My periods have stopped. What am I doing wrong? - VeggieBoards
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 06-11-2013, 12:56 AM
 
juniper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 7

I have been vegan for 10 months. I have not had a period for 5 months- thats 5 skipped periods in a row.

Previously I have never skipped a single period since I was 12, not even when I had an eating disorder and was underweight.

 

The first few months of being a vegan my periods were extremely light and only lasted for a day which was very unusual for me, then stopped altogether.

 

I was vegetarian for about a year before going vegan. Although I can't strictly say I'm vegan as I occassionally will have eggs from my father's very happy and loved hen.

 

I am not underweight, I exercise regularly, am otherwise healthy. I'm 26 years old. 

 

The only other change I have noticed since becoming vegan is I have gained weight- just a few kilos but not enough to be concerned.

 

Any tips on foods/supplements that could bring my period back. I really want to conceive one day.

juniper is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 06-11-2013, 02:34 AM
Zelda Freak
 
Jennifer C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Rainy Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,761

This is something you should talk to a doctor about. I doubt it's diet related. 


~ Jennifer
 
* Find VeggieBoards:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
 +
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

* Find me:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
+
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
+
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Jennifer C is offline  
#3 Old 06-11-2013, 03:42 AM
 
juniper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 7

Thanks for reply. I have seen a doctor and got blood tests, and gyno specialist basically they told me I have to start eating a little bit of animal products. They were just kind of bullying me.

 

I really dont want to do that so I'm looking for other alternatives I guess. I've heard so many people say it's possible to get everything you need, so looking for advice on how. If I'm honest I probably dont have enough veggies and fruit and I rarely have protein. I eat nuts or seeds or lentils hardly ever. Do you need to eat those things every day? 

 

Also a quick google search I found lots of girls who went through the same thing when they were new to being vegan. Makes me think maybe I will be fine once I get a better idea what foods to eat.

juniper is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#4 Old 06-11-2013, 07:37 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,587
How many calories per day are you eating?
What does a day of meals and snacks look like for you?
luvourmother is offline  
#5 Old 06-11-2013, 09:03 AM
Veggie Regular
 
runnerveggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,862
Quote:
Originally Posted by juniper View Post

Thanks for reply. I have seen a doctor and got blood tests, and gyno specialist basically they told me I have to start eating a little bit of animal products. They were just kind of bullying me.

I really dont want to do that so I'm looking for other alternatives I guess. I've heard so many people say it's possible to get everything you need, so looking for advice on how. If I'm honest I probably dont have enough veggies and fruit and I rarely have protein. I eat nuts or seeds or lentils hardly ever. Do you need to eat those things every day? 

Also a quick google search I found lots of girls who went through the same thing when they were new to being vegan. Makes me think maybe I will be fine once I get a better idea what foods to eat.
If your doctors think it is diet related, the best thing to do would be to see a registered dietitian. RD's are nutrition experts, while MD's only have very basic training in nutrition. I'm very sorry that you felt bullied -- they likely did have your best interests at heart, but didn't have all the information and probably could have conveyed their concerns and recommendations in a more sensitive manner. Doctors these days are very crunched for time, which isn't an excuse for rudeness but can sometimes explain why they don't always take the time to explain things on a patient's level.

As far as basic nutrition, for a visual, the USDA MyPlate or the Harvard healthy eating place are useful -- both have a dinner plate divided into approximately quarters: fruits, veggies, grains, and protein. This basic scheme applies to vegans. Here is some more detailed information from Ginny Messina, Registered Dietitian: http://www.theveganrd.com/food-guide-for-vegans

As for how I make those guidelines work for me, I try to base most meals around a fruit or veggie + a grain + a protein. A lunch might be an apple, a fake turkey sandwich (grain and protein) and some soy yogurt (more protein). Dinner might be beans or tofu with veggies and browns rice with a sauce, or pasta with marinara sauce, veggies, and Gardein chicken cutlet. Breakfast is the only meal where I usually dont have a rich protein source - usually that's cereal and almond milk, but change that to soy milk and you have good protein. You can also add some cut up banana or blueberries to get some fruit in at breakfast. Occasionally I'll have scrambled tofu for breakfast with veggies and toast. I take a daily multivitamin, and a 1000 microgram B12 supplement twice weekly.

