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Low Estrogen and Hypothalamic Amenorrhea

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 02, 2013 at 1:19 AM

I have been diagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea based on a blood test that showed low estrogen and normal FSH, LH, and progesterone. I have had one period (a year ago) in the past 2 years. I started paleo a little over 2 years ago, at 119 lbs (I'm 5'1"). Over the next 8 months, my weight dropped to 83 lbs due to restriction, low carb, fasting, and too much exercise. I spent almost a year at 90-95 lbs (during which time I had the one period) and am now 103 lbs, with no period. I do not want to go on birth control, which is what my gynecologist has suggested, nor am I comfortable with gaining more weight- I am uncomfortable enough with where I am as it is. Does anyone have any recommendations of resources to help me get my period back, or similar experiences and possible natural solutions? Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

68655ec9711d207d69a63ebf96b37573

on February 17, 2013
at 08:03 PM

Good luck with your health xxxx

C4ed6ba382aed2eefc18e7877999a5de

(1579)

on February 17, 2013
at 05:54 AM

Thanks, I'm sure you're right... I guess I've kind of been hoping there was some other solution. I've been putting off looking for a therapist for a long time in hopes that I could solve things myself, but it's been far too long... And I know I want to have kids one day; I don't want to take that option away from myself at such a young age (I'm 20). Thanks for your reply.

  • C4ed6ba382aed2eefc18e7877999a5de

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2 Answers

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68655ec9711d207d69a63ebf96b37573

on February 15, 2013
at 07:50 PM

You are too thin. Sorry. I know exactly how you feel, about not wanting to be bigger. I'm your height and 115-120, and if I was your weight I wouldn't be having periods either. I lost mine on VLC paleo for a year and had to add carbs, calories, and yes, weight to get them back.

It's really quite simple - your body is not getting enough energy to carry a baby, and your body fat % is too low, hence you aren't having periods. You need more carbs (minimum 60g/day) and more calories (minimum 1500/day, more if exercising). There is no real "solution" to this except eating more food. Similar stories are all over this site and the low carb world - it is very common. (low carb and low cal seems to be worse for this than plain low cal, because of the lack of leptin that VLC can cause, which exacerbates thyroid issues (less t3->aT3 conversion in the liver, apparently))

I denied that my diet and weight loss was causing my issues for a long time, over a year. I REALLY didn't to gain weight (I was 110 at my lowest, wanted to be 105, couldn't acheive it). Eventually I had to just accept that my body needed the extra fat, and than I just didn't have the tall, skinny body type that I wanted (and that women are all brainwashed to believe is the only acceptable way to be attractive)

Incidentally, why do you feel so uncomfortable at 103, given that this is definitely slim...about a size 2 surely? Either you will have to get comfortable at 110 or 115, or get comfortable with no libido, poor bone density and a host of other problems that are caused by your current weight and diet. I didn't really care about it when I was single but when I got a boyfriend, it became a big issue.

You dropped to 83 pounds following "restriction, low carb, fasting, and too much exercise". You don't feel comfortable at a low weight (and there is no denying that 103 is thin). Sorry to be blunt, but this sounds rather like an eating disorder; regardless, it does not sound healthy. Clearly you have made progress as you're no longer 83 lbs, but I hope it doesn't sound rude to suggest that you look after and see a doctor about your mental health as well as your physical health

(and do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly)

You might find this useful - http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-female-athletes-triad-part-iii-how.html

C4ed6ba382aed2eefc18e7877999a5de

(1579)

on February 17, 2013
at 05:54 AM

Thanks, I'm sure you're right... I guess I've kind of been hoping there was some other solution. I've been putting off looking for a therapist for a long time in hopes that I could solve things myself, but it's been far too long... And I know I want to have kids one day; I don't want to take that option away from myself at such a young age (I'm 20). Thanks for your reply.

68655ec9711d207d69a63ebf96b37573

on February 17, 2013
at 08:03 PM

Good luck with your health xxxx

2
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on February 02, 2013
at 08:11 PM

Try upping the fat in your diet. If you keep the calories equal, you theoretically shouldn't gain (if you subscribe to the calories in, calories out theory) or you might even lose (if you subscribe to the insulin resistance theory). But the fat will provide essential nutrients your body is probably deficient in because I'm guessing you avoid fat like the plague.

Women's bodies need fat, on our bodies and in our food, for reproductive health. When you aren't cycling, your body is desperately trying to tell you something is missing from your diet.

Birth control will only mask this problem, not cure it. And BCP's have some nasty effects on your body. Seek better nutrition and better health. Make sure you're taking care of your thyroid, too.

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