My Monthly Trigger: PMS and Crohn’s Disease

My Monthly Trigger: PMS and Crohn’s Disease
This week, I've felt like I'm in my personal version of the 2002 movie "28 Days Later," an apocalyptic zombie thriller centered around an incurable, rage-inducing virus that spreads across the land. Instead of my normally laid-back and patient demeanor, I've been in a foul mood all week. I’ve lashed out at the people who love me, and I've broken down in tears twice. The isolation caused by COVID-19 isn’t bringing me down. As an introvert, I relish the fact that I don’t have to interact with a lot of people. I have a valid excuse to be antisocial and not leave the house. I’m frustrated because I have to rely on my sister to buy my groceries. I have to scold my asthmatic mother for risking her health by going to the store and then coming to my house to share her bounty. I’m constantly nagging my husband to wash and sanitize his hands, because he still has to go to work and eats out for lunch. I’m "hangry" because I’m trying to lose weight so I don’t get fatty liver disease, and I go to bed each night with a growling stomach. My 28 days isn't the number of days the pandemic has wreaked havoc. My 28 days is my menstrual cycle. It's making me hormonal and causing mood swings. Being premenstrual on top of the added stress has me on the verge of a flare. I can’t afford to be sick in the middle of a pandemic, when toilet paper is scarce. I realized my menstrual cycle affected my Crohn’s early on in my diagnosis. In addition to keeping a journal to figure out my dietary triggers, I kept track of my activities and overall health when my symptoms were severe. After the first few months of keeping a Crohn's diary, I noticed that, like clockwork, my diarrhea and abdominal pain worsened the week leading up to my period. I mentioned this to both
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