Ladies: Extra Mini-periods?
Whoo! Sit down with a nice hot cup of tea. I've got a big answer. Pardon me, while I dust off my soapbox. ;) DISCLAIMER #1: If you want to have children some day, then you should seek specific professional guidance (ie someone who deals specifically with reproductive health) when dealing with reproductive hormones. What you do today could have serious consequences years from now. That said, most women can correct years of hormonal imbalance in just a few cycles and still conceive. DISCLAIMER #2: It's hard to say what's "normal" for someone doing paleo while on the pill, because I don't think being on the pill can be considered paleo. As people following a paleo diet, we're basically trying to regulate our hormones by eating quality food and getting quality sleep. Unless we have a real medical condition that requires prescribed hormones (the use of which usually tends to follow natural rhythms); we should not be messing with our body's natural monthly hormonal rhythms by using the pill. So here's another situation where it's important to understand how the hormones are working and how they affect your body. Every cycle, under the influence of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), about two dozen eggs start to mature. Each egg is encased in a follicle. The follicles produce Estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone necessary for ovulation to occur. Eventually, when Estrogen reaches a threshold that is high enough, one eggs bursts out (ovulation!). This usually takes about two weeks from the beginning of menses but can take anywhere from 8 days to several months! Following the release of the egg, the follicle that held the egg begins to release progesterone (typically for only 12 to 16 days). This is known as the Luteal Phase. Progesterone prevents the release of all other eggs and Continue reading >>
Metrorrhagia – What Is It And Why It Can Happen?
Metrorrhagia is also commonly known as spotting and is the kind of off schedule bleeding that women experience which is not part of their monthly menstrual bleeding (which can range anywhere between a 22 days to 35 days cycle). Not only is Metrorrhagia extremely inconvenient because the bleeding is irregular and unpredictable, it is also a potentially serious problem because of the underlying problems that could be causing it and the fact that chronic Metrorrhagia could also lead to anemia. Any deviation of more than seven days from a woman’s monthly cycle can be termed as irregular bleeding which could mean Metrorrhagia and which would require investigation as to reasons why it is caused. Metrorrhagia could have a number of causes including: Endometriosis, the condition where material of the endometrial lining of the uterus may be found elsewhere, outside or other than the uterus could be a cause for Metrorrhagia Adenomyosis, which is the condition where endometrial tissue is found in the thick muscular layer of the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy, which is the implantation and development of a embryo in an area other than the uterus could also be the underlying cause of Metrorrhagia A hormone imbalance where there is a preponderance of one hormone over another disturbing the monthly cycle which leads to Metrorrhagia Endometrial hyperplasia is where there is excess growth of the cells of the endometrium The presence of a polyp in the uterus, the vagina, or cervix could all cause intermittent bleeding which could result in Metrorrhagia Ketosis Diets, which concentrate on increasing protein and fat intake while reducing sugar Certain progestin-only contraceptives could cause this irregular bleeding as can several medications such as hypothalamic depressants, anticholinerg Continue reading >>
- Untreated Diabetes: What Can Happen and Where You Can Get Help
- A cure for diabetes: Crash diet can REVERSE Type 2 in three months... and Isobel and Tony are living proof that you CAN stop the killer disease
- Poor sleep can increase risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke and more here is why a good nights rest is great for your health
Females, Carbohydrates, And Hormones
Oh, carbohydrates. Just like politics and religion, discussion on this macronutrient is not dinner table material. There are many strong opinions on just how many carbohydrates are “safe” to consume. Some advocate “high” carb, others prescribe a “moderate” amount, others “low” or even “very low”. And to mystify things further, what’s considered a low amount of carbohydrates to some, may be considered too high for others. Even the scientific literature doesn’t seem to agree on a common definition. See how it can get confusing? The purpose of this post isn’t to tell you which way is better. In fact, that is a decision you may never make. What works for some people, won’t work for others. What works for you now, may not work for you next week. If something is working for you, great! Right now, I want to explore one piece on the topic of carbohydrates that isn’t discussed often in this community. I bring up this topic because I personally struggled with finding the “right” amount of carbohydrates for my body. I want to make sure others don’t have to go through what I did. In the past, I’ve done damage to myself by going too low (almost on accident) and I want to stop you before it’s too late. If you’re in the same boat as I was, I’m hoping this will be an aha! moment for you. When I first started with my Paleo lifestyle, I realized just how amazing I felt going lower carb (probably in the range of 100 grams a day). The problem was, I was also doing high intensity workouts (kickboxing, interval training) multiple times per week. At first, I felt great. I was recovering like a champ, my sleep was perfect, I had a very stable, positive mood, and even though I knew I would probably benefit from more carbohydrates, I stubbornly went on Continue reading >>
