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Ladies: How has the paleo diet affected your periods?

by (56596)
Updated about 23 hours ago
Created February 26, 2010 at 5:36 PM

I'm curious to know, as I just wrote a post about it. My own periods are now lighter, shorter, and less annoying in general. Mine is now about two days of light bleeding instead of 5 crampy bloody miserable days of hell. I chalk it up to a better balance of fatty acids, less sugar, and lower body fat.

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5 · June 22, 2014 at 6:04 PM

And fish is a great source of vitamin D! Recently I've been eating more and more fish and shellfish and feel so much better for it! It's just so expensive!

Ede167512744dbbeb0869761759474e7
5 · June 22, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Then I would think oysters would be great for you! They're extremely high in zinc and also have a good amount of iron. I get Crown Prince oysters which are tinned in bpa-free cans. You might be able to find them in a natural foods store.

I would think the fasting during period would be a bad idea. If anything I would want more calories during that time! Why don't you try supplementing with zinc?

I would guess the lack of vitamin D from sunlight is what makes your PMS worse in the winter. Vitamin D is a hormone precursor so I guess the only solution would be to eat foods containing vit d

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80 · April 15, 2014 at 11:54 PM

Have you tried upping carbs to over 100g a day? and lowering fat?

Could be worth a try

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80 · April 15, 2014 at 11:53 PM

Carbs could be too low, make sure your eating enough calories!

(read the post above with IF)

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80 · April 15, 2014 at 11:51 PM

Read the Mark Sisson blog post on females and IF! Good read!

I also have no period from low carb/IF. Ive added more carbs and gained some BF (fingers crossed I gain back my cycle)

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80 · April 15, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Make sure you eat enough carbs. Younger females need more carbs (100g) Check out www.paleoforwomen.com

I can't stress enough, I've lost my period for 2 years (and a year before that) from having too low of BF and eating very low carb.

I've been Paleo for 3 years. You can shock your body from weight loss. Just make sure your getting enough calories for your body!

67a7c4e7fc2f983dbd4527b43ddab0c9
0 · April 11, 2014 at 2:51 PM

On the plus side, my hair started falling out :-). 3 months to the day I had it removed and didn't go back on the pill. My period is back with a vengeance but I hope my hormones will even out and Paleo will help even things out again!

67a7c4e7fc2f983dbd4527b43ddab0c9
0 · April 11, 2014 at 2:51 PM

I always had heavy periods so I have been on BC pills for at least a decade. I started having breakthrough bleeding despite the pill and always needed a high progesterone pill but even those stopped working. My GYN talked me into Mirena and made me promise to keep it for 3 months. My face is breaking out more than high school (probably more of a reaction to going off the pill and I bled for the entire 3 months.

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178 · February 07, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Can I just say that "franco-paleo" is the cutest sounding thing ever?

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259 · December 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM

It takes different people different times to normalize their hormone levels. You have to bear in mind how long you've been out of whack and what else you are doing to your body (sleep, stress, etc) before you can expect your body to get on track. Divrgurl- 4 weeks wouldn't be enough time to regulate your hormones, by any standards, IMO.

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357 · September 11, 2012 at 9:26 PM

I've used a menstrual cup for 10 years and could not speak more highly of them. This was long before I ever discovered paleo. It greatly reduces cramping compared to tampons. There have been a few times I have not had it with me and had to use tampons and cramps are much worse. Also it saves a ton of money I would have to use an entire box of tampons every period so over time this really adds up!

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1876 · May 25, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Same boat - I've been paleo 4 weeks now, my period is very late (no, not pregnant) and I am having the worst depression/mood/anger I've ever had!!!

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2949 · March 23, 2012 at 7:59 PM

I'm so glad you added the "Ladies:" distinction in your question, otherwise I would have felt compelled to answer a question on periods. It would have not been pretty, or popular.

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11557 · March 09, 2012 at 9:39 PM

That's funny, I get the "both sides" pain too- it's like I can feel where my ovaries are. Never got that before.

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11557 · March 09, 2012 at 9:38 PM

I am now a 3-day-er too! I still use the nuvaring for my birth control, but it is nice to see that my diet is actually effecting my nether regions more than the thing inside it...

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80 · February 18, 2012 at 5:27 AM

No, I'm one of the unlucky ones too, so youre not alone. 3 months in, and the pain is much, much worse. Nausea, sweating, running to the toilet. I've had to double my painkillers, and dread the first two days now. The pain is excrutiating, on both sides, where I assume my ovaries are. Strangely though, now that other folks mention it, much lighter periods - two days instead of the usual three, and no acne!

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522 · October 30, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Hi Flip, thank you so much for your post. I'll make sure to keep researching on this topic, I have dropped quite a bit of weight since going Paleo but I'm about average for my height, I'm 5ft 9 and approx 140-150lbs (I don't own a scales so I weigh myself very rarely!) I guess it's all about modifying different aspects of your life to see what works for you - Wishing you luck with it! I'll keep you posted also, and thank you again for your response.

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70 · October 30, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Mashanshell, Sorry I don't have an answer to your question but if you are seeking to be educated keep poking around on lots of sites including Marks daily apple. I am in the same boat and 10 years with no period. Check out: http://www.fertilethoughts.com/forums/lifes-journey/343535-hypothalamic-amenorrhea.html Lots of these gals have been in the same situation and regained their cycles after gaining weight and modifying exercise. After years of paleo my period has not come back. Now I am adding carbs and reducing exercise. I will keep you posted.

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7540 · September 03, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Obviously you should speak to your gynecologist about this. But I also experienced hypothalamic amenorrhea (from too much exercise mainly, though there were times I was unhealthily skinny too) for a few years. It took more than a year at a normal weight/exercise level for my cycle to come back again. It just took a very long time for everything to normalize again, I guess.

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245 · July 07, 2011 at 12:23 AM

#2...good to know. My last 2 cycles have been 24 days apart and I was starting to wonder if that was normal. I went off the pill in January and have only had 3 cycles, so maybe my body is still adjusting.

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1716 · May 28, 2011 at 2:46 AM

I also haven't had a period since taking up intermittent fasting about 3 months ago. Currently getting blood tests done, etc to see what this is all about. Most likely due to drastic fat loss during that time frame and underconsumption of calories.

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50 · April 25, 2011 at 3:33 AM

I have symptoms of PCOS as well. I refuse to take contraceptives as they make me crazy (mood swings like crazy). I did notice that since eating paleo. I had 0 cramps before or during my period. I don't have a cycle (60+ days normally) and the only way I had for knowing it was coming was very intense cramps.

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135 · April 25, 2011 at 12:35 AM

I have had the same symptoms for 4 days now but with no period. I have never had PMS before Paleo but am now experiencing awful symptoms, I'm only a month in but I feel like my body is going crazy, I will post more below

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336 · April 25, 2011 at 12:34 AM

I have had the same symptoms for 4 days now but with no period. I have never had PMS before Paleo but am now experiencing awful symptoms, I'm only a month in but I feel like my body is going crazy, I will post more below.

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334 · April 18, 2011 at 6:09 AM

Alright, so, a few hours later and no more waiting...apparently announcing my body's refusal to cooperate to a public forum was enough to embarrass it into functioning?! heh.

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334 · April 17, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Not sure about waywardsister's reasons, but I've read bad things about dioxins in rayon, which most tampons are made out of. You can get unbleached cotton tampons at most natural foods stores.

