When you spend a lot of time studying a subject, it’s easy to think that everyone knows what you know about that subject. I find PMS fascinating because you can learn a lot about a person’s health simply by looking at their PMS symptoms. I had forgotten that most of those who experience PMS simply see it as an inconvenience or a dreaded time of the month.
In reality, PMS is so much more than a pain or an inconvenience. It’s actually a red flag for health. This is easy to forget because according to the latest estimates, as many as 85% of the menstruating population experiences PMS symptoms of some kind.
This figure is alarming, especially when you think of what PMS can indicate. But it should come as no surprise as the rates of infertility, cancer, and autoimmune diseases rise.
I’ve mentioned before how PMS is highly connected to adrenal fatigue and digestive issues. However, I feel that it’s important to talk about what happens if these two main roots of PMS aren’t addressed.
Adrenal fatigue to PMS to cancer?
Adrenal fatigue is what happens to your body when you’ve been stressed for too long. Your adrenal glands produce many hormones in your body, including your stress hormones and sexual hormones.
When you’re consistently stressed, your body spends a lot of resources on stress hormones, especially cortisol. After a while, your body has to start choosing between producing cortisol and other hormones, such as progesterone. When cortisol and progesterone have to compete, cortisol tends to come out on top.
But even then, adrenal glands eventually run out of resources to support cortisol production. When adrenal fatigue has fully set in, both progesterone and cortisol levels can be too low.
Low progesterone is often behind PMS symptoms like cramps and dark blood at the beginning and/or the end of your period.
So how does that tie in to cancer?
Our cells use our DNA as instructions for everyday protein synthesis. Sometimes, mistakes pop up in our DNA, and that’s completely normal. Usually, the body fixes these mistakes when we relax. But when we are in a constant state of stress, the body cannot fix these mistakes. Our cells end up reading instructions to produce cancerous cells, instead.
PMS itself is not the cause of cancer. PMS warns us that something is malfunctioning somewhere. Popping a painkiller when your cramps hit will not address the potential adrenal fatigue. And, if that adrenal fatigue is ignored, the long term stress could just be the beginning of a tumour.
PMS and autoimmune diseases
The organisms in our gut play a large role in our overall health. In a healthy individual, the friendly organisms should highly outnumber the unfriendly organisms. But when they don’t, the unhealthy guys can takeover and cause just about any health issue you can think of.
When the liver deactivates excess estrogen, it needs to pass through the bowels to leave the body. When there are a lot of unfriendly organisms in the gut, they intercept that estrogen and reactivate it to pass it through the body again.
This is an issue because estrogen needs to be balanced out by progesterone. When there is too much estrogen, or what is called an estrogen dominance, it’s as if progesterone levels were too low. And as you know, low progesterone can equate to PMS symptoms.
So where do autoimmune diseases come in?
The disproportion of good to bad organisms in the gut can have all kinds of repercussions. An excess in unfriendly organisms can make the existing pores in the gut lining larger than they should be. These large pores then begin to let large particles into the bloodstream. Because those particles don’t belong there, the immune system has to launch repeated attacks.
An immune system that keeps having to work overtime can become very tired. Usually, the immune system knows how to recognize the body’s cells as its own. But, as it becomes tired, it starts to make mistakes, and can attack the body’s cells. This is what is known as autoimmunity.
So once again, PMS is not the cause of the bigger issue, but shares a root cause with that issue. So, while PMS is a pain in the butt, it’s a fantastic indicator of what’s going on in the body!
PMS symptoms as a warning sign of infertility
Your body has a lot of mechanisms that are necessary for immediate survival. In fact, the only body system that isn’t absolutely necessary to keep you alive is your reproductive system. When your body can’t come up with enough resources to run all its processes, the reproductive system is usually the first to misbehave.
As mentioned above, PMS is often a symptom of other important imbalances in the body. These imbalances often result in hormonal levels that are less than optimal. Because the female reproductive cycle is very delicate, it doesn’t take much to turn conception into a challenge.
As I keep repeating (like a broken record!), low progesterone levels are responsible for many PMS symptoms. In order to conceive naturally, you need to ovulate. Ovulation happens when progesterone levels begin to rise. But if your body can’t produce sufficient progesterone, it may struggle to ovulate.
I hope I’m helping you understand why you absolutely should not ignore your PMS symptoms. PMS is not just a monthly inconvenience. It’s a nice and loud message from your body.