Ketosis And Hormone Changes
While working as a nurse with Dr. Robert Atkins, I adopted a low carb diet. My goal was to avoid my genetic tendency for developing obesity and type 2 diabetes. I had the tools at hand to monitor urinary and breath ketones frequently. After months I noticed that a few days before my period, ketones would drop or even disappear. This coincided with mild PMS symptoms including weight gain and the re-emergence of hunger and cravings. Ketones would return by the 2nd day or so of my menses. I began to mention this to my patients who wanted to monitor urinary ketones. I didn’t want them getting discouraged if they experienced the same. Many would return and tell me they noticed the drop in ketones as well. They appreciated having advanced warning. We also observed that with low-carb regimen, PMS symptoms over time would decrease, sometimes to the point that a woman would be surprised when she began her flow. At the start of the plan others would mention that the first period would in some way be worse before getting better. To my knowledge this has not been studied. What I learned is that any hormone changes in women can increase insulin resistance, which makes the body produce more insulin to get the same insulin benefit. At puberty and menarche when girls need to gain body fat they become more insulin resistant. I have been a carb addict but my cravings increased significantly at this time as did my weight. Hormones also fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. During pregnancy, peri-menopause, and menopause there are significant hormone changes accompanied by increased insulin resistance. This change of life stage (peri-menopause) for me was difficult. I lost ketones but still gained weight on my maintenance plan (my strategy was to adopt a 20 gram carbohydrate level and st Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And Menopause
Menopause can be very difficult on a number of levels. Although each woman's experience is different, many find that they gain fat, lose muscle tone, and struggle with hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings during this time. In this article, I'll discuss how a low-carb or keto diet combined with other lifestyle strategies may help you manage some of the physical, mental, and emotional symptoms of menopause. What is the Menopause Transition? Although a woman technically reaches menopause when she has gone 12 months without a menstrual period, symptoms related to perimenopause – the time where hormonal changes begin - can start much earlier. In addition, they may last for several years after this point, and new symptoms may develop within the first few years after menopause. The average age of onset for perimenopause is 46, and it typically lasts about 7 years. However, a woman may start perimenopause anytime between her mid-30s and mid-50s, and the transition can last from 4 to 14 years (1). The day after a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period, she is considered postmenopausal. During and after the menopause transition, as many as 34 symptoms may occur. The most common ones include: Hot flashes and night sweats Weight gain, especially around the middle Insomnia Vaginal dryness Mood swings Fatigue Poor memory, ie, “brain fog” Interestingly, while some women find that their symptoms are more severe during perimenopause, others report that their symptoms intensify after they are postmenopausal. Hormone Fluctuations and Insulin Resistance During Menopause During a woman's reproductive years, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) causes the release of an egg from one of her ovaries approximately every 28 days and stimulates ovarian production of estrogen. Af Continue reading >>
Can The Keto Diet Affect Your Period?
Diet changes can have a big effect on the menstrual cycle. If you somehow havent heard about the keto diet yet, heres a crash course: Its a not-so-new diet , originally developed for treating epilepsy, that involves limiting your intake of carbs and loading up on fats, such as butter and meat. And while it seems counterintuitive at first glance, it can be a surprisingly effectiveif not exactly sustainablemeans of losing weight. This may sound appealing when youve got basically no free time, but drastically changing your diet can affect your body, including your reproductive system and, yes, your menstrual cycle. Consider this your guide to the connection between the ketogenic diet and your period. First, its important to know that any type of weight loss has repercussions throughout the entire body. The first thing that's affected by any rapid weight changes is a woman's menstrual cycle, says Adeeti Gupta , MD, a board-certified ob-gyn and the founder of Walk In GYN Care in New York, NY. Women may either get irregular, heavy bleeding or start skipping their periods, while a long-term underweight situation can lead to no periods at all. Thats because when weight changes are extreme or sudden, as is the case with strict diets, it can affect the entire hormonal pathway, according to Gupta which will obviously be a problem if youre trying to get pregnant . As hormones control your menstrual cycle, its no surprise that its likely the first change youll notice. And not eating enough calories regularly, no matter the diet, can always cause you to miss your period. Overall, if your diet is causing you to consume too low a calorie amount, you might develop amenorrhea, or cessation of your menstrual cycle, says nutritionist Keri Gans , RD. The same goes if your diet is off-balan Continue reading >>
Treating Menstrual Pain With Diet
