Lets Talk About Why Missing Periods Is Not Normal
Lets talk about the fact that thousands of young women around the world are losing their periods. The worst part is that they’re losing their periods and nobody is talking about it. Fair enough, no woman enjoys being on their period. However, it is a sure sign that your body is healthy. Therefore, no, it is not normal for you to be missing your periods.
This is a topic that’s come to my acknowledgment recently. It’s all over YouTube and social media. And the scary thing is that it’s predominantly a discussion among young girls or women. What’s even more interesting is the fact that these girls are all obsessed with what’s on their plates and when they’re getting their next workout in. The issue of missing periods has been around for many years and is seen a lot in female athletes.
Unfortunately, because health and fitness is the new way of the world and everyone is talking about it on social media. Girls worldwide feel compelled to get fit, toned and lean – to their own detriment. I think there is definitely a persistent amount of pressure on social media to look a certain way, or worse, live this really perfect, healthy lifestyle. This is causing young women to change everything about themselves and their lifestyles to such extremes that their bodies are no longer functioning normally.
I know too many women with this problem, who are acting like it’s normal. This is not normal and we need to talk about it more.
Lets Talk About It Today
So, I know that it’s a bit of a weird subject to chat about over a cup coffee. However, you need to face the problem at hand and understand that your body is trying to tell you that whatever you’re doing – it isn’t happy.
The tricky thing is that it’s an issue that’s difficult to establish what the exact cause of losing your period may be. But, there is a handful of the similar and/or relating issue generally speaking.
However, it seems that losing your period for a prolonged time seems to be sure signs of not eating enough or exercising too much. Girls have taken staying fit and healthy to all kinds of levels and are pushing their bodies into an unnatural state. Remember, what is healthy for me is not necessarily going to be healthy for you. Therefore, if ‘Megan’ exercises 7 days a week for 90 minutes, and she’s happy – it doesn’t mean that that’s what is going to work for you!
If you are an athlete or somebody who is very active, then you must ask yourself, ‘Have I ever lost my period?’
Too many women think that amenorrhea, or halting of the menstrual cycle, is the norm.
Losing Your Period Is Not Normal
It still fathoms me at how girls are vlogging on YouTube or posting on social media continuously about their super ‘healthy’ lives, with their super fit bodies. Yet, in reality, they are not healthy at all. Perhaps they look healthy on the surface, but lets talk about their body fat percentages, calorie consumption, and expenditure as well as their overall internal composition. Let’s face up to the issue and start discussing it so that we can help thousands of young women.
Sometimes doctors call this health issue the Female Athlete Triad. It’s a potentially serious syndrome of three interrelated conditions of health risk factors: amenorrhea, bone loss/osteoporosis, and disordered eating. Female athletes with one risk factor are more likely to develop, or to already have, the other two.
This triad is relatively common among young women participating in sports. Luckily you can prevent this triad and reverse its effects if you recognize the symptoms early and seek medical guidance.
What Happens When Your Period Stops?
There are a few things that happen when your period comes to a sudden halt. The main factor is a drastic change in your hormones that control the process of ovulation. Any drastic change in weight: be it weight loss or weight gain, or extreme exercise changes can result in an unwanted change in the production of estrogen.
Depending on your situation, and depending on how much you restrict calories or exercise will determine the seriousness of your missed periods. However, in extreme cases, amenorrhea is a clear sign of exercise-induced anorexia. This is related to energy deprivation from not eating enough, from exercising too much, or from a combination of the two. Whether or not you enjoy your period, as women, we need them to function properly in terms of bone health, reproduction and hormones.
This issue is sneaky because it seems like you’re fine because you look fit and healthy. You don’t have to look too thin or without energy either for this to happen. But the consequences over a prolonged period of time are serious.
Lets Talk About Your Body
So, what does this mean?
Well, if you’ve missed more than three months of your period, then you should seek medical help. This means that your body is possibly entering into a state of slowed metabolism, which is why it is forced to stop ovulating to conserve energy.
Often, because of this, you will find that you cannot increase your lean body mass. This is due to the fact that building muscle requires energy. Your muscles may even break down to fuel more essential organs. Females in this hypometabolic state also are more susceptible to injury and delayed exercise recovery.
You’re At Risk Of Bone Loss
Every lady requires estrogen to help keep their bones strong. Therefore, when your estrogen levels decrease naturally after menopause, the risk of fracture rises. So, if you’re young and you’re not getting in enough calories or exercising too much you will diminish your bodies energy required for estrogen production.
It’s as if your body goes into survival mode and picks what’s most important for survival only. This may result in bone loss.
I see a lot of girls talking about their diets on social media. The issue is that they are in massive denail about it. Lets talk about why that is.
Disordered eating is actually really common with female athletes because they restrict their calories too much. They do this in an effort to lose weight. Some women may restrict eating unintentionally because they’re trying to balance an excessive training schedule with the demands of work, school and/or family life. If you restrict food for long enough it may develop into an obsession with or a disordered approach to eating.
Are you one of these ladies? Then you are likely prone to restricting your calorie intake. It’s very common with those who are involved in extreme exercises, play sports that require weight checks or are involved in sports that encourage tight/revealing clothing. But don’t exclude yourself if you’re a normal lady who participates in very intense exercise either. It’s also common with teens who have controlling parents or coaches or feel the pressures of social media fitspiration and vloggers.
You Need A Healthy Balance
This is possible to achieve for those trying to avoid the situation and those who want to reverse it. If you want to train your hardest, then you need to eat the right foods to fuel your body. Lets talk about this for a minute. Your muscles will be able to grow and you’ll prevent injury with the correct nutrition.
Here Are Some Tips:
- Eat three full meals each day.
- Balance meals with carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
- Never omit certain food groups, like fats. Omitting food groups is a sign of disordered eating.
- Eat within 30 minutes of finishing all workouts.
- Eat post-workout meals high in carbohydrates and moderate in protein. Some good examples include sandwich & fruit, bagel with peanut butter and chocolate milk, energy bar and yogurt with granola, or spaghetti with meatballs, salad, and fruit.
- Have a minimum of three carbohydrate-rich snacks throughout the day.
- When workouts last more than 90 minutes, eat 15 grams of carbohydrates or drink a sports beverage every 15 to 30 minutes.
- Consume adequate amounts of calcium daily: 1,000 to 1,300 mg per day. Best sources include milk, yogurt, non-dairy milk (including soy or almond), cheese, calcium-fortified orange juice, and dark green leafy lettuce.
My best advice to those ladies who have difficulty building a healthy diet or increasing their calories – go and see a registered dietitian for professional assistance ASAP.
Too many women are in denial about developing exercise-induced anorexia from disordered eating. The fact remains that missing a period is a sign that you are not eating enough and need further evaluation. Lets talk about this issue more so that we can educate young women on the issue before it continues to affect us.
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