Saturday, May 18, 2019
For the first time in ages, I experienced what can be described as “normal” PMS.
Prior to my period, I spent three days feeling lethargic and a little sad. I craved salt and carbs. I just wanted to lounge around in fuzzy pajamas, eat potato chips, watch nature documentaries, and nap.
Not that PMS is a pleasant experience, but this is a cakewalk compared to what I’m used to. For years, I’ve struggled with premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It flew under the radar for a very long time, as my doctors and I mistook the symptoms for bipolar disorder. Once I was properly diagnosed, I tried medication after medication to manage the condition. Nothing helped. I knew that unless I figured out some other way to manage my premenstrual dysphoria, my remaining options were life-altering and would come with many risks and side effects.
I began doing some research and changing lifestyle factors accordingly. No more alcohol or marijuana. Less sugar and caffeine. A healthful diet and increased protein intake. More exercise. A better sleep schedule. More time spent outdoors. Taking vitamins. Things began to improve a little, but I still struggled every month.
I finally found another piece of the puzzle. Blood work revealed that my albumin levels were very low. As much as I wanted to keep living a vegan lifestyle (I had been vegan for 14 years!), I realized that it wasn’t worth sacrificing my well-being. I slowly reintroduced dairy, eggs, and seafood into my diet.
At long last, I seem to have found some relief. Dietary and lifestyle changes seem to have set things straight with my premenstrual dysphoria, and for that I am very grateful.