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78407 · March 10, 2011 at 5:10 AM

search for sister zeus, go natural. http://trackerofplants.com

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78407 · March 10, 2011 at 5:06 AM

please go natural ... there is this site sister zeus , beside this there are great recources. google for penny scout , or emily porter and iuc

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78407 · March 10, 2011 at 5:03 AM

soy is fed to animals. you cant avoid soy in the usa if you eat standar food.

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487 · March 04, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Just curious, how come you stopped using tampons?

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1091 · January 18, 2011 at 1:15 AM

Same here. I went from 5 days of hell to two days of barely noticing that I am bleeding. Amen.

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4163 · August 21, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Just an update, I started taking a supplement 'Tranquil sleep' with 5htp, melatonin and l-theanine. I was taking it just to get better sleep quality, it worked and I had the VERY FIRST MONTH without the weepy-depression PMS, just a tiny bit of cramping and bloating! I'm ecstatic, dunno what did it but I recommend it to anyone else to try and see if it helps them too.

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78407 · July 10, 2010 at 1:42 PM

i never felt it leave that fast, but definitely i feel a surge- a heavy flow for one of two days, then a lot less. so somehow our hormones are being affected.

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1973 · July 05, 2010 at 9:40 PM

Zinc deficiency is also implicated in dysmenorrhea. http://scholar.google.com/scholar?num=50&hl=en&safe=off&qscrl=1&q=zinc%20dysmenorrhea

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103 · June 03, 2010 at 9:09 PM

I was underconsuming calories. Then I atarted overconsuming calories and gaining a lot of fat mass. Now I'm not sure what to do. Doctors haven't really helped so far. Certainly, it may not have been the IF as all my variables were confounded. I'll keep on tinkering...

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70 · June 02, 2010 at 8:42 PM

I'm 32 years old.

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4163 · May 23, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Argh, that's the last thing I wanted to hear :D I would definitely sacrifice cream and cheese for a happy cycle though, how long did it take to improve?

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642 · May 22, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Under-consumption of calories (such as may happen through IF) can slow down the metabolic rate, especially in individuals who are already lean. A low metabolism can slow down or put a stop to many vital functions, such as menstruation. I would interpret this as a sign that fasting is not the right approach for you at this point.

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2319 · May 22, 2010 at 5:46 PM

dairy seems to effect my moods. might be worth a try. I'm finding the whole thing a breeze now, except for maybe 1/2 day of lazing around, but that's a huge improvement from several days of gloom.

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514 · May 22, 2010 at 3:03 AM

That seems really strange and scary to me - I don't understand how Paleo and a bit of fasting could affect hormones to the extent that your period stops completely... I'll have to check out that freetheanimal site, but are you sure that this is due to IF and not something else that happened to crop up around the same time that you started IF? Seems like you should have some tests done, just in case.

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4163 · May 21, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Are you losing weight? It's said that estrogen is stored in fat cells and released when weight loss occurs causing the cycle to go a bit off for a while.

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22913 · May 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Controversial is how we learned about fasting, wheat, sugar, and Fat! Paleo is just now getting out of the blocks... Yet it's been controversially promoted for so long, post it up and share. Science is more important than dogma now.

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78407 · May 13, 2010 at 10:10 AM

bethany, how old are you? my period flow got lighter, but i still have one day that is heavy and that may be contributing to my anemia. i still carry some belly fat as well that may be affecting my flow.

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78407 · March 07, 2010 at 3:27 AM

meant blood donations! LOL

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78407 · March 07, 2010 at 3:27 AM

Well at least you didn't have to fight wooly mammoths to accomplish blood-letting! Maybe women are lucky to have periods every month and skip the blood transfusions. Not me- I'm over all that so I can't comment on any change.

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13993 · February 26, 2010 at 9:51 PM

Do it. I'll support you. :)

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56596 · February 26, 2010 at 7:10 PM

I used hormonal birth control for several years unfortunately. It's really sad how many women are pressured to use it. I've been using "Stone Age" methods for 2 and half years now successfully, though I am hesitant to write a post about it because it's so controversial. http://www.westonaprice.org/Rethinking-Reproductive-Health.html

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0bf6d86b43c983f6abac4800fd0b2660
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100 · March 04, 2011 at 4:04 AM

To the ladies who have Mirena & eat Paleo...you may want to look further in depth into the synthetic material & hormone contained in the iuc. I had it for 18 mos & found that it can have devastating effects to your health. My opinion is that your Paleo lifestyle is working to naturally balance your hormones, while the iuc is constantly working to imbalance your hormones in an unatural way. Obviously it's a personal choice. But I couldn't fight daily for whole health by abiding to the Paleo lifestyle, avoiding "poisonous foods" while an evil little foreign object lived in my body releasing "poison". But I'm a little biased against Mirena if you can't tell! Anyway...

67a7c4e7fc2f983dbd4527b43ddab0c9
0 · April 11, 2014 at 2:51 PM

On the plus side, my hair started falling out :-). 3 months to the day I had it removed and didn't go back on the pill. My period is back with a vengeance but I hope my hormones will even out and Paleo will help even things out again!

67a7c4e7fc2f983dbd4527b43ddab0c9
0 · April 11, 2014 at 2:51 PM

I always had heavy periods so I have been on BC pills for at least a decade. I started having breakthrough bleeding despite the pill and always needed a high progesterone pill but even those stopped working. My GYN talked me into Mirena and made me promise to keep it for 3 months. My face is breaking out more than high school (probably more of a reaction to going off the pill and I bled for the entire 3 months.

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78407 · March 10, 2011 at 5:10 AM

search for sister zeus, go natural. http://trackerofplants.com

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · March 10, 2011 at 5:06 AM

please go natural ... there is this site sister zeus , beside this there are great recources. google for penny scout , or emily porter and iuc

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241 · March 24, 2010 at 7:29 PM

I'm 40 years old, been eating low-carb for 18 months and Paleo/Primal for 10 months. My cycles were always long - 35 to 42 days - although the flow usually was only about 5 days. I've always had massive tension headaches two days before the flow starts and also in the middle of the cycle, plus water retention, cramping, increased hunger, lowered immunity (interesting someone else mentioned that too, I'd never heard of it anywhere else but definitely noticed it myself), joint aches, flu-like symptoms, and an attack of diarrhea the day before the flow started (funny someone else mentioned that one too, I only saw mention of that one other time. I read somewhere that it's from a hormonal surge just before your period starts - progesterone I think it was). All of that has gone away, and my cycles are now very consistently 28 days, flow for two days. Mostly symptom-free except for slight increased hunger. Most of the symptoms went away pretty quickly, within the first 6 months. I did go through a couple months when I spotted very slightly in the middle of the cycle, but that went away too. It took over a year for the cycle to reduce down to 28 days and for the headaches to go away completely.

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1648 · March 23, 2010 at 9:23 PM

So the caveat I'll throw in is that I've only done Paleo for a month now, and so am just experiencing my first period post-paleo. But, I have noticed two things:

No zits! I always get a zit or two prior to my period, and realized this time, none appeared.

And the other thing, that I didn't even realize was a period thing until the last year or two, finally talking with my female friends about this. In the first day or two of my period I will get struck with an instance of REALLY needing to go to the bathroom (#2). Apparently, there is something hormonal that occurs with your digestive tract, that causes a strong need for elimination, shall we say? Funny that no one ever talks about this aspect of the cycle.

