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5 Ways the Keto Diet Can Help With PMS Symptoms

It is clear that what you eat has an impact on your hormone levels. If you are female, what you consume has a big impact on your period.

Many women have reported that the Keto diet reduced their symptoms of PMS and their monthly cycle became simpler. At the same time, a few others have said that their cycle was disordered for some months when they initially began the Keto diet.

In this piece, we’ll investigate the regularity of the menstrual cycle, the typical impact of being in ketosis, and approaches to managing irregular cycles and discomforts while still burning fat.

It is essential to understand the functioning of your period prior to learning how a keto diet can affect your hormones and period.

Menstrual Cycle 101

Each menstrual cycle consists of two principal sections: the follicular part and the luteal period. Here’s a breakdown of each:

Follicular Phase

The initial portion of your menstrual cycle starts on the first day that you are bleeding and continues up until the point of your ovulation. At the start of this cycle, your estrogen and progesterone amounts are not high, activating FSH to cultivate the follicles in your ovaries (housing your eggs).

At this stage of the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels are increasing, with the highest amount occurring at the time of ovulation when the egg is released from the ovaries. If you want to get pregnant, ovulation is go-time.

Luteal Phase

Ovulation marks the transition from the follicular stage to the luteal stage. This happens around the middle of your menstrual cycle, and it is characterized by sizeable increases in both FSH and LH. During this time, estrogen levels fall briefly.

After ovulation occurs, the luteal phase immediately follows, during which FSH and LH levels are reduced. During the luteal phase, hormone levels start to rise with progesterone surging and estrogen to climb again, followed by an eventual decline.

By the end of the luteal stage, levels of both estrogen and progesterone drop which causes the follicular period to begin again, resulting in the cycle being repeated.

Get to Know Your Menstrual Cycle

Every individual’s hormonal cycle varies, so grasping how your own cycle works is essential if you want to be in charge of your well-being and hormones. And that means tracking. If you have yet to discover a system to monitor your cycle, there are a wide variety of applications and software available. A few examples are:

  • My Period Tracker
  • Clue
  • Eve Tracker
  • Period Diary
  • Dot

Trackers can be utilized in order to add signs and symptoms, and this can be useful if you desire to spot the effects of your period on both your body and mind.

Does the low-carb, high-fat nature of the ketogenic diet have anything to do with my period?

It could be argued that answering with a definitive yes or no is not a viable option and a more suitable response would be possibly. It appears that prolonged energy deficiency/deficit, not failing to consume enough carbohydrates or having too high an intake of dietary fat, is the main factor that can disrupt a female’s menstrual cycle.

Certain individuals claim that reducing carbohydrates may have an effect on luteinizing hormone (LH) concentration, a substance linked to standard ovulation patterns. Yet, they concede that the evidence for this assertion is scarce. At the opposite end, it has been noted that obese and overweight women with PCOS have an abundance of LH. PCOS is often connected to abnormal menstrual cycles and infertility. Studies further suggest that the ketogenic diet could possibly increase levels of leptin, a hormone that is known to control reproductive activity, by more than twofold.

Results of studies show a correlation between a greater amount of healthy dietary fats like omega-3 fatty acids which can be found in fish, flaxseed meal, and chia, and a rise in progesterone amounts along with improved rates of ovulation. If you follow a ketogenic diet with a large portion of your fat coming from trans-fats like those in many processed and packaged items, you are in danger of your ovulation cycle becoming interrupted. The significance of constructing your Keto Diet around healthy fats instead of unhealthy fats is made clear.

How can the ketogenic diet actually benefit my menstrual cycle?

If you are a female between the ages of reproductive maturity who has PCOS, the demanding restriction of carbohydrates found in a ketogenic diet can help to even out insulin levels caused by PCOS. This can minimize the presence of androgens and testosterone and enhance the amount of estrogen, which can cause ovulation.

Dietary Deficiencies and Your Period

Just as weight loss itself is strongly linked to changes in your regular menstrual cycle, nutritional deficiencies associated with weight loss diets appear to have an even greater impact on your menstrual cycle than weight loss itself:

Energy Deficiency

The biggest factor of messing up the regular menstrual cycle seems to be an extended shortage of calories, which is a common issue with weight loss diets like ketogenic ones. The lack of energy generated by having a prolonged low-calorie diet can have a great effect on our body’s hormones, though only for a brief period. This might be an inherited response that we developed in order to survive in conditions where food resources were minimal or inexistent. Energy was conserved in order to support vital body functions, especially those of our brain, while reproductive activity was of lesser importance.

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies Associated With Menstrual Disorders

A number of specific nutrient deficiencies have been linked to the development of menstrual irregularities and disorders and include the following:

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): A deficiency of this vitamin is characterized by fatigue, muscle cramps, various pains and a reduced tolerance to pain, all factors that could be associated with dysmenorrhea.
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Plays a role in the manufacture of adrenal hormones and red blood cells. Decreased levels of B-5 can also negatively affect adrenal function.
  • Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine): Is involved in the production of prostaglandin, a compound that affects uterine contractions. B-6 is also involved in the utilization of magnesium and has demonstrated a beneficial effect on emotional symptoms associated with PMS. Low levels of Vitamin B-6 can contribute to cramps associated with dysmenorrhea.
  • Vitamin D3: Low levels have been linked to a shorter length in your menstrual cycle.
  • Calcium: Inadequate intake of this mineral is associated with increased risk of symptoms associated with PMS.
  • Iron: Although a deficiency can result from abnormally heavy blood loss or prolonged heavy bleeding during your period, inadequate iron in the diet can worsen the anemia.
  • Magnesium: Plays a key role in adrenal health and function, muscle relaxation and vasodilation. Low levels of this mineral can exacerbate pain associated with your period and can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety.
  • Zinc: Is involved in the production of hormones including estrogen and progesterone. A deficiency can inhibit levels of these hormones, compromising reproductive health.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EPA and DHA): Low levels of these fatty acids have been linked to increased mood swings, anxiety, and symptoms of depression associated with a decreased transmission of two of our brain’s ‘mood-boosting’ chemical messengers, serotonin and dopamine. For women with PCOS, omega-3 supplementation can reduce testosterone levels and regulate their menstrual cycle. Supplementation with omega-3’s has also been shown to reduce pain associated with dysmenorrhea, as well as the symptoms of depression and anxiety associated with PMS.

