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"For The Ladies"

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Honestly, I see a new post on the message boards pretty much every day with a title like "for the ladies" or "Women Only! Warning TMI!"

It always, always, ALWAYS has something to do with the monthly visit from Aunt Flo (or whatever other euphemism they've chosen), and the cravings they associate with it. They ALWAYS want to know how to deal with those if there's some sort of magical power THOSE cravings have that others don't.

Here's the answer to their question...that keeps getting asked...over and over and over again...

There is no magical cure. There is no magical snack that will make all of your cravings go away. What's more, the cravings you have during your period are exactly like the cravings you have the rest of the month. I know you think they're special, but they're not. Seriously, they're not.

Scientists went out in the world and found that women in the non-Western world don't have cravings like that. They just don't. They also found that women in the Western world, if unaware where they were in their cycle, did not report any extraordinary cravings or mood swings. That's right. No special moods swings. The non-Western world also lacked special moods swings.

Want to know why? (Of course you do or you wouldn't still be reading!)

Because the cravings and PMS we associate with Aunt Flow have no basis in biology. Zero. Zip. It's all cultural. We are told that we freak out and lose control during our cycle....So we freak out and lose control during our cycle. (The women who aren't taught that, don't do it. True story.)

I know you want to tell me I'm wrong. You're thinking of all those times you craved chocolate like a crazy person and would have murdered your boyfriend that one time when you were PMSing...if only he didn't run so darned fast, but I am only the messenger. You can do the research yourself if you like. Be sure to look at studies done in the last ten years...because some of that older stuff is pretty sexist and just plan wrong.

Now go eat some chocolate and stop whining about your cravings you crazy kid.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    TERMITEMOM, you can blame the deliciousness of chocolate for that.
    1873 days ago
    emoticon What can I blame for the chocolate cravings I have EVERY DAY???
    1873 days ago
  • DR1939
    I spent 25 years talking about this in gender issues classes. Even research that purported to show changes really did not. Even with all the excellent research indicates it is cultural, it still is in the latest DSM as a disorder. Ugh!
    1873 days ago
    I hate those threads. I purposefully say "your period" because we are all adults. Also, no need to say warning. Men don't want to read those treads and they will know which ones they are or will figure it out quickly enough.

    Also I agree. I don't remember getting cravings. I was more moody tho, but I put that down to being in so much pain (I used to be bedridden for days). I haven't had a period for years, and I don't look forward to getting them back when we want to have kids.
    1874 days ago
    I am glad I don't get a "special time"

    I was always miserable...

    1874 days ago
    First let me say, I always love your blogs!

    Secondly, I always wonder about those types of threads - does it really prevent men from opening the thread, if you title it "ladies only no men allowed!" ? And what would it matter if a man read the thread and even participated? I'm sure a great many men are accustomed to coping with "second hand hormones" and might possibly have opinions (though, I gotta admit, if i were a man, i would pull the "man card" to excuse me from having to participate in Aunt Flo threads, but hey, that might be just-me).

    I think the "cravings" people describe are really more of a patterned response to discomfort, to seek "comfort' which for a lot of people is found in 'comfort food.' We don't really want *chocolate* - we just want the backache and bloating to go the heck away already, and if it won't, we want to do something 'nice' for ourselves distract us and feel 'better.' Of course, curling up in a nice warm blanky or getting a back rub would also be comforting - and a lot less calorific... instead of "blaming Flo" it would be helpful to retrain ourselves to find comfort in things-other-than-chocolate....
    1874 days ago
    But, but, but... I'm a VICTIM of my period, and have no control over --- wait, oops, I'm in menopause... Hmmm, what can I blame now?

    Really well written, and spot-on. emoticon
    1874 days ago
    You could not have been more to the point!!!!
    All this complain about one's cycle is most of the time non-sense! And as a future to be gynecologist I think I know what I am talking about!!!

    I do not say that women do not have difficulties these, days, sure they do but mostly for practical reasons!! And yes the levels of some hormones do change, but so do they when you are very stressed, or sad!!! Also about all the girls who take the pill and still complain about mood swings or cravings when they are on their cycle.....hello....your hormonal level don't change..sooo no mood swing, no nerves, no cravings!!! (actually the levels do change slightly, but to little to be considered significant!!!)

    Again , I am not saying that these days of the month are no different from the others. sure they are!!! You are bleeding, you feel uncomfortable, you may have cramps, back pains, headache, or even worse a miggraine, and possibly you get easily tired or dizzy. All the above are enough to affect your mood and the quality of your life these days negatively! But the explanation is very practical and reasonable (loss of blood makes you dizzy, the sodium restrain that naturally happens these days before leads to higher blood pressure and possibly headaches, and other details that I do not need to analyse here) and not so crazy/uncontrollable/unpredictable!
    There are some symptoms, very specific, and their mechanism is known, but cravings is not one of them!

    I am sorry if I went to far with that comment, but this blog entry really hit a nerve in me!
    1874 days ago
    And right now...I am craving deep fried pickles with ranch dressing from our local burger stand. Honestly, I could eat a bucket full of them.
    1874 days ago
    I crave things ALL the time. I drive past a Carls Jr. and even though I've been a vegetarian for 20 years...I smell the Western bacon cheeseburgers and nearly jump out the car window, do a barrel roll, and run inside to eat three of them.

    During "Aunt Flo's" visit, I crave things...because I crave things all the time. Sometimes I get grouchy during that time too...but I can get grouchy any day of the month. Having PMS is a handy excuse that makes everyone giggle knowingly when we act badly, but there's no research that supports that it exists in a significant number of the population.

    1874 days ago
  • DS9KIE
    emoticon emoticon

    So do you crave anything (or think you do) at the time?
    1874 days ago
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