Anyway, didn't have that occur this time.

TMI, certainly, but hey, that's the human body for you!

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70 · May 10, 2010 at 9:02 PM

I'm 32 and recently quit the hormonal birth control pills (ortho tri-cyclen/generic equivalent) that I'd been on for over 15 years (!!). That was about 6 months ago and approximately four months after I started eating Paleo. My main motivation to quit was the horrible mood swings I was experiencing that only seemed to get worse every month. I expected a rough adjustment and potential few months of irregularity but have so far only suffered one seriously late period out of about 7. Cramps are minimal (1 day) and heavy flow only lasts for one day - in fact I happened upon this thread because I was starting to wonder if a light, 4-5 day long period is normal or healthy. The only downside of kicking the pill thus far has been occasional acne. Sex drive went through the roof and my moods stabilized greatly so I'm happy with my decision.

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70 · June 02, 2010 at 8:42 PM

I'm 32 years old.

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78407 · May 13, 2010 at 10:10 AM

bethany, how old are you? my period flow got lighter, but i still have one day that is heavy and that may be contributing to my anemia. i still carry some belly fat as well that may be affecting my flow.

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2004 · February 27, 2010 at 2:07 AM

Before I cut the carbs, my hormones were way out of whack, and I had some of the symptoms of PCOS. My cycle was long (like 33-35 days), and I had spotting. Insulin is such a powerful hormone, and it can really wreak havoc with your system. My doc's recommendation was oral contraceptives. Nice. Now, my cycle is pretty much 28 days and is much lighter (never any spotting). No more monthly backaches either -- those were a b*tch.

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50 · April 25, 2011 at 3:33 AM

I have symptoms of PCOS as well. I refuse to take contraceptives as they make me crazy (mood swings like crazy). I did notice that since eating paleo. I had 0 cramps before or during my period. I don't have a cycle (60+ days normally) and the only way I had for knowing it was coming was very intense cramps.

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205 · July 05, 2010 at 1:46 PM

I cam to Paleo directly because of my menstrual issues - I have endometreosis.

I was (finally) diagnosed in 2004 and went to see a nutritionalist in the hopes of dealing with it without recourse to hormone therapies which my (gentleman) specialist introduced with the comforting "well, we're not sure what will work ... it won't cure it ... we'll just keep trying you on different cocktails until we find something that makes you feel a bit better" Um? No, thanks!

(The nutritionalist didn't get me to Paleo but started me on a course of eating and investigating that eventually ended here.)

Paleo has radically changed my periods for the better, these are the things that I have noticed:

(1) I rarely have pain now - if I do it is a vague cramping on day one. I don't really experience the pain that I identify with the endo side of things any more at all.

(2) My cycle has shortened, I was always a 28 day cycle but now am 26 days - you can set your watch by me!

(3) I used to have pretty much a full on 5 day period but I would say that I only have 3 days now and the rest is very light and on and off for the last two days.

(4) I used to get PMS symptons, funny tummy, confusion, clumsiness and sometimes a terrible aching sadness for no reason. That's pretty much all stopped and the emphasis on hormonal changes seems to have shifted to mid cycle ovulation where I am generally ravenous for 3 days or so and occassionally hit with the sadness - but in a much milder form.

All in all I have transitioned from violent pain and mind-fug to pretty much what I expect is considered quite normal. I really can't articulate the relief and delight I feel in having won free of the endo. On the flip side though - the minute I stray from Paleo eating I get hit like a truck and it can take a good few months for the endo symptoms to subside again. But unless I'm in a situation where I have no control or no choice (kinda rare) I've never wanted or needed to stray from Paleo .. so it's all good.

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245 · July 07, 2011 at 12:23 AM

#2...good to know. My last 2 cycles have been 24 days apart and I was starting to wonder if that was normal. I went off the pill in January and have only had 3 cycles, so maybe my body is still adjusting.

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200 · March 17, 2010 at 7:30 PM

I've ha a similar experience to you, Melissa. Pre-paleo I was on birth control on and off for a fair few years, due to irregularity and acne issues. Although I've slowly been moving towards paleo for about a year now (before I even knew what paleo was!) it's only the last 2 months I've been almost purely paleo without birth control. And boy, the difference! It only lasts about two days, I have no headaches the day before, no insane tiredness from nowhere and best of all; my immune system doesn't seem to be as fragile in the days prior either. That's a biggie for me! I would always get minor colds, almost every month, in the days before my period. But the biggest and best deal of all is that my acne is essentially gone and cleared up. And yet people around me still won't believe it's due to a diet change. :P

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2255 · September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Ok this is totally weird but I'll post it anyway. I had a total hysterectomy with my ovaries removed 18 months ago due to severe endometriosis. Since going paleo (about 2 months) I've been getting the endo pain back and also the sort of breast pain I used to get pre-menstrually. I'm waiting for the results of blood tests on my hormone levels because it feels as though I'm making estrogen again. I don't and never have eaten soy products so I've no idea why this might be happening although there is something called ovarian remnant syndrome and it could just be a coincidence that its surfaced now.

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78407 · March 10, 2011 at 5:03 AM

soy is fed to animals. you cant avoid soy in the usa if you eat standar food.

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7967 · August 31, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I went into paleo with many hormonal issues including acne, hair loss, painful cramps, horrible bloating and breast pain for almost half my cycle, and increasingly long, irregular cycles, sometimes with no ovulation at all, and with over a week sometimes of protracted spotting. I also often had severe IBS symptoms around my period.

2 years later: no acne for the first time in 10 years, hair looks to be growing back in (it's a slow process), cramps much reduced, almost no period side-effects (no breast pain to speak for the first time since puberty!), and I am back to a regular 28-31 day cycle, only bleed for 3 days and spot for 2. And I don't have IBS any more as long as I stick to my usual plan.

If I hadn't gone paleo I think I would have ended up with full-blown PCOS.

It's worth noting that my first two or three cycles on paleo were even worse than usual... scared me for a bit. Then they got steadily better.

Paleo helped me gain weight and my body fat is higher.

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1536 · May 08, 2011 at 2:28 PM

I get my periods naturally now since going paleo/primal. I don't have to take bc pills anymore in order to have a period. I'm 31, and have never had a regular cycle. I got my period twice a year, if that, lasting for 10-14 days. Some years I only got it once, or not at all. I was told it would be this way for the rest of my life and that I'd be on hormones for that long as well.

Since most of my periods were artificial or torturous, I am now trying to get used to the idea of menstruating every 28 days or so since I never have over the past 18 years. I can start to predict when I am ovulating due to various feelings and behaviors - aggression, exercising more, eating a lot more, that pimple that just has to show up, and other things, like more male attention. Being fat before, I was invisible to men anyway, but even though I'm not now, if I know my period is due by calendar and a guy is paying more attention to me, then it's probable I am ovulating because I'm sending out the signals. I use a Diva Cup since tampons are kind of icky and expensive in this country. That, and you have to throw them away. At work, we don't have staff bathrooms so I am apprehensive about throwing pads or tampons away in the bin in the same bathroom stalls that the kindergarteners use or having to leave class to change them. This way, I change it in the morning, when I go home for lunch and when I come home from work and before I go to bed.

