Period Health 101: The Basics

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Period Health 101: The Basics

by Kristen DeAngelis, RD, LDN, RYT, CPT


Your period is a vital sign. 


A female’s menstrual cycle is her monthly report card.  Just like pooping is your daily report card (that’s another conversation I will address later!), your monthly menstrual cycle is really telling us a LOT about how the past 30-90 days have been going! Quick Side Note – if you are on hormonal birth control, a monthly bleed is not actually a “period”, it’s just removal of synthetic hormones – so let’s call it a “pill bleed”, but it’s not actually a true “period” (more on this in our future post Pill Bleed vs. Period Bleed!).


Just like blood pressure, resting heart rate, glucose are vital signs…. so is your PERIOD! Using your menstrual cycle provides a powerful tool to assess your health. 


I first heard about this revolutionary term by Lara Briden author of The Period Repair Manual (Highly recommend – I call it my period bible along with many others I will share below!). And come to find out, your period really IS a true vital sign that The American Academy of Pediatrics issued an article in 2006 about the vital importance to assess more critically. 


Almost 10 years ago is when I realized that I was scoring an F in this category… and that’s why I do this work today.  I didn’t have a period for 7 years. I went to doctors for years and was told to go back on birth control, that when I wanted to get pregnant I would just take hormones and it would all work out. I was confused, and angry and it wasn’t until I addressed ALL parts of what influences hormones (and for me it was 3 years of working with Nutrition Dynamic that I got it back! I was blown the F out of the water… how did NO ONE pick up on this before? That I was super stressed, anxious and the root of my amenorrhea was an imbalance in the OAT axis (Ovarian-Adrenal-Thyroid Axis).  


For many women, whether it’s getting a period back, whether it’s coming off of birth control, whether it’s crappy periods, painful cramping, and PMS… I am here to share with you what a health period SHOULD look like and give you the PERIOD HEALTH 101 EDUCATION that I WISH I got back in middle school… (I don’t think I’m the only one that feels lost in the dark here?!)   


Let’s first start with walking through the PHASES OF YOUR CYCLE. I will explain the days, the phases and some things to start to tap into to be more aware of! I'll be elaborating on each phase in my next blog Period Health 101: Phases.



For ease the order of events I am going to explain below:

  1. FSH
  2. Estrogen
  3. Lutenizing Hormone
  4. Ovulation
  5. Progesterone


To note as we start to talk about the phases, remember that Day 1 of your ~30 day cycle,  is the first full day of bleeding you have.

Stay tuned for more information regarding period health in upcoming blogs!


Need help understanding your hormones, period health, and optimizing your lifestyle to be your best you? CLICK HERE to schedule your free discovery call!

KRISTEN DEANGELIS, RD, LDN, RYT, CPT kdwellness online functional health coach online registered licensed nutritionist dietitian functional medicine practitioner health and wellness

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