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No period for years. Could paleo help?

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  • No period for years. Could paleo help?

    Sorry that my first post is such an awkward topic. I am not officially paleo but because of various health issues over the years I think I basically follow a paleo diet... I have dietary restrictions (gluten, dairy) and have researched that soy is bad... and because of lots of hormone issues and a PCOS diagnosis I have cut out pretty much all grains (I cheat every few weeks with a bit of rice of quinoa...). Also a former binge eater, I find I am so much less triggered when I eat this way. So I guess I'm paleo? I find a feel a whole lot better when I eat this way.

    Anyhow, I've had a long health journey which led me to this type of diet. My endocrine system is a wreck. At age 15 my period stopped. I had been getting it pretty regularly for about 2 years. It became strangely irregular and then stopped. I pretty much never get a cycle. I have tried various hormones since then but I just don't feel good on them! I did get my period back at one time when I dramatically increased my amount of animal fat in my diet. I have been diagnosed with PCOS, but am not overweight like the classic PCOS patient. I have a belly but I am 5'3" and only like 116 lbs. I am just so confused as to whats wrong with me. No doctors have good answers. Of course in the back of my mind I've wondered if it is a dietary thing since I struggled with disordered eating and I was quite thin at one time (never less than like 98 lbs...) but I've been at least 112-115 lbs for a few years now and no longer struggle with disordered eating. I did at one point struggle more with binging and my weight was above 120 lbs for several months and I might have actually had a few periods at this weight. But they were still irregular and months apart. I am an exercise addict but I don't look that thin! I'm not wasting away... I actually eat very healthy and think my body looks healthy. I feel relatively healthy. I just don't know why I have no menstrual cycle. I am 23 now and really want to start a family in a few years. Its really what I want most in life and i really don't want to have to go the fertility treatment route.

    Right now I'm seeing an acupuncturist who is into paleo diet and tells me that I need to increase the amount of quality fat in my diet. Maybe gain like 5 lbs. Thing is that its not that easy for me. Coconut oil triggers me to binge and thats not ok. I just can't stop once I start! And I already think I look chunky so it's very triggering to gain weight. I don't restrict fat really I just don't include overt fats... I eat mostly veggies and lean meats these days with olive oil... I am NOT underweight at all. I have a belly. Do you think that a strict paleo diet can help? I have heard that it's great for fertility. Have you ever heard of anyone like me who got a cycle on paleo? I am an enigma to endocronologists. Sigh. Thanks for listening to my all over the place post

    Liz

  • #2
    Hi Liz~
    Low carb will help with your PCOS. Get your D3 level tested & sun/supplement to 50-60 ng/ml.

    I did get my period back at one time when I dramatically increased my amount of animal fat in my diet.
    Yup. Your acupuncturist is correct. You need to eat fat for fertility, preferably fatty meat, like grassfed beef & lamb, some fatty fish, high fat dairy (unless you are intolerant.) Think 30-40 gm carbs, 50-60 gm protein and the rest as fat. Don't count calories!

    (For the record, I eat this way, too and I am 50 with regular periods and no menopausal symptoms and 125lbs, 5'6", small frame.)

    Magnesium supplementation will help with your cravings. Try 400 mg Magnesim Glycinate before bed.

    I am an exercise addict but I don't look that thin!
    Women who exercise too much can mess up their hormone balance with an excess of cortisol. Cut back the cardio a lot and focus on weight lifting 2 x per week and gentle walking 1-2 hours daily and you will see things balance out & you will lose your belly bloat, too.

    A highly nutrient-dense diet will help your fertility/return of your cycle. Read this: Optimum Fertility ~ Nutrition - Sondra Rose: Happy Mind

    You can do this! Lots more info on my website/blog. I have helped several Primal/Paleo clients get pregnant. If you want more support, you can contact me via my website.
    Last edited by Dragonfly; 06-01-2013, 12:59 PM.
    Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
    Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
    Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

    Comment


    • #3
      Going primal helped with my periods, too. I'm asymptomatic PCOS, and when I went primal my cycle went from lasting anywhere between 18 to 27 days (very annoying, because I'd never know when they'd start), and I always had heavy bleeding, and the bleeding dragged on for 7 days. After I cleaned up my diet, my cycle finally stabilized and it was 27-28 days each time, and the bleeding only lasted 5 days. Hallelujah! This happened at age 27, so it wasn't like my hormones just changed all by themselves through aging. I also started drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea, and I think that helped, too.

      112 to 115 seems like a relatively healthy weight for your height. Before I got pregnant, I was consistently 120-125 at a height of 5'4". But, I also had a pretty high body fat ratio for my weight (i.e. I'm a freaking weakling, sigh). Remember, we're not men, and our bodies often need a higher level of body fat percentage (25-28%) for reproductive health. Think about women in hunter-gatherer and agricultural times. If you have a low body fat, that sends a signal to your body that this isn't a good time to get pregnant, since it thinks you'd be bringing a child into a starving world. But, when the body fat percentage is higher, your body thinks this is a great time to be able to get pregnant and so your period comes in.

      I second what Dragonfly said, eat more healthy fat! I wouldn't be afraid of a few extra sweet potatoes and carbs in the mix, especially if (I don't know if it is) your body fat percentage is low and you need to gain weight. But, I'm also not as knowledgeable on this subject as Dragonfly is. My periods stabilized while eating a pretty balanced ratio of carbs, fat and protein, but my periods weren't as bad off as yours are, either.

