4

votes

another secondary amenorrhea question *3/6/12 update

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 17, 2011 at 1:19 PM

I am 41, not menopausal but have had amenorrhea for 10 years as a result of overtraining and undereating. Though I stopped the overtraining, take estrogen and progesterone I still haven't got a period. Very frustrating and scary. It's as if my hypothalamus has shut down for good, which basically means other things are shutting down.

Update: After 6 months of no exercise and 2 months of eating refined carbs I have started menstruating. I am thankful and so glad my hypothalamus didn't shut down. ha!

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on February 27, 2013
at 08:15 PM

Flip, and misstenacity, I would love to discuss this as I am in the same boat. If you would be willing to email directly. Here is mine. Thank you [email protected]

A3c56c85290f748410a6f340ddd552b3

(321)

on June 08, 2012
at 05:48 PM

Flip! I am so excited to discover you on here. I'm in a similar boat but I'm still rowing out to sea. Unwilling to gain "even more" or cut back training enough, even after 8 years of no periods. I'm at a BMI of 21.5 now, down from recent 22.0, but much higher than my lowest several years ago. My fat is "normal", meaning I am not super lean for the weight. Right now I'd guess 24% body fat, maybe more. Can I contact you directly somehow to talk about this? You can email me using the 2nd word of my username here, at gmail dot com. Thanks!!!

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on March 08, 2012
at 02:45 PM

Melissa, I love your knowledge (and blog) along with your willingness to think "out of the box". I have found sooooo many folks getting really pissed off with this type of evidence......and it is evidence.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 08, 2012
at 06:53 AM

It is not surprising to me. It's funny how many women find that the "worse" they eat, the more regular their periods are. I've certainly found that.

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on March 07, 2012
at 09:42 PM

if you are severely undernourished and overtrained you might have to take the unconventional route and do what most folks say will never work. I learned a lot on the hypothalamic amenorrhea forum at FertileThoughts.com (goal was to get a period but it all works the same when trying to get a period.) If you have more questions give my your e-mail and I would be happy to share. I am still in shock but realize I am not out of the woods until I get at least 3 consecutive periods. I hope this is not a fluke and I have cellulite for no reason. LOL

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on March 07, 2012
at 09:39 PM

Melissa, I ate them. I know it sounds horrible but eating clean just wasn't working. I pretty much kept the thought process of NEVER training in a deficit and that every cell in my body would utilize WHATEVER calorie I fed it. Believe me, I had amenorrhea for over 10 years and had a lot of time to try most everything, including bioidentical hormones, which did nothing. My body needed quick fuel and rest. I didn't trust that this would work but it has. Again, I don't like the way I "look" but I LOVE knowing my body is happy again. I do believe you can have the best of both worlds but

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 07, 2012
at 08:04 PM

Flip, do you mean that you ate refined carbs or you avoided them?

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on March 07, 2012
at 07:50 PM

MNH, the extra weight has helped me. At 5'5 120 I feel heavy but my body is obviously happy again. Thanks!

F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on September 18, 2011
at 04:27 PM

pills don't work, the digestive system and liver must be bypassed, that's why topicals are better. a compounded formula is usually the recommendation so the dose is individualized, patches might be hit and miss. a compounding expert may be the specialist to work with.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 18, 2011
at 05:38 AM

Mallory: How much zinc did you take/are you taking? It takes a long time to replete a significant deficiency.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 18, 2011
at 05:38 AM

Mallory: How much zinc did you take/are you taking?

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on September 18, 2011
at 03:29 AM

Oh and another perplexing question is how the heck do these Crossfit women (especially the ones who competed in the games) not lose their periods? Again, thanks for all the replies. I have lots of reading to do.

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on September 18, 2011
at 03:25 AM

Do you consider bioidentical hormone synthetic? I have taken vivell/progesterone for 6 months........no change.

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on September 18, 2011
at 03:23 AM

Hey Travis, I was built just like Mallory for 7 years. I gained weight a year ago......and still nothing. Bioidentical hormones vivelle/progesterone have not even triggered a period. I am 5'5 used to weigh 100 super lean but now about 115 with body fat.