Almost half of menstruating women experience painful, crampy periods, also known as dysmenorrhea. According to Dr. Linda French from Michigan State University College of Medicine, “despite the substantial effect on quality of life and general well-being, few women seek treatment, thinking it won’t help.” Treatments are available, though–modern medicine to the rescue! There are surgical options such as neuroablation, where surgeons go in and attempt to cut or destroy the nerves leading to the uterus, or doctors can just take out the uterus completely. There are of course a bunch of hormones in pills and shots that can suppress the menstrual cycle as well. Since the pain is caused by inflammation, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are the most commonly used, achieving symptomatic pain relief in about two thirds of women. While effective, women using them need to be aware of the significant risk as they may cause adverse side effects. Though there are a bunch of non-drug, non-surgical treatments like acupuncture, “the evidence for the effectiveness of these treatments is generally weak.” One of the latest advances in treatment involves the use of a single high dose of vitamin D. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study the placebo did nothing–in fact, most women got worse. But the women who got the vitamin D all felt better. For more on vitamin D, see my series justifying my vitamin D recommendations, starting with Vitamin D Recommendations Changed and ending with Resolving the Vitamin D-Bate. But wait a second. If it’s pain caused by inflammation, how about putting women on an anti-inflammatory diet? A study outlined in my video, Dietary Treatment for Painful Menstrual Periods, placed 33 women suffering from painful periods on a plant-b Continue reading >>
Ketosis And Menstrual Function: A Canary In The Mine?
In the 1920’s, researchers at the Mayo Clinic used a ketogenic diet to treat adults with ideopathic epilepsy. In 1930, Dr. Clifford Barborka published a paper detailing their findings with their first 100 patients. Among other findings, Barborka notes that 20% of the women involved in the study experienced complete cessation of menstruation during treatment, which didn’t return until a normal diet was resumed. He only reported on menstrual cessation, but given more contemporary research on the subject we can reasonably speculate that many more women experienced menstrual irregularities that stopped short of complete cessation. Subjects were eating appropriate calories to maintain their weight, so weight loss was not a confounder here. He speculates that it may have been related to a vitamin B or E deficiency, but has no clear explanation. (Note that this was many decades before the discovery of Leptin and it’s role in hormonal regulation.) In 2003, researchers published their retrospective study of 45 adolescents aged 12-19 treated for epilpsy with a ketogenic diet over 8 years. They noted that 45% of the girls involved in the study reported menstrual irregularities, most (2/3) of whom experienced complete cessation of menstruation (the other 1/3 were reported as experiencing delayed puberty or menstrual irregularity). Most resumed menstruation after ending the diet. 2 were treated with hormone therapy to induce and regulate menstruation. A majority of the girls did not lose weight on the diet, so again, weight loss was not a confounder in most cases. Researchers speculated that: “The diet may mimic the menstrual side effects seen in starvation and certain female athletes.” In 1999, a group of researchers published a review of a small group (9 women, 2 men) of Continue reading >>
Keto And Menstruation: Can Keto Affect A Womans Period?
Keto and Menstruation: Can Keto Affect a Womans Period? Hip2Keto may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here . Click to share on SMS (Opens in new window) Diet, weight, and stress all contribute to changes in hormones in both women and men. However, due to womens reproductive systems, they often experience greater hormonal side-effects when it comes to diet and weight changes. For this reason, youll find several keto forums, websites, and books specifically targeted to women and keto. Nutrition greatly affects how our bodies perform and function, so changes in menstruation when going keto shouldnt be a surprise. However, some women experience changes in their period more than others. Is there a reason to worry?This really can depend on several factors, but overall, a healthy, well-formulated keto diet appears to help rather than hinder a womans reproductive health (a.k.a. your period and hormones). A womans menstrual cycle consists of 4 different phases with significant hormone changes in each phase. A typical menstrual cycle averages 28 days, give or take a week. Menstrual phase: day 1 is the first day of your period and lasts ~3-7 days. Follicular phase: overlaps with menstrual phase from day 1 and lasts ~ 16 days on average. Ovulation phase (a.k.a. baby-making phase): starts ~ day 14, right smack in the middle of the menstrual cycle and lasts ~ 24 hours. Luteal phase (a.k.a. PMS phase): lasts ~ 14 days after ovulation phase. A few of the hormones affected by menstruation, diet, and stress include the luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, progesterone, insulin, cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin. Within each phase, several hormones are affected, resulting in both physical and emotion Continue reading >>
How The Keto Diet Can Mess With Your Period & Hormones
Sheeva Talebian, M.D., is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist. She graduated from Columbia University and obtained her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission . We know the keto diet affects men and women differently, and therefore, the approach should be adjusted accordingly. One of the things that can be affected by the keto diet is the menstrual cycle, and it helps to know what's happening during each phase. Tasha Metcalf, the founder of Ketogasm and author of the new book Keto: A Woman's Guide found the keto diet helped her reverse PCOS, boost fertility, and lose weight, and shares this journey along with tips for how to customize the keto diet to your needs. In this excerpt from her new book, she explains how the keto diet affects our hormones and how it may interact with each phase of the cycle. Diet and lifestyle can affect our hormones, which is excellent news once we know how to optimize this to our benefit. Eating a ketogenic diet can dramatically affect our hormones, so we need to do our part to ensure it is a positive shift and not one that throws us into hormonal chaos. Considering how a woman's body responds to a ketogenic diet , calorie restriction, and the oscillations brought on by each hormonal cycle allows us to implement the diet in a way that promotes the balance required to flourish. The goal is not to reach an ideal body composition at all costs but to lose excess body fat safely, without sacrificing hormonal health. A better body and happy hormonesyou can have both! How the keto diet may help balance hormones. Besides clueing you in to overall health, is your menstrual Continue reading >>
Does A Ketogenic Diet Affect Women’s Hormones?