Anyway, I hope this gives you some ideas.
runnerveggie is offline  
#6 Old 06-11-2013, 09:26 AM
Veggie Regular
 
zirpkatze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by juniper View Post

Thanks for reply. I have seen a doctor and got blood tests, and gyno specialist basically they told me I have to start eating a little bit of animal products. They were just kind of bullying me.
...
what were the results of the blood test? did they show any deficiencies?
zirpkatze is offline  
#7 Old 06-11-2013, 07:53 PM
I ♥ Vegan Guys ◕‿◕
 
4everaspirit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,229

My periods tend to be very light, and they will frequently skip or drag on in super light mode.

 

I had a health teacher that told our class that sometimes very active people like gymnasts or those with low body fat don't often get their periods. It's like your body goes into saving your energy or something. 

 

You said you were underweight once and they were still normal, so I don't know if the same would apply. I haven't really lost or gained any weight as of 3 years being vegan, but I still have a lighter cycle all around. If you think it's a concern you might want to check with a doctor to be sure things are okay. Iron content may also be a factor. It takes a bit more plant based iron to equate to the typical meat based diet iron.


"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
4everaspirit is offline  
#8 Old 06-12-2013, 06:38 AM
 
juniper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post


If your doctors think it is diet related, the best thing to do would be to see a registered dietitian. RD's are nutrition experts, while MD's only have very basic training in nutrition. I'm very sorry that you felt bullied -- they likely did have your best interests at heart, but didn't have all the information and probably could have conveyed their concerns and recommendations in a more sensitive manner. Doctors these days are very crunched for time, which isn't an excuse for rudeness but can sometimes explain why they don't always take the time to explain things on a patient's level.

As far as basic nutrition, for a visual, the USDA MyPlate or the Harvard healthy eating place are useful -- both have a dinner plate divided into approximately quarters: fruits, veggies, grains, and protein. This basic scheme applies to vegans. Here is some more detailed information from Ginny Messina, Registered Dietitian: http://www.theveganrd.com/food-guide-for-vegans

As for how I make those guidelines work for me, I try to base most meals around a fruit or veggie + a grain + a protein. A lunch might be an apple, a fake turkey sandwich (grain and protein) and some soy yogurt (more protein). Dinner might be beans or tofu with veggies and browns rice with a sauce, or pasta with marinara sauce, veggies, and Gardein chicken cutlet. Breakfast is the only meal where I usually dont have a rich protein source - usually that's cereal and almond milk, but change that to soy milk and you have good protein. You can also add some cut up banana or blueberries to get some fruit in at breakfast. Occasionally I'll have scrambled tofu for breakfast with veggies and toast. I take a daily multivitamin, and a 1000 microgram B12 supplement twice weekly.

Anyway, I hope this gives you some ideas.

 

Thankyou that is really helpful! looking at that, I am definitely not getting enough in ANY of those categories. I am boarding with a vegan family, who provide all my meals. They have always assured me that they were healthy so I have just eaten the same as them and trusted that they know best as they have been vegan for years and years. Didnt do my research. But looking at that, I can see how much I am missing. I had no idea nuts and seeds were needed every day- I'd be lucky for every month. And I guess that's where I'd be getting the good fats from too. And the family I live with are taking lots of supplements that I dont.. I just didnt really think about it. They don't eat green vegetables just drink a green drink thing, but I never really noticed that means I'm not getting any green vegetables until now!
 

I like the idea of dividing up meals as one fruit veg + a grain + a protein. It's simple enough even I could do that :)

 

I will look into seeing a dietician too.

juniper is offline  
#9 Old 06-12-2013, 06:54 AM
 
juniper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by zirpkatze View Post


what were the results of the blood test? did they show any deficiencies?

 

Protein, b12, potassium, magnesium, Vit D came up low. And possibly zinc although it didnt come up in the test.

juniper is offline  
#10 Old 06-12-2013, 07:01 AM
 
juniper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 7

Also, I have been doing a bit of research and apparently the "good" fats, especially omega fatty acids are really important for women's health and have an effect on all sorts of "period issues" and even fertility. So I'll give that a try

juniper is offline  
#11 Old 06-12-2013, 12:30 PM
Veggie Regular
 
runnerveggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,862
juniper - you're welcome. I'm so sorry that you are going through this, and glad I could help! A couple more resources for you - veganhealth.org has lots of information on vegan nutrition, including detailed information about vitamins B12 and D that you might be interested in. There is a great book called "Vegan For Life" by RDs Ginny Messina and Jack Norris (author of the veganhealth website). I'm not sure if you are in the US, but if so you might be able to get it from a local library.

