If you have an active menstrual cycle, you may be wondering how you can support and optimize it. You may even be curious to know if fasting is a safe and healthy method for you. You may want to know how to reduce, naturally, the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, such as mood swings, irritable breasts, increased food cravings, fatigue, nervousness and depression.
Most of my female patients have a common concern: whether they can use intermittent fasting to their advantage and whether it will have results despite the hormonal changes they are experiencing. The answer is yes! You can do intermittent fasting as long as you pay attention to your hormonal fluctuations during your 28 day cycle and focus on quality foods that can support your menstrual cycle.
- If you are under 35 years old, adopt a more flexible fasting schedule, such as every other day or a few days a week, so as not to risk the possibility of your menstrual cycle coming to a halt. This approach is in contrast to a more regular fasting schedule that a woman in her forties, who is closer in age to perimenopause and menopause, could follow.
ProLon® ReSet is ideal as an intermittent fasting diet program, by consuming it once or twice a week, as it provides Internal Detoxification of the Body in 24 hours.
- In general, I advise women not to fast if they plan to get pregnant. Women need, through their foods, to intake good sources of energy and nutrients, which are stored as fat, in order to support a healthy pregnancy. When the female body does not receive quality foods and is subjected to other stressors such as lack of sleep, reproduction and fertility can potentially be negatively affected. You could also experience a temporary loss of your period, a condition called amenorrhea.
- With Intermittent Fasting, the first three weeks of your cycle are the best times to fast if you have a twenty-eight day cycle. This is the period when your hormones are most stable and is an excellent opportunity to reduce insulin and inflammation and to activate autophagy. Nevertheless, fasting during the five to seven days preceding the menstrual cycle can unbeknownst to you lead to the depletion of nutrients and the hormones necessary for the luteal phase.
During the first 3 weeks of the cycle, and through the 5-day ProLon® Fasting Nutrition Program your body will enter different stages of renewal and rejuvenation.
- For example, women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome who wish to lose weight can benefit from the 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Method, which involves limiting the consumption of calorie-containing foods and beverages to a set window of eight hours per day and abstaining from food for the remaining 16 hours.This program helps balance hormones and supports weight loss.You need to be careful here, though, and not to proceed if you are trying to conceive.
- Control your stress levels. If you are in a state of high stress, postpone fasting until you are able to manage it. Remember, when you fast, cortisol (the predominant stress hormone) increases, which can lead to you losing your period. Not having your period is a sign that your body is under intense stress to fast. Proactively managing stress has great benefits both in avoiding period disorders and to your overall health.
Should intermittent fasting create nutrient deficiencies or cause prolonged low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia) this will probably affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and disrupt the production of reproductive hormones. In general, if you can't regulate your blood sugar properly, it's a sign that intermittent fasting may not be the right strategy for you.
Intermittent fasting is considered a safe eating plan, provided you are getting all the nutrients.
Dr. Michael Papacharalampous
MD - Specialist Pathologist - General Secretary of the European Society for Anti-Aging and Renewable Medicine (ESSAM)