These past 2 months have been difficult for me. My PMDD symptoms have been stronger than they have been the previous months. I'm thinking it is because of stress. I moved in Nov. took a new job in sales, which I have not done before, plus working on my relationships with my fiance.
When I came across this web site, I felt some hope that there might be something more for me to give a try to find relief in my symptoms. It's only been about 3 weeks since I've started to look more at the cycle diet and give it a try. It hasn't been much different than how I have been eating in the past... like trying to add more fruits and veggies to my meals, eat more fish, take omega 3 tablets, reducing refined sugar (using splenda instead), watching my carbs (that's because I am insulin resistant which can lead to diabetes if I don't control my carbs)... but one thing I did not know or think of was dairy and how that effects me.
Since Dec. 27th, I'm limiting my dairy intake. I used to drink a lot of milk, 2%. I love milk, but after reading that maybe the dairy and meat with estrogen in them may have an effect on me, I decided to cut way back. I have cheese now and again, but I am down to having dairy about 3 times a week. As opposed to 3 times + a day.
I have to say I am feeling better... a little... but the 2 things I think are helping a lot are exercise and calcium with vit. D tablet. I must have missed the article a few weeks ago about taking calcium and vit d to help alleviate symptoms of pmdd/pms. But the one thing that I do notice, which I attribute to the calcium & vit D is the tenderness in my breasts.
They have really been sore the last 2 months during my last 2 weeks of the cycle. After about 3 days taking the calcium & vit D tablet, they don't hurt nearly as much as they did before taking it. I know that exercise doesn't help this because I've been exercising a long time with no relief.
The one area that exercise does help is the edginess/irritation.
Some days I feel like my insides are running 100 miles an hour. It drives me nuts! The other day I was so sick of feeling this way, I decided to go for a run. I usually exercise, but the last 2 months I've been walking more than jogging. Well I jogged for 2.5 miles and felt better afterwards. I told myself I am going to jog or do a strenuous walk (up hill, I live in San Francisco.) everyday until I start my period. So far it's been 5 days. I can feel the difference of the effect strenuous exercise has on me. For me walking doesn't do much for relief. I need to jog or use an elliptical machine at the gym or stair climb something that gets my heart pumping fast.
So I thought I would share this information with the rest of you. I am curious if anyone else is have positive results with the calcium & vit D plus exercise.
Stress can bring on PMS and PMDD in normal women, so you are definately going to be affected by new job and a move.
Have you read through the PMS/PMDD research board on this forum? Take a look at the Calcium research of Dr. Susan Thys-Jacobs. The Cycle Diet is largely based on her research. We also know much more about vitamin D now than we did even 2 years ago. Please read through the vitamin D info also in the research board. Vitamin D has so many functions in the cell but is essential for the absorption of Calcium and Magnesium. It's the calcium and magnesium that play a role in water balance with sodium. There's more to it than this, but I'm glad you're seeing some symptom relief after just 3 weeks.
I'm wondering if you may have a mild milk allergy or sensitivity. It's not only the added estrogen, growth hormones and possible antibiotic residue, but many of the proteins in dairy cause digestive problems for women during the luteal phase. New research has pointed to lactose (the milk sugar) may actually cause irritation in the ovaries.
Also 2% milk is actually somewhat high in saturated fats (3g sat fat and 5g of total fat for 1 cup), which can also cause pain in breasts. So multiply that by 3 for daily saturated fat from just the milk you were drinking.
Are you drinking soy milk instead?
Taking the Omega 3 helps direct the body's inflammation response. So if you keep the saturated fats low and the essential fatty acids a little higher you'll notice your pain levels decrease. Stay with no more than 3 grams a day of Omega 3, otherwise over a long period of time blood coagulation may be a bit longer.
You also mention that you're insulin resistant, have you been tested for Polycystic Ovaries? Insulin resistance is a factor in PCOS. It wouldn't hurt for you to be tested by an endocrinologist. If anyone in your family has had problems with insulin or diabetes it wouldn't hurt to check into it. PCOS can be passed from generation to generation. PMDD has many underlying factors not necessarily obvious in blood test or a quick 10 minute check-up.
Thanks for checking in, I'll be very curious about your progress after a full cycle on the diet now that you're paying more attention.
Ok stress can be a big factor... ug... it seems like so many things are effected by stress.
Actually I did read the Calcium research on the board here. That is what prompted me to start taking the calcium + vit. D. I think it is great that there are Doctors that are looking more into vitamins instead of supporting drug companies. But I do know the likelihood of pharmaceutical companies getting on this wagon is zero.
After reading more about Milk here on your web site, I started looking more into milk web sites. I came across notmilk.com He lists so many problems a person can experience just from milk. How much I believe this, I don't know. But I can see how the estrogen, growth hormones and antibiotic residue can be credible concerns. Funny he doesn't mention anything about estrogen in milk on his web site. I remember searching specifically for it.
I don't know if I have an allergy but I think there is a sensitivity with dairy. For Christmas dinner, we had a lot of cheese because my Fiance's sister and her husband are vegitarians. So it was an italian dinner (cheese), cheese and crackers, more cheese on the onion soup. Ice cream for desert. The next morning my glands under my jaw were so swallon it was uncomfortable :shock: . I've noticed this happening before. Since I've restricted the amount of dairy I am eatting, I haven't had my glands swell like that. A connection? I'm thinking so.
