3

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Are there any supplements/books/doctors you would pursue next for hypothalamic amenorrhea and physical fatigue symptoms (w/ no history of overexercising/eating disorder/weight loss)?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 20, 2011 at 9:12 PM

I am a 26 year old female trying to figure out my amenorrhea and weird fatigue symptoms. I have been to a whole bunch of doctors and am trying to get new ideas about doctors/supplements/books/whatever to pursue. I looked on Paleo Hacks but the other amenorrhea questions seemed to involve over-exercising or a history of eating disorder/rapid weight loss/VLC diet, and none of that applies to me.

Two years ago I stopped getting a period and have been diagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea. When I was diagnosed, my estrogen tested low, and my T3 tested just a bit low. I am on an estrogen patch now and small dose levothyroxine and it helps somewhat but not completely. I don't have PCOS, I don't have ovarian failure (FSH was normal). I just did a "progesterone challenge" and did not get a period.

In addition, shortly after I lost my period I started having weird fatigue type symptoms that kind of come and go. I used to exercise moderately 2-3 times a week and really enjoyed it, but now I just feel like I have no power/energy a lot of the time. I haven't been able to work out the past two years really at all, and when I do, I feel really run down and tired so it isn't worth it. I just feel like something is wrong when I try to walk up stairs. Or for example when I'm in the store and am reaching up to look through things on the top shelf, my arms feel tired. But my symptoms aren't totally constant-- ie. if I get a burst of adrenaline or something, I feel pretty much physically normal and can run or something. It's more day to day that I feel run down and weaker. Occasionally I have a couple of weeks where I can start going for slow runs again a couple of times a week and it feels great and normal but then the fatigue comes back.This doesn't seem to be a thyroid thing -- when the thyroid medication dosage is upped, I get jittery/energetic etc., but I still feel the same when I try to work out.

I've never really exercised more than 2-3 moderate intensity workouts a week, and I have no history of an eating disorder. I've been at a pretty average weight (5 foot 3, 120 pounds) my whole adult life. I've been eating pretty strict paleo for 2 years now. I started eating paleo around the same time I stopped getting a period for other reasons (mild stomach issues my whole life, paleo resolved it right away). Autoimmune paleo protocol doesn't do anything really to change my symptoms. I usually eat about a sweet potato or bowl of rice a day worth of starch. Other meal staples are grass fed beef, ghee, greens, salmon, tuna, eggs, etc.

An MRI a year ago initially looked like maybe I had a pituitary adenoma but after a second MRI I was told it wasn't a valid finding.

Where should I look for new ideas to pursue? I am really frustrated trying to understand this all by myself and come up with new ideas when doctors haven't been able to help...

Medium avatar

on December 21, 2011
at 12:13 PM

Medical treatments for acute disease have their role, but I don't think the role of nutrition in health and disease can be overemphasized. That's why the paleo movement is spreading. It's also why Hippocrates said "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 20, 2011
at 11:33 PM

I never said doctors knew anything about nutrition, I just said that people here overemphasize the role of nutrition.

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 20, 2011
at 11:30 PM

Actually- my sister is a medical doctor- top of her class at Davidson as an undergrad. She's a smart girl but readily admits that she doesn't know anything about nutrition of its effects on the body. She starts off her day with two diet cokes. She does call me about supplements however. I am no genius but I have read hundreds of studies. Maybe someone else here has as well. I'm just sayin'

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:59 PM

There's such a thing as hubris, many here think they can play god by dropping legumes but diet is certainly not the cause or cure to many diseases.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:56 PM

I can't tell if you're joking. Outside of the obvious (athlete triad) nobody here is qualified to comment on causes for amenorrhea. I'm not a troll, I preach deep wisdom. Sometimes I do that via jokes, other times I do not use comedy.

3ab30cecfd4117212ecddfa4340110ba

on December 20, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Thanks, I'll look into that! My d was low a while back and I've been taking supps but I should probably get it checked again

3ab30cecfd4117212ecddfa4340110ba

on December 20, 2011
at 10:54 PM

I have been to almost a dozen at this point and am continuing to see people but it hasn't yielded much and I am at the point where I thought I'd ask if people had ideas for me to research/look into so I know what questions I can ask doctors and what kind of doctors I might want to be looking for

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:48 PM

Oh, weird. I must have misread that. Still, you might benefit from leptin treatment. Your diet looks fine, although you might be missing some nutrients like vitamin d assuming that you haven't been taking it or tested it. Magnesium also may be a bit low if you're not supplementing. That combo works wonders for many people suffering from fatigue.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:45 PM

^ This guy is a troll. Obviously, doctors don't want you to become healthy because they would lose paying customers.

