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13 destructive things you should never do when you're menstruating

Posted August 1

Every woman knows the painful reality of "that time of the month," but have you heard of the things you are not supposed to do? We spend so much time thinking about what we should do, and forget about the deadly sins of menstruation. We all feel and act different on our period, but all of these can affect every woman's cycle in a negative way.

1. Vigorously exercising

Although a little exercise can reduce menstrual cramps, vigorous exercise can leave you feeling completely fatigued and exhausted. That doesn’t mean you should skip the gym entirely. In fact, it is suggested that you should exercise to reduce menstrual pains, but do so moderately. That marathon can wait for when your body is feeling its best.

2. Binge eating

When our periods hit, the first thing most of us want to do is eat all of the food in the pantry. Although you want to pamper yourself, remember that calories still count. You’ll experience heavy bloating and your body may regret those extra sugars, fats and calories later.

3. Drinking alcohol

Alcohol can increase levels of estrogen and testosterone for a short amount of time. Alcohol consumption can change your cycle, including when you ovulate. Thus, irregular periods are born from too much drinking. Alcohol increases emotional PMS symptoms and can also prolong pain for those who suffer from severe menstrual cramps.

4. Eating or drinking dairy products

Although calcium can help with menstrual cramps, milk products counteract the calcium’s role. Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and various chesses, should be eaten in small amounts or avoided altogether because they contain arachidonic acids that lead to muscle cramping. Try nondairy milk like almond milk or coconut milk instead; they are a healthy choice that will benefit your body.

5. Wearing the same protection for too long

During the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we forget about freshening up, especially during an eight hour work shift. No matter how tired you are or how much you want to get through the day and go home, don’t forget about your hygiene. Pads and tampons should be changed every three or four hours when your flow is heavy. Wearing a tampon for more time than suggested causes bacteria to produce odor and puts you at risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Be sure to keep an ample supply of your feminine hygiene products in your purse and change them throughout the day.

6. Pigging out on junk food

The changing hormones in your body are already causing you to bloat. Why enhance that bloating feeling with senseless junk food? Salty snacks can cause you to bloat even moreso during your period, and bloating has never been anyone’s cup of tea. Eating nutritious fruits and vegetables can reduce bloating and revitalize your body with necessary vitamins and minerals during your time of the month.

7. Being afraid to share how you’re feeling

Periods are a touch subject for some people. And why is that? It is a natural part of the female body that is essential to procreation. Never try to act right as rain for the sake of others when your period cramps are weighing you down. Brushing it off and pretending everything is fine can backfire on your mood and your body. Be honest with others and with yourself on how you are truly feeling and what is best for you at that moment.

8. Using your period as an excuse for your emotions

Those raging hormones can be quite the drag. First you cry in that romantic comedy, then you get extremely angry and try to place the blame for all your problems on another person’s shoulders. Never use your period as an excuse to be brutally honest and rude to your loved ones. Although you may not be feeling well, don't become an absolute monster when Mother Nature hits. Be careful with spiraling emotions, and don’t allow them to damage your relationships.

9. Starting arguments

Irritability is a common symptom of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), as well as during your period. Don’t let that irritability control you. Don’t let raging hormones create a mountain out of a molehill, and refrain from bringing up current issues with your spouse or any other family members. Sometimes your hormones can hinder your logic and your reasoning. Once again, be careful not to let your emotions rule your head.

10. Drinking caffeine

Although it might be difficult for a few days, you may want to skip out on your Diet Coke or morning cup of coffee. During your period, caffeine intake can lead to heightened cramping and anxiety because of caffeine’s ability to make the body produce more stress hormones. Caffeine can also heighten PMS symptoms and cause your monthly cycle to become irregular.

11. Staying up all night

You may want to binge on Netflix through the night because those cramps are keeping you up, but you will regret your decision in the morning. Because fatigue is a major symptom of menstruating, you should allow your body to rest.

12. Making life-changing decisions

Because of raging hormones at the time of menstruation, big decisions should be pushed aside for a bit. Imbalanced hormone levels may impair your logic and reasoning. Be sure you are feeling completely like your self again before making a decision you might regret a later.

13. Forcing yourself out of the house

We have many obligations placed on us, but if you are feeling nauseous, fatigued or completely exhausted, take a break. You deserve a day off, especially when your body is disagreeing with you just about every front. Don’t force yourself to keep dinner plans or shopping trip. Take a break and be sure you are feeling up to going out for a night with friends. Take care of yourself.

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