Keto Q&a: Hypothyroid, Hair Falling Out, And Missing Period
This week we’re covering hypothyroid on keto, wheat belly, listening to your body, hair falling out on keto, amenorrhea, cortisol on keto, falling off the keto wagon, and more. Resources… Find an answer to your keto, low-carb, high-fat questions in past keto question and answer sessions. Continue reading >>
Absence Of Periods On Low Carb With If
Can a low-carb diet combined with intermittent fasting result in an abscence of periods? And if so, what do you do? Get the answer to this and other questions – could dairy be a problem in PCOS? – in this week’s Q&A with the fertility specialist Dr. Fox: Loss of period Almost five months ago I started LCHF due to insulin resistance and PCOS. I lost about 40 pounds (18 kg), and feeling great. But, after two months of regular periods (31-35 days), I simply lost them. The last was on March 26th. This is now my third missed period. When I look back, it seems to me that perhaps I shouldn’t have done IF, (i didn’t fast first two months, and then I had my periods). Now my doctor has put me on progesterone to induce periods, and gave me cyclo-progynova to restore hormonal balance. What has happened doctor Fox? The last ultrasound showed that my endometrium is very thin (before was great). Though, my right ovary had no cysts. Can these hormonal pills harm my health? I am also taking glucophage xr 1000mg a day. I’ve also noticed increased hair loss… Thanks in advance, P.S Keep up the good work!!! Thanks for every advice, lecture, interview! Ivana Dr. Fox: That overall is a hard question. My best guess and it is a guess, is that you may have an underlying hypothalamic dysfunction, maybe due to prior exercise, or eating disorders, hypoglycemia, sleep apnea etc, that has predisposed you to be very sensitive to physiologic stress. The IF if not done during a time of absolute ketoadaptation, could produce such a stress signal that then could have shut off the signals from the hypothalamus to the pituitary and hence decreased the FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) signal to the ovary. This could explain your scenario and would be the most likely thing we would see. Evalua Continue reading >>
A Ketogenic Diet For Pcos
There are many diets used to balance hormones, a Ketogenic diet for PCOS being one of them. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age, affecting approximately 4% of women . PCOS is often associated with symptoms of excess testosterone: irregular or absent menses, excessive body hair, and infertility. PCOS is also associated with medical abnormalities such as central obesity, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia. There are no known curative therapies for PCOS, though anti-diabetic medications do improve many of the metabolic abnormalities, like insulin resistance, and elevated serum testosterone and total cholesterol levels. Dietary and exercise interventions also have a big impact on improving insulin sensitivity. Research has shown that a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet for PCOS can lead to weight loss and improvements in insulin resistance which proves useful for treating PCOS symptoms. So what is a Ketogenic Diet for PCOS? Some people may know it as the LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat) diet. The goal is to reduce your intake of carbs, and increase your intake of proteins. Click here for our ultimate keto for PCOS cheat sheet. What you can eat: Meat (Any type but do try to use organic or grass fed meats) Fish (Any type; salmon is a great fatty fish) Eggs (Cook them any way you like; organic is better but not recommended) Natural fats (like butter but olive oil and coconut oil are the best) Vegetables growing above grounds. Dairy products (Since most of my readers have PCOS, it is recommended to cut back on dairy. In moderation, it is perfectly fine.) Nuts (Eat in moderation) Berries (Eat in moderation) What you can’t eat: Sugar Starchy foods (potatoes, bread, and pasta 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
16 Ways Keto For Women Is Different + Doesn’t Need To Suck
