am mad. I know this has to do something with hormones as its very periodic happens exactly 5-7 days after my period has ended. Today again I feel the same,haven't gone to office,my periods got over on 14th of this month.Today visited the General Physician(a male doc),but yet again told me my BP and heart rate are normal.Though I was feelin very anxious and felt like my heart thumping just a couple of hours before I visited the doc.i have also gone through thyroid test which also normal. I have read through very health sites and women do have such symptoms and they just tolerate it for years.I have just read this research,which is very informative,would like to share.Please follow the link.
What makes me feel annoyed is that these docs are just incompetent and they are only bothered if the symptoms are visible when they diagnose!! Thanks all for posting,I don't feel alone.
on October 25, 2012
at 05:27 PM
You know what, at one point I decided just to live with it because I taking hormones when your cycle fluctuates is really hard to know when you need them the most. I track all my symptoms every day and what consols me is when I go back to that time of the month and know that I'm not going crazy and that the anxiety will go away at some point. The thing that makes me sad is that special moments are a bit ruined when I feel like because I get over anxious and in my head. Glad to know I'm not alone. Let me know Kim if the hormonal contraceptive is working for you. I've started yoga again and started meditation...we'll see. Sonia
on September 24, 2012
at 03:14 AM
Have you been checked for endometriosis? I have been primal/paleo for over 2 years, and I am just coming to terms that my hormonal problems (which seem to get progressively worse) need to be supported beyond just the arena of diet. My mom suffered from horrible endometriosis, as her grandmother did, and I think it is very possible that I have the same thing which, very unfortunately, may be genetic. I'm looking into having an endoscopy for diagnoses so that I can assess where to go from here. My biggest fear is that it has affected my fertility, so I want to see if a) I even have it and b) how far it has progressed. If managing it with diet isn't enough, I may try the surgical route to remove any tissue currently there that is causing me problems, then follow up right away with an autoimmune protocol (GAPS, essentiall) to try and move into 100% prevention mode.
Something to think about. Also magnesium can be important for reducing cramps. Staying active, even when it's really hard and you can barely move (believe me, I know where you are coming from, I literally can't walk for a day every month!), doing gentle hatha yoga, and walking when possible, has been very helpful for me. "Deep Focus" is an amazing meditation that I've been doing (they have an ap called "No Anxiety" that I use too) that will literally get me up and out of bed on days that I can't stop crying or am in too much pain to walk. Acupuncture is something many people find useful, I've tried it a few time but haven't been totally happy with the practitioner, so it hasn't quite been my thing yet.Getting checked for hypothyroid might be useful too, some women say it really contributed to the "feeling blue" aspect of PMS. Staying sexually active (with yourself or other(s)) might help to bring all those wonderful loving hormones up for now!
on September 23, 2012
at 11:57 PM
This is me totally. I suffer extreme depression and anxiety from about day 4 till I ovulate then I feel great after ovulation. I saw a Gyno who said it sounded like my oestrogen was low so he started me on birth control to see if it levels out my hormones. It's only been 3 weeks so far so it's to soon to know but he definitely said that it's possible to have pms after your period.
on August 01, 2012
at 01:54 PM
Hi girls, I don't know what paleo diet is but it's the first time that I finally read about women feeling bad after their periods. I've been like this for years now and trying to explain that to a doctor is like speaking foreign. I'm 37 years old, mother of two children and work full-time, my hubby too. When I get to my 7th day of menstruation I start getting anxious (shaky, jittery), I have a hard time sitting still, I can't make a decision, I don't feel like doing anything in particular, I feel like my chest is tight and my heartbeat is fast, my appetite decreases, I guess I'm a bit depressed too. Then after a week or so of this I get to ovulation and then I feel great for a week and then starts PMS but not that intense. During PMS I get cravings for sweets, my appetite increases, I get really bad night cold sweats, hot flashes during the day and I will toss and turn a lot in my sleep. I was also told by a gynecologist that I have one good week a month and I believe it. I'm on an anti-depressant since my last child, I've tried hormonal therapy taking progesterone once a night and then adding estrogen but as soon as I add estrogen my system gets shaky and overly anxious. I think that until menopause there wont be a perfect cure because our bodies change every week but once we have no more cycles maybe that will be easier. :)