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on September 18, 2011
at 03:21 AM

MNH, I can't thank you enough for the reply. I've been researching this stuff for years and I have NEVER read a post of reversing amenorrhea unless the gal was under 30 or had amenorrhea for less then a few years. For me the fear of returning to binge eating is scary (I was bulimic in my 20's) so I "get it" with your struggle. I "recovered" from the bulimia for 7 years and then resorted to the overtraining/undereating,(thinking I was healthy), lost period after 7yrs at age 32. It's really difficult to be a Crossfit trainer and gain weight at the same time but it's harder losing my health.

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on September 18, 2011
at 03:08 AM

WOW! I love this board. Thank you for all of the replies. I have a bunch of reading to do. For the first time in a very long time I feel encouraged. Honestly, I felt like I had started a domino effect of ill health (amenorrhea, osteoporosis, heart palps hair loss etc.) that wouldn't stop especially because of my age. Are your replies to Mallory on the PH forum or the jackruse?

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on September 18, 2011
at 02:48 AM

um i havrnt updated my blog in a long time. my BMI is 22 and BF is 20

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 18, 2011
at 01:13 AM

Mallory: I checked out your blog and you are a female at like 10% bodyfat. All you need to do is increase your bodyfat levels to correct this.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on September 18, 2011
at 01:07 AM

wat about vitex?

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on September 18, 2011
at 01:06 AM

no offense but if zinc were the answer id have my period...

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 17, 2011
at 09:44 PM

I use a lot of Maca in my practice. Mostly for adrenal fatigue and bad sleep. It increases DHEA and progesterone. Navitas sells a powder for the smoothie.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 17, 2011
at 09:43 PM

Zinc is a co factor in GNRH release so I personally see no reason why not. Most women with primary Amenorrhea need a jump start of their hypothalamus to get right with BHRT......adding a 25-50 mg dose of Zinc is not bad advice. Zinc really helps men with andropause.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 17, 2011
at 07:47 PM

Yeah, I mean overtraining greatly increases zinc excretion, and undereating obviously impedes repletion. High phytate and/or a low zinc diet (like the vegetarian below) will further exacerbate the problem. If your bodyfat is too low (female with visible abs) then yeah, your hypothalamus is receiving too weak a leptin signal and shuts down GnRH secretion, but it's *far* more common to simply be deficient in zinc, which has the same consequence of secondary hypogonadism.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on September 17, 2011
at 07:17 PM

I think Travis may be on to something with the zinc suggestion and hormonal balance in general. I hope to report back with my n=1 experience.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Downvote this all you want, but while you do, take some zinc.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 17, 2011
at 05:56 PM

See above; 95% sure you are zinc deficient.

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on September 17, 2011
at 04:38 PM

That's an excellent book suggestion!! Also check out naturallyknockedup.com.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 17, 2011
at 03:37 PM

also read the follow ups to what I said to Mallory in the comments. Pretty important stuff for this condition.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 17, 2011
at 01:33 PM

read my comments to NDF about primary amenorrhea.http://jackkruse.com/the-leptin-rx-faqs/#comments

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5 Answers

2
Medium avatar

on September 17, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Sounds like a classic case of zinc deficiency to me. Start taking 50mg of zinc picolinate a day (but not with a meal containing meat so you're still absorbing iron and copper) and up your oyster intake (don't combine oysters with meat for the same reason).

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on September 18, 2011
at 03:23 AM

Hey Travis, I was built just like Mallory for 7 years. I gained weight a year ago......and still nothing. Bioidentical hormones vivelle/progesterone have not even triggered a period. I am 5'5 used to weigh 100 super lean but now about 115 with body fat.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Downvote this all you want, but while you do, take some zinc.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on September 17, 2011
at 07:17 PM

I think Travis may be on to something with the zinc suggestion and hormonal balance in general. I hope to report back with my n=1 experience.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 18, 2011
at 05:38 AM

Mallory: How much zinc did you take/are you taking?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 17, 2011
at 09:43 PM

Zinc is a co factor in GNRH release so I personally see no reason why not. Most women with primary Amenorrhea need a jump start of their hypothalamus to get right with BHRT......adding a 25-50 mg dose of Zinc is not bad advice. Zinc really helps men with andropause.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on September 18, 2011
at 02:48 AM

um i havrnt updated my blog in a long time. my BMI is 22 and BF is 20

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on September 18, 2011
at 01:06 AM

no offense but if zinc were the answer id have my period...