As a female, we have to tinker the keto diet a little more than our male keto-ers do. For example, during shark week I can’t eat meat or I’ll end up on the couch in agony, with a heating pad, wanting to tear my ovaries out. So, I have to opt for things that are more easily digestible to my puffy, unhappy insides. Keto for women is just different. For one week every month we have brain-consuming cravings, we weigh more, have a hard time digesting, we get headaches and cramps and dammit we just want a blanket, some chocolate and a tub of icecream. end OK, but you get it. We also have other things to think about, like vaginas and boobies. For these two special things, we need to make some alterations too. You can’t just cut out some things. How to make keto for women easier and less grouchy Here are some tips I’ve cooked up over the past year that I’ve been told have been really helpful, enjoy! Eat yogurt. The diet says no, but I SAY YES. Men don’t need to care about the Lactobacillus acidophilus in yogurt, but a good healthy vagina does! Dannon makes a Light & Fit “Diabetic Friendly” vanilla yogurt that’s only 3 carbs per cup. Take cranberry supplements. Additionally, we need cranberry to ward away pesky urinary tract infections if we ever plan on forgetting to pee after sex again. So, take a cranberry supplement every day, and accept the carbs that come with it. Prepare for the lady in red. When the red devil is in town and you “need” sweets, opt for a handful of dark chocolate chocolate chips. The gourmet ones, real dark chocolate ones have the least carbs. The Milk Chocolate Almond Bars from Meleleuca only have 7 carbs for the entire bar, 9 for the DHA-enhanced dark chocolate ones which is also awesome. Remember that meats take more Continue reading >>
27: Keto Talk Mailbox Blitz, Low Energy, Headache, Stomachache, Breastmilk While Keto
LISTEN AND DOWNLOAD AT ITUNES If you are interested in the low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat, ketogenic diet, then this is the podcast for you. We zero in exclusively on all the questions people have about how being in a state of nutritional ketosis and the effects it has on your health. There are a lot of myths about keto floating around out there and our two amazing cohosts are shooting them down one at a time. Keto Talk is cohosted by 10-year veteran health podcaster and international bestselling author Jimmy Moore from “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” and Arizona osteopath and certified bariatric physician Dr. Adam Nally from “Doc Muscles” who thoroughly share from their wealth of experience on the ketogenic lifestyle each and every Thursday. We love hearing from our fabulous Ketonian listeners with new questions–send an email to Jimmy at [email protected]. And if you’re not already subscribed to the podcast on iTunes and listened to the past episodes, then you can do that and leave a review HERE. Listen in today as Jimmy and Adam blaze through a bunch of listener questions in Episode 27! Here’s are the 12 questions Jimmy and Adam answered in this special Keto Talk Mailbox Blitz extended podcast today: – Testimonial from someone who learned his lesson why it’s important to stay ketogenic all the time Hey Jimmy and Doc, Just listened to your new Keto Talk podcast and what a great show you guys do. You mentioned pancreatitis in a recent episode and I wanted to share an experience I had with this. I cheated on the diet with lots of carbage and sugar. The next day I experienced an acute inflammation of the pancreas. It wasn’t a full blown case of pancreatitis but it was painful and lasted a few days. It also felt like I was having some gallbl Continue reading >>
What Your Menstrual Cycle Says About Your Health
Did you know that your period can be the biggest and clearest window to what is going on inside your body? Yes, that once a month call from nature can be extremely revealing if you become keenly aware of its subtle shifts, even if you consider your period to be normal and healthy. According to Ayurveda, a healthy cycle is one that occurs once a month, is bright red without clots or mucous, and is pain-free, bloat-free, and mood-swing-free. Variations from this are the body’s way of demonstrating subtle imbalances. There are three main categories of these variations. Look for them in your monthly cycle and use it as an opportunity to guide you to optimal health. You’ll notice a shift in how you feel during the rest of the month! 1. The Painful and Bloated Period Surveys show that 50 - 90% of women have pain with their menstrual cycles (and, unfortunately, most think this is normal). Chances are that you also become gassy, may have a day of spotting before a regular flow that perhaps is darker and has some clots, may experience more fear and anxiety during your period, and likely have some constipation with your cycle. Uterine pain during your cycle is caused by intense uterine contractions that lead to periods where the tissue does not get enough blood flow. In Ayurveda, this constriction is the cold quality (what we call vata in Ayurveda) at work. All of the above symptoms can be traced to the vata qualities of cold, dry, light, and mobile. If they are present in your cycle, they are most certainly also disturbing the rest of your body. You may even be experiencing dry skin, sleep disturbances, sciatica and low back pain, or joint pain. So, bring the opposite qualities back! Try these tips if you identify with any of the above symptoms: 1. Increase your hydration (t Continue reading >>
Do Very Low-carb Diets Mess Up Some Women's Hormones?
