Ok, so here's my back story--everything I can think of that would be relevant:

For about 5 or so years previous to the summer of 2009, I was on hormonal birth control (the pill, then the nuva ring).  I always had farily regular periods then (and before the BC), but also ate a crap diet and was quite sick most of the time. 

Starting about the winter of 2009, I started cleaning up my diet, and eating less sugar, more whole foods etc, progressing until today; I now eat a primal type diet--lots of grassfed meat, eggs, and poultry, some seafood, seaweed, veggies, berries, and the occasional fruits, nuts/seeds and dark chocolate. 

I went off of the hormonal BC around the summer of 2009-ish, when I realized it was contributing to making me sick, crabby and depressed.  I had one period of bleeding directly after removing the last BC ring, and that has been it since then. 

My vitamin D level is good, I eat plenty of calories (trust me--I <3 food!! haha), low-ish carbs but not super low (maybe like 100g/day on average--I tried going higher for a time, but that made no difference and I didn't get my period back).  I did lose bout 15lbs at the very start of going primal (which was about Oct 2010) but I needed to, and I am at my normal, comfortable body weight now (132.5lbs, 6' tall--this sounds skinny I know, but it is alot due to family genetics and this is just where my weight stays when I eat plenty of healthy food) I supplemented with Lugol's iodine solution (12.5mg/day) for a few months which got rid of my fibrocystic breast tissue.  Now I eat kelp and other seaweed daily for iodine. 

I am 25 (26 in March!) years old.  I started mensturating at age 16. 

I take Dr. Ron's pancreas and organ delight supplements along with Natural Calm magnesium, fermented cod liver oil and high-vitamin butter oil every day.  My digestion is good with taking the pancreas supplements 1-2 per meal.  I usually eat about 3x per day with maybe one little snack. 

I am a very active person (I work as a nurse during afternoons and during the day I do a lot of art stuff--woodcarving, sewing, patternmaking etc) but I don't currently do any formal exercise.  I will probably  be doing some P90X with my husband, starting pretty soon, to help build muscle. 

Does anyone have ANY ideas as to why I still haven't gotten my period back after stopping the BC??  I have gone through EVERYTHING  can think of, but haven't had any luck yet. : (  I'd really like to get it back, so I can start charting my cycles and doing the FAM.  All I can think of is that maybe since I have such a low body fat level for a female, it is taking my body longer than normal to build up enough hormones again to mensturate, after my hormones were screwed up by the hormonal BC?

*whew* that was a novel LOL!  Thanks in advance!

 

 

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If you can't stick w/nettles, try oatstraw.  It is milder and sweeter than nettles, somewhat malty.  It has the same amazing nutritional profile and nourishes the central nervous system. 

Your diet sounds amazing for endocrine health, make sure you have enough stomach acid to break down that important protein and fat.  Apple cider vinegar, kombucha or lemon before meals, or fermented vegs w/meals.

I know you mentioned following a primal diet, but do you get plenty of fat?  I don't think it is enough until you start to wonder if it is too much, lol!

Herbally, I'm thinking tincture of wild carrot.  It stimulates the pituitary, which of course will cascade right on down the endocrine system, and also helps to balance the build up and sloughing off of the uterine lining, often stimulating menstruation.  I would also add red clover to my daily infusion, or as a tincture, to regulate the manufacture of sex hormones.

 

Thank you so much!  Wow, you guys are so smart about this stuff--I don't think I've learned so much from any other forum :)

Does oatstraw contain gluten (or whatever the equivilate protien in oats is--avenin?)  because I do have some but I've been scared to use it because I react badly to all grains except small amounts of rice.

And maybe its my body liking it, but I've been finding nettle infusion more palatable lately...yay!  It actually isn't too bad mixed with Mediterranean flavor FCLO haha ;)  the flavors kind of go together!

I've heard about red clover too... thanks for suggesting that.  I will add that to my infusion.  Would red clover have any adverse (or beneficial) effects for a guy?  I have been giving my hubby the same infusion I'm taking for the vitamins and stuff, and I suppose I could make two separate ones but it would just be a hassle.

I am slowly growing a baby scoby so soon hopefully I'll have some homemade kombucha!  I do take a couple of Dr. Ron's Pancreas capsules and sometimes a little ACV in water with my meals to help with digestion--I know mine isn't quite up to par yet, but its better than it used to be.  How much ACV do you suggest with each meal?  I've been taking it after my meals, actually, should I be taking it before?

Thanks so much everyone!!!!!  I will fix this problem yet with all your wonderful suggestions! :D

I believe that the oat straw preparations do have gluten.  I found several references to them not being ok for people with celiac.   So it might be risky.