What I am drinking instead of milk is Rice milk. I avoided soy since I have a hypothyroid issue. The vanilla flavor is good. Plus, I get the one that is fortified with vitamins a, d, & b.
That's good news to hear about the Omega 3... that the pain levels decrease. I do still experience breast tenderness, but it isn't as great as it was a week & 1/2 ago.
No I have not been tested for Polycystic Ovaries. The Doctor I was seeing earlier last year mentioned Polycystic Ovaries, but I forgot about it. She said we might want to test for it. I did send an email message to my NP today about getting tested for it. I'll see what comes up.
Thank you for all of the great information you are putting out here for the public.
Estrogen use in dairy herds by producers is a very common practice. It has a tendency to decrease the "dry period" in hefers. They also found that low dose estrogen in cows increases weight more rapidly in conjunction with growth hormones. If you google estrogen in milk you'll find some very reliable animal and dairy industry research articles on the practice. I'm very surprised notmilk.com didn't have more regarding estrogens in milk.
Here's what Harvard Public Health has to say about milk and calcium. This is just part of what they had, you can visit their link too which I've included for you at the bottom of this post,
[b:dfe496f593]Should you get calcium from milk?[/b:dfe496f593]
When most people in the United States think of calcium, they immediately think of milk. But should this be so? Milk is actually only one of many sources of calcium, and there are some important reasons why milk may not be the best source for everyone. These include:
Many people have some degree of lactose intolerance. For them, eating or drinking dairy products causes problems like cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. Certain groups are much more likely to have lactose intolerance. For example, 90 percent of Asians, 70 percent of blacks and Native Americans, and 50 percent of Hispanics are lactose-intolerant, compared to only about 15 percent of people of Northern European descent.
One alternative for those who are lactose intolerant but who still enjoy consuming dairy products is to take a pill containing enzymes that digest milk sugar along with the dairy product, or to consume milk that has the lactase enzyme added to it.
[b:dfe496f593]High saturated fat content[/b:dfe496f593]
Many dairy products are high in saturated fats, and a high saturated fat intake is a risk factor for heart disease. And while it's true that most dairy products are now available in fat-reduced or nonfat options, the saturated fat that's removed from dairy products is inevitably consumed by someone, often in the form of premium ice cream, butter, or baked goods.
Strangely, it's often the same people who purchase these higher-fat products who also purchase the low-fat dairy products, so it's not clear that they're making great strides in cutting back on their saturated fat consumption. For more information on dietary fats, click here.
[b:dfe496f593]Possible increased risk of ovarian cancer[/b:dfe496f593]
High levels of galactose, a sugar released by the digestion of lactose in milk, have been studied as possibly damaging to the ovaries and leading to ovarian cancer. Although such associations have not been reported in all studies, there may be potential harm in consuming high amounts of dairy products.(9, 10)
[b:dfe496f593]Possible increased risk of prostate cancer[/b:dfe496f593]
A diet high in calcium has been implicated as a potential risk factor for prostate cancer. In a Harvard study of male health professionals, men who drank two or more glasses of milk a day were almost twice as likely to develop advanced prostate cancer as those who didn't drink milk at all.(11) Moreover, the association appears to be with calcium itself, rather than with dairy products in general.
Clearly, although more research is needed, we cannot be confident that high milk intake is safe.
[b:dfe496f593]The bottom line-recommendations for calcium intake and bone health[/b:dfe496f593]
Adequate, lifelong dietary calcium intake is necessary to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Consuming adequate calcium and vitamin D and performing regular, weight-bearing exercise are also important to build maximum bone density and strength. After age 30, these factors help slow bone loss, although they cannot completely prevent bone loss due to aging.
Milk and dairy products are a convenient source of calcium for many people. They are also a good source of protein and are fortified with vitamins D and A. At this time, however, the optimal intake of calcium as well as the optimal sources of calcium, are not clear. As noted earlier, the National Academy of Sciences currently recommends that people ages 19-50 consume 1,000 mg of calcium per day, and that those age 50 or over get 1,200 mg per day. Reaching 1200 mg per day would usually require drinking two to three glasses of milk per day over and above an overall healthy diet.
However, these recommendations are based on very short-term studies, and are likely to be higher than what people really need. Currently, there's no good evidence that consuming more than one serving of milk per day in addition to a reasonable diet (which typically provides about 300 milligrams of calcium per day from nondairy sources) will reduce fracture risk. Because of unresolved concerns about the risk of ovarian and prostate cancer, it may be prudent to avoid higher intakes of dairy products.
At moderate levels, though, consumption of calcium and dairy products has benefits beyond bone health, including possibly lowering the risk of high blood pressure and colon cancer.(12-14) While the blood pressure benefits appear fairly small, the protection against colon cancer seems somewhat larger, and most of the latter benefit comes from having just one glass of milk per day. Getting more than this doesn't seem to lower risk any further.
For individuals who are unable to digest - or who dislike - dairy products and for those who simply prefer not to consume large amounts of such foods, other options are available. Calcium can also be found in dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale and collard greens, and in dried beans and legumes.
Calcium is also found in spinach and chard, but these vegetables contain oxalic acid, which combines with the calcium to form calcium oxalate, a chemical salt that makes the calcium less available to the body. A variety of calcium-fortified foods, such as orange juice, are now on the market.