In clinic recently, I’ve been seeing more and more women of menstruating age with missing periods, who desperately want their period to return. The reasons for their missing periods vary from:
- Seeing carbohydrates as the enemy
- Improper vegan / vegetarian diets
- Transitioning off hormonal birth control (p.s. you don’t have a proper period on the pill – that’s a ‘pharmaceutical bleed’)
- Excessive exercise and excessive stress.
Food can play an important role in bringing back a regular menstrual bleed and menstrual cycle, as can reframing the role of certain food groups. 👀
Eating Complex Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are not the enemy and provide a tremendous amount of nutrients that can replenish a body that has had key nutrients depleted by certain diets, hormonal birth control and excessive stress. Focusing on complex carbohydrates, i.e. foods with more complex chains of sugar that take longer to digest, can help rebuild lost nutrients. Try adding in sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, lentils and beans to at least one meal a day.
Stress, whether physical stress from excessive exercise or emotional stress, can wreak havoc with hormones, putting the body into ‘fight or flight’ mode. This means that the brain will signal to the ovaries that they don’t need to make as much estrogen. This can lead to the loss of a period. It’s important to address the causes of stress, i.e. do a bit less high impact exercise & incorporate gentle movement such as restorative yoga, walking and swimming. Being honest about sources of emotional stress and finding ways to deal with them can also help.
From a food perspective, adding magnesium, whether through food or a high quality supplement can help, as well as supporting gut health with fermented foods and leafy greens.
Transitioning Off Hormonal Birth Control
When transitioning off hormonal birth control, it is essential to replenish the nutrients that have been depleted. Zinc, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin B6 are some of the nutrients that can be depleted by hormonal birth control. Adding in high quality red meat, poultry, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, eggs and wild fish can help rebuild nutrients over time.
Does any of this feel familiar? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to sign up for a free 30 minute hormonal health chat.
Le’Nise Brothers is a nutritional therapist, women’s health coach, founder of Eat Love Move and the Period Story Podcast.
Le’Nise works primarily with women who feel like they’re being ruled by their sugar cravings, mood swings and hormonal acne & bloating.
They want to get to grips with heavy, missing, irregular & painful periods, fibroids, PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, post-natal depletion and perimenopause.
Her mission is for women to understand and embrace their hormones & menstrual cycle!