When I get my period, I am bloated for a day but my skin clears up. My periods have been getting lighter since they've come in regularly - at first, they were five days, then four, then three with some light spotting. No cramps, no clotting, no having to call in sick being doubled over in pain unable to walk. I do get more sleepy but nothing unmanageable. I also stop feeling aggressive when I have my period. Other symptoms are starting to lessen, like breast tenderness, backaches and constipation as time goes on.

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25 · April 17, 2011 at 7:46 PM

I guess I am the odd one out :( I have be paleo for about 2 months. I had the worst 2 weeks of PMS, huge chocolate cravings which I caved into to, depression, anger. Period was a week late. Now that I have it my PMS symptoms have not totally cleared up - which normally happens. Plus the flow is out of control! Heavy, clots, leaking through to my pants, sorry TMI! No cramping though. I have lost 13 pounds since going paleo but that is not drastic. I am only on day 2 and I am praying this will be over soon.

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259 · December 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM

It takes different people different times to normalize their hormone levels. You have to bear in mind how long you've been out of whack and what else you are doing to your body (sleep, stress, etc) before you can expect your body to get on track. Divrgurl- 4 weeks wouldn't be enough time to regulate your hormones, by any standards, IMO.

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1876 · May 25, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Same boat - I've been paleo 4 weeks now, my period is very late (no, not pregnant) and I am having the worst depression/mood/anger I've ever had!!!

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11557 · March 09, 2012 at 9:39 PM

That's funny, I get the "both sides" pain too- it's like I can feel where my ovaries are. Never got that before.

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80 · February 18, 2012 at 5:27 AM

No, I'm one of the unlucky ones too, so youre not alone. 3 months in, and the pain is much, much worse. Nausea, sweating, running to the toilet. I've had to double my painkillers, and dread the first two days now. The pain is excrutiating, on both sides, where I assume my ovaries are. Strangely though, now that other folks mention it, much lighter periods - two days instead of the usual three, and no acne!

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135 · April 25, 2011 at 12:35 AM

I have had the same symptoms for 4 days now but with no period. I have never had PMS before Paleo but am now experiencing awful symptoms, I'm only a month in but I feel like my body is going crazy, I will post more below

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336 · April 25, 2011 at 12:34 AM

I have had the same symptoms for 4 days now but with no period. I have never had PMS before Paleo but am now experiencing awful symptoms, I'm only a month in but I feel like my body is going crazy, I will post more below.

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10 · March 10, 2011 at 1:43 AM

I'm on the pill Ortho Tricyclen Lo and have been for years. I went Paleo about 3 months ago and since then my periods have been several days early, where before it was like clockwork. They are lighter, too. I think I'm going to go off them and see what happens. In one of Robb Wolf's podcasts he mentions that women on the pill often can't lean out to where they desire and can't lose that last 8-10 pounds.

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1008 · March 04, 2011 at 1:34 PM

My period will start later today. I did notice a lack of PMS meltdown this past week. It may be attributable to cutting dairy out of my diet in the past couple weeks. I used to eat a lot of cheese and half-and-half, plus some sweeteners in my coffee. Now my only dairy is a couple Tbsp of whole cream/day, and nothing sweet in my tea or coffee.

I've been easing into paleo for several months now. And I am on the pill. (It takes care of some issues for me; maybe I'll try going off in the future but for now I like the hormonal balance it provides.)

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1591 · March 04, 2011 at 5:24 AM

Still heavy and crampy, but down to 3 days from 7. That's enough to make me ecstatic! :)

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11557 · March 09, 2012 at 9:38 PM

I am now a 3-day-er too! I still use the nuvaring for my birth control, but it is nice to see that my diet is actually effecting my nether regions more than the thing inside it...

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10 · November 08, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Hi I've been doing paleo for about 7 weeks now, and I lost a fair amount of weight. My first period on the paleo diet was a few days ago and it was all old blood and it wasn't enough to fill a pad. It had me thinking I was pregnant (I'm 24). Does paleo diet interfere with your body releasing an egg? Should I expect a more normal flow next period ? (shorter is fine, but this one has me worried). I've been spotting for 4 or 5 days now when my normal period (yet very heavy) only lasts about 3 days. Anyway, I just don't know what to expect my next period.

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80 · April 15, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Make sure you eat enough carbs. Younger females need more carbs (100g) Check out www.paleoforwomen.com

I can't stress enough, I've lost my period for 2 years (and a year before that) from having too low of BF and eating very low carb.

I've been Paleo for 3 years. You can shock your body from weight loss. Just make sure your getting enough calories for your body!

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436 · July 05, 2010 at 4:45 PM

I'm 24, and have been off hormonal birth control of various sorts for four years. I agree that young women are pressured into taking hormones as birth control in spite of harmful long-lasting side effects. Plus, insulin's effects are far-reaching!

A year ago, I got the ParaGard copper IUD when I got married because I didn't want any extra hormones in my system. My period went from heavy and irregular with some cramping to regular and very very heavy with cramping severe enough to keep me home in bed for a day. At the time, I was a raw foodist with fish occasionally, so lots of fruit, juicing, agave, dates, nuts, and sprouted grains = high insulin levels.

Since last Octoberish, I've been Paleo, and have seen great changes in my period, though this may partially be due to my uterus getting used to the IUD!

???Anyway, my period lasts 3-4 days instead of 7-8 and is lighter than pre-IUD days.

???Cramping is also much less severe, which may be significant since I have not read any accounts of it diminishing, but something that must be planned for each month indefinitely.

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400 · July 04, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Paleo eating = barely any cramping, and a shorter cycle. Still get the odd zit or two. I also have a better idea of when it's coming, just via slight breast tenderness.

Some other interesting changes happened after I switched to a menstrual cup and stopped using tampons, and apparently other women have noticed this as well:

My cycles got even shorter, and now I basically have my period for the first two days, and then some irregular spotting/bleeding for the next two days.

After I first switched, I actually started passing casts of my uterus once in a while. Hasn't happened in a few months now, but I had about 3-4 months where I'd feel this 'popping' sensation, and then find a complete cast. First time it happened I was all-meat (ZC), and honestly my first thought was that I'd somehow eaten too much meat and my body was getting rid of it! This could have been related to something else and co-incidental with the cup thing, who knows. Anyone ever had this happen?

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357 · September 11, 2012 at 9:26 PM

I've used a menstrual cup for 10 years and could not speak more highly of them. This was long before I ever discovered paleo. It greatly reduces cramping compared to tampons. There have been a few times I have not had it with me and had to use tampons and cramps are much worse. Also it saves a ton of money I would have to use an entire box of tampons every period so over time this really adds up!

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334 · April 17, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Not sure about waywardsister's reasons, but I've read bad things about dioxins in rayon, which most tampons are made out of. You can get unbleached cotton tampons at most natural foods stores.

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487 · March 04, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Just curious, how come you stopped using tampons?

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85 · May 22, 2010 at 2:39 AM

sarah-ann - i'd look into getting my hormone levels tested if i were you! A good naturopath or really good MD or gyno would hopefully be able to help you out with this. sounds brutal! good luck!