Does a ketogenic diet affect women’s hormones? Yes—you can count on your nutrition to affect your hormones. Does it ruin or destroy your hormones? No. The unfortunate part is that if women rely on hearsay and don’t source better information about ketosis and their hormones, they lose out on the benefits of ketosis, especially those who suffer from PCOS, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. Women with these conditions can benefit significantly from the ketogenic diet.  In this post we’ll discuss the ketogenic diet’s impact on your thyroid and the HPA axis, then look at ways to evaluate your hormones, how you feel, and what adjustments to make. The Ketogenic Diet and Your Thyroid Is ketosis bad for your thyroid? No. Let’s break it down: It’s true that low-carb diets (like the ketogenic diet) and calorie restriction lowers T3, the thyroid marker hormone.   T3 make your cells use more energy. Because of its function, scientists have hypothesized that “a reduction in T3 hormone may increase lifespan by conserving energy and reducing free-radical production.”  Together with T4, these hormones regulate your metabolism, heart rate and body temperature. Most of T3 binds to protein and some free T3 circulates in your blood. But a lowered T3 doesn’t mean you get thyroid dysfunction or hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is often a case of high levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and low levels of free T4. The pituitary gland tries to get your thyroid gland to produce T4: high levels of TSH. But the thyroid isn’t responding: low levels of T4. When T3 is reduced, the thyroid is called “euthyroid.” A normal thyroid. For a more in-depth look at what a low-carb diet does to T3, T4 and TSH levels, read Dr. Anthony’s article on ketosis and women Continue reading >>
Why You Could Have No Period On The Keto Diet - Insider
Being on a keto diet can stop your period. Since the keto diet cuts out carbs, calories, and some nutrient-dense foods, it can cause issues like irregular periods. The keto diet can also mess with leptin and luteinizing hormones associated with your period. However, other factors (blood, health, and mental health) can also stop your period. Its best to discuss this topic with a medical professional before giving the keto diet a try on your own. Although many believe that the keto diet can improve cholesterol levels and induce weight loss, the lack of carbs and calories encouraged on this diet plan can have major impacts on the body. A persons menstrual cycle is definitely something that can be affected by the diet, especially since the lack of nutrient-dense foods can lead to an abnormal cycle. "Nutrient deficiencies could contribute to an abnormal menstrual cycle, and following a diet that cuts out a major macro-nutrient could create gaps in a woman's nutrition, said registered dietitian Crystal C. Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC . As women, we need both adequate calories and nutrients to function normally and to maintain a regular menstrual cycle. To see how else the keto diet can affect your period, we spoke to experts on the subject to help you understand what kind of impacts the low-carb and high-fat eating plan can have on your body. Below are some crucial points they recommend keeping in mind. Lack of carbs on the keto diet can spell out issues for ovulation and menstruation Lack of carbs can lead to problems with ovulation and menstruation. Menstrual issues are not at all specific to the keto diet, but the thing which makes keto females more susceptible to such conditions is the near-lack of carbohydrates, said Caleb Backe, personal trainer and wellness expert . Keto is Continue reading >>
The Keto Diet And Your Menstrual Cycle: What To Expect
If youre thinking about trying the keto diet for weight loss , youve probably heard about some less-than-pleasant side effects you might experience at the beginning, such as the keto flu. But one factor you might not have considered is how the keto diet affects your period. While this eating plan affects every woman differently, heres the bottom line: Dont be shocked if you notice certain changes during that time of the month. As you may be aware, the keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. Going into ketosis a state in which your body gets energy from fats instead of carbs can often cause rapid weight loss. But if you start to lose weight quickly, your loose-fitting pants might not be the only instant change you see. Research has shown that quickly shedding pounds can lead to sharp drops in estrogen. This can potentially cause irregular periods at the beginning of your keto diet , especially if you lose a lot of weight in a very short amount of time. In some cases, women may even experience amenorrhea the abnormal absence of a menstrual cycle for three months or more while following a very low-carb diet like keto, according to registered dietitian Mary Jane Brown, PhD. The most common cause of amenorrhea is hypothalamic amenorrhea, caused by too few calories, too few carbs, weight loss, stress, or too much exercise, Dr. Brown writes for Healthline . Amenorrhea occurs due to the drop in levels of many different hormones, such as the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which starts the menstrual cycle. Irregular or missed periods arent the only changes women have experienced while following a keto diet. According to the Keto Summit , other women have reported seeing a lighter or a heavier period while first starting out on the eating plan. Yet others have seen their Continue reading >>
