Keto & PCOS

al4374
al4374 Posts: 44 Member
Does anyone have any information on keto as it relates to pcos?
My periods are pretty much absent and have been ever since a year or two after I hit puberty. I don't have an insulin resistance problem - I've asked my Endo a number of times. I've heard that keto can cause women with regular cycles to lose their period, but I've also heard of women with pcos whose period returned after starting a keto woe. I'm about 25 lbs overweight and in the past have had difficulty with weight loss unless I cut out flour and sugar. I started eating moderately low carb (<100g) about 2 months ago and have been easing my way toward more keto style levels (<50g) but I'm wondering if this is something I should be wary of...

Replies

  • solska
    solska Posts: 348 Member
    al4374 wrote: »
    Does anyone have any information on keto as it relates to pcos?
    My periods are pretty much absent and have been ever since a year or two after I hit puberty. I don't have an insulin resistance problem - I've asked my Endo a number of times. I've heard that keto can cause women with regular cycles to lose their period, but I've also heard of women with pcos whose period returned after starting a keto woe. I'm about 25 lbs overweight and in the past have had difficulty with weight loss unless I cut out flour and sugar. I started eating moderately low carb (<100g) about 2 months ago and have been easing my way toward more keto style levels (<50g) but I'm wondering if this is something I should be wary of...

    Did you see another endocrinologist? A lot of the literature on keto, pcos, insulin resistance is from recent research. So it's good to get different opinions (I saw many and have seen how varied their approaches and even diagnosis can be). Request thorough testing if they haven't done it, including prolactin and tsh levels. And for insulin resistance, did they do the 24 hour test where you drink a bunch of sweet orange liquid and collect your urine? Lots of reasons can cause absent periods, I have a pituitary adenoma which causes that unless I'm on medication. PCOS can cause it and keto diets are supposed to help pcos. PCOS and insulin resistance are related. Glucophage helps both. All hormonal disorders effect the way the body functions. You aren't that much overweight. I don't see how keto eating can hurt you. Very low calories can. And in fact too little body fat in women will disrupt regular menstruation. I've neglected my conditions for too long. Resisted the meds too. It's good to try natural ways of healing but don't do what I did. Seek various opinions.
  • al4374
    al4374 Posts: 44 Member
    Thx, I guess I’ll try to get a second opinion from another endo. Been on metphormin for a good 4 years but didn’t rly make much of a difference beyond an initial 7 lb weight loss which I assume was water since it’s kind of diuretic. Didn’t last either :). I’ll probably stick with this woe for now and double check with the dr when I get another opinion.
  • mmultanen
    mmultanen Posts: 1,029 Member
    I was diagnosed as PCOS in my early teens...somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 years ago now. I have never been diagnosed as insulin resistant but it does go hand in hand with PCOS for most women. In my 20s I took metformin and spirolonactone largely for the cosmetic benefits of both. I haven't taken either in about 10 years now.

    I've been low carb, at my doctors initial suggestion for well over 3 years now. This way of eating will have impacts on your hormone balance as you cut out the sugar, lose weight, etc. There are many people here who can do a better job of giving you the specific impacts, they whys, and the hows than I. However, I can tell you that yes, any time you lose weight and reorganize your body's hormones It will impact your cycle and the impact will be different for everyone.

    Over the 3+ years of experience I have with this way of eating I would say my cycles are slightly more regular, BUT what is more exciting for me is the symptoms of PMS are greatly reduced. My cycles are heavier...but I've shoved two human beings out of me so that's likely to be the cause, not this way of eating. Kids, man. They ruin everything. ;)
  • Momma_Raucks
    Momma_Raucks Posts: 69 Member
    I have PCOS, / had PCOS. As soon as I started eating KETO, periods regular. Its been amazing. Carbs for me really mess with my Insulin. This for me was a very direct route to fixing the problem.
  • KnitOrMiss
    KnitOrMiss Posts: 10,104 Member
    Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit (website: www.healthfulpursuit.com ) suffered Amenorrhea for 8 years I believe.

    I don't remember ever hearing if it was related to PCOS, but she shares her story here:

    https://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2015/11/video-my-8-year-battle-with-amenorrhea-is-over-what-eating-fat-fueled-did-for-my-hormones/

    And also discusses it generally with Keto HERE:

    https://www.healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/e48/


    A number of her podcasts relate to balancing hormones and other things.

    I have PCOS, IR, and a number of other things, but due to other health complications, I take continuous BCP, so I don't have the same issues with cycles as others.

    Good luck, @al4374
  • River_Goddess
    River_Goddess Posts: 825 Member
    I was never diagnosed pcos (but I never asked). I had irregular periods for 20 years, often short and light or non existent and rarely on a schedule.

    3 months into keto I got a very heavy, very long period (27 days). Then, after that, my periods have been coming like clockwork and are regular in length and flow. I have read lots about the hormone balancing effects of keto, and I totally believe it.

    I have seen many stories of people who used keto to help with fertility and end up pregnant, after years of trying. More hormone balancing in the works!