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78407 · February 28, 2010 at 2:04 AM

melissa wrote on her blog: "With most big proponents of the paleo diet being male and the general taboo against this subject, it's not surprising that menstruation and the paleo diet is little discussed."

actually, as soon as i found the arthur de vany blog and started paleo, i plunged into the period topic right away. no one slapped me down for it. so if it is taboo, it is women who feel too uncomfortable with the subject who make it that way.

also, talkin' menstruation, i think we have to know people's ages. i'm 44 and may be perimenopausal, at which time irregular heavy periods are seen as a symptom and not abnormal. i was passing big clots and lots of blood. i was anemic. but with each month of paleo (i'm on month 6 now), my periods have gotten lighter. they last for 6 days, with day 2 being the heaviest and the rest of the days fairly light. i have never taken birth control. i have 2 children and my birth control now is tubal ligation.

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78407 · March 07, 2010 at 3:27 AM

meant blood donations! LOL

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78407 · March 07, 2010 at 3:27 AM

Well at least you didn't have to fight wooly mammoths to accomplish blood-letting! Maybe women are lucky to have periods every month and skip the blood transfusions. Not me- I'm over all that so I can't comment on any change.

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13993 · February 26, 2010 at 7:01 PM

I've always been pretty regular, averaging 28 days. I think it's important to note that I don't use hormonal birth control. My husband and I follow FAM and have since we got married. I think my flow has gotten slightly lighter and slightly shorter since following a paleo diet, but it wasn't ever that heavy.

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22913 · May 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Controversial is how we learned about fasting, wheat, sugar, and Fat! Paleo is just now getting out of the blocks... Yet it's been controversially promoted for so long, post it up and share. Science is more important than dogma now.

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13993 · February 26, 2010 at 9:51 PM

Do it. I'll support you. :)

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56596 · February 26, 2010 at 7:10 PM

I used hormonal birth control for several years unfortunately. It's really sad how many women are pressured to use it. I've been using "Stone Age" methods for 2 and half years now successfully, though I am hesitant to write a post about it because it's so controversial. http://www.westonaprice.org/Rethinking-Reproductive-Health.html

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0 · June 22, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Hi Rachel. The 'copper overload' hypothesis is really interesting, I'll have a look into it. I have been tracking my nutrition intake on Fitday for about 1 month as I am rather vexed that I still have low Hb despite an average iron intake of about 150% of recommended daily intake. Haemochromatosis (iron overload) is pretty common in people of my ethnical origin so in a way it's a blessing: I was afraid I might develop iron overload on the paleo diet.I did notice that my copper intake is extremely high (about 270%), and my zinc intake is not so high (only about 100%). Will try to tweak it this month.

This month, I also tried a 44-hour fast towards the end of my periods. I had to give up after 36 hours, as I felt really unwell during an aerobic session (as if the 'brakes' were on). I generally do IF or longer fasts (up to 45 hours) around the time of my ovulation, with no issues whatsoever.

One thing I noticed as well is that PMS symptoms (including cravings for chocolate etc.) are always worse in the winter than in the summer.

I love oysters, but cannot find any where I live (except at a few restaurants, too pricey). I would have to order them as I don't drive. Gives me ideas for my next trip to France though!

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5 · June 22, 2014 at 6:04 PM

And fish is a great source of vitamin D! Recently I've been eating more and more fish and shellfish and feel so much better for it! It's just so expensive!

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5 · June 22, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Then I would think oysters would be great for you! They're extremely high in zinc and also have a good amount of iron. I get Crown Prince oysters which are tinned in bpa-free cans. You might be able to find them in a natural foods store.

I would think the fasting during period would be a bad idea. If anything I would want more calories during that time! Why don't you try supplementing with zinc?

I would guess the lack of vitamin D from sunlight is what makes your PMS worse in the winter. Vitamin D is a hormone precursor so I guess the only solution would be to eat foods containing vit d

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5 · June 22, 2014 at 12:52 AM

I used to have mild cramps the first day of my period and that was it, so not bad for my sad days. On paleo, I wouldn't have any cramps at all! Then, like a day before or the first day of my period (after months on the diet) I thought why not and bought a bunch of dark chocolate and splurged. OH DEAR GOD I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst cramps I've ever had accompanied by nausea. It was great; I sat in front of the toilet for an hour, exhausted, waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in.

The point of this was that I discovered the zinc to copper ratio is extremely important for our hormones. After that night I thought it was the sugar from the chocolate affecting me, but after a little experimenting, I realized it's the load of copper that made me feel so bad. Now, I eat a lot of oysters and sometimes take a zinc supplement. And now no more cramps even if I have a little chocolate :) just as long as I have enough zinc my periods are nothing at all!

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0 · June 21, 2014 at 10:53 PM

PMT easier on paleo, though I do take Mg supplements from day 20 (15 when I can remember!) of my cycle, and start craving carbs from day 22 approximately. I eat chocolate instead!

Still have quite a lot of water retention, but not too many mood swings. However, I need a hell of a lot more sleep (10-14 hours a night) for several nights in a row, and generally perform less well when exercising.

Definitely no skipped or lighter periods. When I reached my 30's, my periods became lighter and far less painful than as a teenager and in my 20's, probably age & hormone related: can't say I miss those awful cramps, and having to rush to the toilet after maxi 4 hours as both tampon and towel would be soaked in blood. Have started using a menstrual cup as well, great when you want to go to the gym straight after work as it can 'store' 20 ml of blood!

Am also starting to eat offals (liver, kidney) and black pudding, as still have low Hb, despite having been on paleo for months now!

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0 · May 15, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Glad to see this topic. One more benefit apparently from the paleo diet. I looked it up because my periods and PMS symptoms have also been improving. Less hormonal surge and shorter bleeding. I'm 44 and don't think I've started peri-menopause yet. I ate gluten free with lots of veggies before, but not enough protein and I've had Crohn's disease for 30 years and been taking immunosuppressants forever. Starting to taper those!

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0 · February 11, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Hello!

I realise this post isn't active any more but I thought I would give it a try - I was wondering if anyone can help me, I am 21 and been doing the paleo diet for 2 months now and my periods have always been fine. However, I am now experiencing changes - I had my period which lasted 5 days, then there was no blood for 4 days, and now for the past 2 weeks it seems as if I am on my period again (blood and slight cramp in the belly). It might be good to note that I am not on contraception so I know it isn't that.

Anyone any ideas of why I may be experiencing this prolonged period?

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0 · February 11, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Hello!

I realise this post isn't active any more but I thought I would give it a try - I was wondering if anyone can help me, I am 21 and been doing the paleo diet for 2 months now and my periods have always been fine. However, I am now experiencing changes - I had my period which lasted 5 days, then there was no blood for 4 days, and now for the past 2 weeks it seems as if I am on my period again (blood and slight cramp in the belly). It might be good to note that I am not on contraception so I know it isn't that.

Anyone any ideas of why I may be experiencing this prolonged period?

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1005 · September 17, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Not eating soy means no PMS for me. In the past I would behave like a demon for half a month, now...it just kinda shows up

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145 · September 17, 2013 at 4:52 PM

i was geting my period randomly, between 40 and 70 days. i started paleo and now get it every 33 days, sans medication!!

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0 · September 17, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I have been paleo for 2 1/2 months now. I had a period right at the start which was much easier than my periods usually are. It was shorter and lighter. Usually my periods are really heavy, but that is partially because I am very irregular. I'm told I have PCOS despite no actual cysts.

I have not had another period yet, which is annoying. I had been slightly more regular before going paleo and had hoped it would last. I am definitely not pregnant. I read an article saying that women should get 100-200g carbs on a paleo diet for fertility health. I'm considering adding in sweet potatoes to see if it makes a difference. Right now I usually hit 80g of carbs a day. I do think I am not quite hitting my protein intake and definitely need to work on that.

