Megan

Changes in Menstrual Cycle

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Hi, I am also so glad to have found this topic.  Since I was 13, I've had horrible cramps, pms, and like a 6 day heavy flow. I have been on BC for the past five or so years, and hardly ever get a period or any symptoms of my period anymore (slightly concerning, but I wasn't going to complain).  I was on day 9 of my W30 when I woke up feeling crappy, ravenous, headachy and tired. I had had a massive charley horse the night before (which has never happened to me, and took some ibuprofen, so I thought it might be that).  But then (sorry if this is TMI) went to the bathroom and realized I was bleeding a little bit, like spotting...interesting, a sign of a period! It hadn't even occured to me.  I also have acid reflux and the symptoms were HORRIBLE like nothing I have had before, last night. I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this?  So, while not bad, I would say that my menstraul symptoms are WORSE right now.  Although, I will feel WAY better if they go away after my period does and I know that's what it was.

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My period came about 8 days early on Whole 30.  Normal length.  My next period came when I expected it.  I wish they were shorter and less heavy!  That hasn't happened but glad the last one didn't come 8 days early!

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This is facinating.  I got my period yesterday, on day 4 of the Whole30... I wasn't due for another 4-6 days at least, so I was shocked (acutally thought it might be implantation bleeding at first).  But, being on the Whole30 for only 3-4 days seems pretty unrealistic in terms of affecting my cycle so quickly, right?

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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!

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I'm more than 2 weeks late on my period! And very confused by it. I know for sure I'm not preggers, but I have had bouts of pms throughout these past two weeks and just want to get the whole deal over with! I started the Whole30 July 22nd and am still going strong. Before starting Whole30 I was "basically Paleo" for about a year and a half, so I don't feel like my eating habits have changed that much during Whole30...at least compared to lots of people. Maybe I am eating more fat and having more square meals. And the main things that I ate sometimes were dairy and sugar. Could those have such a huge affect on things? It's pretty frustrating, especially when I never know what to contribute to pms or not. Have I been having random feelings of pms throughout the past 2 weeks or am I just tired sometimes and consequently less able to control my cravings? 

Also, I used to have a pretty regular period that lasted 2-3 days (I know I'm lucky in that sense). However, since eating a more Paleo diet I feel like my pms has gotten a little worse. That could also just be being more in tune with things.

Anyway, I just wanted to get some feedback and vent out my frustrations to some folks who might understand. Thanks for reading my rant :) 

And I will definitely be having sweet potatoes for dinner tonight.

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One of the success factors of my whole30ing was re establishing my cycle after stopping BC. Had about 8 months straight of quite regular cycles after none for 14 months then only two in the subsequent six months before my first whole 30. Then the last couple of months I have been doing whole 30 s with and without coffee for a few weeks. Last cycle was 9 days! late and this one has just come 8 days early... What the???

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i'm on day 22 of whole30 and i'm not due for my period for another week, but i just now discovered that i'm spotting...which never ever happens. i've been on bc for 5 years and have always gotten my period on the same day. i came on here to search the forum about changes in menstrual cycle and found this, which comforts me a little. still, it concerns me. no one has addressed the science behind it (minus the bit about hormones, thanks to karen a couple posts above). what is going on? does anyone know of any scientific facts relating to this? i just don't want to keep this up if it's bad for my menstrual cycle.

 

if we can't find anything good, i fortunately have a gyno appointment on monday so maybe i'll be able to gather answers from her.

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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!  

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I'm so happy I found this thread! I have PCOS and haven't had a regular cycle since high school. A few months ago I started training for a half marathon and my cycle came back without any metformin (I'd stopped taking it because my sugars had leveled out). Before doing Whole 30 I missed August and was concerned my diabetes and high sugars were coming back. It's day 9 and my cycle started this morning! I have some cramps but usually I'm in a ball by now and I can't move my legs. Strange I know, but my quads feel dead the first two days of my period and I can't do much.

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This was very reassuring to find! I am only on day 6 of the Whole30 and my period is late by 3 days so far. I went paleo about 6 days before starting this. I've always known food can impact us our health (been gf/df and eating predominantly organic for 3 yrs) and wellbeing but I didn't expect such a drastic and almost immediate impact. I'm just amazed. I really am. Echoing the sentiments of others, I would think soy is the biggest culprit as that, in addition to the grains, is what I have mostly cut out. That being said, I wasn't really eating much in terms of grains prior to going Whole30. I have also opted to cut out nuts for my whole30 and a lot of tuberous veggies (echoing more of an SCD slant to this diet..not a full on autoimmune protocol, but close enough).

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I too have experienced changes. I am on a birth control pill that has the lowest dose of hormones (I never had heavier periods) and I take a continuous cycle. I'm on day ten of my first whole thirty and the last couple of days I have gotten my period when its not time for it. I was worried about this so I called my health care provider and she informed me that not only does my body just need a period sometimes, but that the change in my diet can certainly effect hormones in the way that I have described.

 

Also as I read in the book, people experience more vivid dreams and let me tell you this was certainly true last night. I had a few that were actually related to my period, and they were honestly like those dark somewhat twisted movies. Is it normal to not have the most delightful dreams during this phase?

