Rachael Jobling is a qualified Nutritionist and Personal Trainer, with a background in Psychology and Behavioural Science. She is also a busy mum to 4 girls, a wife, sister, daughter and small business owner - if anyone can tell you about struggling to prioritise yourself, it's Rach! We've asked her to uncover Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) for you, and to share the details of her new program 'Nourish'.
You may be right now experiencing the rollercoaster of hormones - every woman's not-so-favorite monthly guest. For some, it's more than just a mood swing or two; it's PMDD, and it can turn that rollercoaster into a wild ride. Don’t stress, recognising the signs is the first step to getting the right kind of support (even if you’ve been navigating dismissal for longer than you deserve).
Picture this: one moment you're the picture of calm, and the next, you're contemplating why the universe conspired against you. PMDD, or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, takes PMS to a whole new level. It's not just about cramps and chocolate cravings; it's a symphony of mood swings, anxiety, and fatigue that can hijack your sanity.
The PMDD Experience:
Every woman's PMDD journey is unique, like a personalised horror movie marathon. Some face the anxiety brigade, others the anger army, and some poor souls get a ticket to the depression express. The symptoms hit hard, usually in the two weeks leading up to Aunt Flo's visit, making life feel like a sitcom where you're the unwitting star.
Which Strategies Matter:
Strategies wear the superhero capes in this PMDD saga. Sure, chocolate and Netflix might provide momentary relief, but let's aim for something more sustainable, such as:
- Understanding Your Triggers: PMDD isn't a one-size-fits-all monster. Identifying your personal triggers - be it stress, lack of sleep, or that extra cup of coffee - can help you anticipate and navigate the storm more effectively.
- Hormone Balancing Acts: Sometimes, our hormones need a little nudge in the right direction. Whilst progesterone and oestrogen play a key role, it’s important not to overlook the impact of thyroid and cortisol hormones. Working with professionals like myself, you can explore hormonal treatments, assess a range of pathology results or put together a plan for diet changes (including supplements) that might help you in finding the equilibrium your body craves.
- Dietary Dances: Think of your diet as the choreography to your PMDD ballet. Nutrient-rich foods, especially those loaded with magnesium, vitamin b5 and omega-3 fatty acids, can be your allies in this dance, helping to ease the intensity of symptoms.
- Mindfulness: The zen master you didn't know you needed. Practices like meditation, yoga, breath work or even just a quiet walk can be the secret weapons in your PMDD arsenal, helping you ride the emotional waves with more grace. Allocating 3 x 30 mins per week of self care practices can also support your nervous system and reduce the unwelcome symptoms.
In the grand drama of hormones, PMDD might be a challenging co-star, but with the right strategies, you can turn it into a supporting role. Embrace the quirks, laugh at the absurdity, and know that you're not alone in this PMDD escapade. By understanding your unique symptoms and putting strategies in place, you can reclaim control, turning PMDD from a wild ride into a manageable journey.
Things you can action ASAP.
- Start with some cycle tracking to assess your symptoms & write them all down. I love both Flo and Clue apps or Garmin watch also have a great cycle tracker.
- Actively reduce your alcohol and cows dairy, in particular, red wine, cheese, avocado and tomatoes (foods containing histamine).
- Plan ahead by booking in or actively practicing more meditation, yoga, breath work & journaling.
- If you are still not experiencing positive changes, book in with a functional nutritionist (like myself) who can assist in assessing your individual circumstances, recommend/interpret pathology test results and then create an action plan for you to kick your PMDD to the curb.
Plus - if you are passionate about better understanding how to manage your metabolism, macronutrients and menstrual cycle (minus the restriction - there is always room for chocolate) and prevent more of these annoying changes throughout peri menopause and beyond, check out my online program “Nourish”.
Designed specifically for women navigating all stages of their life from post partum onwards, Nourish helps you to uncover the specific health aspects holding you back via 1:1 consults & support, loads of education and resources and a focus on all things hormones, fatloss & stress, all the while debunking the many nuances of nutrition advice - the good, the bad & the crappy diet advice you never needed nor asked for.
Here’s to balancing hormones, embracing sanity, and conquering PMDD one step at a time!