Menstrual Cycle & Menopause Issues


Quotes from Ray on the menstrual cycle and menopause


“Today, PMS is one of the most common disorders among pre-menopausal females, afflicting up to 40 to 70 percent of all premenopausal women to some degree at some time in their lives (and affecting two to five percent of women sufficiently to impact their daily lives). Prominent symptoms include fatigue, bloating, abdominal pain, breast tenderness, moodiness/depression, and irritability occurring during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.”

“We believe that there is an underlying calcium and vitamin D deficiency in women experiencing PMS, and that the interaction of the ovarian steroid hormones with abnormal levels of calcium regulating hormones influences the symptoms of PMS.”

“It is well known, for example, that estradiol (the major estrogen secreted by the ovaries) increases the expression of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcitonin, the principle hormones involved in calcium regulation.” “Several investigations have identified alterations in calcium or PTH with disturbances in mood, manifesting in psychosis, mania, or behavioural disturbances.”

“For example, patients with elevated levels of calcium and PTH have a tendency to depression. Those with very low calcium levels can be extremely anxious and tense. At least one study has found that women with PMS have greater peak levels of PTH and generally lower levels of 25 vitamin D, suggesting abnormalities in calcium homeostasis compared to asymptomatic women.”

“The traditional therapeutic approach has been to treat the individual groups of symptoms such as depression, pain, and bloating, and not the global syndrome. Of interest is that simple calcium was found to be effective in 15 of 17 symptoms investigated.”

 —Source: Nutrition Research: The Unique Needs of Women (2000)


1. Eating adequate calories – focus on getting foods from the enjoy section of the food list, have a balance of ripe fruits and juice not just starches and avoid polyunsaturated fats

2. Eat enough good quality easily digestible protein from meat, eggs, seafood, dairy and gelatin – absolute minimum 90g per day

3. Carrot salad, cooked  mushrooms or bamboo shoots daily

4. 100-150g liver and 12 oysters per week

5. Get sun

6. Stop drinking alcohol

7. Get adequate salt

“Many young women periodically crave salt and sugar, especially around ovulation and premenstrually, when estrogen is high. Physiologically, this is similar to the food cravings of pregnancy. Premenstrual water retention is a common problem, and physicians commonly offer the same advice to cycling women that was offered as a standard treatment for pregnant women–the avoidance of salt, sometimes with a diuretic. But when women premenstrually increase their salt intake according to their craving, the water retention can be prevented.

Blood volume changes during the normal menstrual cycle, and when the blood volume is low, it is usually because the water has moved into the tissues, causing edema. When estrogen is high, the osmolarity of the blood is low. (Courtar, et al., 2007; Stachenfeld, et al., 1999). Hypothyroidism (which increases the ratio of estrogen to progesterone) is a major cause of excessive sodium loss.” -Ray Peat, PhD

8. Lower stress

9. Supplement with Progest e (you must get your diet right first before adding Progest e, ensure you are doing the basics before adding it in)

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