5 Ways The Keto Diet May Help PMS Symptoms

1. Sleep

It can be hard for female individuals struggling with hormone discrepancies to both drift off to sleep and keep slumbering. If you’ve ever had trouble sleeping, you can attest that an unpleasant night’s rest can absolutely wreck your day.

Some people may suffer from difficulties getting to sleep or staying asleep during the initial two weeks of being on a keto diet. Your body has changed from depending on glucose to functioning on fat as a source of energy, causing it to make ketones.

And it’s totally temporary.

Most individuals experience a significant improvement in their sleep quality when they enter a state of ketosis. It could be attributed to adenosine, a chemical compound.

Adenosine functions as a nerve cell moderator and has several essential purposes in how your central nervous system operates. Adenosine is widely known as an antiepileptic, but it is likewise required to regulate sleep patterns.

2. Balancing Insulin Levels

Monitoring your insulin levels is essential to maintain the equilibrium of your sexual hormones. It is comparable to a Jenga tower that your hormonal system is, when even a single part is moved into an incorrect area, the entire thing can crumble.

It might have been a little over the top, but the main idea is that changes in your hormones don’t exist in a vacuum.

It is indicated by being in ketosis that you are restraining the quantity of sugar in your bloodstream. When the level of glucose decreases, the amount of insulin in the body also decreases accordingly. The lack of an overabundance of insulin allows your reproductive hormones to settle in their normal levels of equilibrium.

Furthermore, it could assist in averting insulin tolerance and type two diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity, thus furthering hormone management.

3. Cravings

One of the most common PMS symptoms is cravings. There’s something about menstruation that leads numerous females to feel like they lack control when it comes to food, whether they prefer sugary, salty, or fatty stuff.

Ketosis can assist in reducing desires in multiple ways. At first, decreasing the amount of carbs you eat will help to regulate your blood sugar levels which is often the source of needing sweets.

Being in a state of ketosis may help reduce levels of the appetite stimulating hormone, ghrelin.

Your stomach produces ghrelin, which triggers your hunger. This task is to alert you to raise your food consumption and store fat, causing you to put on weight.

By controlling insulin and ghrelin, you’ve created an advantage when handling the recurring cravings that usually present themselves every month. It is much more likely that you will make healthier food choices and gain the advantages of avoiding fried, sugary meals that just provide short-term fulfillment if you don’t have those desires murmuring in your ear.

4. Inflammation

The ketogenic diet is highly anti-inflammatory. You have learned that inflammation can damage your body’s hormone balance and create serious PMS issues.

When you’re in ketosis, your body has a high level of ketones in your bloodstream. Ketones can be utilized as an energy source instead of glucose and also have an anti-inflammatory effect.

It has been established that the ketone known as BHB has the capability of hindering inflammatory responses by curbing a protein called NLRP3 inflammasome.

Due to the similarities between the discomfort of PMS and the discomfort caused by inflammation, elevated quantities of BHB could potentially relieve some of the difficulty that you encounter during your period.

5. Trouble With Concentration And Memory

It is extremely irritating to try and do something when your thoughts are befuddled and muddled. An excess of hormones, particularly estrogen, can lead to memory issues and clouded thinking.

Ketones are like little superheroes for your brain. They have a anti-inflammatory effect, and your brain can metabolize them more effectively compared to glucose.

Significantly more ketones are taken in by the brain during a traumatic brain injury.

It is common for individuals to experience improved memory capacity, focus, and intellectual growth when adhering to a ketogenic diet. It looks like there has been an upsurge in the amount of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as well as a rise in the accessibility of ketones to the brain, which is probably why this has taken place.

Key Takeaways

It seems as if the Ketogenic Diet’s influence on your menstrual cycle depends on the rate of weight reduction from the diet and the number of calories consumed while on the plan. Studies show that losing a substantial amount of weight and restricting calorie intake for a prolonged period of time has a greater effect on menstrual and reproductive health than not consuming enough of a certain macro-nutrient, such as carbohydrates. It does not appear to be strongly supported that the ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, increases the chances of experiencing menstrual irregularities. Nevertheless, there is a fair amount of research that promotes its employment for the management of two frequent feminine ailments: endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.

It appears that eating a high-fat, ketogenic diet could have both positive and negative consequences. It has been revealed that excessive consumption of refined trans- fats has a damaging effect on a woman’s hormones; whereas, omega-3 fatty acids have a beneficial influence on these hormones.

The bottom line is that for anyone on a ketogenic diet seeking to minimize any issues with their period, it is essential to:

  1. Not skimp on calories
  2. Eat mostly healthy fats
  3. Boost intake of nutrient-dense foods, such as low-carb veggies
  4. Fuel your gut microbiota by making friends with fiber
  5. Don’t hesitate to supplement with key nutrients that you feel you might be missing out on.

Be aware that if any menstrual cycle problems worsen or do not subside while you are following a ketogenic diet, even if it is not the cause, it could be indicative of a greater health condition.

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