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Posts posted by Karen

  1. On 9/26/2017 at 8:18 PM, Elenianne said:

    I just finished my second whole30 and am 4 days late. I had no changes in my cycle when I did my first round in January. The most concerning part is that it doesn't look like I have ovulated this month. I have been charting my temperatures and it looks like my body tried to ovulate 3 times unsuccessfully.  I have never had this happen and have searched all over this forum and have not found much info. It doesn't seem like many people chart, so they might not even notice it if it was happening. 

    Has anyone else experienced this? I am not on birth control and had been eating mostly paleo with some dairy (butter and some cheese) before this whole30, so it doesn't seem like a drastic change. And I only lost 3 lbs, so I don't think it's a low weight. I am definitely not underweight! 

    This is kind of putting a damper on my whole 30 experience if I'm honest. 

    I almost always have delayed ovulation if I start a Whole 30 before I ovulate, even if I was following pretty closely prior. I start them after ovulation now! Diet changes can throw the body for a loop... And the body is smart enough not to get pregnant when there are fast changes (think drought, famine back in caveman days), so ovulation can be delayed until it figures out conditions are safe for a possible pregnancy. Make sure you're eating plenty, and getting plenty of fat. Eventually, your body will realize conditions are great for conception and you'll ovulate. 

  2. A drop in hormones triggers a bleed. Think of the placebo pill in birth control - you stop taking hormones and the drop in hormones - progesterone specifically - triggers the bleed.

    So what causes a drop in hormones when you change your eating habits? A lot. It's not just one thing. It's eating 3 meals a day. It's eating a balanced meal at each meal. It's eliminating processed foods that are rich in crap that confuse our hormones. It's balancing our cortisol and insulin. For some people dairy or soy contribute as they can confuse our hormones. Ultimately, though, the body is all connected and it's a combination of these and many other things that contribute to helping your body work how it's supposed to, with adequate levels of hormones to support health. A temporary drop in hormones is a sign that your body is adjusting accordingly.

  3. 21 days or 84 days doesn't matter. Birth control is birth control. It overrides your hormones for however many days, then you take the placebo, and the drop in hormones triggers your period.

    Early bleeding on the pill is totally common. It doesn't matter how far you are in your cycle as it's an artificial cycle.

  4. The pill doesn't control your cycle - it just maintains your hormones at certain levels to override the rise and fall of hormones that naturally causes ovulation and eventually your period. When you start taking the placebo pills, your body senses the drop in hormones, and that drop in hormones is what causes you to start to bleed.

    That's the same trigger that causes anyone to bleed - pill or not. However, when your own hormones running in the background fluctuate due to changes in food - which is one of the benefits of paleo, your body may sense the same drop in hormones and starts to bleed because that's how our biology works. In a cycle or two, your hormones should settle where they should be and there won't be a that drastic drop again to trigger a bleed.

  5. This happened to me every time until I made a change. Here's why. Our entire cycle is based on perpetuation of the species. We get our period when we aren't pregnant, our bodies then start preparing the uterus for pregnancy, we ovulate when that's ready and our body tells us conditions are right to have a baby. That's the critical part. In cave man days, for example, during a famine would not be the best time to get pregnant as it would be unlikely for a fetus or baby to survive. So, the body has a defense mechanism. It just doesn't ovulate. And if you don't ovulate, you usually don't get your period.

    Fast forward to modern times. A drastic shift in diet can still trigger the body into thinking that it might not be the right time to get pregnant, so it delays ovulation for you. That's instinct kicking in. You mentioned your cycles are irregular. That can contribute. Do you have any condition that you know of? Are you under more stress lately? Any sort of change in stress can trigger the same delay in ovulation. Are you low carb?

