Personally tried and tested by multiple clients, I feel strongly that we women can make a massive difference in symptoms associated with our cycle each month. Carry on reading to learn more!
Women are constantly told, “Oh, it’s just premenstrual syndrome or PMS.” However, the more I learned and discovered over the years, the more I found that statement super frustrating.
Suppose you don’t already know (I’m sure you do), PMS is a collection of symptoms many women experience in the days leading up to their period. While there is apparently no single cause for PMS, I believe that diet and lifestyle play a huge part. Studies also show that reducing your sugar intake can positively affect the severity and duration of these symptoms.
I used to suffer from what I would call debilitating period pains, to the point where I would sometimes faint from the pain. This is 100% not normal and obviously not ideal.
The Link between Sugar and Hormone Imbalance
As a Nutritional Health Coach, I feel it’s essential for women to understand the relationship between sugar consumption and hormone imbalance to appreciate why reducing sugar consumption may be beneficial for alleviating PMS symptoms. When you eat sugary foods (e.g., sweets, chocolate, biscuits, crisps, ice cream, bread, etc.), your body converts them into glucose which causes an increase in insulin production. This sudden spike in insulin disrupts your body’s hormones as it attempts to balance itself out and regulate glucose levels. This disruption can manifest as physical or emotional symptoms ranging from bloating and mood swings to headaches and fatigue—all common symptoms associated with PMS.
When we break it down like that, it’s not overly complicated and makes total sense!
In addition to balancing hormones, reducing sugar intake can also help reduce stress levels which can contribute to worsening PMS symptoms. For example, a diet high in processed sugary foods often leads to spikes in energy followed by dips—often referred to as an “energy crash”—which can lead to fatigue and irritability throughout the day. Eating fewer sugary snacks will prevent these energy crashes from occurring throughout the day, which can help keep stress levels low even during premenstrual periods when emotions are running high.
Reducing Bloating & Cramping
In addition to a hormone imbalance caused by high blood sugar levels, consuming too much sugar can lead to increased water retention, which can worsen bloating and cramping—two common issues associated with premenstrual syndrome. First, consuming fewer sugary foods will reduce water retention and provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals often lacking in processed sweet treats such as cakes, chocolate, or biscuits. Incorporating more fiber-rich fruits or vegetables into your diet will help alleviate bloating while providing your body with vital nutrients that promote overall health and wellness at any time of the month!
Overall, it’s clear that making small changes, such as reducing sugar intake, is an effective way of alleviating some premenstrual symptoms like bloating or cramping while promoting emotional balance and better mental health overall.
It may require some getting used to (and results won’t happen overnight), but making healthy, consistent choices now will mean better long-term health benefits later! So if you struggle with severe PMS-related issues, and would like to improve your eating habits and overall lifestyle, click the link below to join my waiting list for my 1-2-1 8-Week Health Coaching Programme.
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Health Coaching programs run for eight weeks, and before starting any programme I offer a complimentary initial consultation where you are asked to complete a health history questionnaire. This session aims to learn more about your health and wellness goals. Each program is entirely personalised to your requirements.
I look forward to working with you. xx