 

I can't wait to hear how you feel after a month of the nettles and other suggestions! 

 

~Anna

Ok, no oatstraw for me then.  I'll have to get some red clover tho...

Yes, I'll keep you updated!  I hope it goes well! :)


Anna said:

I believe that the oat straw preparations do have gluten.  I found several references to them not being ok for people with celiac.   So it might be risky.

 

I can't wait to hear how you feel after a month of the nettles and other suggestions! 

 

~Anna

My understanding is that oats do not have gluten, but are generally processed in facilities with cross-contamination. However, oatstraw has not been an issue for gluten-sensitive people on the allergy forums. I'm not certain about for celiacs.

 

Are you eating organ meats? It sounds like you have too low of body fat to menstruate. I'd focus on adding fats, coconut oil in/on everything. Avocados, multiple times per day. Nut butters, egg yolks. Cholesterol is critical. Liver is my favorite nutrient dense food. Bone broths for the minerals. Definitely nettles. Add them to smoothies plus nuts and fats. Cook everything in animal fat to boost your fat intake. However, with such low carbs, you are probably ketogenic, which means you need to focus on hydration to avoid breaking down muscle.

 

Your B-vits are in grains and GREEN plants. These are essential to hormone balance. Food folate is critical. Do you do any beans or legumes? These have nutrients for effective detoxification and food folate!  The goal is 2 cups of fruit, 2 cups of beans and 4 cups of greens per day.

 

Are you eating fatty fish? Roe, sardines, mackerel - all are great for essential fatty acids. Be sure you are getting selenium (Brazil nuts). Nigella sativa is amazing and easy addition for the health benefits. 

 

I agree about adding cabbage, zinc and ACV to optimize digestion. Bitter herbs such as wild greens will help too. Most women are low in magnesium. It is challenging to get adequate magnesium from foods. The Nettles and bone broths are helpful. Epsom salt baths too.

 

I'd focus on adding fats.

 

 

Pat

I

think I'm doing pretty good with fats--I cook everything in lard or coconut oil or bacon grease, and sometimes just eat it straight up out of the fridge on my fingers!  Probably could do better with the green veggies and avocados but they are just so expensive and hard to find here in WI in the winter : (  We've been having a lot of squash and root vegetables recently.  Next summer I plan to stock up at the farmers market and freeze a lot of stuff like spinnach and broccoli and berries.  I don't eat any legumes because of autoimmune issues. 

I take one of Dr. Ron's organ delight supplements every day, because we don't really eat too many organ meats cuz my husband doesn't like then and I hate having to cook separate meals because we are so busy (both work full time).  But I know I really should make some liver for me, becuase I DO like it :P  I shall get some with next month's meat order then!  And also, fish is an issue because it is super expensive and generally all I can find good quality around here is scallops and salmon, frozen.  I have canned sardines once and a while, I suppose I could eat a few more of those!  I also take about 1 tsp of FCLO and 1/2 tsp BO every day, with my nettle infusion and soon I will add red clover to that.  i HAVE been feeling a little more energetic lately since starting the nettles!
Pat Robinson said:

My understanding is that oats do not have gluten, but are generally processed in facilities with cross-contamination. However, oatstraw has not been an issue for gluten-sensitive people on the allergy forums. I'm not certain about for celiacs.

 

Are you eating organ meats? It sounds like you have too low of body fat to menstruate. I'd focus on adding fats, coconut oil in/on everything. Avocados, multiple times per day. Nut butters, egg yolks. Cholesterol is critical. Liver is my favorite nutrient dense food. Bone broths for the minerals. Definitely nettles. Add them to smoothies plus nuts and fats. Cook everything in animal fat to boost your fat intake. However, with such low carbs, you are probably ketogenic, which means you need to focus on hydration to avoid breaking down muscle.

 

Your B-vits are in grains and GREEN plants. These are essential to hormone balance. Food folate is critical. Do you do any beans or legumes? These have nutrients for effective detoxification and food folate!  The goal is 2 cups of fruit, 2 cups of beans and 4 cups of greens per day.

 

Are you eating fatty fish? Roe, sardines, mackerel - all are great for essential fatty acids. Be sure you are getting selenium (Brazil nuts). Nigella sativa is amazing and easy addition for the health benefits. 

 

I agree about adding cabbage, zinc and ACV to optimize digestion. Bitter herbs such as wild greens will help too. Most women are low in magnesium. It is challenging to get adequate magnesium from foods. The Nettles and bone broths are helpful. Epsom salt baths too.

 

I'd focus on adding fats.

