3

votes

PMS is much worse since starting paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 02, 2012 at 2:35 AM

I started my paleo journey about two months ago. Got off to a rocky start, but after playing around with my daily menu and getting some great feedback on here things have been going really well. Last month I had a complete cheat week during my period. This month I decided not to go that route. I'm not going to derail every month simply because I'm about to have my period. The not cheating part has been fine. Ate a lot more dried fruit today than usual (plowed through the emergency stash I keep in my desk at work), but considering what the dried fruit is replacing from last month, I'm totally fine with that.

My issue is the PMS. I've been on the pill for approximately 15 years and have never suffered ill effects from PMS. It's never disrupted my life. This month I feel like a train wreck. Had a great crossfit workout today yet cried the whole way home for no reason. Yesterday and today my students (I'm a teacher) asked me why I'm so upset and irritable. I'm actively dreading going to work tomorrow because I know my patience level will be at zero (I usually really enjoy my job and have a good rapport with my students). Also, I've been in and out of ketosis for the past five days or so. Clearly the dried fruit did a good job of knocking me out of ketosis, but the PMS has not gone away. Has anyone else experienced PMS getting worse while doing paleo and in ketosis?

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:15 PM

I just wanted to weigh in and say that I had another period, like my 5th once since paleo I think, and I had much fewer emotional problems than I normally do. So it might just take numerous cycles before you really see the full benefits.

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 07, 2012
at 11:29 PM

I only take fish oil. Maybe next month I'll cut that out a day or two before to see if it has an impact. At this point I don't want to abandon it completely. Thanks!

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 07, 2012
at 11:27 PM

Congrats on the 8.5 pounds! my biggest issue was the whole emotional thing and cramps (I never had cramps before, that was a surprise). What ended up helping was giving myself permission to eat my usual period foods (doritos and oreos). I stopped at a gas station one evening with every intention of buying both and ended up thinking, "Eh, don't really want it." I don't know if it was removing the mental stress of not cheating or that I was at the end anyway, but I felt much better after that. The day prior to the trip to the gas station I upped my carbs so that probably helped.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 07, 2012
at 03:06 PM

My first thought was about supplements, too. Paleo, even without ketosis, relieved my PMS and menstrual problems. I only have emotional issues when I start adding supplements. I take only vitamin D now and have no problems.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 07, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Are you taking any supplements? I had some issues that resolved when I dropped fish oil. Also I increased salt consumption.

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on May 05, 2012
at 03:27 AM

That would make an interesting Sunday....

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on May 03, 2012
at 08:16 PM

Potassium might help with the bitchness. That's found in bananas and semen.

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 03, 2012
at 05:07 AM

I'm with you...need to get those carbs in during this time. Bananas with almond butter saved me today. Usually that's a special treat for after a particularly brutal crossfit workout, but today it held me together. And I had an awesome crossfit workout at the end of it all.

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 03, 2012
at 05:00 AM

I eat organic free range chicken. Beyond that the only meat I buy from the grocery store is deli meat (low sodium turkey and roast beef) and salmon. I save red meat and bacon as special eating out meals (about once a week) so it's not generally grass-fed. Today I ate more carbs (2 bananas and a sweet potato ) and fats (extra tablespoon of coconut oil in the coffee, made eggs with extra coconut oil and had almond butter with one of the bananas). Adding those things at strategic points in the day really helped. As everything else with paleo, it's trial and error. Good luck!

44349dd8bf3bc226731d2f6bd42e8124

(318)

on May 02, 2012
at 05:22 PM

I concur with Wowza. No PMS whatsoever and I feel great. But then again I haven't had any cheats and I'm not on birth control so those could be factors.

Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

(1471)

on May 02, 2012
at 04:55 PM

oh and as an update, when is started paleo jan 2010, i was already not drinking soda, artificial sweetners, have had alcohol in 8 years out of respect for a family member, but high carb. so it may take someone longer that has to quit all those things.

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:56 AM

Thanks for your answer! I read all these positive things about paleo improving PMS. In my emotional state I had a moment of "Why is it just me." The dried fruit helped to satiate a craving, but did nothing to change the fact that I wanted to crawl under my desk and cry (happy to report that I did not actually do that). In the past couple weeks I figured out what protein/fat/carb ratio works for me. Will have to make a note to get out of ketosis a day or two prior to the PMS setting in. Hopefully that will make a difference. Thanks!

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:45 AM

I forgot to say -- I have noticed in the last two months that the PMS blues seemed to happen more at the end of my period than at the beginning... something to consider.

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on May 02, 2012
at 02:49 AM

Actually, ketosis fixed my PMS, along with some adaptagens and stuff. Sorry you're struggling.

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8 Answers

6
E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:44 AM

I feel my PMS has changed. My cramps have gotten much better - they are totally tolerable now, whereas before I would almost fall down from pain if I wasn't doped up on painkillers. Also my legs used to hurt a lot pre-period, and that pain is completely gone. I only get a little breast tenderness now instead of a lot.

But as far as the emotional side goes -- paleo has not made it better yet, no. And I've actually noticed that I get more teary and upset if I have spent a lot of time in ketosis lately. The cortisol might not be instantly canceled out the moment you eat some dried fruit. What I'm noticing more and more is that people respond very differently to different carb levels. If you aren't feeling good, experiment with eating higher carb. There is no law that says you have to eat low carb to be paleo. N=1 for everyone here, and you have to find your own sweet spot. What works for me (high carb) or for Wowza (ketosis) might be different than what works for you. The most important thing is to listen to the messages your body is sending you -- if you are tired, sleep. If you're craving starchy food, eat bananas or sweet potatoes. Give it a few months and hopefully you should be feeling a lot better. The first few months may also be extra rough because your hormones are shifting around in response to the cleaner diet. Good luck!