    I have endometriosis and secondary hypothyroidism and my cycles used to be all over the place. I found that if I start a whole 30, I need to eat lots more carbs and fat to tell my body that I'm not starving, I'm just switching things up. Since our hormones are derived from cholesterol, I eat lots of it despite having high cholesterol and against my last doctors advice (since thyroid hormones are required for converting cholesterol into hormones, my body kept making more cholsterol since it wasn't getting enough hormones down steam due to low thyroid). And now when I start a whole 30, I've leared to start right after I ovulate so my body has time to register the change before I'm even close to ovulation.

    It might be helpful to post a few days of food so people can give you some tips, see if there is anything that stands out.

  6. BC holds hormones steady and doesn't allow for the hormonal fluctuations that prompt ovulation. When you stop taking the pills, the drop in hormones triggers menstruation like it does for those not on bc. However, when you adjust your eating, your body's own hormones can fluctuate, and anything considered a drop will cause bleeding.

  7. Are you on hormonal birth control, or not?  My observation is that those on the pill often have their periods early, while those not on the pill often end up late due to delayed ovulation.  However, that's not always the case.  

  8. Xine23 it's not necessarily a specific food that you're eliminating, it's a combination of the ratio of carbs/protein/fat, eating good, nutritious food, and eliminating the foods that your particular body doesn't like. A few years ago I didn't eliminate any foods but instead just changed the ratio of what I was eating and my period came way early. Hormones are influenced by so many things.

  9. You start bleeding when your hormones drop.  For example, when you stop taking the pill, that's a drop in hormones, and a few days later, voila, there's your period.  Changing your diet - adding more fat, having a better ratio of carbs/fat/protein, eating less processed food - whether it's Whole30 or not - can have the same effect.  Even though you're on the pill, your body is still making hormones.  As hormones adjust, they can rise and fall, triggering a bleed.  Some people can pinpoint a certain food group or beverage, but for many, it's the overall effect.  

  10. Whether you're on the pill or not, your period is triggered by a drop in hormones, specifically progesterone. When you stop taking the pill, the body senses the drop and your period begins. However, if there's something that causes your own hormones to shift - because they're still there in the background despite being on the pill - your body will think it's a sign to start bleeding. Typically, once the initial shift has passed, your body has a new normal level to base a drop in hormones and your eventual period on.

  11. More carbs is the only way I can keep my cycle on track when Whole30-ing.  I have to make an effort to eat lots of starchy carbs (and find I have to add in a bit of rice to keep my cycle on track, too) or it takes a long hiatus.  I know there are a lot of folks that will tell you the Whole30 isn't low carb, but that's how I tend to eat when I'm Whole30-ing so I really have to try to increase those carbs. 

  12. In general, my observations are that women on hormonal BC find their period comes early when they make diet changes.  Women that aren't on hormonal birth control often experience late periods.  Here's a post where I went into detail about why diet changes mess up hormones, both for those on BC and those that aren't: http://forum.whole9life.com/topic/6028-i-just-started-my-period-8-days-early/  I'm very passionate and a little long-winded when it comes to hormones, so my apologies.   :)


    Freelie - I'd suspect your doctor won't have much to say.  Although doctors often recommend diet changes to women with PCOS to help balance hormones and regulate cycles, they typically don't apply that same logic to other populations of women.  As a result, they often don't have an explanation for period changes due to a clean diet...  Most doctors that I've talked to are clueless and think hormones and diet are mutually exclusive.  *smacks forehead.  


    To be clear, diet changes like this are not bad for your menstrual cycle.  They really aren't.  The changes may cause different things to happen in your body than they have before, but isn't that the point of eating clean?  To get your body back into balance?  I mean, there's loads of info in ISWF about hormones because of this!  Think of this early period as a sign that things are working out the way they should.  Getting your period early is a hiccup along the way and it won't be permanent!  

  13. Nope, not unrealistic at all! Your period is triggered by a drop in hormones (progesterone). If your hormones drop enough for any reason, bam, your period starts. Diet CAN cause a drop in hormones that fast.

    Based on what you said about potential implantation bleeding, I'll assume you're not on birth control and had already ovulated this month. Had you started the whole 30 earlier in your cycle, your period likely wouldn't have appeared so soon.

