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That Time of the Month?

Read on sistas and brothers (yeah, ya may learn something.) Remember last week when we chatted about steroids and hormones... Okay, if you didn't read last weeks review. Your body's changing.

Moving On

Ladies, this week let's look at how your body is changing. Have you noticed anything? Do you sweat more and smell great. NOT!! Or are you getting hair under your arms and (gasp!) down there? Well don't worry it's all good. It's called puberty.

Say What?

Puberty usually starts around age 11 and goes until you're about 17 or 18. Ladies, your sex hormones - estrogen and progesterone - get all fired up. Did you know that girls also have testosterone? Yup... but not a large amount. If you did, you'd probably also have a Y chromosome and be a boy.

Feelin' Emotional?

Along with your changing body, your emotions or how you feel can also be whack. You may cry more, be more sensitive or mean. Sound familiar? Well, your emotions are directly related to changes in your body and your hormones. They really do affect your mood.

When you get your period, your estrogen levels change. Estrogen again is a steroid hormone that comes from your ovaries. The levels go up and down like a rollercoaster over the course of a month. Right after your period, the levels get higher then drop quickly then go up slowly.

Estrogen Blues

Estrogen can make you get bloated (retain fluid) and can make your blood sugar lower. That's why you may feel "puffy" before your period, have swollen or tender breasts, feel out of sorts or have food cravings. Progesterone, the other girl hormone, can make you feel calmer. But usually when estrogen levels are high, progesterone levels are low. The thing to realize is that how you feel is related to what's going on in and out of your body. Your attitude and how you deal with things is important. Exercise and good nutrition can help with how you feel inside. So the next time you feel bloated and reach for the chocolate, try the following.

Just Say No To PMS

  • Eat small meals at regular times.
  • Avoid lots of caffeine, salt or alcohol.
  • Take multivitamins with B6 or Vitamin E.
  • Exercise on a routine basis. It helps with stress.
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