Girl Talk: The Keto Diet While On Your Period
Girl Talk: The Keto Diet While on Your Period 2018-05-28T16:06:53+00:00 By Allison Lee | News | You know the feeling, Im sure. Youre rocking that keto diet , the weight is coming off so fast that you get on the scale and do a little happy dance. Your daily food log is a shining example of perfect macros. Those ketones are making you feel so clear, focused, and ready to take on the world with all that extra energy. Then, BAM! Its period time and you begin to feel like its all coming undone. For many women on a keto diet, periods can often be a time of discouragement and temptation. With cramps, cravings, bloating, fatigue, and all the other symptoms that come along with this time of the month, its not always a time where we feel the most powerful and in control. First and foremost, stay away from the scale. Lock it up, dont step on it, and forget about it for the entire duration of your period. In fact, if youre one of the fortunate women that has a regular cycle and predictable periods, put your scale away early because premenstrual weight gain can begin to appear up to 5 days before the start of your period. Weight gain before and during a period is quite normal for most women, though the specific reasons still arent entirely clear to researchers. 1 Its thought that a combination of hormone changes, water retention from increased estrogen levels, and emotional eating are the culprits. Hiding under a blanket and binge-watching Netflix with a half gallon of ice cream isnt going to cut it unless, of course, youve made your own keto-friendly ice cream. Many women experience intense cravings for sweets and salty snacks while on their periods, and this doesnt have to be a time where you deprive yourself of those things if youre willing to get creative. Want chocolate? Have Continue reading >>
Symptoms Of Ketosis:
If you are considering the ketogenic diet or have already started down this carb-free road, you may wonder what you can expect. Here’s the thing. Ketosis looks different for everyone, but I will share many of the most common symptoms with you today. If something other than what’s listed here is happening to you, just do a quick Google search for that symptom and keto. You should be able to find what you’re looking for! The Early Signs: The early signs of ketosis vary from person to person. The biggest impact on how quickly you notice the symptoms of ketosis will have a lot to do with how you ate before you started the diet. If your diet was very high carb, you might get hit pretty quickly and furiously with what we like to call the “Keto Flu.” This can last anywhere from 3 days to a week or more. Once your body has adapted to burning ketones for energy instead of glucose, you’ll be golden so don’t give up! Here’s what you can expect within the first 2-3 days of starting the Ketogenic Diet: Fatigue & Weakness (lack of concentration) Headaches Metallic taste or sweet taste in your mouth (I experienced this, and it tasted like blood in my mouth) Lightheaded / Dizzy upon standing Heightened Thirst Hunger / Sweet or Carb Cravings Dry Mouth possibly paired with “Keto Breath.” Stomach Discomfort / Mild Nausea / Cramping Trouble Sleeping or Staying Asleep (early waking) Water weight loss (perhaps an excessive loss of weight within the first two weeks) Frequent Urination Allergies or cold like symptoms may flair up For the ladies: Period issues: You may experience a longer, shorter, earlier, later period because of Keto. Seriously it causes all of that. Each woman is different, and I have experienced every one of those issues with my period since starting ket Continue reading >>
Ketosis & Late Menstrual Cycle
