Why Menstrual cycles are the barometer of health- The 6th Vital Sign
Periods are now recognized as a barometer of woman’s overall health. Recognized as our 6th vital sign by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians, our cycles can be used as a useful predictor of health problems just like blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, and pain (the 5 original vital signs.)
It may even be one of the best ways to identify underlying imbalances not just in our female sex hormones, but throughout our entire body. Tracking the pattern of menses and identification of abnormal menstrual patterns provides early identification of potential health concerns. Learn how to sync your skincare routine to your period cycle here.
Recent studies in current scientific literature suggest that whatever may be causing women to have long or irregular menstrual cycles is also responsible for their heightened risk major illnesses. For instance, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common cause of irregular periods, and women with the condition are known to have an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and depression.
Tapping Into The Language Of Your Cycle Is Empowering & Interesting
So, tapping into the language of your cycle is not only empowering and interesting, but can tell you an enormous amount about your hormonal and overall health status. This may new news for a lot of women. Who knew menstrual periods could offer so much information about our wellness?
How to go about It?
Tune in, track it, and leverage your inner wisdom.
Tracking your cycle can help you learn whether and when you’re ovulating, determine whether symptoms like pelvic pain, low sex drive, acne, sleep, migraines, digestive, or other symptoms are cyclic and hormonally related, and can help you have more control over your reproductive and gynecologic health in general.
Become aware of the length of your menstrual cycle itself, duration of flow, whether you’re having signs of ovulation, and whether they’re experiencing more than normal signs of cyclic hormone shifts. When evaluating your menstrual flow it’s critical to keep track of the changes and challenges you are facing. For instance, note if you are experiencing painful periods and symptoms that include back pain and fatigue for example. Other examples may include whether your breasts were tender and for how long, food cravings, sleep patterns…anything symptomatic.
How To Track Your Menstrual Cycle
You can do this by keeping a chart, calendar, or using an app. There are various tracking methods, including menstrual cycle charting, and basal body temperature (BBT).
All of this can also help you to know when the best time is to conceive – or avoid pregnancy – depending on your goals right now, and help you recognize when you’re entering peri-menopause or menopause.
It’s a guide to where you are in your cycles and life cycles at any stage – and a perfect way to assess your hormone health and balance – because your cycle health is dependent on healthy hormone levels, and in turn determines your hormone levels (i.e, if you’re not ovulating, you can’t produce adequate progesterone).
Here is a chart to show you the phases of your period along with possible signs and symptoms: your menstruation, follicular, ovulation, and luteal phase.
What Signs To Look For?
Signs to pay attention to include irregularity, missed periods, painful or heavy periods, spotting between periods, and postpartum bleeding. As you learn to track and learn about each phase of your cycle, you’ll tune into hormone-driven fluctuations in your sleep, energy expenditure, sexual desire, food cravings and needs, and more.
Be sure to reach out if you want help in figuring out your own hormonal health! If you are having pesky symptoms, trouble with fertility, PCOS, estrogen dominance, or menopause, there are plenty of things you can do to bring back robust health and vitality. Read all about the Vitality DUTCH Hormone program (this is a 1-on-1 program) below.
Once you begin to leverage your inner wisdom, it enables you to make choices that give you the greatest sense of power, confidence, and ease. Trust your body’s messages…they have a lot to tell us! Give yourself more self love and care!
Interested in how to boost your happy hormones? Read more here
Stephanie Dalton is a Certified Functional Medicine & Nutrition practitioner… dedicated to helping women like you heal — from root causes. I focus on using food as medicine, targeted supplementation and herbs, and lifestyle changes to start the healing process so you can come home to your body and live your best life. As a practitioner, I love to help women figure out how to make small changes that make a BIG impact. My favorite quote is, “Small hinges swing big doors.” My specialty is healing issues related to adrenal and thyroid, period, perimenopause/menopause, autoimmune disease, and chronic digestive disorders, but I can also help you plan simple, healthy meals, make healthy habits stick, and discover an exercise/relaxation routine that’s just right for you and your unique lifestyle. Reach me here. Reach me here. https://www.chiaandchocolate.com/about