I might wait a bit to see if it works itself out. I feel like things have to be going in a better direction because my acne is gone. I always have had horrible acne and my face is clear for the first time (without bcp).

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0 · September 03, 2013 at 6:12 PM

It seems that for the most part, everyone has had lighter and less symptomatic periods since going paleo. I've been eating paleo for almost three months now and I skipped my period completely during the second month (and should be starting it for the third month soon). I'm definitely not pregnant - should I be concerned about the skipped period, given that I haven't lost a significant amount of weight/fat in a short period of time (about 10lbs in 3 months)?

Thanks!

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77 · August 25, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Mine's horrible without DIM. I am not sure if postpartum hormones (2 yrs pp already) are to blame or my diet. I first noticed worsening when eating low carb and then very low carb. Now with more carbs it is better but it never went back to the way it was pre Paleo. I had a short cycle, light bleeding, no pains ever. Then I experienced the opposite.

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1169 · August 10, 2013 at 8:03 AM

I am 51. I have no signs of menopause (except one period came early) which is unusual. It may be because I eat paleo. I have never been on the contraceptive pill in my life because I always wanted things to be "natural" and that might help too. I have never had any bad period pains or too much bleeding -just one heavier day a month and the other days light.

Since going paleo I have had less PMT, no days when I am so sad I can hardly work. Also now I am high fat/keto (as losing weight) the post period carb cravings have gone. I still weirdly have a day 7 days before my period when I cry and still feel heavier, more bloated, more water retention just before my period and as it starts.

For me it is low carb which is also helping. I ate paleo but a good few natural carbs for years which was not a bad diet but not quite right for me and I still had carb cravings before my period, over eating then and more PMT and sadness before my period came. High fat paleo seems to be stopping that.

I must surely at 51 be on the verge of peri menopause or menopause so everything presumably might well change soon.

I wish someone had told me at age 40 that between 40 and 50 there would not be any menopause signs so do not worry or even bother to think about it for another 10 years.

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0 · July 26, 2013 at 7:46 PM

I'm 36. I've noticed that I have far less cramping, fatigue and cyclic acne since switching to paleo. I used to have issues with iron deficiency anemia, especially when I was pregnant. In fact, the doctor encouraged to each MORE red meat! ( A doctor telling a patient to eat MORE red meat?!) At the time I thought she was crazy. Now I know this is exactly what my body has been needing all along. On a side note, I was also on the mirena IUD for 3 years and had it removed when it started causing problems like headaches.

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0 · June 14, 2013 at 2:40 AM

Honestly, after being strictly paleo for 5 months, I started to get horrific, but relatively short, bouts of cramps. A few hours after starting my period, I would have a couple hours worth of utter sickness...strong nausea, severely painful hot cramps, blacking out/feeling delusional in my mind, hallucinating once. I would be in agony sitting on the toilet for an hour or so and completely exhausted afterward. Thankfully it only happened for 3 cycles, but after I stopped eating super-fine-tuned paleo, my periods went back to normal.

To this day I still don't know the exact cause; what part of the way I ate or even supplements I took could cause such experiences..

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421 · June 13, 2013 at 11:55 PM

I'm 17, so hormones could have played a role in all this but... No more pre-period chin zits, period is 3 days (1 heavy, the rest light) instead of a heavy 5 days, and I only know I'm about to begin because my belly looks bloated. No other symptoms- definitely no more mood swings and irrational crying. I still crave sugar, usually in the form of chocolate, though! I hadn't even made the connection between my new eating habits and these things until I read your question. Wow.

Edit- I also still get ravenous once I begin

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0 · June 13, 2013 at 9:33 PM

This is an older post, but I just came across it. It was very helpful to read and I wanted to share my experience. I'm soon to be 28, was on Ortho Tri Cyclen, then Depo, then Mirena. I started paleo 4 months ago and at the same time finally decided the Mirena had to go. I had wanted to get rid of it for a long time but it was so darn expensive...plus not worrying about an oops was nice. It was doing horrible things to me though and it seemed counterintuitive to stay on hormonal birth control whilst trying to balance out my hormones with a healthy diet. I've been using the LadyComp since then, love it!

Because of the Depo and Mirena I had not had a period in at least 5 years. Going off the Mirena my period came back right away and I've so far escaped the "Mirena Crash". I think eating paleo has definitely helped my body regulate itself after the years of synthetic hormones.

I've had two natural cycles since getting the Mirena removed. My first real post-Mirena period was 5 days, relatively light with minimal cramping and bloating. The second one was 4 days, very light and no cramping or bloating. (It’s essentially a non event now compared to what I remember PMS and my periods being like before!) I get a small amount of breast tenderness, a few blemishes, and a few days of ravenous I-must-eat-ALL-THE-THINGS hunger about a week before my period. My cycle has gotten shorter each time as well. Was 42 days, then 33 days.

I read a couple other responses about a lowered immune system in conjunction with TOM and I've realized I've been getting sick at the same time or shortly after my period. I hope this is something that will improve with time.

It is wonderful to be in control of my body now, I feel better than ever. I love being in tune with my natural cycle, and noticing those subtles cues that let you know what’s happening in there, haha. It’s sad to think that this natural process can be so horrible for us because of what we are eating.

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178 · February 07, 2013 at 3:54 PM

This has been incredible to read. Thanks to all the ladies who posted, I have struggled with HORRIFIC periods my whole life (I'm 25) and I am in my first week of Paleo, I really hope it helps. You are all making me so happy! I wish we could have a women's only forum.

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329 · December 24, 2012 at 8:58 AM

After 24 years of misery, which included heavy bleeding, smart doctors who prescribed ibuprofen, endometriosis, being on birth control pills for years - I am now completely pain-free, thanks to paleo diet. I also take fish oil, b-complex and magnesium supplements.

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1005 · December 24, 2012 at 4:53 AM

When I was following the paleo diet really strictly I did not have any noticeable pms. Usually my "mum" heralds itsself with thunder and lightning, but that month it just one day...came. I only had a few chocolate cravings and very little moodiness...I did some crying but then I had had some real things to cry about go on in my life at that point.

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1580 · June 05, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Pre-paleo - regular, light-medium length+flow but frequently experienced incapacitatingly agonising cramps accompanied by vomiting, diarrhoea, flushing/fever/sweats, low BP/passing out, which on more than one occasion landed me in the ER. Even on 'good' months I would have bad cramps that would land me in bed for a couple of hours with nausea, light fever, dizziness and lose BMs

Went VLC strict paleo - lost period (hypothalamic amenorrhoea) within 1 month. No period for 18 months due to low leptin levels leading to low T3. Zero sex drive. Almost impossible to lose weight despite very low cal paleo diet and IF.

Current diet (LC primal-paleo) - increased carbs from 20-30g/day to 40-70g a day. Period returned 1 month later, regular since. Sex drive back to normal. Medium-light cramping only so far, no incidences of other aforementioned symptoms. No decrease in length/flow, although my cycle is quite long, currently averaging 34 days.

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4002 · March 23, 2012 at 8:01 AM

I have PCOS and after 14 months of amenorrhea after stopping the birth control pill, I have been able to resume my periods naturally following the Paleo diet!

p.s. I offer online help for women with PCOS (and other people too!) that want to get healthier with the Paleo diet!

