Fair warning to the ten or so readers I have: if you’re at all squeamish about menstruation, you may want to skip this one. It isn’t graphic or anything, but some people don’t even like the word.
Here’s a little background for context. About ten years ago, I started having excruciatingly painful periods. I’ve got a pretty high tolerance for pain, so it took seven years of it getting progressively worse (and moving into the category of “debilitating”) before I sought medical help. Then, about three years ago, my doctor and I, though some trial and error, found a very low-dose pill I could take to balance my hormones and get me back from debilitating to merely excruciating monthly cycles.
A while ago, I stopped eating most things that came packaged in plastic or plastic-lined containers. Since then, I’ve had three cycles, and each has been so light and painless as to almost not warrant notice at all. I’ve also experienced fewer and less severe mood changes. It’s like being in my early twenties again.
So what happened? I have three theories:
THEORY 1: LESS SALT
Frozen, canned, and bagged foods are full of preservatives and salt. As I’ve been avoiding these and eating mostly fresh and homemade foods, I haven’t consumed nearly so much salt as I usually do. This could very well be the reason I’ve experienced less bloating the past few months and, thus, less pain.
THEORY 2: FEWER ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS
I learned in my plastic purge that my Sigg bottles were lined with BPA (and the later ones probably BPD or some other replacement), an endocrine disrupter that affects hormone production in the body. My canned foods are also lined with them. My checkbook cover was leaching DEHP. I held BPA-containing receipts longer than necessary.
Maybe my recent avoidance of all those toxins has helped my body respond to my hormone therapy better. Maybe I’ll even be able to take stop taking that pill someday (maybe not). I’d have to get some actual tests done to see if this is actually the cause of my improvement, and I’m unlikely to get my insurance to give the okay for that.
THEORY 3: IT’S A FLUKE
Then again, this could just be my body changing again. I doubt it after ten years of pain, but that could be all it is. Whatever caused it, I like it.