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      • #4
        Get your hormones tested. And what everybody else said.
        Depression Lies

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        • #5
          Yay!!! Finally did it was suggested in the 21 day transformation

          Sent from my HTC Wildfire S using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app
          True freedom is the ability to live in a way that is all life giving, not clouded by anything that contaminates body, spirit, or mind.

          My journey: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread86444.html;)

          Comment


          • #6
            Do you read anything by Stefani Ruper? She deals with PCOS and infertility as well. Hopefully you can find something insightful here: Paleo For Women
            Is it weird in here, or is it just me?

            Comment


            • #7
              Optimum Fertility ~ Nutrition - Sondra Rose: Happy Mind
              dragon fly...thank you.

              Listen to this:
              at 18 years old (off at college): stopped getting my period for 5 months, university clinic put me on birth control
              at 26 years old: off birth control to start family...no period
              26-29 years: fertility treatments
              30: adopted first son
              32: back on fertility .. no period
              34: adopted 2nd son...
              ...currently 36 trying desperately to figure this out...still no period!??!?!?
              True freedom is the ability to live in a way that is all life giving, not clouded by anything that contaminates body, spirit, or mind.

              My journey: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread86444.html;)

              Comment


              • #8
                Definitely get your hormones checked, and ideally get a scan of your womb as well. You may need to go on hormones for a while to balance things out, but I would definitely continue to embrace eating a balance diet of real food (for the love of god don't go low carb), and getting the acupuncture.

                Not asking you to answer either way, but if you went through any kind of sexual trauma as a child it can really fuck with your system in later years.

                Originally posted by Aldergirl View Post
                I also started drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea, and I think that helped, too.
                Great for increasing progesterone!
                Last edited by YogaBare; 06-02-2013, 02:43 AM.
                "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                - Ray Peat

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yoga bare...thank you
                  Any recommendations for naturally increasing estrogen?

                  Sent from my HTC Wildfire S using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app
                  True freedom is the ability to live in a way that is all life giving, not clouded by anything that contaminates body, spirit, or mind.

                  My journey: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread86444.html;)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PrimalFreedom View Post
                    Yoga bare...thank you
                    Any recommendations for naturally increasing estrogen?
                    You're welcome

                    Before trying to raise your oestrogen I'd recommend... getting your hormones checked! Modern living is pretty oestrogen-dominated, so if you're lacking in it it's probably due to another hormonal problem rather than lifestyle.
                    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                    - Ray Peat

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=PrimalFreedom;1209408]Optimum Fertility ~ Nutrition - Sondra Rose: Happy Mind
                      dragon fly...thank you.

                      Listen to this:
                      at 18 years old (off at college): stopped getting my period for 5 months, university clinic put me on birth control
                      at 26 years old: off birth control to start family...no period
                      26-29 years: fertility treatments
                      30: adopted first son
                      32: back on fertility .. no period
                      34: adopted 2nd son...
                      ...currently 36 trying desperately to figure this out...still no period!??!?!?[/

                      Find a naturopath or contact me and we can have a preliminary chat to see if I can help you via nutrition coaching.
                      Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                      Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                      Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have PCOS and was diagnosed 10 years ago and I have a 7 year old daugther. Over the last 7 years my period have been irregular, maybe 1-3 times a year.
                        It was 7 months ago last time, I started with Primal this monday and 2 Days after I got my period. I couldnīt believe it! So I hope that it will come more regular now!
                        I also have noticed that when I eat B12 supplement, I get it more frequent!

                        Hope Primal workes for you! I hope that we will get a sibling soon!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh I am sooooo praying for you what do you feel like was the biggest switch/elimination/addition you made going primal?

                          Sent from my HTC Wildfire S using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app
                          True freedom is the ability to live in a way that is all life giving, not clouded by anything that contaminates body, spirit, or mind.

                          My journey: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread86444.html;)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am not a doctor, but one thing my doctor has told me is that the female body will not menstruate if there is less than 10% body fat. 5'3" and 115 pounds, I don't know for sure how to find exact body fat measurement, but it sounds possible you just don't have enough fat on you. A lot of what you're seeing on your belly could be bloating, or untoned muscle. On paleo you by no means have to have coconut oil if that concerns you, there are other fatty oils you could use. It also sounds like you might not be getting enough carbs; I don't know if you eat tubors or a lot of fruit, but it sounds to me like your body is saying "I am starving, I could not possibly sustain a pregnancy, therefore I will not ovulate."
                            Stumbled into Primal due to food allergies, and subsequent elimination of non-primal foods.

                            Start Gluten-Free/Soy-Free: December 2012; start weight 158lbs, Ladies size 6
                            Start Primal: March 2013, start weight 150lbs, Ladies size 6
                            Current: 132lbs, Ladies size 2
                            F/23/5'9"

                            26lbs lost since cutting the crap.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              To the OP, I would recommend taking a break from the exercise "addict" part. Try to take it more easier on your overall system. There is great hope for you in regards to fertility because you said your periods stopped at 15, yet you have had some irregular cycles in recent time.

                              If you had zero cycles for 8 years straight, that is cause for larger concern. Try eat more fish, and you may be able to tolerate farm raised organic eggs (yolks).

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