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522 · October 30, 2011 at 9:29 AM

I've been meaning to post a question about periods for a while now.... But just found this post today!

I was on birth control pills for approx 5 years and completely stopped over a year ago (end of August 2010). Since then I have had one period, which was in February 2011. I started Paleo at the end of January and when my period came in February I thought, great, this diet has brought them back!

But I haven't had one since - Yes, I'm worried and am doing all that I can to bring them back. I have been advised that I have a thyroid issue which keeps my body temperature lower than normal. I've been taking iodine supplements for almost 3 months to try to regulate and increase my basal body temp.

I know that everyone is different but was wondering if any of the Paleo ladies out there have had this issue and if there are any tried and tested supplements/methods that I can use to bring my periods back? I'm functioning so well otherwise with the Paleo lifestyle and feel fantastic.

Thanks so much in advance for any advice!!

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522 · October 30, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Hi Flip, thank you so much for your post. I'll make sure to keep researching on this topic, I have dropped quite a bit of weight since going Paleo but I'm about average for my height, I'm 5ft 9 and approx 140-150lbs (I don't own a scales so I weigh myself very rarely!) I guess it's all about modifying different aspects of your life to see what works for you - Wishing you luck with it! I'll keep you posted also, and thank you again for your response.

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70 · October 30, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Mashanshell, Sorry I don't have an answer to your question but if you are seeking to be educated keep poking around on lots of sites including Marks daily apple. I am in the same boat and 10 years with no period. Check out: http://www.fertilethoughts.com/forums/lifes-journey/343535-hypothalamic-amenorrhea.html Lots of these gals have been in the same situation and regained their cycles after gaining weight and modifying exercise. After years of paleo my period has not come back. Now I am adding carbs and reducing exercise. I will keep you posted.

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1373 · September 03, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Question in a question - I was unhealthily skinny for a six month time and lost my cycle (this was not on a paleo diet). I gained weight again (I'm up to 18 percent from something like 13 percent body fat), and am now eating paleo but don't have periods. I ovulate, but don't menstruate. Are there any dietary tweaks I need to make (I'm franco-paleo - meat, veggies, and cheese are my staples) or is this a medical issue? I thought about hormone therapy to try to bring my periods back, but it seems illogical if I'm still dropping eggs and my blood tests show normal hormones.

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178 · February 07, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Can I just say that "franco-paleo" is the cutest sounding thing ever?

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7540 · September 03, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Obviously you should speak to your gynecologist about this. But I also experienced hypothalamic amenorrhea (from too much exercise mainly, though there were times I was unhealthily skinny too) for a few years. It took more than a year at a normal weight/exercise level for my cycle to come back again. It just took a very long time for everything to normalize again, I guess.

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7540 · August 31, 2011 at 3:26 AM

11-13 : Very, very heavy periods. Some pretty painful cramping but nothing horrific. Periods were always fairly regular. PMS symptoms were mostly digestive upset and painful/swollen breasts. Plus that awesome feeling of just being bloated and bitchy and miserable. I was vegetarian (most misguided decision ever) during this time and ate soy fairly regularly.

14-15: I sort of lost the last of my baby fat and also started playing a lot of sports at this age, which had the effect of making my periods much lighter and generally more pleasant. They were like clockwork every month, even starting around the same time of the day each month. I had some very mild cramping, severe insomnia the week before menstruation, water retention, painful breasts, and mild skin breakouts each month too.

15-18: Amenorrhea due to overexercising/stress. Curiously I still noticed PMS symptoms regularly each month, but nothing else.

Now: Very light periods, usually lasting 3-4 days only. At worst there's some light cramping and back pain, plus maybe feeling a little more anxious or sad than usual. I still have the problem of barely being able to sleep the week before my period, which is pretty awful. Also the water retention and breast enlargement is really annoying because it makes me feel gross, and I wish there was some way to address it. Still, on the whole, my periods now are basically a dream, compared to when I first started menstruating and would bleed through my clothes in a few hours sometimes if I wasn't careful. I just got my period back like three months ago actually (it seems like it took forever for everything to normalize again), so maybe they'll become heavier again in time, but I hope not.

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1471 · August 31, 2011 at 3:11 AM

Still as long as before but overall not as heavy or crampy! This is a huge selling point for Paleo....that and better skin...got my first compliment on my skin in years...I am 44 and havent had anyone compliment it in a long time. Which btw, use to break out at my cheek bones but now just on occassional white head near my chin during my period.

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158 · August 31, 2011 at 2:24 AM

NOW: I've been completely irregular for 16 years (doctors said I had PCOS symptoms, but no abnormal blood sugar, low blood pressure, and healthy weight). The short story is I've been doing paleo for a month, and my first paleo period was such a non-event that I mistook it for spotting. I had no warning: no cramping, no migraine, no odd cravings. Went strong for 5 days, then just fizzled out. Just like it's supposed to! I've started tracking it and should know in 2 weeks if it has permanently changed.

Here's my history:

age 12-14: very sad SAD diet. went 9 months without a period, and the closest I ever got to a boy was getting hit by a dodgeball. after the 9 months, i had a 3.5 WEEK long period. Yikes.

age 14-24: went vegetarian. lost weight (gained 15 in first year of college, then lost it in the third year). Periods went from non existent to infrequent but painful. Roughly 60 day cycles, migraines, cramping, digestive dysfunction. Low iron count always; I ran about 20-30 miles weekly and would feel particularly drained whenever my period came around

age 24-26: went vegan. stable weight, and same periods as with vegetarian. I'll make the disclaimer that I was as healthy as I could have been with the knowledge I had. I ate mostly veggies and grains, very little sugar (I don't appreciate desserts, and can't bake worth a darn), did eat a lot of soy. Felt even more drained, and I'm sure my iron plummeted.

age 26-28: given all the above, I ate some steak. The satiety factor was enough to convince me. I didn't change other parts of my diet, though, and my periods stayed on the same schedule, maybe a bit less crampy and time consuming.

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3219 · August 30, 2011 at 11:37 PM

I had been eating mostly paleo for over a year with the exception of occasional artificial sweeteners and my periods were lasting 7 days or more. I cut out the artificial sweeteners and now they've shortened to about 5 days. However, I am not yet doing grass fed meats due to the availability in my area. I'm about to start ordering my meats from sites such as US Wellness and will be going with grass fed. I am hoping this will shorten my periods and the severity further.

I am not on any kind of hormonal birth control and I have had my tubes tied since I am 32 and have already had 3 kiddos.

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1652 · May 27, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Woo! No period cramps or acne. Can I chalk everything in my life up to the diet? Yay, people care about my period here so I can write this. Best day ever.

I'm 27 and off hormonal b/c and on the diet for about a month.

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135 · April 25, 2011 at 12:47 AM

I am 26, I started paleo around this time last month, right before I was supposed to get my period. I think I threw my body into shock because of how little I was eating the first week. My period eventually came and was just light spotting for 2 days. My periods were usually coming every 5 weeks and I never had any symptoms of PMS in my life. Now it's 5 weeks later and I am experiencing what I suppose are severe PMS symptoms. Horrible cramping pain, lower back pain, depression,crying spells, unexplained anger and irritation. I feel crazy as I have never had this happen before, I was even wondering if I could be pregnant. I just feel awful and I'm not even bleeding! I am obese and have lost 20 lbs. in the last 5 weeks and think maybe that is affecting me as well. I am still eating some cheese and lots of Half and Half. I don't know whats causing this but I hope it improves with a more strict paleo diet.

