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Learning to love Aunt Flo - beat the menstrual blues naturally

Call it 'Aunt Flo', 'moon time', 'girl flu', 'red badge of honour', 'crimson tide' or what you will, if your suffering during your menstrual cycle, it's time to take charge.

Anyone can benefit from learning about their cycle but especially those with a chronic condition like POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) or hypermobility like EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) who can plan ahead for when they know they may not feel on top form.

Whether you feel worse before, during or after your period there are things you can do to help yourself. Here's a chart of how your female hormones flow throughout the month. Take a look at where your bad days are in the cycle and see what the hormones are doing. Is your Progesterone up, or your Oestrogen (Estrogen) high, or both low? Make a note here, it could be important.

Charting these fluctuations in hormones is especially relevant for those with hypermobility issues or EDS who should take note of the low oestrogen days in the cycle at days 26/28 and 0-7 as it is oestrogen that plays a big part in stabilising collagen and reducing EDS symptoms the rest of the month.

Those with POTS should be aware that it is when the two hormones Oestrogen and Progesterone are both high together just before or at ovulation at days 12-14 which aids optimum postural blood pressure control. That's when you'll be feeling best, but likely at your worst when Oestrogen and Progesterone are both low days 0 to 7 when the monthly bleed arrives as this reduces blood volume and pressure.

If you suffer from heavy periods then it's important to drink drink plenty of fluids to keep up body blood volume to avoid dizziness, take an iron supplement to avoid anaemia, and most importantly, avoid any painkillers that might cause a heavier blood flow such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin. If you're desperate for pain relief why not try some natural painkillers for period pains? My go to favourites are homeopathic Mag Phos 200c or Chamomilla 200c.

If you suffer from bad cramps this is most probably when you're in the low oestrogen phases. Oestrogen facilitates the uptake of magnesium, so low oestrogen can mean low magnesium - hence the cramps. Try to eat foods high in magnesium (whole grains, leafy greens and dark chocolate. Yay!) or taking a daily magnesium supplement throughout the month (100-200mg per da