PMS Symptoms WAY worse on Whole30

Reagan Burress

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Hello everyone!

I am currently on day 12 of my first whole30, and I am honestly loving it. I am feeling great, sleeping better, and I enjoy finding new foods and recipes to eat that are so much better for me.


I just started pmsing today, and it is far worse than it has been in over a year. I started taking birth control in May 2014, and my symptoms of pms have really almost disappeared since I started taking the pill. Prior to birth control, I had the worst pms symptoms out of everyone I knew. I had crippling cramps, constipation, weakness, and oftentimes passed out in the days leading up to my period. All of that practically disappeared once I started taking the pill, until now. Today I felt the cramps hit me hard and I've been feeling "off" all day, very similar to how I would in the past. I haven't come close to passing out, but the pain is definitely far stronger than it's been in a long time.

Has anyone else experienced this? I'd love to get some insight or hear from others who may have an idea as to what is going on. I'm hoping that maybe the whole30 is working to balance my always-out-of-control hormones, and that maybe the pain is actually a sign of good changes inside my body. Wishful thinking, but a little optimism is always good right?

Please help if you have any ideas or tips!

Thanks so much :)

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Hi There,


There is an entire thread dedicated to this subject - it is indeed pretty common for things like this to change for the first time through.  Basically your hormones are adjusting because the food is changing on your plate.  This will regulate as your hormones adjust.


For instance my PMS symptoms were also horrible pre-whole 30.  I think PMS symptoms took up about 10 days to 2 weeks of every month.  During my first whole 30 they were literally non existent.  The one after however (I had begun re-intros at this point) were kind of back to normal - not as long as previous. 


Some thoughts that have helped me:


You need to eat more prior to your period.  I literally become a walking stomach the week before my period.  So listen to your body and eat.  My meals will usually almost double in size.

Starchy veg is your friend.  Starchy veg has become a huge factor in getting my hormones regulated naturally.  Aim for 1 fist sized starchy veg a day.  Eat more if you need it. (ie: exercise, energy slagging, etc.)

Magnesium supplement - magnesium is something we should be getting from our foods, but many of us don't get enough.  Even when we are eating a healthy diet.  You know that chocolate craving that you get leading up to your period?  That's your bodies way of suggesting that you get magnesium (chocolate has magnesium in it)  As soon as that craving hits I increase my magnesium dosage.  The general recommend brand of magnesium is Natural Calm.  Make sure it is unflavoured.

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Thanks ladies. I've been doing the whole 30 for this entire month of July (and loving it!) and I started my period 3 days ago. My PMS symptoms weren't nearly as bad as they normally are, but once my period actually started it was horrible--never-ending headaches, stomach feeling off every morning, incredible exhaustion. I appreciate you, Reagan, for asking and @Carlaccini for answering! Thanks. 

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I didn't really have issues with PMS prior to the Whole30. Very occasional cramps during my period and recently a couple days of insomnia right beforehand. Otherwise, nada.


I'm on day 17 and just got through my first period. My insomnia was raging and ramped up well before my period (it has also continued afterwards, but not as bad). I was STARVING and grumpy. My period was heavier and longer than usual.


I hope this isn't the norm on the Whole30 because I really feel like something is out of whack.

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