Painful Period. Is It Normal?

What can you do?

1. Limit soy in your diet. This includes soy sauce, soy protein powders, “fake” meat made from soy, and soy based ingredients. Soy is very high in phytoestrogens and estrogen dominance can be an underlying cause of symptoms. More about soy and phytoestrogen here:

2. Limit unsaturated fats made from nuts, seeds and vegetables as much as possible – Rancid vegetable & seed oils like corn, canola, soybean, sesame seed, safflower, sunflower, flax etc can increase cellular inflammation, decrease cellular respiration, block thyroid hormone and increase estrogen levels.

There are many changes in hormones caused by unsaturated fats. Their best understood effect is their interference with the function of the thyroid gland. Unsaturated oils block thyroid hormone secretion, its movement in the circulatory system, and the response of tissues to the hormone. When the thyroid hormone is deficient, the body is generally exposed to increased levels of estrogen. The thyroid hormone is essential for making the “protective hormones” progesterone and pregnenolone, so these hormones are lowered when anything interferes with the function of the thyroid. [B. Barnes and L. Galton, Hypothyroidism, 1976, and 1994 references.] – Ray Peat Ph.D.

More on that here:

3. Limit nuts, seeds, nut milks, nut butter, seeds spreads or protein powders made from nuts and seeds – same reason as above. Nuts and seeds are high in polyunsaturated fats (an inflammatory unsaturated fat). In addition, they are high in plant chemicals called phytic acids. Since they don’t  have claws or teeth and can’t outrun predators, they use these protective chemicals instead. They also have enzyme inhibitors in them. Enzyme inhibitors block the absorption of protein and minerals like calcium and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium deficiency can cause muscle cramping. More on this here:

4. Avoid environmental or xenoestrogen – industrial chemicals, poisons and other compounds can mimic estrogen in the body. For  more on environmental or “foreign” estrogens and a list of chemicals known to have estrogenic effects go here:

5.  A carrot a day will keep the estrogen away! Carrot fiber is protective against estrogen and one raw carrot a day eaten medicinally will help prevent estrogen from being reabsorbed  in the small intestine and assist in detoxing estrogen from the body.

6. Increase organic, pastured, whole foods when possible. Removing processed, industrial foods is a huge factor in decreasing estrogen and balancing hormones. It’s important to understand that everything you put in your body or on your body (lotions, shampoos, conditioners, make-up etc) send hormonal messages to your body. I strongly recommend organic, pastured animal foods – milk, cheese, yogurt, beef, lamb, liver etc. wild sea food – shrimp, oysters, white fish etc. as protein sources. And eating plenty of fruit and easy to digest veggies (well cooked roots, squashes, peppers).

Erin HugginsPainful Period. Is It Normal?

Comments 6

  1. Post
    Erin Huggins

    Eve, Typically, it’s not actually the milk, but an additive like carageenan (which is very inflammatory to the gut) or synthetic vitamins or something the cows were fed (grains) that the person is reacting to. Also, high stress, low thyroid can impair digestion and cause food sensitivities. I’ve helped clients regain their milk/dairy tolerance, but it takes time and fine-tuning to the individual is really important. Experiment. Try dairy without additives and see if that makes a difference. You can also try raw dairy if you can get it where you live!

  2. katya

    hi erin.

    i would love for you to give me some advice, as i am getting overwhelmed with what is correct. i have low thyroid and i have recently for the last several months tried to eat a lot more fruit and veg than I used to.. thinking it will help with thyroid and general health. I even started thinking about trying a raw food diet, or partially at least. I am hardly eating meat anymore, still eat fish sometimes though.

    from your article i am noticing that the things i taught myself to snack on (healthy nuts and seeds, based hummus etc.. instead of cake) are evidently not helping my thyroid ? I am feeling likeall of my efforts to be more healthy are not right? my favourite ‘health’ foods are worsening my condition even though theyre still better than nutella and cake? (how i used to eat).

    Please advice… i am lost…..

  3. Post
    Erin Huggins

    Katya, yes many so called “health” foods are really not very healthy at all. Grains and starchy carbs are not ideal. And many people switch to nuts and seeds as snacks thinking this is healthy. A much healthier snack would be fruit and cheese.

  4. Christopher


    I would just like to say that the estrogen scare from phytoestrogens found in soy products is completely unfounded. Many studies have tried to prove hormonal changes from soy but none (and there have been plenty) have shown this in humans. So, sure if you want to play it safe you should stay away from all sources of phytoestrogens, but it’s all a bunch of rumors. Also, please update your references as there have been many improvements to our understandings of oils since the ’70s and ’90s.

  5. Post
    Erin Huggins

    Hi there Christopher, thanks for your comment. Do you work with women to improve their hormone health, PMS, fertility and menstrual disorders?

    Since you give no references in your comment discounting soy effects, nor did you give references or a context regarding your statement on oils, your comment doesn’t really hold a lot of water. My research and personal experience in this matter are extensive and I have listed several links which if followed, list hundreds of references to back up what I’m saying.

    However, always keeping an open mind, I’m happy to see the specific studies, links, references or resources you are referring too though. Feel free to share credible studies that are not funded by the industries we are discussing or written by ghost writers. Cheers, Erin

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