So now you’re probably wondering what my symptoms were. Well, first my period disappeared. My body was under such great stress that it shut down my reproductive system, interpreting my stress hormone levels to mean that I was barely surviving so I definitely could not have survived a pregnancy.
I’ve had a very hard time figuring out where to start with this. It’s complicated, and yet so simple. It’s downright embarrassing and highly personal, but I’m sharing it anyway. Why? Because maybe, just maybe, there’s some girl out there sitting in the same frustrated, lonely, confused place I was in, and maybe, just maybe, my story can help her.
In July 2016 things came crashing down. After another PB half marathon and a bit of work stress, I was feeling unusually tired. In hindsight that was a big warning sign that I should not have ignored. During my long run the next weekend I felt a pain in my lower back/glute. We put it down to tight muscle and tried to ignore it.
I’m not sure when exactly the other symptoms started to happen, but I think they were around the time of the first season of marathon training. Some of the changes that I now recognise as characterising my hypothalamic amenorrhea were night sweats, brain fog, forgetting people’s names, and poor short-term memory.