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Health What causes PMS cravings and what can you do about them?

01:57  13 february  2018
01:57  13 february  2018 Source:   9coach.com.au

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Prone to junk food cravings at a certain time each month? Here's what might be happening inside your body. While women are forced to take menstruation in their stride, Jean Hailes endocrinologist Dr Sonia Davison tells Coach that having a period is actually a big load on the body — so it's little wonder many

What causes these carb cravings , and is there anything you can do to rein them in? You call upon them every time you sprint across a field or lift a heavy weight. Carbohydrates also play an important role in synthesizing serotonin, a natural brain chemical that regulates mood.

  What causes PMS cravings and what can you do about them? © Shutterstock Prone to junk food cravings at a certain time each month? Here's what might be happening inside your body.

While women are forced to take menstruation in their stride, Jean Hailes endocrinologist Dr Sonia Davison tells Coach that having a period is actually a big load on the body — so it's little wonder many of us feel out of sorts and may experience cravings.

"We're literally shedding a whole lining of our body and there are big hormonal changes happening," she says.

"Whenever the body does anything like that, it is a big challenge for the body to gear up."

One study found that women with higher oestrogen levels also had higher levels of the hunger hormone leptin and stronger cravings for sweet foods.

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What causes cramps? Menstrual cramps can be really uncomfortable and painful, but they do happen for a PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome — the emotional and physical symptoms that some people Physical symptoms of PMS include: Craving certain foods or being more hungry than usual.

Common Causes of Cravings . Water – very often when we feel hungry, we are just thirsty. Being dehydrated can cause you to feel hunger. Seasonal – people often crave food that coincides with the current season. Temperature may play a role here: do you often find yourself craving warming foods

Yet other researchers have suggested that it's not so much the hormones that are driving the cravings — rather, it could be that women give themselves permission to indulge at that time of month.

"It could be a learned type thing," Dr Davison points out.

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What gives? Then you realize you 're due for your period next week. Damn those PMS cravings ! This combo causes cravings for sweets and carbs as well as fatty foods." Here's how to make sure So while Willow and Stephanie don't recommend cutting out caffeine entirely, they do recommend having

What you eat regularly will also be closer to what your body will tend to crave. When a patient tells me that they never crave vegetables but they often crave sugar and salt, this person often doesn’t want them because their body, to some degree, has You can’t really crave something that you eat rarely.

We know that our environment plays a big role in cravings, and another study found women reported chocolate cravings whenever they saw chocolate, regardless of the time of their cycle.

So if the 35 uni students involved in that study are representative of us all, it seems that we would be better off steering clear of the lolly aisle than worrying about whether our hormones are making us binge.

Naturopath Andrea Strand, who specialises in period pain, tells Coach that we probably have cravings to support mood shifts, as a result of shifting progesterone and oestrogen levels.

"Chocolate has caffeine, which has an effect on dopamine, which is our motivation and 'zest for life' brain chemical," she explains.

"So if you're premenstrual and feeling crappy, you want to feel a bit better so reach for chocolate."

If you are having strong cravings, Strand says it could be your body's way of telling you something. Here's how:

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If you're craving sugar

Almost 50 percent of American women say they crave chocolate in the lead-up to their period and in the first days after they get it.

Strand says that sugar cravings usually occur if you have an unbalanced blood sugar level or are deficient in chromium or magnesium.

"Those two nutrients are required by the cell to take up sugar," she explains.

"So if you're low in those nutrients, then sugar is not getting inside the cells as efficiently and you can start to get sugar cravings."

Good sources of chromium include nuts, seeds, buckwheat, broccoli and peas.

As for magnesium, Strand says it often depletes when we are stressed, which could be a result of feeling a bit out-of-sorts in the lead-up to and during your period.

"We go for quick sugary foods because we need a quick energy boost, which depletes our magnesium levels even more and it creates a whole cycle,” she says. “You would be better off having some raw cacao, which is rich in magnesium."

Bananas, soybeans and tuna are all sources of magnesium.

If you're craving salt

It's not specifically to do with your hormonal cycle, but if you are craving salt, Strand says it could be a symptom of adrenal fatigue.

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What causes salt cravings ? Last reviewed Mon 30 October 2017 Last reviewed Mon 30 Oct 2017. If a person has not eaten for several hours, they may have true hunger. Other signs of hunger include Women who experience PMS -related cravings may wish to try

And what do we break down and eat when those cravings hit? Chocolate is No. 1 on the hit parade, followed The reason: Simple sugars are metabolized more quickly than complex carbs, so they offer a quick serotonin fix. So how can a woman combat PMS cravings and keep from gaining weight?

"Cortisol is your awake hormone but in high amounts, it's your stress hormone," she explains.

"Cortisol is needed for our survival so when we've been stressed for a long period of time, it starts to rob another hormone called aldosterone, which is called our 'salt saver'. It causes us to excrete more salt than we should so we can start to crave salts more."

If you have salt cravings, Strand suggests having mineralised salts and seeing a naturopath for herbs and nutrients to support your adrenal glands.

If you get really drunk

Recent research suggests women are much more attuned to the pleasurable effects of alcohol when their oestrogen levels are higher, which is usually around mid-cycle.

So if you've found yourself getting tipsy, it could be worth marking it in your calendar and seeing if there is a pattern, and perhaps being designated driver when you're approaching ovulation.

"Women who manage to eat well and exercise pretty consistently throughout the cycle, do best," Dr Davison points out.

Feeling tired/stressed/angry? Here's your workout prescription .
Sync your exercise to your emotional state and discover the benefits.Take a dance class

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