Have you noticed yourself feeling particularly tired when you're on your period? What exactly is going on in your body that causes you to feel extra lethargic during what can often be described as that dreadfully never-ending seven days of the month?
Well, thankfully, our access to the internet has made that information available, so we thought we would break down the science behind why our bodies feel so sluggish when menstruating.
Several factors to consider
There are actually a number of reasons that could cause you to feel exhausted during your period, but the most common reason usually comes down to what is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Harley Street Gynaecology, Dr. Ashfaq Khan, says that, contrary to popular belief, PMS can also be experienced during one's period. He explains that:
In addition to feeling irritable and depressed, women can also become very drained and weary. It is thought that PMS could be triggered by a drop in oestrogen and serotonin, resulting in a double whammy for mood swings and energy levels.
Another possible cause for period exhaustion, according to Dr. Khan, could be rooted in having an iron deficiency anaemia as a result of blood loss. This can be amplified if you experience a heavier-than-normal flow, which might be worth checking out with your GP.
Finally, Dr. Khan also reveals that diet and sleep come into play when feeling extra tired during your period. He explains that:
Comfort eating which lowers blood sugar levels, and disturbed sleep patterns during this time may well be to blame, too. It is certainly worth undertaking a range of blood tests to try and pinpoint the underlying reason for an extreme drop in energy levels during your period.
Natural remedies to period exhaustion
Although comfort foods might release some amount of serotonin as you experience joy in eating them, a healthier alternative includes eating foods that will naturally boost your energy levels to counteract period exhaustion.
For one, oats are an excellent option to slowly release energy throughout the day (instead of something harsh like coffee or other energizing drinks packed with added sugars). Otherwise, try red meat and berries, as they are packed with antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals and avocados, which are full of healthy fats that will keep you going throughout the day.