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"Ladies only" discussion, help appreciated

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DietPrada
DietPrada Posts: 1,171 Member
I've done some research on Keto and menstruation and all of the literature I've found has mentioned "irregular periods" as in less, not more. Keto can be like starvation in women, upsetting hormones and causing a reduction or even complete stop in menstrual bleeding. There is an argument that some women require more carbs to balance hormones, including leptin, not high carb, but up to 100g a day.

Trouble is, I have the opposite problem, I am bleeding pretty much constantly. I've found some posts on other forums where women have reported heavier than normal for the first couple of months but it's settled down. I have been Keto for 8 months last year, and 8 months this year. If it was going to settle down it would have. This month I had ONE DAY where I didn't bleed. My doctor has ruled out other causes. I had an implanon put in in June which she was hoping would help, but it hasn't.

The problem is, I eat low carb not only to control my weight (which it hasn't been that great for, 20lbs in 8 months is pretty average) but my whole family has type 2 diabetes and heart disease and I'm terrified of ending up that way. Low carb seems my only hope of avoiding that fate. But is it ruining my hormones? It's certainly ruining my sex life, my partner is a very patient and understanding man, but there are limits. I'm really not sure what to do at this point. I know "ask a doctor" but I've been down that road. There are thousands of members on this forum, I can't be the only one.
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Replies

  • anglyn1
    anglyn1 Posts: 1,802 Member
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    My cycles are weird since starting the diet three months ago. Closer together and I now have a week of spotting before my typical cycle starts. Cramps, bloating, and tenderness are much reduced which is nice. I'm still new to this so I'm not sure if these changes will be permanent for me or not.
  • noclady1995
    noclady1995 Posts: 452 Member
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    When I started Keto, I wasn't expecting my cycle to start for 3 weeks. A week into it, it started and lasted 2 weeks. And it was heavier than normal. Not sure how it'll be this cycle, but I'm pretty much feeling my normal PMS symptoms and it's been about a month so I'm hoping it normalized pretty quickly.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,049 Member
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    This is an interesting thread. Is keto messing up your cycles or working hard to normalise them??
  • macchiatto
    macchiatto Posts: 2,890 Member
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    I have PCOS and have only been on keto since 11/2. I started spotting the day I started keto (CD23) and ended up having only a 26-day cycle, which is a week or so shorter than usual (and mine can be all over the place but usually 31-34 days is the shorter end of the range).
  • totaloblivia
    totaloblivia Posts: 1,164 Member
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    What contraception do you use? (If any) I have a coil in since before keto. My first month of keto (January) I bled very heavily, which was unusual because I bleed hardly at all with the coil, but then it settled back into the normal, hardly anything again.

    I'm sorry this is happening for you, to bleed all the time must end up being very tiring and worrying.

    Could you go a wee bit higher carb eg 100g for a month and see what happens to the bleeding? Would that help to rule in or rule out keto as the factor that is causing this? It may be the bleeding is nothing to do with keto, but just a coincidence? Monitor your blood glucose as well and see if you are still OK for diabetes prevention?

  • RodaRose
    RodaRose Posts: 9,562 Member
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    ^^^ I agree with this. Increase your daily carbs for two months.
  • norcogrrl
    norcogrrl Posts: 129 Member
    edited November 2015
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    How old are you?

    I'm asking, as apparently I'm one of those women whose cycles get shorter when permineopausal. My doctor assures that this is normal for a small percentage of women. My cycle is 21 days. Going keto lengthened it to 23.

    A shorter cycle is certainly a much lesser burden than what you're dealing with, though.

    I know you've stated that your physician has ruled out other causes, but has your physician conclusively determined that your irregular bleeding is hormonal?

    I think increasing carbs is worth a shot. I'd just add more non-starchy veg and a serving or two of fruit (dark berries) a day to get up to 100g. Nothing too drastic. Note that even low sugar fruits can cause a bit of an insulin spike.
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,263 Member
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    norcogrrl wrote: »
    How old are you?

    I'm asking, as apparently I'm one of those women whose cycles get shorter when permineopausal. My doctor assures that this is normal for a small percentage of women. My cycle is 21 days. Going keto lengthened it to 23.

    A shorter cycle is certainly a much lesser burden than what you're dealing with, though.

