You ladies are really quite amazing. I am so honored to receive the beautiful, heartfelt emails that you send. While each one of us is a unique woman with her own story, there are many, many thoughts that we all seem to have in common. With this in mind, I am going to share some of your emails and my reply here on the website. (Names and personal details have been changed because you're my people and I love you.)
This week we hear from Caren. She has been fighting to get her period back for over 1 year. I'm sharing her email because several of you have written to me saying that this process is taking MUCH longer than you thought. Perhaps some of the suggestions that follow might work for you.
Long story short, I'm 33 with a history of 35lb weight loss, hypothyroidism, used to work out 6x weekly to maintain my weight and was on the pill for 15 years. Of course, I stopped taking the pill in Dec. 2015 right before getting married in hopes of getting pregnant asap...and would you believe it's been 1 year and 3 months - NO DAMN PERIOD.
I've tried everything – read books about HA, stalked forums, went to acupuncture for months, tried herbs, cut down to yoga and walking, upped my calories...and have gone from 125 lbs to 150 lbs in under a year, with nothing to show for it. I've had good and bad days. Not one doctor has any answers for me. It's been pretty tough, as I know you're familiar with. I need to trash my scale, buy new clothes and get over it.
My response follows:
Your journey certainly is a challenge. When I hear about women who seem to be without a period for many, many months despite weight gain and a reduction in exercise, it really confounds me. There are a few things that could be at fault, though it's possible that you have tried them all. These are some of the things that women like you have discovered was the culprit after a year or more of no improvement:
- Mental stress and anxiety over the weight gain. I know one girl who told me that she couldn't take the mental anguish of shopping for bigger clothing, but when she did...she felt that she kind of gave herself permission to be what she was. Another girl started meditation to deal with the anxiety. Yet another got a cat. I know some of this is silly, but all of these women eventually got periods.
- Celiac disease. Apparently undiagnosed Celiac can mess things up pretty good. I've had 2 women for whom this was the problem.
- Being too hypo [hypothyroid]. I've had one woman get a bump up in her Synthroid and that seemed to work.
- A vegan/unbalanced vegetarian diet. Some ladies have had to let go of certain eating habits and incorporate different foods.
- A perceived reduction in exercise. One girl went from running 80 miles per week to walking which was great until she was also walking straight up mountains for 3 hours per day. We are not always great at monitoring ourselves.
- New diet still too low carb. This woman from the UK was eating enough to gain 15 lbs which was great except she was eating Paleo... Switching to higher carbs helped her almost immediately.