That is quite a list of deficiencies -- I hope you can get in to see a dietitian soon.
runnerveggie is offline  
#12 Old 06-17-2013, 05:16 PM
Newbie
 
zorgster's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: York, UK
Posts: 21

It would be helpful to get an idea of what build you are...  like height and weight?   or your BMI... ?

 

BMI = weight (kg) / height (m) squared

 

So if you are 1.7 metres.. and weigh 50 kg... then that's 50/(1.7 * 1.7) = 50/2.89 = 17.3

 

Anything lower than 18 is underweight.  At least .. that's the standard objective way that 'being underweight' is determined.. rather than relying on your own subjective opinion.

 

A period is the build-up of tissues in the womb and.. if there is no fertilised egg embedded in the lining of the womb producing the right hormones, then the body sheds those tissues once they are built up...   Tissues are made from cells... and cells are made up from mostly fatty acids and proteins...   You need carbohydrates for energy in order to build up those tissues each month... and iron helps to carry the oxygen in the blood which is needed to convert the carbohydrates into energy...

 

You need a lot of fatty acids to make up the membranes in all the new cells.  Cell membranes are made up from various different types of fatty acid... the cell controls whether the membrane should contain more saturated or unsaturated fats depending on many factors such as temperature and pressure... so long as your diet contains enough of both then you can let your body do its own job of regulating which are used...  the membranes are also made up from all different sorts.. which means - eat a varied range of fatty acids from coconut oil to canola to more omega 3 hempseed or linseed oils... 

 

You need a lot of protein (which your body breaks down during digestion into all its constituent parts so it can use them to build new proteins).   There are '20 essential amino acids' - these are amino acids that cannot be produced by your body.. so you have to eat something with it in.. or your body cannot make it.  If you want to make have a period or make a baby .. you have to eat enough of it for yourself and the growth of a baby.    You can add Bragg's Aminos to your diet... that contains all of them... quinoa has a good amino profile...  You will get a higher amino profile overall if you combine lots of different plants together than if you only eat one type of food...  if you combine lots of plants you generally don't have to worry about getting enough protein....

 

You also lose a lot of blood in a period... which means each month in a period you will lose iron that is tied up in the haemoglobin in the blood.... You need to replace that iron... and you need Vitamin C to absorb iron efficiently.

 

I guess.. periods stopped and putting on weight... the obvious of being pregnant .. has been eliminated as an option...  that's the first check.  But surely the gynaecologist would have ruled that out... 

 

One friend's periods didn't begin till she was in her late teens because she was a career ballet dancer till she was 18...  and another friend's periods stopped at 18 because she was anorexic.  Active sports can cause them to stop...

 

So perhaps periods stopping.. is the body's own way of preventing iron and fat loss that would be biologically detrimental to the body if continued ... perhaps a certain level needs to be maintained in order for the hormones that drive the monthly cycle to continue...  I'm currently studying all the different molecular cycles in the body .. they aren't completely understood in all their complexities yet .. esp. the interplay of hormones in menstrual cycles... 

 

You can get more fats from nuts and seeds... and more iron from spinach, kale... (these are iron salts and care needs to be taken not to over do leafy greens as they also contain oxalic acids which can prevent the metabolism of iron from leafy greens... Vitamin C helps to absorb iron) ... if in doubt find a good iron supplement... eat more pulses and grains... 

 

Quote:
 If I'm honest I probably dont have enough veggies and fruit and I rarely have protein. I eat nuts or seeds or lentils hardly ever. Do you need to eat those things every day? 

 

If you are vegan... and you do not eat enough veggies and fruit or nuts and seeds ... what do you eat?   Do you supplement with B12?  Vitamin B12 can be found in fortified foods like Marmite.. 

 

You also should be getting about 2000 calories / day..  balanced over the three or four food types that RunnerVeggie posted the link to... 

zorgster is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off