Period Food Cravings And Insulin Sensitivity

Period Food Cravings And Insulin Sensitivity: Your Brain May Be The Driver Of Metabolic Changes

Period Food Cravings And Insulin Sensitivity : The Menstrual cycle comes with a lot of baggage. Every month women have to be vigilant about whether or not the date is close, why they are suddenly feeling ecstatic with joy on second and sad and depressive the next. Why their energy levels are fluctuating from very high to very low. Most of us know the reasons behind it. Our body prepares for the menstrual cycle and undergoes constant hormonal changes. These changes also impact our appetite. Have you ever experienced an unexplainable feeling of hunger which does not go away even after you eat your regular meals? During this time of the month you can just go on eating one food item to another without a pause. This is called period food cravings and it has a perfectly reasonable scientific explanation. But, many people still think that this is a myth. The society will have you believe that it is all in your head when it actually is all in your hormones.

The latest study dealing with this particular subject was published in the Journal Nature Metabolism on September 2023. The researchers found a link between menstrual cycle and insulin sensitivity in the brain. This is very intriguing because previous researchers have touted that hormonal changes have a huge influence in appetite yet no one has connected the brain and the cycle. It may not be just the hormones, our brain may also be the driver of these cravings.

How Is The Brain Bringing Changes In Metabolism And Appetite?

Here’ what the study found:

When women’s bodies hit the follicular phase, which is one of the phases of the menstrual cycle, the brains becomes more sensitivity to insulin secretion. On the other hand when the body is in the luteal phase, the brain’s sensitivity to insulin decreases. This fluctuation happen every month and continues during menstruation also. As insulin sensitivity reduces, the energy in the body also drops because of it which again disrupts the main role of insulin; which is to control appetite, regulate glucose levels and regulate the body’s metabolic rate.

Experts say that this is a purely physiological phenomena and it does not have any negative impacts on a woman’s body. The brain is wired to control food cravings during this time of the month and the more the insulin level fluctuates the more you may be craving for various kind of foods.

Other Factors That Also Contribute to Food Cravings

Th whole phenomena of the menstrual cycle, food cravings and mood swings is a very fascinating subject which has been researched upon in the past. The brain’s insulin sensitivity is not the only reasonable explanation behind food cravings during periods. Another major factor is the rise and fall of hormones. During the cycle there are multiple fluctuations of the main hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These fluctuations can cause fatigue, carvings, mood swings, nausea, dizziness, etc.

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