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Do you need to be underweight to lose your period?
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Do you need to be underweight to lose your period?

I've lost my menstrual cycle it seems. I'm not underweight but I do have undiagnosed "eating issues". Do you need to be underweight to lose your menstrual cycle? I know I'm not pregnant. Just not sure what's going on.
9 Comments Post a Comment
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351246_tn?1379685732

Hi!

Well, yes, if you are underweight, have anorexia or loss of appetite then you can lose your periods.

Loss of periods can be due to other causes as well. Stress and anxiety is a major factor. Thyroid problems and abnormal levels of FSH, LH, prolactin, androgen hormones or male hormones and estrogen hormones too can be the cause. MRI of brain may be required to rule out pituitary tumors secreting prolactin. Another major contributor is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This can be diagnosed by a CT scan or abdominal ultrasound and tests for insulin resistance. Smoking is also often associated with secondary amenorrhea and can be worse in presence of stress. Sometimes tumors of the ovaries and brain may also cause absence of menstruation. Severe anemia and malnutrition, excess weight gain or weight loss, hypothyroidism too can contribute. If you have been on pills or depot shots then this can be post pill amenorrhea.

If you are not pregnant, and have low weight and eating issues, it is important to consult a therapist. Also you need to consult a gynecologist to rule out other causes. Do discuss this with your doctor and get yourself examined. Take care!
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3180868_tn?1344525398
I do have PCOS and have been on the pill to manage that. But my lack of eating has gotten a lot worse over the past 6 months or so and now I seemed to have lost my period. I had heard from another girl with an eating disorder on a blog that she had lost her menstrual cycle when she was not underweight but was unhealthy due to unhealthy eating and her doctor said even though she wasn't underweight it was due to her eating disorder. I was just seeking out other opinions on this. I am honestly still too afraid to tell my doctors about my eating habits even though I've had problems for years (just gotten a lot worse over the past 6 months or so as I said). So thank you very much for your response I appreciate it.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just browsing through, I also have the same problem. I have an undiagnosed eating disorder, I have lost 12% of my original body weight and though I am not underweight I have not had my period for 4 months. I was already irregular before hand, however I was wondering if maybe my eating was affecting this, or if I have to get this checked out in case it is something else.
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3180868_tn?1344525398
I am now diagnosed with an eating disorder. Though  I cannot be diagnosed as "anorexic" due to the BMI because I am a couple points too high to be anything but "healthy or "average" when in reality my body is a wreck. But 8 months later and here I am still no menstruation. Yes, I am sure it is just a cyst or stress even though I have had an ultrasound and exam since losing my cycle. No. I have found out that it doesn't matter if you aren't classified as "underweight" if your body is too unhealthy to support a child you can lose your menstrual cycle. It's like a defense mechanism for mother nature. Only let the "fit" procreate.
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3180868_tn?1344525398
I am now diagnosed with an eating disorder. Though  I cannot be diagnosed as "anorexic" due to the BMI because I am a couple points too high to be anything but "healthy or "average" when in reality my body is a wreck. But 8 months later and here I am still no menstruation. Yes, I am sure it is just a cyst or stress even though I have had an ultrasound and exam since losing my cycle. No. I have found out that it doesn't matter if you aren't classified as "underweight" if your body is too unhealthy to support a child you can lose your menstrual cycle. It's like a defense mechanism for mother nature. Only let the "fit" procreate.
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Avatar_f_tn
Do you fast? Eg go long periods of time without food? If so that's why as your body's not getting what it needs
I'm in a similar situation to you and do far no period in three yrs!! I've also got pcos and my hormones are all out of sync
What has the dr suggested for you?
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3180868_tn?1344525398
I do fast and most days my calorie intake is between 300-500. I rarely go above 700. And I haven't consulted a doctor :/ I stopped my period a month after my last annual pap/check up.
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Avatar_m_tn
300-500 calories is not enough to keep you healthy. You can't get enough protein, fat, vitamins and trace minerals on a calorie intake of 3-500. It just isn't possible.

My daughter is in recovery from an eating disorder. She was diagnosed 3 years ago, and is now recovered. She is just beginning to regain her health. Her hormones and her thyroid are not normal. I don't yet know if that was the cause of her eating disorder, or a result or her eating disorder.

I would suggest a thorough work up of your thyroid, your hormones, and your endocrine system.

Remember: If you aren't taking in sufficient nutrition, your body will begin to stop working correctly. And then you can expect a downward spiral of health problems compounding what may be an eating disorder.

Look, your brain only works if it has the adequate resources to work (that's nutrition). People with eating disorders can't think properly because their brain lacks the fat and glycogen that it needs to operate. Do your best to start eating.

And you can be an anorexic, regardless of what your BMI is. An Anorexic is someone who is unable to eat. It doesn't matter what is causing it, (from the perspective of needing a working definition) whether it's a hormonal imbalance, a tumor, or a mental disorder. The result is the same: you'll become thin, and your health will deteriorate.

I wish you the best of luck as you regain your health!
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3180868_tn?1344525398
Thank you very much and I wish your daughter the best of luck in recovery.
I know that you can gave the anorexia mindset despite your BMI but textbook diagnosis with your psyc/MD you have to have a certain BMI. Mine is 20.5 I would have to be around 18. Until then they diagnose me with EDNOS with anorexic symptoms.
I also do know how badly your brain body etc need the nutrients. Despite my disorder I am actually very well educated about health.. I have spent my whole working career thus far working healthcare and pharmaceuticals and read anatomy books etc in my spare time. I like to be a well educated person. However, a disorder does not care what you know only what you feel.
I was baffled by the menstruation however because I have only heard of 1 person losing their period from an ED despite not being underweight.

Thank you very much for responding. I probably should have my thyroid checked along with my liver functions etc I am just too afraid. Again, best of luck to your daughter. I amso happy for her. And she's lucky to have support like you :)
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