Ketosis occurs when a person is deprived of dietary carbohydrates, causing the body to burn glycogen and fat stores for energy. This can lead to rapid weight loss, which may cause late or missed periods in some women. If you are experiencing ketosis and your period is much later than usual, consult your doctor. Video of the Day Your body burns dietary carbohydrates for energy. If you do not provide it with carbohydrates, it burns its fat stores instead. This process releases small carbon fragments called ketones into the blood, which causes the state known as ketosis. A common sign of ketosis is unpleasant fruity-smelling breath that results when your body tries to expel excess ketones by breathing them out. Although it is often marketed and promoted as a safe weight-loss and detox solution, ketosis can cause long-term liver and kidney damage. Ketogenic diets are extremely strict, high-fat, low-protein and low-carbohydrate diets that intentionally cause a state of ketosis, usually for quick weight loss. These diets may produce the desired results, but the weight loss is rarely sustainable since it returns quickly once you return to a normal diet. More importantly, they are not safe. Ketogenic diets can cause a host of problems, including kidney stones, constipation, cognitive problems, osteoporosis, high cholesterol and disruptions in the menstrual cycle. There are many reasons your period may be late. Some fluctuations in your menstrual cycle are normal, or may occur due to stress, your contraceptive method or even pregnancy. More serious causes include hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems or menopause. Extreme weight loss such as that caused by ketosis can cause your menstrual periods to diminish or stop altogether. If you are following a ketogenic diet and your peri Continue reading >>
Have You Lost Your Period To A Low Carb Diet?
A few weeks ago, I tweeted my concern about a low carb diet for young women. Apparently, my tweet was offensive to some people (men). They explained to me that it’s purely “anecdotal.” There is no known mechanism, they said, so it must not really be happening. Except it is really happening. Ask anyone who works with young menstruating women. Or not menstruating, as the case may be. True, we don’t know the exact mechanism. That’s because no researcher has yet asked the question: What does a very low carb diet do to periods? Until we have the answer, we can only surmise. I surmise that for some women inadequate starch signals the hypothalamus that there’s not enough food to reproduce. It may be via the hormone leptin. It may be via the microbiome. It is an adaptive starvation response, and may also be why a low carb diet can cause hair loss. [For an update and a possible mechanism, please see my 2016 post Are You Eating Enough to Get a Period?] In contrast, some women do well on a low-carb diet. They may even regain the periods they’d lost on a high-carb diet (see insulin-resistant PCOS discussion below). It comes down to this: There are different individuals in the world, with different glycemic responses. There are also different carbohydrates. For example, there is sugar and there is wheat, and they are two worst carbohydrates. Sugar is the worst carb Sugar is bad for health and for period health. High-dose fructose causes insulin resistance and inflammation and is more inflammatory than the long glucose chains of starch. That’s why some researchers have called for a ‘fructose index‘. I discuss fructose in my insulin resistance post, my PCOS post, and Chapter 6 of my book. Whole fruit is okay, but none of us should be eating desserts, sweet drinks, Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And Your Period: How Keto May Affect Your Cycle | Everyday Health
RELATED: What Are the Risks and Benefits of the Keto Diet? The Reason the Keto Diet May Mess With Your Period What gives? It could be the result of losing weight quickly. If someone is cutting too many calories, cycle irregularities can develop, says Kristen Kizer, RD, of Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. But note that this can occur with any diet, not just keto, though keto has been shown to lead to drastic weight loss. One study published in March 2014 in the journal Endocrine found one year into a low-calorie version of keto, most study participants lost at least 10 percent of their initial body weight. The keto diet can result in quick weight loss because it causes your body to burn fat instead of carbs through a process called ketosis . Keto Diet Only Beneficial for 1 Week, Mice Study Suggests John Thoppil, MD , a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with River Place Obstetrics and Gynecology in Austin, Texas, says low carb intake has also been linked with disrupted periods, but he says most of that evidence is anecdotal or comes from small studies. He agrees the changes in your period are likely related to weight loss and not keto. To have a normal period, you have to have a pulsatile release of hormones from the brain, he says. Any sort of stressor so weight loss or a lot of exercise can affect that pulsatile release that has to happen for this normal choreography of hormone release that allows you to have regular menses. One of the main hormones in play here is estrogen , which is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle. As weight drops, so do estrogen levels, says Luiza Petre, MD , a cardiologist and weight management specialist based in New York City. RELATED: How Keeping a Period Diary Helps Your Health How Worried Should You Be if Keto Ends u Continue reading >>