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:56 AM

Thanks for your answer! I read all these positive things about paleo improving PMS. In my emotional state I had a moment of "Why is it just me." The dried fruit helped to satiate a craving, but did nothing to change the fact that I wanted to crawl under my desk and cry (happy to report that I did not actually do that). In the past couple weeks I figured out what protein/fat/carb ratio works for me. Will have to make a note to get out of ketosis a day or two prior to the PMS setting in. Hopefully that will make a difference. Thanks!

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:45 AM

I forgot to say -- I have noticed in the last two months that the PMS blues seemed to happen more at the end of my period than at the beginning... something to consider.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:15 PM

I just wanted to weigh in and say that I had another period, like my 5th once since paleo I think, and I had much fewer emotional problems than I normally do. So it might just take numerous cycles before you really see the full benefits.

2
5d4b57e05d74826020d1eb083ef725e0

on May 02, 2012
at 07:01 PM

My PMS was brutal when I attempted low carb "primal." It seemed like the week before and after my period I COULD NOT get full - no matter what I ate. Then I assumed I just "wasn't doinitright" and went lower-carb. Hey, that might work great for some people - and those same people might have the best visits from Aunt Flo of their life low carb...but it didn't for me. I stopped counting carbs and pretty much resolved all my PMS issues. And I generally felt better. I still seem to want more protein the week after - but WAY better than before.

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 03, 2012
at 05:07 AM

I'm with you...need to get those carbs in during this time. Bananas with almond butter saved me today. Usually that's a special treat for after a particularly brutal crossfit workout, but today it held me together. And I had an awesome crossfit workout at the end of it all.

2
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:51 AM

Even though you've been on the pill for so long, it's possible it is wreaking havoc on your system. It would be worth having your hormones levels checked by your MD.

1
Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

on May 02, 2012
at 04:53 PM

it took 4 months into my paleo journey, I dont eat much in the way of grassfed foods as I just cant afford it now, (i know pay for it later, but i only have $115 weekly to feed 3 right now). after 4 months it was drastically better. Hope you give it some time to see if changes. maybe it will take longer for you.

Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

(1471)

on May 02, 2012
at 04:55 PM

oh and as an update, when is started paleo jan 2010, i was already not drinking soda, artificial sweetners, have had alcohol in 8 years out of respect for a family member, but high carb. so it may take someone longer that has to quit all those things.

0
E11bd314f531f611db0bdda946a59b41

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I also experienced that my pms got a lot worse on paleo. Both mood and cravings where going absolutely crazy the week before my period. That's one of the reasons that I stopped eating paleo. Now it's getting better again, thanks to the help of reflexology.

0
F0ce1aaf7054941080377f7a1a7ee594

on May 07, 2012
at 02:47 PM

YES. This is my first month into Paleo, I've lost 8.5 lbs and feel great, except right now I'm experiencing the worst pms I've ever experienced in my life, no joke. I googled it to see if others are dealing with the same thing. I am completely lethargic and fatigued, my cravings for massive amounts of carbs AND meat are insane, and my mood is absolutely horrible. If staying strictly Paleo is going to cause this insanity every month I'm going to have to plan in some allowances the week before and during and only do strictly Paleo for 2 weeks out the month or so. My normal bout of PMS is usually only bloating and slight lethargy, but I can still get out of bed in the morning. This is NOT my normal PMS. This is PMS on freakin steroids. Anyone figure out how to calm this devil? My guess about what causes it is the increase in saturated fats, which the body uses in hormone production. Perhaps the increase in hormone production is wreaking total havoc on those of us sensitive to this sort of thing.

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 07, 2012
at 11:27 PM

Congrats on the 8.5 pounds! my biggest issue was the whole emotional thing and cramps (I never had cramps before, that was a surprise). What ended up helping was giving myself permission to eat my usual period foods (doritos and oreos). I stopped at a gas station one evening with every intention of buying both and ended up thinking, "Eh, don't really want it." I don't know if it was removing the mental stress of not cheating or that I was at the end anyway, but I felt much better after that. The day prior to the trip to the gas station I upped my carbs so that probably helped.

0
D114aa6d264c43da88fbc1adaf52107f

on May 02, 2012
at 04:28 PM

I completely agree. My PMS has been significantly worse since starting Paleo. I'm wondering if my issues are to do with the fact that I can't only Buy organic grain fed meats as I have a family of 5 so it tends to only be Organic chicken and the rest I get if its on sale. Do you eat all organic meats? Also I think the major changes have my hormones out if sorts in general but I do find this very interesting and hope it changes. A lot!!!

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 03, 2012
at 05:00 AM

I eat organic free range chicken. Beyond that the only meat I buy from the grocery store is deli meat (low sodium turkey and roast beef) and salmon. I save red meat and bacon as special eating out meals (about once a week) so it's not generally grass-fed. Today I ate more carbs (2 bananas and a sweet potato ) and fats (extra tablespoon of coconut oil in the coffee, made eggs with extra coconut oil and had almond butter with one of the bananas). Adding those things at strategic points in the day really helped. As everything else with paleo, it's trial and error. Good luck!

0
8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on May 02, 2012
at 04:15 AM

I started taking some additional magnesium. That got rid of the crampy side of PMS. I'm still working on the bitchy side of PMS. The Magnesium makes it so I can't even feel my period coming on. I can only tell because I'm getting snippy with people.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on May 03, 2012
at 08:16 PM

Potassium might help with the bitchness. That's found in bananas and semen.

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on May 05, 2012
at 03:27 AM

That would make an interesting Sunday....

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