Tag Archives: diet

Monthly Mayhem: How PMS Affects Your Blood Sugar

If you're taking to the streets like this, it's time for you to know that PMS affects your blood sugar ... Photo by CC user notionscapital on Flickr

Last month, you experienced some nasty side-effects from your period. This month, it’s time to change that, but how? PMS can negatively affect blood sugar levels and, while you may not be diabetic, there is a risk when you get pregnant. Here’s how to combat the effects and minimize your risk.

How PMS Affects Your Blood Sugar

PMS affects your blood sugar in ways that science cannot yet fully explain. Unfortunately, there aren’t many studies addressing this issue. But there is one study by Villanova University College of Nursing that showed decreased insulin sensitivity during menstruation.

This would explain why some women don’t do well on high-carb diets or diets with excessive amounts of sugar in them. The decreased insulin sensitivity means that insulin produced by your body (the pancreas) isn’t sufficient to lower blood sugar resulting from sugars in the diet.

This caused hyperglycemia in test subjects. In other words, you’re more likely to have high blood sugar during menstruation than during other times of the month.

Symptoms can include feeling highly charged and capricious during your period, going through rages, irritability, or spits of anger, you may also become bloated and cranky or develop headaches.

How To Test For Low Blood Sugar

Fortunately, this isn’t something you should have to battle with your entire life. You will probably have to make some modifications to your current diet or lifestyle, but it’s manageable. All you need are simple OneTouch Products like a glucometer. The glucometer is a device that measures your blood sugar.

You prick your finger and collect a blood sample. Then, you insert the sample into the device and it measures your blood sugar.

The results can tell you whether you’re susceptible to hyperglycemia during your period. If you are, there’s a very simple remedy for this.

Eating a Low-Carb Diet

Ultimately, the solution to all your menstruation problems is adopting a low-carb diet during your period. Macronutrient cycling isn’t exactly new, but it’s something most people (who aren’t in the bodybuilding world) aren’t familiar with.

Basically, you’ll be reducing your carbohydrate intake while adjusting the other two macronutrients in your diet (fats and proteins) upwards. So, if you reduce your carbohydrate intake to 50 grams per day, you would need to increase either fat, protein, or both.

It takes some getting used to, but you’ll notice your mood improve, your blood sugar will normalize, and you won’t have those feelings of being tired, anxious, cramps, bloating, or other nasty side effects.

You’ll also notice a dramatic improvement in your overall mood – which others will thank you for.

Finally, by lowering your carbohydrate intake, you may notice a reduction in temporary weight gain normally experienced during this time period. That’s because high fat and protein diets are “water-shedding” diets, which will keep you from becoming overly bloated. You may also start losing unwanted body fat.

Watching you sugar intake is definitely a challenge if you’re not used to it. A lot of foods contain sugar – ones you wouldn’t normally suspect. But, if feeling and looking better is important to you, then it’s going to be all of the trouble and then some.

Linda McNabb has worked in the healthcare field for some time now. A passionate writer, she likes to research and share health information in order to help others live better. Look for her illuminating posts on many of today’s top websites. 

How to stay healthy during college

If you are choosing your meals like this gal, then you know a few things about how to stay healthy during college!

If you are choosing your meals like this gal, then you know a few things about how to stay healthy during college!

Despite the fact that you are as young as you’ll ever be, your body isn’t invincible. Put it under enough stress and fail to take the proper precautions and beer bellies will sag, fatigue will drain your energy stores, and diseases/illnesses will compromise your health. College can (and should) be a fun time in your life, but don’t neglect the foundation that supports everything that sits upon it.

There are several areas to which you should pay special attention to when looking into how to stay healthy during college; ensure that the following five areas are taken care of, and your life in college will be every bit as vibrant as it should be.

1) Maintain a balanced diet

This point is repeated so often that many glaze over when they hear it. But would it be mentioned so often if it wasn’t a fundamental cornerstone of your overall health? In college, cafeterias serve up many fried foods on their buffet lines, allowing students to go back for as many helpings as they desire.

Limit the amount of fried, carb heavy food you eat, instead opting for meals composed of whole foods (weighted towards greens/lean protein) as much as possible. Don’t go back for seconds, and when you’re back at the dorm, limit ordering out for pizza to your cheat day (once per week), and avoid snacking outside of meals the rest of the time.

2) Get plenty of sleep

In college, quality sleep can be at a premium, but that doesn’t diminish its importance, as it is this rest time that allows your body to properly heal from the physical and mental stresses that it endures during the day. Try to seek out accomodation where getting undisturbed sleep can be had more often than not. If it is a night where extraneous noise is unavoidable, wear earplugs and an eyemask to ease you into your slumber.

Avoid using alcohol to induce sleep, as it messes up your sleep patterns to the point where you often wake up feeling just as tired as you were when you fell asleep. Another trick to get the rest you need is to wash your face before retiring, as a going over with face moisturizer may make you feel more at ease physically, thus easing your transition to dreamland.

3) Drink moderate amounts of alcohol

Remember back in #1 where we contraindicated consumption of simple carbs? Well, beer and many forms of alcohol are basically bottled bread, making them the fastest pathway to the dreaded Freshman 15 weight gain. This doesn’t mean you have to abstain from booze while your friends live it up, but it does mean you have to be conscious of the effects of what you’re consuming. As a consequence, limit your consumption to once per week, and don’t drink to get blackout drunk (just a few will do). Nights out are more fun when you remember them, anyway!

4) Engage in physical activity on a regular basis

While following a protein-dense diet will help keep the weight off, it won’t build a strong body capable of getting through the stressors of daily life in college with ease. In order to get a bod that will back you up no matter what any given day will throw at you, you’ll need to engage in regular physical activity.

Simple ways to do this include walking, hitting the gym, and registering for intramural sports. Not only will this reinforce your health, you’ll improve your looks and make new friends in the process … winning!

5) Practice safe sex … every time

Don’t delude yourself that you can ride raw “just this one time” and you’ll be fine. It’s during unprotected encounters like this where debilitating diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea and even HIV can be passed between partners. Always wrap it up when you get lucky, and if you forgot to bring one like an idiot, then no intercourse for you … period.