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Considering a 2nd Whole30 but concerned about breakthru bleeding


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Hi all


I did my first Whole30 in late January and through February this year with my husband and two colleagues – with very positive results and one colleague has stuck to most of the principals and is ~2 weeks out finally getting that ‘tiger blood’ feeling that we didn’t quite seem to get.


I lurked in this forum during the first Whole30 and found a lot of comfort in reading stories about other women on the OCP that experienced ‘breakthrough bleeding’ while on the Whole30 as the 3 doctors I saw were not very supportive.  The last 3 weeks of my Whole30 I was coping with breakthrough bleeding and associated cramps etc and decided that I wouldn’t attempt another Whole30 for a while….


Anyway 2 weeks off the Whole30 and I have slowly succumbed to a few bad habits, but most interestingly is the increase in negative thoughts I have had – not like suicidal thoughts, but petty, bitchy thoughts.


So, I’ve decided I will do a Whole30 again in April (March is my birthday month and I have lots of social commitments and lovely dinners planned) – what I was curious to know was if any women who experienced breakthrough bleeding on their first Whole30 continued to experience it on subsequent Whole30s or with a continued ‘healthier’ diet.  I am also interested to know which foods groups might be associated with the drop in hormones that lead to the breakthrough bleeding.


(I might ask this in a different section of the forum after I have a search for old threads, but do I NEED to have a breakfast?  I did for the first week or so but found it hard to stomach – I tend to have a banana around 11, gym for an hour from 12 and then eat a big lunch (steak/salmon and vegetables/salad – I want to do the Whole30 ‘better’ this time around but am unsure with the breakfast)

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A proper template meal within an hour of waking is one of the most important things you can do to balance hormones. It's definitely worth working toward. Your aversion to eating in the morning very well may indicate that your hormones are out of whack.


Eating fruit alone will spike blood sugar. Eating fruit before a workout will overtax your liver and keep your body from becoming fat adapted. At the very least, eat a hard boiled egg before your workout.


I'm not on the pill, though I can say that sticking with W30 eating with occasional off roads for nearly two years has made my cycles very regular and predictable. Before W30 I was having breakthrough bleeding mid cycle, and now I am not.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Vehs!


So glad you've also decided to give the W30 another whirl. I'm on day 23 of my second. I did my first one back in October/November. The first time, I started my period two weeks early. I am on BC and continued taking my pills as I normally would, which resulted in me bleeding all the way through until my period normally would have started. It was a rough 3 weeks.


The second time around, I started bleeding 2 and a half weeks before I should have. I stopped taking my pills mid-pack and have noticed that the bleeding has started easing up. I'm on the 5th day of what felt like a normal period. Rather than trying to stay consistent with my pills, I am going to stay consistent with my body, accept this as a shift in my cycle and start a new pill pack in a couple days. 


Hope that helps you in one way or another!


Best of luck to you!

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I never experienced breakthrough bleeding during my either of my Whole30's, but I've also been off hormonal birth control since 2007. My food choices have a PROFOUND impact on my mood swings, though. Prior to adopting paleo-eating habits, I thought I was losing my mind each month because I was such a raging bitch leading up to my period. I remember times where I quite literally felt like I was trapped in my head and stuck observing these nasty thing I was saying, but had zero control over. (Especially toward my husband--I still feel awful about it.) I was almost to the point of discussing the possibility of PMDD with my physician, but then one month I just breezed through my period. It wasn't until a few days after it ended that I realized what an easy time I'd had that month. I talked to my husband about it and he noticed a big difference as well.


The biggest triggers, for me, as far as mood and PMS are concerned are gluten and sugar. I've been 100% gluten-free for about a year and a half now after being diagnosed with Hashimoto's, but sugar is still an issue since I still love to bake and have foodie friends who do the same. When I've been hitting the sugar, my cramps are much, much worse. Doubly so if I've also been slacking on the exercise.


Something to keep in mind with breakthrough bleeding while on the pill is that breakthrough bleeding a potential side effect of oral contraceptives. It may or may not be related to your change in eating habits. (Anecdotal evidence on this forum leads me to believe that there's a strong possibility for the two to be related, but it's pretty much impossible to say for certain.) If it is related to the change in eating habits then it should improve over time. If it doesn't, then you may need to talk to your healthcare provider about switching to another contraceptive.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks guys - Day 1 for my 2nd Whole30 :) (or maybe the Whole52...)


I am certainly going to pay attention to have more balanced meals and breakfasts this time around


I am due to have a withdrawal bleed this weekend so I will take the placebos, that I usually skip, and hopefully the bleeding will only happen for that week.  For the seven years I have been on the OCP doing on the Whole30 was the ONLY thing that seemed to affect my cycles.  Given the few new topics that have popped up in the fortnight I haven't been on the forum I think it is work Dallas and Melissa investigating more -although every woman is different so I'm sure it's very complicated.

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Make sure you include lots of starchy, carby veggies to help with the cravings and the like. Your body is doing a LOT of work gearing up to have a period and needs more energy to tide it over. Have them at least daily, if not multiple servings per day.

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