Saturday, March 21, 2015

Trying to eat well to avoid pain

My progress towards a cramp-free life seems to have slowed. The cramps I suffered during my last 28-day cycle were better than others since I stopped taking the pill last summer, but things still got pretty bad in the first 24 hours of my period last weekend. Right in step with much of the rest of Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, I began throwing up on Saturday night and didn’t stop until late Sunday morning. Oh yeah: I got the nausea of St. Patrick’s Day drunk-bingeing without any of the fun.

I suspect the problem is that I’ve plateau-ed on how much I can abstain from sugar, grains, dairy and caffeine. After my general practitioner (GP) told me to cut those out in order to regain hormonal balance last fall, I followed her advice 100% for thirty days. Since then, the best I can do is keep to about 70% adherence. That’s because I’ve added fruit and sweeteners back in to my diet, plus every few days I have some bread or rice, once a week or so I’ll have a half a cup of coffee, and every few weeks, I go ahead and dig into a dessert.

Eating these small amounts of sugars and starches would probably be okay if my body weren’t in such bad shape from decades of sugar addiction. But I’m in healing mode, calming down my insulin levels and retraining my cells to manage glucose, so any amount of sugar is still a bad idea. Apparently, menstruation is much more painful for me than it should be because my hormones aren’t in balance. My GP and my chiropractor both tell me that in a healthy state, women don’t experience any pain at all during menstruation, can you believe it? As mind-boggling as it is, I have to accept this as true because my chiropractor is healthy and doesn't have menstrual cramps at all. Using her as my role model is encouraging, but also discouraging because I obviously have far to go.

I’ll check in with my GP next week to make sure I’m at least roughly on the right path. If 70% adherence to her hormonally balancing diet keeps me healing, I can do it. The fading out of my menstrual pain might be slow, but so be it. But if she says I need another 30-day period of 100% no sugar, no grains, no caffeine and no dairy, I don’t know what I’ll do. Actually, I do know: I’ll do my best.


livelearn said...

You are remarkable to be at that level of compliancy. Bravo!

Are you eating meat? I would be concerned about hormones in meat as well.

Keep up the good work!

Regina Rodríguez-Martin said...

Thanks, livelearn. I've cut down on meat, too, but not 100%.