Please help me hack my amenorrhea

Commented on November 13, 2014
Created November 11, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Hi! I have been perusing the forums for a question that poses a similar situation to mine, but was unable to find one. So, I decided to finally post my own question to get some advice.

I am curently recovering from anorexia, from which I first began suffering at the age of 11 (I am now 21). The first bout of my eating disorder lasted about a year-and-a-half, I was force-fed and not treated, and it "went away" until two years ago when I (unsurprisingly) relapsed very badly. I lost ten pounds that first year, went into treatment, but then lost 17 pounds after treatment.

I am now trying to gain weight and most importantly, gain my period back! I lost my period almost two eyars ago in January because of this and I am devestated. I feel tired pretty often (despite the tonics, herbs, and "superfoods" I eat. I just want to feel healthy again. My diet is not Paleo per se. I only eat fish and goat dairy (almost always raw) as an animal source of protein; no gluten, no soy (except therare occasion maybe); lots of sprouted nuts and seeds (sprouted almonds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, etc.); coconut oil; I also don't consume grains except from time to time and get my main carbohydrates from tubers (i.e., sweet potato, kabocha squash, pumkpin, etc.)

I have recently made the difficult yet healing decision of starting to move beyond just making fish bone broth and incorporating pastured chicken bone broth into my diet. I will be getting my first batch of bones tomorrow.

In terms of exercise, I walk around a lot as a student and do yoga every day. I try not to exercise too much to not burn the calories that I knwo I need for my period to return. I also have patellar tendonitis, so I do quad-strengthening exercises as well. I know bone broth will help with my knees, too.

What would you recommend in terms of of getting my period back? I am SO, SO tired of this. I want my health back.


Thank you so much in advance for any input you might have!

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2 Answers



on November 12, 2014
at 10:39 PM

Adequate body fat and good nutrition are the key components to getting your period.  I'll bet it's scary for you to put on body fat, but your body will not restore fertility unless and until you have the fat stores to sustain a pregnancy.  So make sure you have all the support you need, emotionally, to eat well enough to put on the weight and the body fat.

Eat nutritious foods, but don't let orthorexia become your new issue.  Plenty of women on really rotten junk food diets have great cycles and acheive pregnancy easily.  I'm not saying to eat junk, but I am saying that you need to get out of your head while you feed your body--use your support systems to help you do this so you can eat plenty of food and put on weight and fat.

I'm not a big fan of Stephanie Ruper's theories on PCOS, but much of her work focuses on the adrenal-hypothalamic pathways she emphasizes.  With the starvation of anorexia, that pathway is clearly implicated, so I think her advice might be very useful for you.  She also has a severe eating disorder.  She has an ebook called PCOS Unlocked that may hold some answers for you even without the frank diagnosis of PCOS. 

Don't forget your gut and cholesterol levels too, they may need some attention as well. 



on November 13, 2014
at 12:48 AM

Thank you so much for your input! I will look into Stephanie Ruper's work. In terms of gut health, I do take 15-30 billion probiotic in addition to consuming sauerkraut and raw goat dairy. My cholesterol is below normal, though. Would increasing saturated fat help with that as well?

Not having an orthorexic mindset is definitely the biggest struggle in my recovery as I am quite health-obsessed. I believe incorporating a new animal product by trying out chicken bone broth is going to help broaden my perspective of what is healthy. Is bone broth helpful in your opinion considering hormones and body fat?


Thank you again!



on November 13, 2014
at 06:35 AM

I think bone broth is an AWESOME food you should be having daily.  I drink it warm instead of tea during cold weather, and cold with a squirt of lemon juice during hot weather.  There's a lot of collagen an gelatin, building blocks of cells.  If you did any damage to your gut during the starvation, bone broth will help you heal.  

I'm a big believer in dietary fat--it is what your hormones are made of.  Hormone imbalances are the result of too little dietary fat.  You need ample fat in your diet to normalize your hormones.  Make sure they are healthy, natural fats:  coconut oil, olive oil, dairy fat (goat dairy fat is fine), fish fat (fish oil capsules if you don't eat  enough cold water fish)  Not too much nut or seed oil because they are higher in inflammatory O6--macademia and avocado oil are OK.  

IMHO, a healthy, nutrient dense diet will normalize your weight.  The body tends to level off weight loss or weight gain when nutrition is optimal and weight is "good enough".  But there may  still be  some missing components in your diet--perhaps you're low on protein and you need to be eating enough veggies in a wide varity to replace the vitamins and minerals that may be missing from your years of starvation.  


on November 11, 2014
at 10:18 PM

Forget the tonics, herbs and "superfoods" that stuff is mostly hype. All you need to do is, quite simply, eat more. If ypou eat goat dairy, then great, eat plenty of goat cheese (easy to do since it's so delicious). If you eat fish then increase your consumption. Put plenty of olive oil on your food to increase calories, in a healthy way. Forget broth, that stuff is mostly water and very low in calories, it will literally fill your stomach with water and almost no calories, which in your case would be counterproductive. Focus on eating calorie-dense foods (and plenty of protein) first and foremost: fats, dairy, fish, etc.

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