 

 

Pat

I have not been following the thread, but as a person who can't tolerate gluten I just wanted to mention that you can buy oats that are certified GF so I would think you might be able to buy certified GF oat straw. 

 

Pat Robinson said:

My understanding is that oats do not have gluten, but are generally processed in facilities with cross-contamination. However, oatstraw has not been an issue for gluten-sensitive people on the allergy forums. I'm not certain about for celiacs.

 

Definitely make your own decision on oatstraw, but I have two celiac daughters and am extremely sensitive to gluten myself, none of us can tolerate oats, and none of us are bothered by oatstraw.  If purchased from a reputable company like Mtn Rose Herbs, the oatstaw is grown for herbal use, not food use, so the protein containing grain that may aggrivate the gluten-sensitive does not even form.  The milky seed pods are first harvesting for their trophorestorative sap and tinctured (I use this as well), and then the straw (ie, grass) is harvested for use as a dried herb.  There is no gluten present in the plant, nor in processing.

 

Red Clover gets pigeonholed as an estrogenic herb, which is certainly not the case.  Red Clover is rich in phytosterols, which are used by the body to create various hormones, including all the sex hormones, even testosterone.  Many common foods are rich in phytosterols as well (legumes) and no one calls them estrogenic.  This is slanderous against red clover, an herb with amazing regenerative properties and anti-cancer properties. 

 

ACV-  take your acid before your meal.  you want to stimulate digestive fire before adding food.  Keep the food warming for a while, and at least gently cooked.  You might consider chewing on some carminative seeds, like fennel, coriander, cumin or caraway after meals.

 

A primal/paleo diet is excellent for restoring health, adding body fat and healing in general.  You are on the right path, and your body will heal.  It just needs time.

Well, that is good to know about the oatstraw!   The stuff I have is from a reputable company that sells it for herbal use so I'm sure its probably OK.  Perhaps I'll add some of that to the infusion too, but probably red clover first so I know what is actually helping me feel better.

Thanks for the suggestion for chewing on seeds--I did try that once becuase I heard it was a good alternative to gum but if it helps with digestion I will start it up again!  I like fennel :)

You have run into one of the beautiful things about a woman's fertility.  I can say with almost 100% certainty that it's your body fat percentage.  For a woman to be fertile, she has to have at least about 20% body fat, though some women can conceive with less.  However, a woman can be healthy with a much lower body fat percentage.  As you are seeing, you can also feel well fed.  There is not necessarily anything wrong with your body just because you aren't menstruating.  I've heard of cultures where all the women were naturally infertile and in amenorrhea for entire portions of the year because their body fat dipped below the fertile line.  Runners amenorrhea is a commonly known phenomenon in healthy female marathon runners, and body fat may play a role in healthy breastfeeding amenorrhea as well.

 

If you are not seeking to get pregnant any time soon, you may be just fine letting your body be where it is and nourishing it well.  If you are seeking to get pregnant, the only way to do it will be to increase your body fat percentage.  You said that you don't do well on carbs, but they would be the easy way to help you gain weight.  The other thing that could help is long chain fats.  The short and medium chain ones are very quickly and easily metabolized for energy and thus raise your metabolism, so eating more of them gives you more energy, not more body fat.  Long chain fats are more likely to be stored.  This includes olive oil and poly-unsaturated fats.  Marilyn Shannon (Fertility Cycles and Nutrition) recommends Safflower oil, but I would highly recommend against it (though most of the book is pretty good except that and an emphasis on supplements) because it is pretty much all omega 6.  Omega 3's are also long-chain, so eating a lot of seafood might help you gain some weight and provide nutrients to prepare your body for pregnancy.  If you are thinking of trying to conceive, I would also recommend "Real Food For Mother And Baby" by Nina Planck.



Thank you for the througtful response :)  I am kind of doing just like you said; since I'm  not trying to get pregnant right now (and probably not for a couple years yet), I'm just going to kind of see what happens, and keep up the nettle and red clover infusions.  I do feel healthy right now, so that's whats important!  I'll keep you all updated on what happens after I've been drinking the nettle and red clover infusion consistantly for a hwile.
I have a question:  I still am not feeling like my digestion isn't optimal.   : (  I've tried several different combinations of supplements/acids and am having troulbe finding one that works.  I still get a feeling of fullness longer than I should (I think) and feel like I am getting some reflux maybe (I've tested and it usually goes away with the addition of more acid, so I really doubt its too much acid)  What would you all suggest?  How much ACV should be drank before meals?  I am thinking of maybe using ACV and dr. rons pancreas supplement or Throne betaine HCL and the pancreas supplement.   And I am going to get some kimchi tomorrow and hopefully get up the nerve to make a big batch of it one of these days...:P

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