Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ch 18: MtF PMS



   So, for probably the past three days now I have to say I feel like I'm getting my first PMS.  Granted there is no menstruation so it can't be a literal PMS, but I have had slight headaches, cramping and bloating, hard time concentrating and just overall emotional variations.  While I've been taking a level does, perhaps some of it is mental but my wife and both of my female co-workers are all on their period so it almost feels as if I have 'synced' up.

   On one hand it feels kind of neat, on the other hand it's a pain in the butt.  Now there is no scientific data to back up these feelings but a number of MtF individuals have reported similar experiences.  For all those genetic females out there I now know some of what you feel and don't blame you at all for being your cranky selves.  I would be too if mother nature was messing with me like that.  Heck I kind of am, probably not to the extreme some women feel but all the same it is something.

   "Exactly what causes premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but several factors may contribute to the condition:
  • Cyclic changes in hormones. Signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome change with hormonal fluctuations and disappear with pregnancy and menopause.
  • Chemical changes in the brain. Fluctuations of serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that is thought to play a crucial role in mood states, could trigger PMS symptoms. Insufficient amounts of serotonin may contribute to premenstrual depression, as well as to fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems.
  • Depression. Some women with severe premenstrual syndrome have undiagnosed depression, though depression alone does not cause all of the symptoms.
  • Stress. Stress can aggravate some of your PMS symptoms.
  • Poor eating habits. Some PMS symptoms have been linked to low levels of vitamins and minerals. Other possible contributors to PMS include eating a lot of salty foods, which may cause fluid retention, and drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which may cause mood and energy level disturbances," (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/premenstrual-syndrome/DS00134).
   "Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has a wide variety of symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression. An estimated 3 of every 4 menstruating women experience some form of premenstrual syndrome. These problems tend to peak during your late 20s and early 30s. Symptoms tend to recur in a predictable pattern. Yet the physical and emotional changes you experience with premenstrual syndrome may be particularly intense in some months and only slightly noticeable in others.

   Still, you don't have to let these problems control your life. Treatments and lifestyle adjustments can help you reduce or manage the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome,"(http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/premenstrual-syndrome/DS00134).

   As you can see from the above definition though there is nothing linking the PMS even though it's consider pre-menstrual to the actual menstruation.  The changes that cause the differences are largely or most commonly accepted as being a change in hormones, brain chemicals and overall personal care.  So given this it would seem that my evaluation of myself, while again not a professional opinion appears to be accurate.  As it is likely that I am going through hormone level changes and the estrogen itself does cause differences in brain activity, the likelihood that I would have similar symptoms is great.

  Ok, so today's topic seems to surround emotional changes and hormones, in being emotional I was artistic again today and am going to share a couple poems I wrote:

   Them:

   We are them,
   the few,
   the misunderstood,
   the lost,
   and confused,
   We are them,
   searching for ourselves,
   our outside appearances not matching who we are on the inside,
   and wishing the world will accept us as we are,
   We are them,
   in finding ourselves,
   accepting ourselves,
   and becoming externally who we are internally,
   We are them,
   searching,
   finding,
   accepting and being set free.

   Misunderstood:

   How can I explain to you a feeling,
   something inside,
   so innate and core to who I am,
   that doesn't match how I appear,
   doesn't match how I sound,
   or how you view me,
   But I know who the true me is,
   Why is it so hard to accept that you may not have to understand,
   Just trust that I know what is best for me.

   Princess:

   I sparkle and twirl,
   dance and frolic,
   put on my gown,
   my makeup,
   and do my hair,
   I am pretty,
   enjoying my reflection in the mirror,
   and then place my tiara on my head,
   only to be caught,
   I hear,
   "What are you doing?"
   "Your not a girl."
   and I sigh wondering if my dream can ever be a reality.

   So, in discussing emotions and the vast range, even my wife has been saying it's a pleasure for her because she can read my face better than when I was male.  Not that the emotions aren't there for guys as well, they are just subdued, I thought I was an emotional male and may have been but on estrogen the feelings and emotions are amplified.  In talking and writing about this it reminds me of how I was with the girl I considered my first girlfriend...

to be continued...
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