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 17, 2011
at 07:47 PM

Yeah, I mean overtraining greatly increases zinc excretion, and undereating obviously impedes repletion. High phytate and/or a low zinc diet (like the vegetarian below) will further exacerbate the problem. If your bodyfat is too low (female with visible abs) then yeah, your hypothalamus is receiving too weak a leptin signal and shuts down GnRH secretion, but it's *far* more common to simply be deficient in zinc, which has the same consequence of secondary hypogonadism.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 18, 2011
at 01:13 AM

Mallory: I checked out your blog and you are a female at like 10% bodyfat. All you need to do is increase your bodyfat levels to correct this.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 18, 2011
at 05:38 AM

Mallory: How much zinc did you take/are you taking? It takes a long time to replete a significant deficiency.

2
4850fb3d5f9fe513974e0a205dadbe38

(20)

on September 17, 2011
at 03:17 PM

Hi I'm 28 and have this happening to me. They say it's because of my over training. And I was on the pill for 5 years. My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for almost a year now and it's hard because I do not get a period. I was not eating meat for 4.5 years and started Paleo and I hope this will help me get a regular period and some fat in my lining :(

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 17, 2011
at 05:56 PM

See above; 95% sure you are zinc deficient.

1
24868bf5aa2c49e269392765932d9dc4

(510)

on September 18, 2011
at 12:56 AM

I can't speak to the scientific side of things, but I can give you my personal experience. I was on hormonal birth control (POPs) and also went through a few years of overtraining and undereating--severe restriction. Unfortunately, I "recovered" by beginning a long bout of binge eating--which has not resolved, but I'm working on it. It took a good 12 months of being above my ideal weight for my cycle to resume. (Between nursing my second child, the POPs, and the underweight period of time, I probably went about 8 year w/o a cycle).

I'm 46 now--and I think my cycle resumed about a year ago. Granted, I'm above my ideal weight now (I think my BMI is around 26) and I'm struggling like crazy with binge eating--but I do have the most regular cycle I had ever had in my entire life. I don't exactly recommend the binge eating or going above one's ideal weight (not good for mental health), but I think weight restoration plain and simple does have a lot to do with this.

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on September 18, 2011
at 03:21 AM

MNH, I can't thank you enough for the reply. I've been researching this stuff for years and I have NEVER read a post of reversing amenorrhea unless the gal was under 30 or had amenorrhea for less then a few years. For me the fear of returning to binge eating is scary (I was bulimic in my 20's) so I "get it" with your struggle. I "recovered" from the bulimia for 7 years and then resorted to the overtraining/undereating,(thinking I was healthy), lost period after 7yrs at age 32. It's really difficult to be a Crossfit trainer and gain weight at the same time but it's harder losing my health.

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on March 07, 2012
at 07:50 PM

MNH, the extra weight has helped me. At 5'5 120 I feel heavy but my body is obviously happy again. Thanks!

1
60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on September 17, 2011
at 05:47 PM

Maybe do some reading on Maca? It's a natural supplement derived from a plant (just ground up, not added). It's good for restoring natural hormonal balance.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 17, 2011
at 09:44 PM

I use a lot of Maca in my practice. Mostly for adrenal fatigue and bad sleep. It increases DHEA and progesterone. Navitas sells a powder for the smoothie.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on September 18, 2011
at 01:07 AM

wat about vitex?

0
F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on September 17, 2011
at 03:21 PM

synthetic estrogen and progesterone don't work well, they are just not synchronous with the human body. I suggest a natural detox and repeat it every 3 months or so, read dr. lee's what your doctor won't tell you about premenopause and learn about topical progesterone, get a good deal of chiropractic care to rebalance your nervous system. hopefully you used chiropractic a lot during your training days. Good luck.

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on September 17, 2011
at 04:38 PM

That's an excellent book suggestion!! Also check out naturallyknockedup.com.

F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on September 18, 2011
at 04:27 PM

pills don't work, the digestive system and liver must be bypassed, that's why topicals are better. a compounded formula is usually the recommendation so the dose is individualized, patches might be hit and miss. a compounding expert may be the specialist to work with.

E12aa8d32cf28740bfb6727e4bf2d7d5

(70)

on September 18, 2011
at 03:25 AM

Do you consider bioidentical hormone synthetic? I have taken vivell/progesterone for 6 months........no change.

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