Are Your Periods MIA?
Are your periods MIA (missing in action)? If your periods have been absent for 3 months or more it could be due to hypothalamic amenorrhea. Hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) is when your periods stop for several months (typically 3 months or more) due to a problem with the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a major control centre in your brain which sends out signals telling your body systems what to do. One of it's many important roles is to control ovulation and reproduction.
There are a number of causes of HA including low body weight or low percentage body fat, very low fat diets or under fueling, over exercising and stress. If any of these are going on the hypothalamus may sense it is not getting enough energy and will try to shut things down to conserve energy. Your reproductive system is one of the systems it will shut down (as it is not essential for survival) leading to a lack of ovulation, periods and an impact on your fertility.
There are a number of symptoms of HA including:
Often feeling cold.
Depression and anxiety.
What can you do to encourage your period to return?
Include plenty of healthy fats in your diet i.e. avocados, nuts, olive oil and olives
Don’t count or restrict calories – if you have low body fat start increasing your caloric intake
Review your exercise – are you doing too much, is it too intense, assess how you feel after a workout; worn out or re energised?
Work on your stress and sleep – these are key.
I had amenorrhea for 7 years in my late 20's and 30's. At the time I didn't know how serious it was not to have periods and unfortunately I didn't get any support on how I could try to get my periods back. I didn't receive a diagnosis of HA but I'm sure following a very low fat diet and overexercising in the past plus the stress of infertility was related to my missing periods.
Don't suffer in silence like I did. If your periods are absent, irregular, painful, heavy or very light seek support and if you would like some help with how diet and lifestyle can support HA contact me, I'd be happy to chat.
If you would like some personalised support with your fertility, contact me to find out about my 12 week Boost Your Fertility programme. Book your free discovery call to find out how I can help you.
Disclaimer: Nutritional Therapy is not a replacement for medical advice, practitioners always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional. The information provided here is general and is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any diseases or conditions.