When you have your period, does your IBS get even worse? To solve this problem you need some tactics you’re not likely to learn in the doctor’s office, unless your doctor happens to be a clinical ecologist or a specialist in environmental medicine.
To save you the time and expense of searching for one of these rare doctors (to quote Stephen Clarke, it would be like trying to find your contact lens from a helicopter), this blog post will tell you what to do.
I’m going to give you a checklist of actions that will help relieve your menstrual problems and can also help with Irritable Bowel symptoms. The fact is, there are products and foods that create havoc for your digestive system, your reproductive system, and your immune system and once you reduce your exposure to these troublemakers, you will definitely feel better.
How do I know? Partly research and training, partly client work and partly personal experience…
Once, in my 20’s, I had to be taken to the hospital for such terrible abdominal pain, I thought I was going to die. The ER doctor was dismissive.
“There’s nothing wrong with you,” he sniffed, “You have cramps.”
He should have such cramps and find out the real meaning of suffering. Anyway, I definitely never wanted to go through that humiliating experience again, so I started looking for answers.
Here’s what I found out. Once I did what I’m about to tell you, I never had another menstrual cramp or any other kind of period pain. Really. It also helped with my digestive problems.
1. Reduce, throw out or contain your soft plastics.
Huh? What are soft plastics? Any scrunchable or bendable plastic, like plastic bags, plastic wrap, plastic yogurt containers, vinyl shower curtains, dry cleaning bags and clothing bags, anything that would melt fairly quickly if you held a match to it. If you can tap on it with your fingernail and it makes a clicking sound, like, for example, your phone or your laptop, it’s not soft plastic.
What do soft plastics have to do with your period? A lot, as it happens. Many plastics contain xeno-hormones, false hormones that fit into your natural hormone receptors so they don’t function properly. That means pain and trouble. PMS, cramps, fatigue, and potentially worse health problems.
How do the xeno-hormones get inside your body? When you have plastic bags, plastic wrap and plastic containers in your house, they release molecules into the air so you inhale them. Or, if you microwave food under plastic wrap, or store warm food in plastic, the molecules go into the food, so you eat them. Or if you take a nice warm shower behind a vinyl shower curtain, the heat and warmth release molecules from the curtain.
So clear out those drawers full of plastic bags and throw them out or store them in a container with a tight-fitting lid, like an industrial-sized jar (available in kitchen supply stores) or one of those oversized tins, like the ones you see at holiday time with popcorn in them. If your plastic is in a drawer or a closet, it’s still releasing molecules into your indoor air.
Use glass, china, or metal containers to store food. And DON”T COOK with plastic. That’s like injecting your food with plastic. Save your estrogen receptors for your estrogen, not plastic xeno-hormones.
2. Use unscented, unbleached, natural feminine hygiene products (and toilet paper.)
Bleach, scent and chemicals in tampons and pads pressing against your tender tissues are absorbed into your body where they cause pain and trouble. Chlorine bleach is a known hormone disruptor. If you’re cramping up after your period starts, change your products to unbleached and unscented ones.
3. Watch out for hormone disruptors disguised as “nice” or “sexy” products.
Advertisers will sell you anything to make you feel better about yourself by convincing you that their products are nice or will make you sexier. We all know that. What they don’t tell you is that some of those products can also make you feel sick. So watch out for perfumes and colognes, fabric softener—both the liquid and the dryer sheets,
scented and chemical personal care products, fabric softener, chemical air fresheners and room deodorants, detergents—especially scented laundry detergent, and, hey, did we mention fabric softener?
Try unscented, natural products instead. Think what a relief it will be for your body—and our water system—when you’re not dousing yourself with chemical products that disrupt your hormones and lead to…you guessed it…pain and trouble.
Go to Part Two.