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I'm on day 9 & I have had some profound things go on - one is that my period is 4 days early (not on birth control.)  Also had zero PMS symptoms.  Like normally I'm inhaling chocolate/sugar/gluten & moody.  Now I'm just having a slightly crampy period.  Nifty.

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Ummm. I did my first Whole 30 in September 2012 and didn't get my period again for 3 MONTHS. (I went back to eating bad food almost immediately after the 30 days were up. I'm 30 yrs old today.)

 

It wasn't any inconvenience then as I wasn't sexually active so I had no worries. But now I want to do another whole 30 in January (and hopefully the good habits will stick!) and I'm sexually active, and while I'll of course take precautions, I don't want to constantly be worried I could be pregnant. Is there anything I can do to keep my monthly pal around?

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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. 

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After reading through these posts, I want to share my story in case someone else has the same issues.

 

Three years ago I quit all processed foods and started running like a crazy person (this was not Whole 30 or Paleo, this was "I wanted to lose weight fast").  I lost 30 pounds but I started bleeding when I ovulated and then two weeks later would bleed again with my period.  At the height of my weight loss and activity, I started bleeding everyday.  My longest stretch was 33 days in a row.

I was poked, prodded, examined, given the pill, etc. 

The end result: I was told that estrogen is stored in fat.  If you lose a lot of fat quickly, that estrogen needs to go somewhere and often sparks irregular cycles. 

It took about 6 months for things to calm down.   

 

-at the time I was eating a ton of soy products so I know (now) that didn't help either.

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I'm more than 2 weeks late on my period! And very confused by it. I know for sure I'm not preggers, but I have had bouts of pms throughout these past two weeks and just want to get the whole deal over with! I started the Whole30 July 22nd and am still going strong. Before starting Whole30 I was "basically Paleo" for about a year and a half, so I don't feel like my eating habits have changed that much during Whole30...at least compared to lots of people. Maybe I am eating more fat and having more square meals. And the main things that I ate sometimes were dairy and sugar. Could those have such a huge affect on things? It's pretty frustrating, especially when I never know what to contribute to pms or not. Have I been having random feelings of pms throughout the past 2 weeks or am I just tired sometimes and consequently less able to control my cravings? 

Also, I used to have a pretty regular period that lasted 2-3 days (I know I'm lucky in that sense). However, since eating a more Paleo diet I feel like my pms has gotten a little worse. That could also just be being more in tune with things.

Anyway, I just wanted to get some feedback and vent out my frustrations to some folks who might understand. Thanks for reading my rant :) 

And I will definitely be having sweet potatoes for dinner tonight.

 

I'm really glad to have read your post-- I was hoping to find someone like me who has been "pretty much Paleo" for a long time, but has experienced an actual worsening of cramps. Of course, I'm not happy about our misery, but I'm loving the company. :) But seriously, glad to know I'm not alone in this. 

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Mine seem to get worse when I'm doing a Whole30, too. But then they get way, way better as long as I keep my diet strict paleo. Then I slowly start allowing more and more sugar or dairy into my diet and they slowly get worse again. Then I have to do another Whole30. It sucks, but is also a pretty steady pattern for me and I logically know what I need to do to avoid it.

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Day 8 and got period 2 weeks early with painful cramping and diarrhea, I never get it early since I on BC pill which keeps my cycle consistent. I was worried the last two day before it came today because I was so crampy and thought It was something I was eating, so i was relieved to realize that the discomfort was due to the impending period , but NOT stoked to have it early! should I be concerned? is this common? Is this my body telling me that the food choices I am currently making couldn't support a fetus, therefore its shedding the lining sooner?

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I'm on the pill (microgestin) and started having a light period (but with darker, brownish blood) a couple days ago (I'm only on day 6 of whole30) in the third week of my active pills, so my period was essentially a week early. I've been super tired this week all day, but then when I get home from work I'm wide awake and it'd hard to fall asleep at a reasonable hour. I also just got back from two weeks of travel/vacation right before starting my whole30. I've been sticking to 3 meals a day and playing around with portions to keep from getting hungry, and I've been pretty successful thus far no cravings.

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I have had irregular menses for quite some time, so it was no surprise that my period was a surprise this week - first week of my whole 30! So the drowsiness and bloating I had experienced - wondering if it is from a change in diet or because of my period. I suppose it really doesn't matter, I'll just keep at it and hopefully will feel better next week!

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My period came on time but it was only one day of REAL flow (with horrific cramps) and the next 5 days have been basically spotting. I keep waiting for it to start back up again but maybe it's not going to?

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I never get periods, maybe 1 or 2 a year if I'm lucky. And I do say lucky because if a woman doesn't shed the lining of the uterus each month it can lead to much bigger problems. Doctors honestly couldn't figure out why I didn't menstruate. They tested me for PCOS, did ultrasounds, and put me on birth control when I was 16 just to get me to menstruate, but my body just never did it naturally. The birth control gave me depression and I stopped using it. I just kind of accepted that I probably wasn't ever going to be normal or have my own children without help from doctors. But I couldn't believe it, 12 days after starting the Whole30 and I got my period. Usually I feel super sick when I do get a period and I cramp up so bad but I honestly felt pretty good the whole time I had it. I mean a bit of bloating and a little emotional, but to be expected. I am now being tested for Celiac's and lactose intolerance, but I never would have guessed that the food I was eating had damaged my body like that!

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