I wasn’t going to write anything today because I’m just not feeling very well. It’s nothing serious. I just have a little springtime cold that’s nagging at me. It makes me feel tired and unmotivated. You know… even more than usual. But then I noticed something and I got curious and did a little research and learned something new so I thought I would share it.
I was looking through the all-purpose-keep-track-of-the-family’s-life calendar that hangs on our wall and I realized that, a few months ago, I got sick with a stomach bug and missed work just a few days after my period started.
It struck me as interesting because I’m fairly certain I’ve been fighting off my current sniffles for a while now. People all around me had colds, including my daughter. I could feel the little tickle in my throat but I felt like my body had it under control. I wasn’t getting sick. I was fighting it off… until my period came. About 2 days in all my defenses fell and I turned into Sneezy Dwarf.
All of this prompted me to think back. I don’t get sick very often but I have several distinct memories along the lines of, “Geez. As if it’s not bad enough that I have a fever of 102, I have to deal with Aunt Flo, too.”
A quick Google search told me I’m not imagining things. It turns out that a woman’s immune function does drop during her menstrual cycle and for good reason. If she is pregnant, this is the time the egg would be implanting. It’s important that the body doesn’t freak out and reject the egg as some sort of foreign invader so the immune system backs off for a few days.
Science is cool.
But, still. *sniffle,sneeze,cough* being sick sucks.
There are a few things you can do to help yourself. None of it is rocket science. You know how to take care of yourself. Be conscious of the fact that there are certain times when you need to be especially aware of your health.
Taking half a bottle of vitamin C when you start to get sick really isn’t going to do anything for you. However, making sure that you are eating a nutrient-rich diet all the time will go a long way toward helping your body do the things it needs to do. This is especially true in the week or so before your period starts. Eat lots of fruit and veggies during that time!
Don’t go low-fat! Healthy fats (think avocados, almonds and coconut oil. Not chocolate donuts.) will help your body stay strong. Again, it’s always a good idea to eat well, but make a special point to nourish your system during the days leading up to menstruation.
Do you feel tired and unable to face the world when you’re pre-menstrual? Go with that. Try to give your body enough rest.
If all fails, try my granny’s famous hot toddy. There is actually some science behind the ingredients as they are immune boosting and anti-bacterial. Plus you’ll be too drunk and sleepy to care that you’re sick. My grandmother was a genius.
One large mug of very strong black tea – as hot as you can stand it.
One (fairly liberal) shot of whiskey
2 TBSP of lemon juice
2 TBSP of honey
Mix it all together. Drink it as fast as you can. Wrap in the warmest blanket you can find (preferably a gloriously soft home-made quilt). Sleep!
Here’s to a healthy spring for all of us!
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!