Note: No two women, or their menstrual cycles are alike. All women experience different symptoms, and the length of their monthly cycle varies. For the purpose of this article, I have divided the hormonal phases into four weeks, though it may not be true across the board for all women.
This is not to be taken as medical advice. Just educational information for you to discuss ways to lessen the negative side effects of ADHD brain chemistry shifts
during your monthly hormone shifts, with your medical care provider.
The writer assumes no responsibility for outcomes that may arise from implementing any of the information provided herein, good or bad.
Week 1: Post Period
Post period is when estrogen and progesterone are at the lowest levels. In this week-younger women would be experiencing their lowest hormone levels, while women close to menopause women may experience high bursts of estrogen. You will feel less energetic and tired over all
physically. Thought you will feel more mentally clear than you felt last week, your ADHD won’t be on overdrive. This is a good week to plan
Week 2: Pending Ovulation
In this week, your estrogen levels begin to build again. Women feel more energy. An increased hormonal activity and pending ovulation mean you may notice you have clearer thinking and better coordination. Many women, in fact, report feeling their best at this time of the month—
physically and mentally. This is the week the ADHD woman feels like with her meds and a decent schedule she could rule the world. this is the week to be getting things done...next week you’ll be feeling like you and your ADHD is spiralling out of control. Right around ovulation is also the time when many women experience acne breakouts, or single pimples, usually recurring in the same area, this is a good way to tell you are in your “ADHD zone” week. Premenopausal women, however, may report different feelings during this week due to lack of estrogen balance in the body. Expect breast tenderness, weight gain, headaches and water retention, similar to what you might expect right before starting your period. Eating foods that help raise estrogen this week can help you feel better.
Week 3: Post-Ovulation
Feeling warm or even downright feverish? Hot flashes? Insomnia week? It’s not in your head. During this post-ovulation phase, increased progesterone acts on the temperature-regulating area in the brain. It can rise about four-tenths of a degree in this phase, from 98.6 to about 99 degrees. Increased progesterone also relaxes the smooth muscle of the uterus as well as your gallbladder, sphincter and intestines.That means you may look and feel more bloated. This is the week nothing feels good when you are more likely to get dressed and change 5 times before going
out. During this week, the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone can affect your levels of serotonin and bring on strong PMS (premenstrualsyndrome symptoms.) Think anxiety, depression, irritability and mood swings, though women taking hormonal birth control may not experience many of these symptoms. Birth control pills have been a boon to many women for regulating the ‘swings’ by changing a hormone pattern from one that shifts quickly and sharply, to one with a smoother, more even transition between levels.
Also in this post-ovulation phase, hormones reacting with brain chemistry may produce very strange and vivid dreams. You may crave carbs and sugary foods in response to depleting serotonin levels. And mostly, you may just feel a bit off. ADHD women report feeling more scatterbrained and forgettful. this week you curse your ADHD and may get weepy over ADHD related issues. This week is why schedules and routines and alarms and reminders are important. they will minimize your anxiety and ADHD mistakes. Some ADHD women may benefit from hormone treatments to level off the life interrupting effects of hormones shifts making their ADHD worse during this time. “PMS is a common side effect of poor-quality or low-level progesterone,” explains Erika Schwartz, MD, an internist and author of The Hormone Solution. “When we give bioidentical progesterone to women at this time of the month, we find the cravings disappear and the moods stabilize.”
Pre- and postmenopausal women won’t experience the cooldown that most women do at the end of this week, due to the absence of progesterone and an increase in estrogen. How to feel your best during this phase: Eat foods which can help improve your progesterone levels like: Wild
Yams, walnuts, egg yolk, whole grains, red meat, chicken, shellfish, turkey, turmeric, thyme and oregano. These foods which are rich in B vitamins, magnesium and zinc can promote progesterone production complemented with the addition of exercise. Avoid salty foods, which can contribute to water retention and more bloating Also try to avoid sugar and processed foods whenever possible. Roller-coastering your blood sugar will only exacerbate the chemical reaction of your hormones. Plus, try not to blow off the gym—even if you really don’t feel up to it. Forty five minutes of walking, swimming or any mild to moderate exercise like yoga has a positive effect on many women. For some women, though, PMS can bring on extreme mood swings called PMDD.
Week 4: Period
A drop in estrogen and progesterone collapses the lining of the uterus, thus beginning the menstrual cycle. IT is also the beginning of the follicular phase of the cycle in which Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland, stimulates the ovary to produce an egg. Many ADHD women, especially those who experience PMS stronger, feel much better during the early part of the follicular phase as their hormones shift.
Writen by @SuperADDmom (twitter) Source info collected from various reputable sources readily available on the internet and OBGYN books.
@SuperADDmom is a former Pregnancy and Childbirth Educator with education in fertility and hormone phases, and has 25 years of
personal experience as a cycling hormonal woman with ADHD. 😉