Be Your Best Self with Hormonology means knowing how your hormones and changes in your cycle affect you.
Today Gabrielle Lichterman, founder of Hormonology and a longtime women’s health journalist, is going to tell you about the variety of tools--including her popular free Hormone Horoscope app, eBooks, infographics, videos and tips--to share vital information about hormones at her website, MyHormonology.com. This app has literally changed my life. Gabrielle pioneered the growing movement among women to live in sync with their menstrual cycles and know more about all the ways their hormones impact their moods, health and behavior. This movement was launched in 2005 with her groundbreaking book, 28 Days A Daily Horoscope Your Hormones!: What Your Cycle Reveals About Your Love Life, Moods, and Potential, and her creation of Hormonology. This is something I feel passionately about because getting to know your own body is a way of growing. Be your best self with hormonology.
Hi! I'm Gabrielle Lichterman and I'm excited to be here to tell you more about how you can be your best self with hormonology, by better understanding how your body works.
• You plan a trip to go apple picking with your kids on a day when you know your mood, energy, patience and desire for fun will all be at their highest.
• You schedule your dentist appointment on a day when you know pain and fear will be less intense.
• You tell your partner to circle a certain day on the calendar and get home early because you know that your libido will be peaking and physical intimacy will be more satisfying.
• You make reservations at a favorite restaurant for a day when you know you’ll be craving that kind of food.
• You pick a date for a job interview or big presentation when you know your verbal skills, memory and confidence will be soaring.
Think it takes astrology, magic 8-balls or some kind of voodoo to know what you’ll be like days, weeks, even months from now so you can pick the perfect day to do everything? Nope. It just takes knowing how your hormones impact you every day in your monthly cycle—something called Hormonology.
With Hormonology, you can sync up all the many things you do in your life with how your hormones impact your mood, patience, pain level, energy, libido, food cravings, verbal skills, memory, confidence and so much more. So you can literally be your best self with Hormonology.
That’s because the hormones in your monthly cycle (estrogen, testosterone and progesterone) have specific effects on you every day, for example, making you more upbeat or somber and raising or lowering your energy.
Because your hormones follow the same up and down pattern cycle after cycle, the effects they have on you follow the same pattern, too—which means you can predict what your mood, energy and more will be ahead of time with scientific accuracy.
Want to get started on syncing up your life with your cycle? It all starts with knowing how your hormones impact you.
Below is a quick rundown of what you can expect from your mood, energy and more each week of your cycle so you can sync it up with whatever your day has in store.
Can’t choose a specific date that syncs up with the best day in your monthly cycle for a certain activity? No problem. By knowing the hormone-fueled challenges you face (such as fatigue), you’ll be able to plan for it so you can overcome it (for instance, by going to bed earlier the night before).
Your Hormonology Road Map
Week-by-week guide to how your hormones are impacting you
Week 1: Day 1 (first day of period) through Day 7
During the first few days of your period, aches and/or fatigue from menstruation may make you a bit low-key and have you preferring to stay close to home. However, as estrogen rises throughout this cycle week, this hormone will be boosting your mood, optimism, patience and energy and ratcheting up your desire for adventure and to socialize. You become more and more optimistic and motivated, your verbal skills and memory improve and it’s easier to learn new facts and skills.
You have more interest in romance and your libido climbs steadily. As a result, you may seek out ways to meet new people or spend more time with your current partner.
Rising estrogen has a slight appetite-suppressing effect, which makes it a bit easier to eat smaller portions and opt for healthier foods.
Week 2: Day 8 through ovulation (which is Day 14 in a 28-day cycle)
Estrogen continues to rise all throughout this cycle week and, as it does, it revs all the positive effects you experienced during your Week 1: Your mood, patience and energy continue to increase, you crave adventure and new experiences and you’re happiest when surrounded by lots of people.
High estrogen also makes you braver, more confident and ready for a challenge. You’re thinking quickly and learning new facts and skills more easily. During this cycle week, you’re also more coordinated and have faster reaction times, your verbal skills peak and you’ve got a sharper memory.