P.S. This is not birth control related, I have taken depo in the past as I have severe bad reactions to estrogen based birth control, but have been off depo for a year now and am not currently using any chemical birth control.

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334 · April 17, 2011 at 8:54 PM

I have not really had one since prior to starting paleo at the end of January. One day of spotting a month into paleo, but nothing since. Not pregnant, and have had issues with cycle regularity since going off of birth control two years ago. I am pretty sure between years of eating disorders, a little flirt with veganism, and the hormonal birth control that my body is beyond confused. I am definitely getting enough calories and definitely not getting too much activity. I've had blood work done, but it was through my insurance and their conclusion was that everything is normal and I should just go back on the pill, which I'm not going to do. So I wait and eat more liver and wait some more...

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80 · April 15, 2014 at 11:54 PM

Have you tried upping carbs to over 100g a day? and lowering fat?

Could be worth a try

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334 · April 18, 2011 at 6:09 AM

Alright, so, a few hours later and no more waiting...apparently announcing my body's refusal to cooperate to a public forum was enough to embarrass it into functioning?! heh.

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0 · February 13, 2011 at 3:49 PM

I have a had a Mirena IUD for about a year. I spotted for the first 5-6 months and then had no period at all. Within a few weeks of going Paleo (I am actually following the Primal blueprint--higher fat, moderate protein, low carb), I got a period. I have now had three periods since then. They are regular, but last for about 10 days with moderate to heavy bleeding for about 6 of those days. My OB checked my IUD but it is fine. He says it's unusual, but he doesn't have any theories, except to suggest a sensitive cervix. I'm frustrated, and wondering if it is the diet or something else.

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0 · January 17, 2011 at 8:40 AM

I meant to post here because I came to this thread looking for a similar topic. I have had the Mirena IUD and my period has essentially been spotting or missing since about a year ago. When I started eating closer to Paleo at the beginning of this month, a light period with cramps and some minor PMDD-like symptoms showed up. I want to chalk it up to my hormones getting adjusted but I am not really sure what to think.

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0 · July 10, 2010 at 6:11 AM

Im on Paleo for 6 months. I never had issues with my period, it was regular. What I experience recently that the first 1-2 day got heavier and the rest lighter. Why Im writing here is that yesterday it got really heavy - I think the blood left my body within 2 hours normally would take a day. Can paleo diet cause this? Does anyone experienced the same?

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78407 · July 10, 2010 at 1:42 PM

i never felt it leave that fast, but definitely i feel a surge- a heavy flow for one of two days, then a lot less. so somehow our hormones are being affected.

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2312 · July 04, 2010 at 7:53 PM

I chalked it up to being perimenopausal, but my flow only lasts maybe 2 days now. I've always been pretty regular and usually lasted about 5-7days. I did suffer from breast tenderness and sometimes headaches and mood swings, not bad (except for the mood swings) but noticeable - again maybe from peri-menapause. Those symptoms have all pretty much diminished. I've been paleo (about 95%) about a year now.

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4163 · May 21, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Mine were never bad physically symptom wise, but I get a deep black weepy depression for four days before my period, I've tried magnesium, vitamin d, agnus castus (that made it worse!) evening primrose you name it. It's awful I'm cantankerous and impossible to live with and morose and pessimistic, and I'm usually quite cheerful normally. Just having come through another bout recently, I am desparate not to go through it again. Been paleo for about a year now and it's the only health problem that won't go away. Suggestions welcome.

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4163 · August 21, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Just an update, I started taking a supplement 'Tranquil sleep' with 5htp, melatonin and l-theanine. I was taking it just to get better sleep quality, it worked and I had the VERY FIRST MONTH without the weepy-depression PMS, just a tiny bit of cramping and bloating! I'm ecstatic, dunno what did it but I recommend it to anyone else to try and see if it helps them too.

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4163 · May 23, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Argh, that's the last thing I wanted to hear :D I would definitely sacrifice cream and cheese for a happy cycle though, how long did it take to improve?

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2319 · May 22, 2010 at 5:46 PM

dairy seems to effect my moods. might be worth a try. I'm finding the whole thing a breeze now, except for maybe 1/2 day of lazing around, but that's a huge improvement from several days of gloom.

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0 · May 21, 2010 at 3:47 AM

I have been paleo for about a month and a half, and my period is now two weeks late. From what I've read here, almost everyone has experienced shorter cycles and lighter flow... My tubes are tied, so I'm hoping pregnancy is not it, but could paleo be causing this?

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80 · April 15, 2014 at 11:53 PM

Carbs could be too low, make sure your eating enough calories!

(read the post above with IF)

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4163 · May 21, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Are you losing weight? It's said that estrogen is stored in fat cells and released when weight loss occurs causing the cycle to go a bit off for a while.

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103 · March 24, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Actually, since taking up IF, they stopped completely. I'm 34! This is an unusual but not unheard of experience of women on paleo. Freetheanimal.com has some info.

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80 · April 15, 2014 at 11:51 PM

Read the Mark Sisson blog post on females and IF! Good read!

I also have no period from low carb/IF. Ive added more carbs and gained some BF (fingers crossed I gain back my cycle)

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1716 · May 28, 2011 at 2:46 AM

I also haven't had a period since taking up intermittent fasting about 3 months ago. Currently getting blood tests done, etc to see what this is all about. Most likely due to drastic fat loss during that time frame and underconsumption of calories.

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103 · June 03, 2010 at 9:09 PM

I was underconsuming calories. Then I atarted overconsuming calories and gaining a lot of fat mass. Now I'm not sure what to do. Doctors haven't really helped so far. Certainly, it may not have been the IF as all my variables were confounded. I'll keep on tinkering...

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642 · May 22, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Under-consumption of calories (such as may happen through IF) can slow down the metabolic rate, especially in individuals who are already lean. A low metabolism can slow down or put a stop to many vital functions, such as menstruation. I would interpret this as a sign that fasting is not the right approach for you at this point.

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514 · May 22, 2010 at 3:03 AM

That seems really strange and scary to me - I don't understand how Paleo and a bit of fasting could affect hormones to the extent that your period stops completely... I'll have to check out that freetheanimal site, but are you sure that this is due to IF and not something else that happened to crop up around the same time that you started IF? Seems like you should have some tests done, just in case.

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0 · February 28, 2010 at 3:27 PM

I've had a Mirena IUD in since fall 2006. It was a godsend because prior to that I'd always had really, really heavy periods. After getting the Mirena, getting my period was a lot like spotting, and I could get away with panty liners during it. It would also last 3-5 days instead of 7. Now, however, having switched to a much more paleo diet, it's getting heavier (but still nowhere near what it was like pre-Mirena) and lasting 7-9 days. I think it's also coming closer together, but I haven't been organized enough to track it.

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20 · February 27, 2010 at 10:40 PM

Mine used to be only 3 days anyway, but since I've been doing paleo, it is 2 days, exactly 48 hours every time. Used to always get very bad cramps, but now if I stick to paleo and also supplement magnesium, the cramps are either non-existent or tolerable. If I eat anything non-paleo in the week before, then the cramps come back.

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