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Issues: Menstruation/Bones/Vitamins/Supplements.... :/

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  • Issues: Menstruation/Bones/Vitamins/Supplements.... :/

    First, let me tell you about some things I am experiencing. I have noticed that I get muscle fatigue easily, and sometimes I will get this swollen feeling in my lower extremities, like my calves/thighs are enlarged. It doesn't seem like the typical "afterburn." It goes away usually if I stay off my legs, but it's bothersome. I am not lifting heavy at the moment, so it's not really expected.

    Also, I lost my period in 2008. I am by no means underweight, and I was not at the time either. It was when I started to get really serious about fitness. I worked out about 4-5 days/week, each workout no more than an hour. I lifted heavy and did sprints. Ever since then, I stopped lifting so heavily, but the periods never came back. My periods were always regular and normal, then just gradually got lighter and ceased completely. I went for blood tests, and I went through a trial of progesterone. It induced a period, but I stopped taking it because I didn't want to be on hormonal replacement. I also went on estrogen in addition to progesterone for some time, and I stopped that too. So I have not been on any hormonal replacement.

    Another problem is my bone density. I was concerned about the lack of estrogen, and I went for a BMD test, and it showed that I have osteopenia.

    I don't know what to do. Should I go back on the estrogen/progesterone regimen? I hate to have to take exogenous hormones, but I don't know what else to do. My insulin is in check, so PCOS is ruled out.

    I also want to mention that I do have antibodies against my thyroid (Hashimoto's), but it is minimal and has not led to hypothyroidism. Doctor said that in the future though, it might lead to full out hypothyroidism.

    I would like some advice on supplements and vitamins I should be taking. I am currently not taking any right now. I do think I should probably get a multivitamin. I am reading a lot about Vitamin D on here, and probably should supplement with that as well, especially since I live in Michigan. I am really wondering about other minerals/vitamins too, but there is so much information out there, and I just would like some clear advice. I am not taking any Calcium, although I probably should for my bones. Honestly, I am lazy when it comes to taking supplements. I find it bothersome. I also am considering chondroitin/glucosamine, anybody have experience with this? Do you think it makes a difference?

    I know this is a lot to read, but any input on anything that I've put out here would be helpful.

    Oh, and let me add about my nutrition. I have always been on the low carb side. I actually was a very overweight teen, and I went on Atkins...lost about 70 lbs. from the age of about 13 to 18 years old I would say. Since that time, I still work on my body composition and nutrition, and that's how I got here. I have been doing good so far. A little slip ups, but that is not the issue for this post.

    Thanks for your time.
    God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way...

  • #2
    Yeah, I had to fight for a Dx of PCOS. I was borderline at best. Don't rule it out entirely.

    What do you mean by "insulin is in check"? When I finally did get a diagnosis (in 2006, but I self diagnosed in 1998, which tells you how long it took me!), they had done an internal ultrasound while I was on my period (fun times) because for some women, that is the ONLY time the cysts show up. Also, there are some women who don't develop them at all. I had very faint "browning" around the back of my neck, but that was it. The Reproductive specialist and the endrocrinologist zeroed in on PCOS because of the lack of ovulating, and the fact that I've tried everything and a bag of chips (pun intended) to loose weight. Plus, it had taken us 10 years and many losses to have kids.

    I also did the whole chronic cardio thing too, I worked out 6 days a week for 90 minutes a day and ate about 1200 calories a day, while on atkins, STILL no weight loss (this was around the time I self diagnosed, in 1998).

    After we got pregnant in 2006, the PCOS seemed to have corrected itself a bit, I'm now dealing with a 32 day cycle. Since eating better (on and off the carb wagon), its now 28 days. Yay?

    For supplements, I can tell you what I'm taking, but please do your own research on them and see what you think may help you.

    8K Vitamin D
    B complex
    Chromium Picolinate
    Calcium Magnesium
    Fish Oil (3K/day)
    Krill Oil 1 per day (These reduce PMS symptoms and migraines mid month)
    CLA (new addition)
    DHEA (new)

    I know I'm still dealing with the effects of the PCOS, still holding onto weight. Even though I've had ALL the blood panels done, and the "doctors" tell me that my hormones are normal, I'm not diabetic etc etc etc. I STILL can't loose weight. I know that I need to cut the carbs down to less than 20 a day, and remove dairy/nuts/coffee from my diet, but I'm finding it exceedingly hard. It shall be done though. One thing at a time.
    SW: 235
    Rough start due to major carb WD.

    MWF: 1 hour run/walk, 1.5 hours in the gym - upper/lower and core
    Sat/Sun=Yard/house work, chasing kids, playing
    Family walk every night instead of everyone vegging in front of the TV
    Personal trainer to build muscle mass & to help meet goals


    • #3
      I highly recommend you supplement with Vitamin D right away. Also, A, K and calcium, unless you eat dairy regularly. 10,000 IUs of D3 in an oil-based gel cap, then test in 3 months and adjust your levels. More info here.

      Low carb is great!
      Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
      Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
      Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


      • #4
        Going low carb caused my partner to lose her period (and it still hasn't made a complete comeback). It also happened to Batty on the forums (and I think she came across forums on other sites where women were low carb and also experienced amenorrhoea). Neither are underweight, but active in life. Something to consider.


        • #5
          I'm hoping to see my cycles shorten from ovulating day 22 to day 15 or so but that's a bit different. I wish i knew what to tell you and malpaz to help reestablish a period, the only things i've read about it are in the Infertility Cure, but that's all chinese medicine so it's not for everybody. Chronic cardio seems to impact cycles for sure. I never lost my period whilst swimming (in high school) but they got way more heavy and painful. Is your bf% still the same? How about stress levels? The osteopenia makes me think you have an acid overload in your blood that your kidneys are using your bones to correct. Be sure to eat as much alkaline foods as acidic foods (veggies vs meat) and take a good calcium supplement. I take the chewable caltrate.
          28 yrs, 5'8.5"
          started primal 1/23/11 @ 143 lbs, couldn't do a knee pushup
          3/13/11 138 lbs, 30 knee pushups, yeah!


          • #6
            Since you have thyroid antibodies, please check out It's the best book by far on Hashimoto's and managing the root causes of it.
            The protocols in the book will prevent you from developing full blown Hashimoto's.
            BTW, in functional endocrinology ranges, any antibody level over 10 is considered Hashimoto's (as opposed to over 34 in CW reference ranges).