    The first time I changed my diet (not paleo at the time - insulin resistance diet), my period started 3 days later and I didn't have a fraction of the normal pain due to endometriosis. It happened that fast. Not the same as what you experienced, but it was a testament to a jump start of the hormone changes!

  14. One of our members, @Karen, wrote up this explanation a while back of why your period may have come early or late during (usually) your first Whole30. I thought it was far too good to let it be lost in the depths of the forum so I've pinned it to the top of the Ladies Only section. Hopefully if you're a little nervous or worried about your early or "missing" period, this will help explain what may be happening. As with all things on this forum, no one here is medically trained and this information is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you are nervous or concerned, please see your doctor. ~ Ladyshanny


    Here's my synopsis of it all - someone else can chime in if I'm not 100% or if there's more to the story... I'm going off memory and not consulting my sources for the fine details. My cycles used to be all over the place and I took the time to figure it all out, but I'm going by memory here... This applies to those that AREN'T on hormonal birth control.

    Although we tend to think of our cycles in terms of our actual period, ovulation actually runs the show. From the time you have your period until you ovulate, estrogen is dominant. Once your FSH and estrogen levels reach a peak level, your body decides, "hey, I can ovulate now". For most people, this takes about 14 days from the first day of our period to happen, but for some, it can take much longer. Things like stress (eh hem, diet changes!, stress from work/relationships, car accident, etc.) can actually prevent ovulation for a little bit while your body figures out what's going on. After all, it doesn't want to allow you to get pregnant while the body is under stress, so it holds onto that egg until it knows all is well.

    However, once you ovulate, your body has a finite amount of time until you'll get your period. For most, that's 12-14 days. From ovulation until your period, progesterone is dominant. Your progesterone levels raise until it realizes your body isn't pregnant, and then when your progesterone levels drop, that prompts your period, and it starts all over again. Got it? (Interesting side note - progesterone actually causes your body temp to rise. That's why people TTC and trying NOT TC take their temps. When temps rise, you've ovulated, and when it drops, you can expect your period within a day or two.)


    If you just started a Whole30 and your period is late, it's quite likely that ovulation was delayed due to stress. You'll still have about 12-14 days from ovulation until your period, so delayed ovulation means delayed period. Granted, there could be other reasons, but if you were completely regular your entire life and all of a sudden this threw things for a loop, that's a possible explanation. That's how it typically is for me. Another reason is that for those that are estrogen-dominant, you may not have as much progesterone, so instead of getting that 12-14 days between your period and ovulation, you might normally, for example, only 8 days. But when you change your diet and balance your hormones, poof, your progesterone levels kick in and you may get a few more good days between ovulation and your period! For those TTC, that's super important. But if you're just counting the days from your last period, it may seem a bit late.

    For those of you that end up with your period earlier than expected while on a Whole30, there can be a few possible theories, but they all depend on where you are in your cycle and where your hormones are at. If your body has been trying to ovulate but it's taking longer than normal due to perceived stress, your endometrium is still thickening that whole time, and your body may need to release some of it (spotting). Your body could even say, "screw it, there's no way we're ovulating this month!" and your period could start without even ovulating (that's an annovulatory cycle). If you've already ovulated and your hormones are in flux, perhaps your progesterone levels have dropped temporarily, which means your period starts sooner than normal instead of getting those 12-14 days between ovulation and your period. I'm sure there are other reasons, but those are my best guesses for those that are curious.

    Rest assured, at some point, your body will figure out that the diet changes are actually a good thing. Typically within a cycle or two, estrogen and progesterone will balance out how they should, your luteal phase (between ovulation and your period) will be the appropriate length, and all is well in the world. For those that are concerned about TTC, I HIGHLY recommend Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Wexler. She explains all this, how to track your cycles (that's the only way I could make sense of my goofy cycles for a while), and how you can correct any oddballs that you run into!