I'm 17 and I recently realized that I've had an eating disorder for about 2-3 months (I hope it wasn't longer). I was restricting my eating (probably around 1200 kcal a day) despite constantly being hungry and thinking only about food and exercising strenuously almost every night. I thought I was fine and was happy to finally lose weight.
Then I started feeling extremely tired. To the point where I couldn't exercise anymore. I also started feeling cold all the time. Then I remembered how long it had been since I'd had my period (I don't usually keep track) and that I'd pretty much missed two already. I got scared and checked online. Immediately, the red light of ANOREXIA NERVOSA began flashing everywhere. I panicked.
It took me almost no time to tell myself to stop exercising and add some weight. I've improved my diet, eat a lot, attempt to squeeze as much fat into my diet as possible. My BMI is not too bad: 17.5-17.7 right now. This "recovery" has been going on for a week.
What really scares me is not getting my period back. I thought the problem wasn't serious, since my BMI's not too low and I caught myself on time. However, my scale allows for BIA which measures body fat. It says my body fat is at 9%. Is that even possible? I still look healthy, I feel great and energetic after starting to eat properly. Could my body fat really be that dangerously low? Or is it just the scale?
According to my body measurements, by body fat is more like 17%. Which should I trust and how worried should I be? I'd rather not go to the doctor or alert my parents, since that would just add more stress. Could I simply recover by adding weight?
hi, it's good that you realized what was going on! i also lost my period when i lost weight. even after gaining weight back, it still took some time for my period to come back. so if you're eating right and not putting too much stress on your body from extreme work outs, then i am sure it will come back very soon considering it wasn't gone for long.
Firstly, congratulations on realising and catching your eating disorder before it took control of your life! :D
For a woman to get regular periods, their body fat percentage needs to be at least 15%.
Scales are usually not very trustworthy when it comes to anything other than weight (though even that needs to be questioned occasionally). What other method did you use to calculate the 17% body fat?
It may take a few months for periods to return as the body prioritises general health and well-being over reproduction. I would wait for a bit longer and continue with the recovery diet, as it seems to be working.
I have just recently recovered from anorexia, ive just been discharged about a month now. my lowest bmi was 16 which is dreadfully low! I was in denial about it infact i didnt even know i had an eating disorder! Its great. that you noticed as soon as you did before it got much worse. My period was away for ages when i was a really. low bmi but it came back once i had put on a few pounds, i think i was only abput about 43 kg when my periods returned but it depends with every person as everyone's body is different. and may require a certain weight for your periods to work. I was so pleased that mine came back as that is a sign that you are getting healthy again! And no you can not really recover through gaining weight but it does help, however you need to go through therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy and maybe a body image programme, this is what i did. This is in order to reduce the anorexic thoughts and get your thinking back to normal as anorexia is a mental illness. So best of luck to you, i hope they can come back and that you can continue to gain weight and become a healthy bmi again. Just remember to think positive, it is scary and hard at first but it really pays off! You will be so much happier! :)
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