Your Eating Habits
By Halimah Jordan
Premenstrual syndrome is a tricky thing to diagnose. Some of
the symptoms overlap with other illnesses, such as depression, bipolar, etc. that it is often hard for even your physician
to pinpoint the root cause of your illness. Dr. Katherine Dalton, a leading pioneer in the field of PMS research, provides
a handy chart to help distinguish between PMS related depression and depressive illness, in her book, ‘The PMS Bible’.
This is not a hard and fast chart, but generally those with PMS related depression have different symptoms than those
with depressive illness.
Duration 14 days of cycle
Weeks or years
may be absent
yearning to stay in bed early-morning waking
Depressive illness can be an emotional reaction to something
tragic happening or it can also be an illness and affect bodily function as well. The symptoms are similar to PMS depression
but there are differences in the timings. With depressive illness the symptoms are present day after day and may last for
weeks, months, or even years. In PMS depression, the symptoms do not last longer than 14 days each monthly
cycle. After menses the woman returns back to her normal self, only to revert back to the PMS right after ovulation.
In addition, with PMS depression, woman normally experience a pronounced irritability that is not common with depressive
illness. A patient experience a depressive illness may be too apathetic or lethargic to show any irritability even when it
may be justified.
Dr. Dalton has determined that PMS sufferers undergo a drop
in blood sugar levels which causes a release of adrenaline. In her book, ‘The PMS Bible’, Dr.
Dalton discusses how a drop in blood sugar levels causes a release in adrenaline, which automatically moves sugar from cells
into blood, raising the blood sugar level. This is a way that Allah ensured that our blood sugar level
remains within optimal limits.
Research has shown that the progesterone level of women drop
after eating a large meal. This helps to support the need for women with PMS to eat smaller amounts at
each meal, and also to eat more often.
The first priority is to make sure that there is no drop in
the blood-sugar level, which would normally occur when there has been a long interval between meals. Men
can usually go eight hours without food as they are gorgers but for healthy women the interval is shorter, averaging at 5
hours. Women who suffer from PMS need to eat every three hours to help relieve the symptoms of PMS. Normally woman who suffer
from PMS, need this 3 hour diet in addition to any other treatment they are on, such as progesterone therapy, or herbal treatment.
The guidelines for the three hourly starch diet are as follows:
Take the day’s allotment of starchy food and divide it
up so that you are able to eat small starchy snacks every 3 hours during the waking hours and within one hour of waking and
retiring to bed. Starchy foods are foods that contain flour, potatoes, oats, rice, rye, and sweet corn.
At the same time, continue with a healthy diet with sufficient protein and lots of fruit and vegetables.
3 hourly starch diet rules:
Eat small starchy snacks every 3 hours during waking hours.
Eat a starchy snack within an hour of awakening from sleep.
Eat a starchy snack within an hour of going to bed.
Eat the starch diet throughout the menstrual cycle.
Maintain a healthy, varied, and nutritious diet.
The bottom line is that research has shown that PMS sufferers
have problems going long intervals without food, especially during the premenstruum, which is the time from ovulation until
you menstruate. If they do go without food for long intervals they may get faint, excessively tired, panicky or irritable.
They also tend to suffer from uncontrollable premenstrual food cravings and binges, especially when they have been dieting
or not eating for long periods.
If you’re trying to curb the stress, anxiety, and tension
in your life, then this diet is worth a try. It may be difficult to start this diet initially, but as you begin the diet it
will soon become routine and you will no longer have to keep an eye on your watch. This diet is highly recommended and if
you stick to it inshallah you will see a different in your PMS symptoms. It doesn’t hurt to try and the only money it
will cost is the change in your shopping habits.
Lastly, keep in mind that Allah has created a cure for every
disease except death and old age, so with the help of Allah, you can be cured but you must be patient and try to find the
remedies out there, and when one is pointed out to you don’t procrastinate, especially if it doesn’t cost any
With Allah, comes all success.