I was diagnosed with generic “amenorrhea”, which is the absence of your menstrual cycle. This can be caused from going off the pill, or stress, or over exercising. or not eating enough fat, or not having enough fat on your body, or a combination of all those things. Lucky for me… I had them all. I have been doing a lot of research on Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (and following this blogger here - Ashley, thank you for sharing your journey and giving me the courage to share mine) to learn more about it and truly believe this is what I have. This type of amenorrhea can affect athletes, individuals that have suffered with disordered eating, even people that are just under severe stress (think of my life the past year and half).
I’ve been lucky enough to find a Doctor that has been willing to do blood work and an internal ultrasound to rule out any serious concerns at this point; thankfully, the only thing thus far that has been found are my low levels of LH. Everything else was completely normal and I was even developing a mature follicle during my ultrasound (but my body decided not to ovulate.. boo on that). After all this in September, he said that if I didn’t have a period by January, I needed to move forward with an MRI to rule out a pituitary gland tumor. Now, I have been getting headaches the last few weeks - more so than I have in a long time - but I am not too concerned that it would be because of a tumor. I am hopeful it means my hormones are resetting and my body is just trying to figure itself out - so i’m staying as positive as possible. My MRI is early Saturday morning and I should get results early next week.
Onto the next bit of information…Big news.
I’ve gained almost 10 pounds since last May.
I put on a few pounds early summer (right when I went off the pill, my wedding was over, hormonal changes galore - finally becoming more stress free) and then I hit the 3-4 month mark without a period and had to go into the Doctor for the tests. That was when I shared my entire background and the happenings of the last year with my Doctor. Though he wasn’t TOO concerned, he did recognize that my body had been under a severe amount of stress, and also noticed my love with staying fit and active… almost to a point of being TOO healthy and obsessive over it all. It was no secret I loved working out and eating super healthy.. it made me feel good. My Doctor tried to explain that although I felt as if 120 was where my body should be at, I may have been working TOO hard and putting too much strain on my body to stay at that weight - when in reality, my natural weight should probably be higher. I was working out for at least an hour a day, and still only eating 1800-2000 calories (which I honestly thought was fine) - and I struggled staying around 120, which should have been a “HELLO” (wake up call) that maybe that wasn’t where my body was supposed to be. Doctor also explained that if i’m not giving my body proper nutrients, or putting it under too much stress (ie. intense workouts 6+ days a week), how could I expect to carry a child.
Thats when the light bulb went off. That conversation, plus my research on Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, gave me the push I needed to really make the changes I NEEDED to make. From my last post in November, I was still doing a few days of running or Taebo/Insanity a week. Now, I am only doing yoga/piyo, light biking and walking on the treadmill 3-4 days a week. No intense stuff… at all. Yes, there are some days where I need to fight the urge to throw on an Insanity DVD, or run 5 miles, because I miss it - but I need to give my body a break. I also discovered this new concept of intuitive eating. I eat what I want, when I want it. I am more satisfied than i’ve ever been before - truly giving my body everything it needs, when it needs it.
All this being said, I decided to weigh myself today just to see where i’m at; 128 pounds. Do you know what is awesome about that? That puts me around a healthy 22 BMI (which i was told to try and reach for). Woohoo!!!
Why do I want to share this? I know its a personal topic - but from the research I’ve done, and other blogs I’ve found - I know I am not alone. I know there are so many woman that deal with this exact same diagnosis. I know how scary it is. I know there are days where we all wonder “why me”? But through the pain and discouragement - I know I will come out stronger on the other side. I was given this challenge as part of my journey to become a Mother, whenever that may be. I hope my story, my journey, my experiences, can give others strength and hope.
x’s & o’s
Disclaimer: I am be no means a Doctor or health care professional. This information is solely what I have went through and my personal opinion.