As women, we sometimes struggle to understand our body, our moods. “Where does this frustration come from?” “Wow, I am so productive today”, “I just feel like staying in bed this morning”…
Most of the time, we don’t know how our hormones can impact our life. And guess what? It doesn’t have to impact it in a negative way.
When you understand your cycles properly, you can actually turn them into a very powerful tool.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation and clichés that we hear about our body and our cycle. There is so many things we aren’t taught. This episode is all about fixing this and giving everyone the right information to understand our body.
Today, I am welcoming Leah, Functional Diagnostic Nutritional practitioner, specializing in hormonal balance for women.
Our discussion will be split in 2 parts. Today will be all about understanding our cycle.
Stay tuned for part 2 next week. We’ll be discussing how to use these information in your life and business.
A bit of background
Leah Brueggemann’s journey began with a not so great diagnostic : fibroadenoma, benign breast tumours. Suffering extremely painful cycles, Leah started to look deeper into her cycles.
She stopped paying attention to her fibroadenoma and started focussing on her cycle and her nutrition, on serving her body and her hormones. Really just nourishing her body and focussing on it as a whole : her liver, her guts, her sleep, her stress levels… That’s when her fibroadenoma started shrinking.
She is now a Functional Diagnostic Nutritional practitioner, specializing in hormonal balance for women. She helps women balance their hormones naturally with nutrition, lifestyle and finally getting to the root issue. She has helped over a 100 women get painless periods, stabilize their moods, and scale to 6 figures in their business. Leah has a passion for helping women connect to their cycle, which is their super power.
Let’s dig in
- Menses phase, aka period. It is the easiest one to be aware of as it’s when you are literally bleeding. This should last anywhere from 3 to 7 days. Ideally, cherry red or a deep wine red colour of blood. The blood colour tells you SO MUCH about your hormones. If you are dealing with very brown or a really heavy flow and lots of clots, maybe your progesterone is too low. This is not diagnosing anything, so it would have to be looked into in a lab, but it brings awareness. If you’re not bleeding enough or if you are bleeding too much, that’s telling you about your oestrogen levels.
- Follicular phase. It’s when you’re done bleeding. This is when your follicles are getting ready, preparing to release this egg. A bunch of follicles are getting ready and the dominant one is going to take over and release the egg. During that phase, your oestrogen is rising. It’s literally your Beyoncé phase. Your lips are fuller, you feel sexier, you’re just feeling yourself. It also increases your sensitivity to insulin. Which means that you are metabolising and using carbs better during that phase
- Ovulatory phase. This when your cervical mucus start getting created. It can be creamy and then it starts getting stretchier and stretchier until it’s that egg white cervical mucus type. Your body will then release the luteinising hormone which triggers that follicle to release the egg and you ovulate. Note that you can only ovulate ONCE in your cycle. That follicle that releases the egg, forms a corpus luteum, which produces your progesterone. Progesterone shuts down any other follicle stimulation. So that’s when you aren’t going to ovulate again.
- Luteal phase. This is our progesterone happy phase. It’s your “keep calm, carry on hormone”. Some people call it the fat cat hormone, where you’re just content to stay home and sit in the sun. Woman with a lot of hormonal issues tend to manifest themselves in this phase. Most women are deficient in progesterone simply because of their stress levels. Progesterone is supposed to be significantly higher in this phase. That is what helps keep oestrogen in check, it’s what helps make your period not as heavy, helps with the PMS symptoms, helps stabilising your mood, helps with anxiety and helps with cramps and so on. Most of the time when you are dealing with PMS symptoms, it has to do with your progesterone levels. It’s not necessarily just that you have low progesterone. Your ratio oestrogen/progesterone can be off. Progesterone is supposed to be the predominant hormone in this phase.
When women are going through this phase and experiencing issues should definitely listen to their body and understand their cycle. Do not only look at laboratory tests. Look at it and at your symptoms and bring this all together.
What should your cycle be like
- You should not be having cramps. You should maybe have a warming sensation or some butterflies in your uterus, maybe a little bit of uncomfortableness. You should NOT be so much in pain that you have to take 10 ibuprofen or can’t function.
- You should not bleed so much that you have to change pad or tampon every hour.
- You should not have lots of clots.
- You should be thriving.
- Maybe you get a little bit more fatigued.
- Maybe you want to take a little bit more time for yourself or are associable.
You really should just be bleeding.
Check your temp
Take your thermometer, stick it under your tongue, check your temp and put it in your tracking app. On your period and on your follicular phase, your temps are going to be lower. When you are about to ovulate, your temp will spike about 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit higher than your previous highest temp and will stay up there. That is because of the progesterone. It is warming your body. That temp spike confirms ovulation.
Fun fact: after ovulation, you burn approximately an extra 300 calories per day, thanks to progesterone. Which is also why you’re so hungry.
Your temp is going to stay up until your period.
To monitor your temperature easily, you can get a Oura Ring. This will take your body temperature and sync with the app automatically.
Your period will come no later than 17 days after ovulation. If it doesn’t… take a pregnancy test. Or… maybe you just didn’t ovulate.
Most of the time, when you think your periods are late, you’re wrong. Your ovulation has been delayed and that’s why your periods come later.
There can be many reasons why it’s been delayed : insufficient vitamins and nutrients, and also… STRESS.
Ovulation is actually a indicator of your stress levels.
Now that we understand our cycles, let’s talk about how to use it in your life and business. This is on next episode’s program. So see you next week!
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If you want to know more about your cycles and how to use it in your day to day life, contact our guest Leah.