I get super-emotional around my period. Usually to the tune of deeply depressed. This time was much better. This time I ate all the sugar and fat in the doughnuts. My tummy was very unhappy about it, (ok so I ate more doughnuts every evening than I've admitted to here) but my mood stayed incredibly even.
Eating that much sugar and fat isn't very good for my body, but getting super depressed isn't good for me either--and TBC is incredibly patient but loosing it at him isn't fair.
So! I remember reading this from John Gray (yes, *that* John Gray):
Research shows that oxytocin (the ”love/trust/friendship‘ hormone) lowers stress
levels for women and lowers cortisol, the stress hormone. When cortisol goes down, that helps a
woman to relax, burn fat for energy (she loses weight), and produces about at least twice as much energy as when she‘s stressed. Then the feelings of overwhelm start to go away and her life starts to come back into balance. Women get further out-of-balance by taking on more than they need to do, because to de-stress, women tend to want to bond and gain approval from others. Women want to talk, which will simply stimulate serotonin production, which lowers stress in women....Serotonin is what lowers stress in women. It calms the brain and produces oxytocin. Without a steady supply of blood sugar then she cannot make serotonin. Her brain becomes overwhelmed; his brain gets tired. When stress levels go up, people tend to eat more carbohydrates and sugar to fuel the brain. But then the body competes with the brain for that fuel, the brain ends up not getting enough, producing the craving for more sugar. When relaxed, muscles burn fat and the natural carbohydrates fuel the brain, eliminating this body/brain competition. When the blood sugar goes up from cravings of carbohydrates and sugars, it will always crash down unless we have a way of stabilizing it. What stabilizes and balances blood sugar is fiber...
So the cravings were likely an attempt to boost serotonin production to stave off whatever hormone imbalance makes me depressed (a reasonable assumption, backed up here). Armed with that theory, then I should try some way that doesn't involve food (though perhaps supplements) to get the oxytocin/serotonin flowing.
Exercise is one....I really need to get on that. Apparently protein works too, because tryptophan get converted to serotonin. Turkey, fish, chicken, cottage cheese, nuts, cheese, eggs, and beans are all good. (Ha! No wonder I had eggs with cheese for dinner....)
Oh, this is fun! More proof that my theories are right:
Women are considered to be more susceptible than men to the changes caused by serotonin. The frequent mood swings that women experience during periods and after menopause are considered to be caused by the change in hormone production that disturbs the level of this neurotransmitter.
That article also says that "Pineapple, banana, kiwifruit, plums, tomatoes and plantain contain anything between 3 to 30 mg/kg of serotonin." Mmmm, pineapple! I was craving that too....some is in my fridge but I never got around to eating it.
Maybe the body really *does* know what it needs!
So overall, try to keep blood sugar stable. Exercise a little. And cuddle lots....(too bad TBC doesn't read this....) And there are natural supplements, which sound intriguing, and regular vitamins B (all of them), calcium, and magnesium. You know, last year I was taking liquid minerals....I didn't think they were helping me much but last year I lost a good 20 pounds and somehow always found the time and energy to exercise. I think a trip to Whole Foods might be in order!
Lastly, there's the sun: Sunlight naturally stimulates the production of serotonin and signals the body to stop producing melatonin. Getting plenty of natural light will boost your mood and your energy.
Argh! A few weeks ago I was JONESING for sunlight. I was considering buying a folding chaise lounge chair so I could haul it up to the roof to sunbathe. Oki, *clearly* my body knows what is best for me and I need to shut up and listen!