The Myth Of Menstruation: Why We Should Stop Accepting Painful Periods The Myth Of Menstruation: Why We Should Stop Accepting Painful Periods Most women think that painful periods, PMS, excess weight and low energy are apart of the slew of hormonal issues that accompany our monthly experience. It’s just the way it has to be, there is no solution. There are only pain pills, birth control and heating pads. Apparently 90 percent of people who have a period experience some type of pain, while only 15 percent seek any sort of professional help. However, a woman’s nutritionist says that this doesn’t have to be the case. When I asked Alisa Vitti, holistic health counselor, nutritionist and founder of the FLO Living Hormone Center, if it’s possible to have a pain free and easy period, she said that it’s “absolutely possible” and that “problematic periods are the result of hormonal imbalances that can all be corrected with diet and supplements.” As we should all know, menstruation is important. Beyond being a part of our lives, it can also indicate what is going on in our bodies. Even the color of your period blood can let you in on some go-to key information about your body. Nutritional deficiencies, low estrogen levels, imbalances, STI’s and infection are among the various ways your cycle can communicate information about your overarching health. Hormonal imbalance can be revealed in the duration and appearance of your period blood. MyFLO is a phone application that tracks symptoms and learns the users body. After Alisa’s own negative experiences with hormones, where she weighed 200 pounds, was covered in painful cystic acne and only had her period once a year, she decided to dedicate her work to helping women with their hormonal imbalances without medication while simultaneously eradicating the myth of painful periods. After her gynecologist diagnosed her with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and no real cure or alleviation, Alisa decided it was time to figure it out by herself. As a result, she founded the FLO Living Hormone Center, wrote a book called WomanCode and created the MyFLO Period application. For Alisa, she says that “food is the best medicine” to overcome PMS symptoms like fatigue and moodiness. FLO Living is the first of its kind. It’s a virtual menstrual healthcare platform that works with thousands of women who suffer from PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis and PMS on a path to natural recovery. FLO Living adjusts diet and supports thousands of women towards their interest in controlling their hormones and enhancing their feminine energy. In short, periods don’t have to equate to pain. FLO Living is here to tell you all about it. A change in diet should come as no surprise, especially with a new study thats findings concluded that drinking alcohol might make premenstrual syndrome symptoms worse. And what is the link between alcohol and PMS symptoms? Altering levels of hormones. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists says that a woman’s period is the fifth vital sign of health along with blood pressure, temperature, pulse rate and respiration rate. In short, your period is important. Any debilitating pain or physical restrictions are not normal and should be accurately accessed. Alisa explains that since hormonal imbalances can trigger acne, bloating, weight gain and severe PMS, her program can “help women make those strategic shifts with food and supplements” with the FLOLiving Protocol, MyFLO period app and the FLO Balance Period Supplements. MyFLO is a phone application that tracks symptoms and learns the users body. Once the information is gathered, supplements and foods are the next area to tackle. “For example, you can use the app to help you decide whether to stay in or go out, do yoga or boot camp, eat raw foods or cooked, or give a presentation at work versus doing brainstorming and research.” For Alisa, she says that “food is the best medicine” to overcome PMS symptoms like fatigue and moodiness. She particularly advocates for avocados, as they boost magnesium and improve fertility. The main focus for diet when trying to improve hormones are “several key nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin C and other liver supportive nutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids.” Think: dark leafy greens, lamb, organic chicken, sweet potato, oily fish, green beans, flaxseed, eggs and lentils. Another component of FLO Living is the MonthlyFLO Balance Supplement Kit which offers nutritional support to put the worst of your symptoms into “remission.” The supplements are offered in five groups: Replenish, Energize, Gutsy, Detox and Harmonize. All of the supplements are non GMO, gluten free and have no synthetics. How are women dealing with their period pain? Alisa says that, “We just assume there’s nothing we can do except take synthetic birth control. This makes things worse and doesn’t fix what’s really wrong with your hormones.” For Alisa, and for all of us, change begins within your body and what you’re putting inside of it. Responses such as acne, bloating and pain are physical responses and shouldn’t be accepted as a part of our menstrual cycle fate. Alisa’s goal for FLO Living is to give women a space to turn to for information and products. Since much of the medical field ignores symptoms, or simply disregards any helpful type of prevention, women are choosing to live with this evidence of imbalance. “FLO Living is the only place where you can test, track, treat and talk through your period issues in an easily accessible and affordable way that actually works. We take care of tens of thousands of women worldwide and have been for the past 5 years,” explains Alisa. Being a woman doesn’t have to mean living in pain. Being a woman means being in charge of your own body. S. Nicole Lane S. Nicole Lane is a Chicago based health, culture, and arts journalist. Her writing has appeared in Playboy, Rewire News, HelloFlo, Vice, SELF, and other corners of the internet. She has a column, Intimate Justice, on Sixty Inches From Center, where she interviews artists who make sexually charged work.