Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Say that five times fast, kidding. I googled this after a recent doctors visit in which I found that my seven day intense depression, anxiety, extreme moodiness and feelings of sadness once a month before my period was part of PMS but just the more extended and severe kind version, PMDD. I’m not going to sugar coat this when I say, I’m a woman and I PMS…BAD. It wasn’t until I turned twenty three that I began to experience a different kind of PMS a week prior to getting my period (let’s call her aunt rose). Our bodies are wired differently and so are our hormones. They change with time. For years I thought that having severe depression, indescribable cramps and unimaginable food cravings was normal one week before my lovely friend came to town.
How I felt everyday for seven days before my Period
Every month from the age of twenty three, I felt like a completely altered person. I experienced severe sadness and depression ALL DAY. I had severe insomnia and felt unmotivated (usually I weight train and run every single day). I couldn’t control any of my emotions and would find myself exhausted from crying and fighting through depression at work and at home. I at times, would find myself sobbing in my room uncontrollably. I didn’t want to do anything, I felt unbalanced and lost, nothing made me happy and what made it even worse was that I couldn’t help it nor pinpoint WHY I felt this way. This become torture and I did not know what to do. I was tired of having severe breakdowns once a month for seven days. I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.
I thought this was normal. After visiting the doctor, I was immediately prescribed antidepressants but I refused to take them. I’ve been on a journey of self-care for two years and decided a long time ago that health is part of what you put into your body. It was my personal decision to skip the medication BUT the question still stood, “what do I do?”. Well, at first I googled (Be careful, google can diagnose you with everything under the sun). Then, I got into the real research. What causes this imbalance? The simplest answer, hormonal imbalance. Usually, this happens to people who are a lot more sensitive to changes within their body when it comes to hormones. Some researchers suggest that PMDD is more biologically driven. Many are prescribed birth control to help and some are given antidepressants. I began the search for a more natural alternative.
What are some natural remedies that can help with PMDD?
Taking Calcium, B-6, Magnesium, drinking less Caffeine, avoiding alcohol, not smoking, doing yoga and mediation. I dug deeper. Bumping into a few products I had ordered a few months back from Organic Burst, I decided to research them further. I never took Spirulina, Chlorella or ate Goji Berries daily or religiously but as I began to read the details on each packets, I decided to try all three consistently.
Here’s what I read about Spirulina, Goji Berries and Chlorella
Spirulina– Helps with cravings, mental performance, and is a natural source of iron. Studies showed that after four hours of taking Spirulina, mental performance and fatigue were improved. Spirulina also contains an array of B vitamins and assist’s with natural weightloss.
Goji Berry-Goji berries have been linked to increased feelings of happiness and overall well being (oo I needed that!). They also increase energy and contain a super antioxidant.
Chlorella-Detoxifies the liver, kidneys and gallbladder. It has been known to remove heavy metals from the body. Sometimes, brain fog, tiredness and breakouts can occur when the body has too many toxins. Chlorella assists in removing them. It also contains B2, B3 and NIACIN. Niacin is a natural source of B12 and is sometimes used to aide in treatment of patients with severe depression and anxiety.
I decided to make a concoction out of all three and take them every other day.
I wrote down the days I took them and used my menstrual app to track when I was getting “aunt rose”. The first month, I only took Spirulina and Chlorella tablets two weeks before my period everyday (serving size four tablets each). I also ate about ten Goji Berries, YUM!
I added in some extra yoga, avoided alcohol and drank less coffee (hardest part because I am a coffee fanatic).When the second week came around, I was already expecting mayhem from my PMDD. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as it was the prior month. I still had a few outbursts and a few days of moodiness but overall, the week wasn’t as bad as I thought. My insomnia diminished and I only had a hard time sleeping one night out of the week.
I decided to continue to take Spirulina and Chlorella every day for the next month. After two more weeks of taking it, my body and emotional state changed. When the seven days prior to “aunt rose” came around, I did not experience severe moodiness, anxiety or depression. I was shocked. The only thing I experienced were a few cravings of chocolate, a few regular “I am PMS-ing” moments but overall, it was nothing like I’ve experienced in the past. My insomnia was also gone. The dark circles under my eyes lightened up, I had more energy, less fatigue and my skin looked brighter. For the first time in five years, I was able to literally go about my routine without having severe emotional outbursts, depressive thoughts and so forth. I couldn’t believe it. I knew that I had to be consistent. I no longer was afraid of hitting that seven day mark before my period came around.
What happened when I stopped taking them?
When I went on a trip to Paris and Barcelona for two weeks, I did not take Spirulina, Chlorella and the Goji Berries with me. I noticed at times I found myself struggling to “fight the funk”. I felt less energized. When I came back two weeks later, I continued to take all three and never looked back since.
Don’t be afraid to talk about how you are feeling because PMDD is REAL and it affects so many women. Many are ashamed to speak about it. Also, whatever works, you must be consistent with it. If I only took the products once a month I don’t think I would have seen that much of a difference. There are still some days that are harder than others but compared to what I used to go through, it’s like “apples and oranges”. If it weren’t for Organic Burst and their journey to provide organic and safe products, I would probably be struggling a lot more with PMDD. My advice is to take time to find what works for you. Be brave. I have always liked to explore different options before depending on medication. Some women may need medication if their PMDD is more severe and that’s okay too. Take care of YOU. Your overall health is important.