MS vs. Menzies

Menzies. That time of the month. Aunt Flo’s visit, whatever you want to call it. For some reason, talking about this seems to be a taboo subject.
 
It affects half of the population every month, so why do we not talk about it more?

I thought we’d talk about it now…
 
Hands up if your menzies drive you crazy each month?
 
Put another hand up if you’ve noticed it changing since your MS diagnosis??

I have. I was thinking about it the other day as I was lying in bed, clutching my sides with my severely weak arms, my weak legs bent up, my body lay so uncomfortably it was like I was lying on rocks or something. I had just had a perfectly good night’s sleep for a whole night and woke up feeling twice as exhausted as when I went to bed.
 
My stomach felt as if someone had kicked or punched me over and over… it was awful. For some reason, my MS symptoms go crazy whenever it’s “that” time of the month. My tingling was out of control, I had the strength of a kitten, and the cog fog was unbearable. This seems to happen every time, but differs in severity each month.
 
Something else that also happens is that I get a splitting headache. It’s a huge pain right at the back of my eyes like there’s a knife stuck in there and kinda like there’s a tight band wrapped around my head. The electrical type pain feeling shoots constantly down my arms amplifying my exhaustion.
 
This is crazy! Why do I feel this way? I started to research how MS affects your menstrual cycle and why symptoms get exacerbated, and I actually found some interesting results.
 
There was some evidence to suggest that it wasn’t actually MS playing a part at all, but it was actually the menstrual cycle affecting MS.
 
High levels of hormones are apparently mostly to blame for the exacerbation of our symptoms including hormones contributing to the body’s temperature changes.
 
I thought that made sense because heat, for me, makes me go weak and I always feel hotter and get more weakness around that time of the month. I always joke and say my thermostat is broken.
 
I do sometimes have trouble sleeping around then too and apparently—according to Google—your circadian rhythm can get a little messed up by hormones and MS which affects your sleep.
 
Did you know scientists think the moon affects your circadian rhythm?! How crazy is that?
 
The circadian rhythm by the way is your sleep cycle.
 
There seems to be a lot of research that proves and disproves these theories, so who knows for now.

But what is important is if you’re feeling ill, take it easy until you feel better—never push yourself too hard. I know sometimes that’s easier said than done when there are always things you want to do, but I also know how important it is for somebody else to tell you to rest sometimes.

Do you have any top tips for menzie time that you think could help others? Comment below your thoughts and experiences. If you found this post helpful, please click the heart below. I’d love to hear your comments on what you think about this below, too!
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Jessie

Jessie Ace

Jessie Ace is the founder of jessieace.com, a website that provides real-world help and advice for people living with chronic health conditions after her own experiences of being diagnosed with MS at 22 years old. She’s also the host of the DISabled to ENabled podcast, author of the ENabled Warrior Symptom Tracker book, founder of the ENabled Warriors community and public speaker.