3ab30cecfd4117212ecddfa4340110ba

on December 20, 2011
at 10:36 PM

Thank you, I appreciate the comment, but actually I do NOT have any history of under eating or over exercising. I have never restricted food/lost weight or exercised more than 3 moderate work outs a week. That is why I am so puzzled

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6 Answers

3
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:20 PM

Yes, if you have the resources find a doctor who will give you leptin therapy http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v27/n7/fig_tab/0802292f1.html

When you weren't eating enough, your body went into survival mode, shut down your period, and made you conserve energy, the way it knew to do that was because there was very little leptin being transmitted to the hypothalamus, which is how the body communicates energy-availability. Leptin therapy basically just gives you a ton of leptin so your body sees that it is a "time of plenty" again and it can resume normal functioning.

The other thing is just to eat a lot and eat healthily with enough of all nutrients, I'm sure that was obvious, though.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:48 PM

Oh, weird. I must have misread that. Still, you might benefit from leptin treatment. Your diet looks fine, although you might be missing some nutrients like vitamin d assuming that you haven't been taking it or tested it. Magnesium also may be a bit low if you're not supplementing. That combo works wonders for many people suffering from fatigue.

3ab30cecfd4117212ecddfa4340110ba

on December 20, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Thanks, I'll look into that! My d was low a while back and I've been taking supps but I should probably get it checked again

3ab30cecfd4117212ecddfa4340110ba

on December 20, 2011
at 10:36 PM

Thank you, I appreciate the comment, but actually I do NOT have any history of under eating or over exercising. I have never restricted food/lost weight or exercised more than 3 moderate work outs a week. That is why I am so puzzled

1
742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on December 21, 2011
at 01:43 AM

My sister has Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, the symptoms are similar to PCOS. Look it up! She has to take hormone medication for life.

1
C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 20, 2011
at 11:25 PM

I am curious about how much sun you get.

I am not suggesting that I have an answer or even a place to start looking for one. But....

I do know that in unusual circumstances actual "sun" treatment helps to resolve some feelings of exhaustion. Especially if you have had lower vitamin D. It is really interesting how much adequate sunshine can effect your health.

Mark Sisson- (Primal Blueprint) has several links to studies about sun light as well.

Can you post what supplements and any other Rx meds that you are taking?

Good Luck!

0
A3c56c85290f748410a6f340ddd552b3

on December 11, 2012
at 06:13 PM

Are you sure about PCOS? If not 100% sure, Stefani Ruper's guide seems to be really amazing for lots of women like us. I think there's an intro section to see if it might be helpful.

It's $50, fyi. So not free, but less than a doctor's office visit. Not shabby.

http://www.paleoforwomen.com/pcos-unlocked-the-manual/

0
F622b6b3f54237ad80353d0758433945

on January 13, 2012
at 07:00 PM

Elizabeth,

I cannot believe how similar our stories are. I was incredibly fit, and noticed I was having trouble recovering from workouts, same time my period start, this was a year ago. Long story short, I havent touched a barbell in 6 months, can barely walk up the apartment stairs and just feel way off most of the time. I will be starting the progesterone challenge in a couple weeks but seems like you didnt have any luck either. Any new developments? I also have been strict paleo for almost a year now and gluten free for over 2 years. So frustrating, miss being athletic.

0
Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

on December 20, 2011
at 10:41 PM

I suggest you look for more doctors and not to the internet. Good luck, sincerely.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:45 PM

^ This guy is a troll. Obviously, doctors don't want you to become healthy because they would lose paying customers.

Medium avatar

on December 21, 2011
at 12:13 PM

Medical treatments for acute disease have their role, but I don't think the role of nutrition in health and disease can be overemphasized. That's why the paleo movement is spreading. It's also why Hippocrates said "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:56 PM

I can't tell if you're joking. Outside of the obvious (athlete triad) nobody here is qualified to comment on causes for amenorrhea. I'm not a troll, I preach deep wisdom. Sometimes I do that via jokes, other times I do not use comedy.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:59 PM

There's such a thing as hubris, many here think they can play god by dropping legumes but diet is certainly not the cause or cure to many diseases.

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 20, 2011
at 11:30 PM

Actually- my sister is a medical doctor- top of her class at Davidson as an undergrad. She's a smart girl but readily admits that she doesn't know anything about nutrition of its effects on the body. She starts off her day with two diet cokes. She does call me about supplements however. I am no genius but I have read hundreds of studies. Maybe someone else here has as well. I'm just sayin'

3ab30cecfd4117212ecddfa4340110ba

on December 20, 2011
at 10:54 PM

I have been to almost a dozen at this point and am continuing to see people but it hasn't yielded much and I am at the point where I thought I'd ask if people had ideas for me to research/look into so I know what questions I can ask doctors and what kind of doctors I might want to be looking for

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 20, 2011
at 11:33 PM

I never said doctors knew anything about nutrition, I just said that people here overemphasize the role of nutrition.

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