Hey… (this is RESOLVED! Thanks to everyone for the wonderful input (: )
I am really unsure how to start this! But I’ve been very very concerned for my health for months now and am really lost in what I should be doing at the moment, so any help would be really, really great.
2 years ago I severely restricted my calories and lost an extreme amount of weight. In the next year I began to recover and managed to gain a bit more weight, but was still in the very low range. Now, I’ve gained a much much healthier weight from where I was before, but my period hasn’t returned in over 3 years. I actually lost my cycle before I lost the weight, but I’m thinking that it was because I wasn’t getting enough vitamins and minerals, and overall calories in general. I was also very young so it might have just been irregular, and then the losing a lot of weight kinda put a halt on everything.
I’m just a bit unsure on what I’m doing wrong.. or need to do in order to get everything working properly again!
As of now I’m completely free of any kind of eating problems! And feel totally healthy, energetic. And going raw vegan I think last year for a while really boosted me forward in recovery!
Right now I am 5’4, weigh around 104lbs, and am turning 15 in a month or so.
I eat a high-carb low-fat, 100% vegan diet, run 2-3 miles everyday, and do some weight bearing exercise. I usually eat around 3000-4000 calories everyday. But I’ve been starting to lower my calorie intake down to more of a maintaining place, whereas I’ve been trying to gain for the past months.
For breakfast I’ll always have a fruit meal of like 700-1000 or more cals
And the rest of the meals will be some kind of cooked carbs with one of the meals including some kind of beans, and leafy greens. I’d like to do pure raw, but I sacrifice because it puts too big of a strain on my family, and It’s hard for me to gather up enough fruits in a week. Though, I always have fruit meals whenever I can get enough, and I’m working towards 100% as best as my current situation allows me to! So I’m really curious if I’m eating at least reasonable in terms of getting my cycle motivated again?
Anyway, I really, really would appreciate any kind of insight from anyone who is knowledgeable in this area. On what I should be doing new, or doing different… please let me know! It’s very important to me.
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This isn't the first thread asking similar questions. On others that I've seen I'm at the understanding you could still be ovulating, become pregnant and be healthy without any bleeding on a clean diet, so there is also that possible confusion. So the question then would be are you ovulating?
Here is an interesting link http://debbietookrawforlife.blogspot.com/2009/04/periods-they-may-b...
And here is a REALLY interesting piece of something I just ran into:
There are a few african tribes whose women ovulate...but don't menstruate...reabsorbing the endometrium if conception does not occur during that cycle. The endometrium is reabsorbed into the body instead of breaking down into blood-like products and leaving the body.
Sorry I can't give you a site to go to. I grew up in West Africa...where I realized that there was a difference between some of the 'country' girls not swayed by the allure of the western style who never menstruate...and those who had left 'up country' to come to the big cities and started bleeding for the first time, within a couple of years of living the city life.
Some vegetarian women stop menstruating all together after first detoxifying their body. Years later menstraution drops off to a trickle, then nothing as the egg is reabsorbed by the body.
thank you so much my periods have been getting shorter and shorter as months go on and it helped shed a lil light as to why :)
Diospyros- I really haven’t heard anything about ovulating without actually bleeding until today, so I am pretty much clueless about the whole deal! It is really really interesting though, But honestly I don’t really feel like that’s the case with me... But like I said, I really have no idea! :)
I have had the same/similar experience as you of having an irregular cycle and then losing it totally from anorexia. You said you are 5"4 and 104 pounds. That is still quite underweight for your height giving you a BMI of 17.8 with any BMI number lower than 18.5 to be considered underweight and at risk. For people that have had eating disorders it is important to not just be at the bare minimum of 18.5 BMI since it is so easy to then fall below that and be in danger. You need to weight 109lbs to meet the bare minimum BMI to put you just over 18.5 and in a healthy range. But that is just the bare minimum as I said. To truly be healthy and let go of your eating disorder you need to probably weigh no less than 115lbs to get you to a 19.7 BMI and in a much safer and healthier place. Your body could very likely even need to weigh more than 115lbs to be healthy. When your body is at its desired healthy weight your period should resume on its own. Good luck!
Jennifer- Thankyou. I have been feeling and looking far better these past months, and I was just mainly curious if I was doing things in a way to mess up my chances of getting my cycle back… or if like there’s certain vitamins that I should focus on that I might be deficient in. Putting on a few pounds really won’t be difficult for me, I kinda had the feeling I was going to get that response! But it’s fine really, I have hope everything will work out in time. Thanks so much!
Just being at a BMI of 18.5 is not necessarily enough to start ovulating again. Some women continue to ovulate at lower BMIs, some stop ovulating at higher BMIs. It all has to do with the health of your system. (on the flip side, it's also why obese women tend to have irregular periods or stop ovulating altogether).
At 15 you are still quite young, however with your history of anorexia you may want to get some bloods checked to make sure your hormone levels are where they should be. Incidentally, I have a similar background to you and I haven't had a period since I stopped taking the pill about 2 years ago (and I'm 31). I'm going through the same investigations myself. I obviously WON'T be taking hormone replacement if that's their recommendation, but I am going through this rigmarole just so I know what's what.
Electroash- That is really awesome, I’d probably wish you a huge ….Congratulations!… but I guess that’d be awkward wouldn’t it? ;) I’m both happy and jealous for you.
I went vegan and started 80-10-10 around last September , I stayed raw for around 4 months or so, but as hard I tried I could ever collect enough fruit up to actually gain any weight, and it was really hard on my dad running to the store all the time, so I had to kind of make a sacrifice for my family. So for the past 2 months I’ve been including some cooked carbs. But I’ve definitely been feeling awesome on this highcarb lowfat vegan lifestyle.
Yes, I truly do feel more encouraged about everything after reading your reply , I’m really glad you decided to respond to me, thankyou. I agree, having a good, postive mindset about things really does play a big part in being healthy.
Yeah I have read somewhere about increasing body fat percentage, I really wasn’t sure though because the article was probably written by SAD meat- eating doctors or people, whatever. And honestly I’m not really into the thought of any gaining body fat! I guess I have this dream of being this super fit, thin athletic girl… so gaining body fat doesn’t really sound very attractive to me at the moment! Whereas I’ve been trying to lower fat and gain muscle, but whatever, if that’s what it takes, I guess I’ll just have to adjust a bit. And yes, I do believe I am over 10%, some of the tests tell me I have 13% and some 23% so I really have no idea. And I’ll have to look into foods and such that strengthen the liver… any suggestions?
I know, generally, supplements are recommended on here for various reasons.. But I have my son and myself on Silymarin, which helps support the liver. (I use Now Foods brand as they are not cross-contaminated w/ gluten and all other supps I've tried are). Now is very safe in their manufacturing w/ regard to allergens. (Btw, be careful w/ this and I wouldn't recommend taking any supps other than theirs because that could easily affect this issue, as well.) Gluten, casein (dairy), soy, etc. will definitely affect the menstrual cycle and hormones.
But I assume as you put on some more body weight, your body will adjust. When the female body has extremely low fat, it stops mentruating. (some gymnasts, athletes, etc.) Do don't necessarily be fooled that low body weight means healthy. If you're focused on being fit/healthy, there's a certain amt of body fat involved in being healthy. :)
You want to increase MUSCLE. Three ingredients for this: resistance training, adequate calorie intake, and adequate REST..... :)
I was thinking in the way of herbs...milk thistle for example. I use Mountain Rose Herbs. You could do a search there.