    I know you've stated that your physician has ruled out other causes, but has your physician conclusively determined that your irregular bleeding is hormonal?

    I think increasing carbs is worth a shot. I'd just add more non-starchy veg and a serving or two of fruit (dark berries) a day to get up to 100g. Nothing too drastic. Note that even low sugar fruits can cause a bit of an insulin spike.

    I was going to ask if it's peri-menopause as well.
  • Sunny_Bunny_
    Sunny_Bunny_ Posts: 7,140 Member
    edited November 2015
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    I just listened to this podcast within the last few days. I can't speak to exactly what was discussed that might explain what's going on with you other than that she gives a lot of information about how most doctors, as we already know, just look to treat symptoms and don't investigate the underlying causes of issues. She talks about the exact tests that are best to be done to identify any hormonal imbalances and talks about how for some people, bio identical hormone therapy helps but also how low carb diets in themselves can help.
    I wonder if you listen to it that you might find a bit of information in it that makes sense for your situation. I'm not good at explaining any new things I've learned, so I highly recommend listening to this as part of your personal investigation to getting it all straightened out. It really made a lot of sense to me during a recent few months of frequent periods. Mine has subsided back to normal after about 3-4 months of being wonky, but I'm sure it's just different for everyone. And I know what you mean about it affecting your relationship and that adds a lot of stress to the already cruddy situation. If mine hadnt straightened itself out (at least it seems that way right now) this month, I would've been making an appointment to look into these hormonal imbalances.
    If nothing else, maybe it will set you onto another area of research that might lead you to some answers.
    I hope it helps and that you can get all balanced out again soon.
    http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com/shownotes/?s=Kelly+Austin
  • besee_2000
    besee_2000 Posts: 365 Member
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    I have not done the Keto style yet and joined for the opposite of this post. I haven't had a natural period after stopping the pill in over a year and hoped maybe I can get it back naturally with diet. I gotta say its nice not having to worry about the monthly troubles but when I'm thinking about kids its not so great anymore. Also something cannot be right. I read the same about Ketosis that it would mess with cycles and can stop them all together. Healthy fats should be good breeding environment though. So confused but maybe I should just bite the bullet and test it myself. I just don't have the palate for most fats (been low-fat WOE for more than half my life).

    On a side note. Try SoftCup? Makes a clean job with the husband and feels, well, not bad. ;)
  • DietPrada
    DietPrada Posts: 1,171 Member
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    I'm 40, and women in my family tend to hit menopause fairly late. My gyno doesn't think that's it. When I first started Keto 2 years ago I had a Mirena, and it had been fine for 12 months but then the bleeding started when I started Keto. I had the Mirena removed as the Dr though that could be causing the bleeding. I was on the pill for 12 months, and now I've had an implanon since June. None of them have made any difference. I had high hopes for the implanon as my gyno said it would probably reduce my period considerably, but 5 months in it's no better. I'm thinking after the reading I've done that I might try increasing carbs to 100g, which I really didn't want to do but if it helps I guess I have no choice. I'm 10 - 15g a day at the moment and maybe it's just not working.
  • Sunny_Bunny_
    Sunny_Bunny_ Posts: 7,140 Member
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    Just because you're not near menopause yet, doesn't mean there couldn't be a hormonal imbalance.
    I am on my second Mirena and I got it a few years ago. With my first one, I stopped having periods pretty much right away. And they stayed away the entire 5 years. When I got that one removed and replaced, I started having week long periods from the start and and it's been pretty much that way since then even after taking a prescription she was sure would set things back the way they were. Then I was having them more frequently for a couple months. All of a sudden this month, I had a 1-2 day period. Hopefully it will level out now. It seems more level than the last few months. If it doesn't, I may be checking into more information about hormones.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,049 Member
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    Uuugg Implanon... I bled pretty much for 6 straight months on that before I had to get it removed.
  • anglyn1
    anglyn1 Posts: 1,802 Member
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    Years ago I did the depo shot and had a period for a year. Everyone else I knew had no period on it. I guess I respond different to certain hormones.
  • Deena_Bean
    Deena_Bean Posts: 906 Member
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    I haven't had any issues so far, but I'm not extremely low carbs, either. I generally try to stay between 50-100. I've been under and over that marker for November, but I'm going to really make an effort for December to keep that range correct. I take the pill, have PCOS and have a cycle every 63 days (3 pill packs and then a break). I haven't had any breakthrough bleeding, though. My first cycle will be in about 2 weeks. I hope it's not horrible...a little scared now! :(