Studies show that low-carb diets can cause weight loss and improve metabolic health (1). However, even though low-carb diets are great for some people, they may cause problems for others. For example, following a very low-carb diet for a long time may disrupt hormones in some women. This article explores how low-carb diets may affect women's hormones. Your hormones are regulated by three major glands: Hypothalamus: located in the brain Pituitary: located in the brain Adrenals: located at the top of the kidneys All three glands interact in complex ways to keep your hormones in balance. This is known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis is responsible for regulating your stress levels, mood, emotions, digestion, immune system, sex drive, metabolism, energy levels and more. The glands are sensitive to things like calorie intake, stress and exercise levels. Long-term stress can cause you to overproduce the hormones cortisol and norepinephrine, creating an imbalance that increases pressure on the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands (2). This ongoing pressure may eventually lead to HPA axis dysfunction, sometimes controversially referred to as "adrenal fatigue" (3). Symptoms include fatigue, a weakened immune system and greater risk of long-term health problems such as hypothyroidism, inflammation, diabetes and mood disorders. Many sources suggest that a diet too low in calories or carbs can also act as a stressor, causing HPA dysfunction. In addition, some evidence suggests that low-carb diets can cause increased production of cortisol ("the stress hormone"), making the problem worse (4). One study found that, regardless of weight loss, a low-carb diet increased cortisol levels compared to a moderate-fat, moderate-carb diet (5). Eating too fe Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Experience - Updated Blood Clotting
I’ve been following a Primal / Paleo diet for a few years and hit a plateau with my fitness, body composition, and nutritional goals. So, I thought I would mix the diet up and investigate ketogenic dieting to drive my body composition a little leaner and see if I can retain my power / strength while staying in Ketosis. See this prior post. Ultimately, I’d like to find an optimal nutritional lifestyle that keeps me lean, strong, powerful, and healthy without having to cycle through various traditional training programs of mass-gain / lean phase / etc. Nothing lofty, just the holy grail of nutrition and training objectives *smile*. I’ve been in ketosis for approximately 10 weeks now. Here is my experience. Disclaimer: You should consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before embarking on any significant change to your diet. First, what is ketosis. Ketosis is when your body enters an alternative energy state by converting fat into ketone bodies for fuel rather than glucose from carbohydrates. When glucose is present and your body is not ketogenic adapted (used to burning ketone bodies) your body will leverage glucose as a primary fuel source for your cells, however, everyone has the capability of generating a secondary fuel source known as ketones. You enter ketosis by flushing your body of excess carbs and glucose, and your liver starts to turn fat to ketones bodies as a fuel source. The main ketone bodies generated by the liver are acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate. A lot of research has been done and is being done on ketosis as pertaining to health. Studies show that ketosis can be an effective treatment for many conditions and improve health at a cellular level. Doctors are beginning to use ketogenic diets to treat conditions such as epilepsy, autis Continue reading >>
The Effects Of A Low-carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet On The Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Pilot Study
Go to: Methods Subjects were recruited from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill areas in North Carolina through a community PCOS support group and by word of mouth. After meeting initial eligibility criteria by phone, including replying "yes" to the question, "Have you been told by your health care provider that you have PCOS?," subjects were asked to attend a screening visit for a medical history and physical exam. Informed consent approved by the local Institutional Review Board was obtained. Baseline blood tests were also performed at the screening visit. There were no monetary incentives for participation. Inclusion/exclusion criteria The inclusion criteria were age 18–45 years, diagnosis suggestive of PCOS based on history of chronic anovulation and/or hyperandrogenemia, no other serious medical condition requiring medical supervision, body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 27 kg/m2, willingness to use acceptable contraception, and a desire to lose weight. Exclusion criteria included pregnancy, nursing or positive pregnancy test during screening period, and rapid progression of hyperandrogenic signs and symptoms. Intervention Subjects received an intensive group education program during monthly group meetings held every other week throughout the 6-month study period. During the first group meeting, subjects were instructed on both the rationale and implementation of the dietary intervention via use of a LCKD diet book and handouts containing suggestions on choice of appropriate foods. Subjects were then instructed to begin the diet the following day. During follow-up group meetings, study outcome measures were obtained, and continued dietary counseling, adjustment of individual medications, supportive counseling, sharing of food choices, and review of urin Continue reading >>