High estrogen triggers a greater output of pain-masking endorphins in the brain, which means uncomfortable activities—like getting a cavity filled or breaking in new shoes—will hurt less this week than during other weeks of your cycle.
The high level of this hormone is also making you more self-assured about your appearance. In fact, estrogen is actually boosting your attractiveness by prompting subtle shifts in soft tissue that make your facial features slightly more symmetrical.
Your appetite continues to be on the lowish side and it’s easier to opt for lighter, healthier foods. During ovulation, research shows your appetite drops even further, leading to eating less than during any other time in your cycle.
One other hormone that’s key in your Week 2 is testosterone, which rises during the latter part of this week. When that happens, it tends to make you more impulsive, daring and competitive. It’s also prompting a sharp spike in your libido and makes your orgasms more intense and easier to achieve.
One downside of your Week 2: Some women experience anxiety or greater stress during this cycle week due to high estrogen triggering excessive brain arousal.
Week 3 :Starts day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (which is Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)
Your Week 3 is really a two-parter: During the first half, you can experience a “pre-PMS” phase. The symptoms are like a shorter, less intense version of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and may include irritability, fatigue and a down mood. Like PMS, pre-PMS is also caused by plunging estrogen. While most women are aware that estrogen plunges once in their cycle—in the days before their period—not many realize there are actually two estrogen dips every cycle.
Luckily, by the second half of your Week 3, estrogen rises again, putting a stop to any annoying pre-PMS symptoms you’ve experienced, which helps level out your mood.
Progesterone rises throughout your Week 3 and, as it does, it slows you down and makes you quieter, more cautious and a bit foggy and physically fatigued. That’s because progesterone is a sedating hormone. If you’re sensitive to progesterone, this can be a cycle phase when you experience bouts of sadness or crying.
During your Week 3, progesterone has you craving favorite comfort foods that are high in fat and calories. Your appetite is also greater and you’re hungrier more often, so you tend to eat more at meals and snack more frequently. All this is because your body thinks you might have gotten pregnant during ovulation, so progesterone wants you to eat enough for two. If you eat too little during this cycle phase (because you’ve skipped a meal or didn’t eat enough at a meal), you run the risk of experiencing a dramatic shift in mood that leads you to feeling angry or sad. That’s because many women are more sensitive to drops in blood sugar during this cycle week due to progesterone. Simply eating regularly and at the first signs of hunger pangs can help fix this and keep your mood stable.
Your libido tends to drop significantly as a result of progesterone, too. However, research shows this hormone makes you feel emotionally closer to your mate, so you may want more hugs and handholding.
Week 4: Final 6 days of your cycle
Estrogen drops throughout this premenstrual week and the lower it goes, the more it has the potential to drag down your mood and make you cynical or pessimistic. However—and this is a big “however”—not all women have bad premenstrual weeks. Depending on your genes and how healthy your lifestyle is (if you’re getting good sleep, eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly and destressing), you could have just a little or no premenstrual grumpiness or you could be hit with many bouts of bad moods.
Surprisingly, this typically isn’t the most tired week of your cycle. That honor goes to your Week 3 when rising progesterone saps your pep. Research shows that as this hormone goes down in this cycle week, you get a bit more energized.
During this cycle week, your libido returns—though technically that’s not due to hormones. Researchers believe it’s because nerve endings down below get stimulated as your body prepares for menstruation.
Descending estrogen can trigger cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods, such as sweets, pasta and bread. That’s because as the level of this hormone goes down, it drags down levels of the serotonin in the brain—and carbohydrates help replenish it, so your body pushes you to eat more of them. Progesterone is descending during this week, however, because it’s still at relatively high levels, you’ll likely still feel the urge to eat foods high in fat and calories and have a greater appetite.
For more information about how your hormones impact you every day of your cycle and you can be your best self with hormonology, visit MyHormonology.com.
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This is so fascinating! I never really thought about it before.
Kerri J says
This is fascinating!