    Good luck finding out what's going on - I think raising the carbs as a trial is worthwhile. Everyone's got to find their sweet spot and go with it!
  • norcogrrl
    norcogrrl Posts: 129 Member
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    anglyn1 wrote: »
    Years ago I did the depo shot and had a period for a year. Everyone else I knew had no period on it. I guess I respond different to certain hormones.

    I only did two deposit shots. I bled for nearly six months. Evil stuff!
  • neohdiver
    neohdiver Posts: 738 Member
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    I'm 40, and women in my family tend to hit menopause fairly late. My gyno doesn't think that's it. When I first started Keto 2 years ago I had a Mirena, and it had been fine for 12 months but then the bleeding started when I started Keto. I had the Mirena removed as the Dr though that could be causing the bleeding. I was on the pill for 12 months, and now I've had an implanon since June. None of them have made any difference. I had high hopes for the implanon as my gyno said it would probably reduce my period considerably, but 5 months in it's no better. I'm thinking after the reading I've done that I might try increasing carbs to 100g, which I really didn't want to do but if it helps I guess I have no choice. I'm 10 - 15g a day at the moment and maybe it's just not working.

    Have you had a hysteroscopy (where the doctor uses a camera to view the interior of your uterus? I was told repeatedly that nothing was wrong, I was exaggerating (until I figured out how to measure my blood loss), and finally got to a doctor who does office hysteroscopies. I had a tennis sized fibroid inside my uterus - being inside both makes it bleed excessively AND invisible under a normal manual examination (your uterus just seems slightly enlarged). I had been to two gynecologists, my regular physician, and a hematologist (I was bleeding enough that they believed I had a bone marrow disorder because they could not see that I was producing any new red blood cells).

    Nothing to do with keto - but too many submucosal fibroids go undiagnosed (with doctors eventually just issuing an edict for a hysterectomy because they can't find the problem - or if they do, they don't know how to fix it.

    Mine was 18 years ago - and after a surgical fix that took a couple of hours - with no recovery time other than working off the anesthesia - I still have all my body parts, except for my tonsils and my top right rib, but that is another story.

  • kimberwolf71
    kimberwolf71 Posts: 470 Member
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    Not your specific issue, but you may want to look into the hormonal information posted on healthfulpursuit.com. I haven't paid too much attention to the information she provides on this topic since it isn't a concern (yet?) for me personally, but she is definitely focused on a keto-lifestyle geared to women!
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
    edited December 2015
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    I can answer from my own experiences:

    What popped into my mind first was perimenopause. I started getting irregular in my late 30's and it hasn't changed into my early 40s.

    The second is: have you had your platelets checked? I have ITP (basically an autoimmune throbocytopenia) where my white blood cells were killing off my platelets so I couldn't clot. I had the never ending period and it was heavy. I also ended up with a lot of bruising and pretty severe anemia. You might want to have your platelets checked; it's rare but quite serious.

    Hypothyroidism can can irregular periods. Could that be a factor?

    Also, irregular cells can cause a lot of spotting. Have you had a pap done recently?

    I hope you figure it out soon...
  • sweetteadrinker2
    sweetteadrinker2 Posts: 1,026 Member
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    The first thing that comes to mind is that you've switched through quite a lot of contraceptives in a fairly short time, and that youve only had implanon for 5 months. Thats a lot for your body to take, and if you've changed your diet a lot during those 5 months you could be experiences a surge and let down of hormones because youre stressing your system. Keto causes a change in body chemistry and may effect how the hormones from the implanon are released.

    Also, eat some yogurt. It helps balance the pH of your uterus and some probiotics can help your body 'deal' with the changes.

    And finally, are you bleeding heavily with clots and such? Or are you constantly spotting? If it's spotting here's something to consider. Your uterine lining is more fragile on keto for somewhere between 4-10 months from what I've read, you could well be causing the bleeding by working out too roughly, lifting things that are too heavy etc.