    Good luck, stick with it. If you end up with a really heavy, long period - that happens to many keto women as their hormones recalibrate. Try to hang on! It balances out in the end!
  • golfgirl99
    golfgirl99 Posts: 25 Member
    I’ve been taking Metformin as well and started after I had the opposite problem. I was bleeding for over 100 days and finally went to the doctor. Since going Keto again (took 18 months off during Work transition and moving twice) I am back to regular periods. It’s helped me tremendously and like you I haven’t seen much from the metformin after the initial drop.
  • FruityLoops
    FruityLoops Posts: 138 Member
    I haven't been on keto for long, a week tomorrow, but I was diagnosed with PCOS 20 years ago (when the dietician recommended an 800 cal a day diet :s ), I don't get any periods (they did come back when I lost weight in the past, but I didn't keep it off and they went again), and I don't take metformin, I took it for a couple of years at the beginning but got severe side effects.

    I have over 100lbs to lose and have found it really difficult to lose weight calorie counting as I found I had to eat a lot lower than MFP recommended, soooo I'll be very interested to see if keto helps with both my weight and my PCOS/IR symptoms! Fingers xed! 4lbs down so far though so an encouraging start :)
  • solska
    solska Posts: 348 Member
    I haven't been on keto for long, a week tomorrow, but I was diagnosed with PCOS 20 years ago (when the dietician recommended an 800 cal a day diet :s ), I don't get any periods (they did come back when I lost weight in the past, but I didn't keep it off and they went again), and I don't take metformin, I took it for a couple of years at the beginning but got severe side effects.

    I have over 100lbs to lose and have found it really difficult to lose weight calorie counting as I found I had to eat a lot lower than MFP recommended, soooo I'll be very interested to see if keto helps with both my weight and my PCOS/IR symptoms! Fingers xed! 4lbs down so far though so an encouraging start :)

    I was prescribed Metformin almost fifteen years ago and immediately quit due to side effects. Last year I was prescribed the extended release one and it's very different and helped. Ask your doctor about it. I also quit because I was so against meds but so much research on metformin shows that it's a pretty safe drug.
    And lots of people report very positive progress with keto alone. Good luck!
  • FruityLoops
    FruityLoops Posts: 138 Member
    edited February 2018
    solska wrote: »
    I was prescribed Metformin almost fifteen years ago and immediately quit due to side effects. Last year I was prescribed the extended release one and it's very different and helped. Ask your doctor about it. I also quit because I was so against meds but so much research on metformin shows that it's a pretty safe drug.
    And lots of people report very positive progress with keto alone. Good luck!

    Unfortunately I did try the extended release one too and had the same issue (it didn't start so bad but gradually got worse as I was on it longer) :/ So defo hoping keto helps, I'm feeling very positive about it! :)

    TMI - The stomach issues got so bad I literally couldn't risk leaving the house without taking another pair of undies and trousers with me, and at that time I had to travel a lot for meetings and caught in that situation on the London Underground where there are no loos was not fun, or professional!!

  • solska
    solska Posts: 348 Member
    solska wrote: »
    I was prescribed Metformin almost fifteen years ago and immediately quit due to side effects. Last year I was prescribed the extended release one and it's very different and helped. Ask your doctor about it. I also quit because I was so against meds but so much research on metformin shows that it's a pretty safe drug.
    And lots of people report very positive progress with keto alone. Good luck!

    Unfortunately I did try the extended release one too and had the same issue (it didn't start so bad but gradually got worse as I was on it longer) :/ So defo hoping keto helps, I'm feeling very positive about it! :)

    TMI - The stomach issues got so bad I literally couldn't risk leaving the house without taking another pair of undies and trousers with me, and at that time I had to travel a lot for meetings and caught in that situation on the London Underground where there are no loos was not fun, or professional!!

    Ooops. Not fun. With some medication it also helps to start at a very low dose and increase later. And changing the times you take it, evening vs morning etc. But yes, lots of people report getting ok with keto alone. I have several health issues so had to cave in.
  • LolaDeeDaisy23
    LolaDeeDaisy23 Posts: 383 Member
    I have PCOS and eat keto. I have taken Metformin, but also quit due to side effects. I did not try the extended release version though, so maybe that could be it? I have been supplementing with Inositol and I believe this has helped tremendously. The only way for me to get a period is through medication (IVF). The last time I got my cycle naturally was November 2016. This was the month I quit my horrible job (yay!), we got our first fur-baby puppy (double yay!), and went through a long awaited breast augmentation (triple yay!) ...and it was only spotting lol ...but it still counts! Haven't had a period since then. Before November 2016, I didn't get a period for about 3-4 years prior.
  • solska
    solska Posts: 348 Member
    I have PCOS and eat keto. I have taken Metformin, but also quit due to side effects. I did not try the extended release version though, so maybe that could be it? I have been supplementing with Inositol and I believe this has helped tremendously. The only way for me to get a period is through medication (IVF). The last time I got my cycle naturally was November 2016. This was the month I quit my horrible job (yay!), we got our first fur-baby puppy (double yay!), and went through a long awaited breast augmentation (triple yay!) ...and it was only spotting lol ...but it still counts! Haven't had a period since then. Before November 2016, I didn't get a period for about 3-4 years prior.

    Did they ever check your prolactin levels? I mentioned it, high prolactin will stop your periods. If they test for that then they will test for reasons for it too. PCOS and high prolactin have similar symptoms.
  • LolaDeeDaisy23
    LolaDeeDaisy23 Posts: 383 Member
    solska wrote: »
    Did they ever check your prolactin levels? I mentioned it, high prolactin will stop your periods. If they test for that then they will test for reasons for it too. PCOS and high prolactin have similar symptoms.

    I'm not entirely sure? They ran tons of blood tests when I was going through my in vitro cycle. I do know I have a string of cysts all over my ovaries, my FSH is non existent and LH is low as well.