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Do you feel bloated, tired or irritated right before or during your period?
PMS is one of the most noticeable examples of how hormonal changes impact your body and mind. But hormones affect your health, mood and behaviour in countless more ways – in women and men. These small but mighty chemical messengers, excreted by the glands in your body, influence many physiological processes, from your appetite and sexual desire to hormonal anxiety.
Your hormone levels naturally rise and fall throughout the day. Cortisol, for example, peaks in the early morning hours to wake you up, whereas melatonin gets secreted when darkness falls. But in the female body, the reproductive hormones also fluctuate over a monthly cycle of roughly 28 days, changing how you feel from week to week. That means that, unlike men, female bodies don’t function in a steady, predictable manner day in day out.
In Period Power, women’s health expert Maisie Hill advocates that we should acknowledge these monthly fluctuations, without feeling like we’re moody, unreliable creatures for doing so. Your energy levels, mental focus, mood, libido and food cravings vary throughout your menstrual cycle, due to hormonal shifts. And that’s not only normal, according to Period Power you could even take advantage of your hormonal powers.
If that’s the case, how can you get your menstrual cycle to work for you instead of against you?