How eating Keto affects a woman's hormones and her monthly visitor

(Laura ) #1

I’m pretty new to this so I’d love some feedback on how switching to the Keto way of eating affects women. Specifically her hormones and menstruation.

Period after starting keto?
Heavy period
No Menstrual Period on Keto
Is there a board for ladies-specific problems?
Lady Woes w/ my WOE - HaYwIrE hOrMoNeS
(Amanda Jones) #2

My periods have become more “normal.” I was on birth control for 16 years, and after I quit taking it, over two years ago now, my periods never went back to normal (pre birth control) until now. Before keto, I still had a lot of spotting before and after my period and that has been greatly reduced. Also, my period is now about three days longer than before. Idk if most would think of that as a good thing, but I have been trying to conceive for the last two years unsuccessfully, so a return to a normal five day period is a step in the right direction, I think, as I’m considering this an increase in the health of my uterine lining.

(Nicole) #3

I’ve been keto (mostly) for about a year and a half. In that time I’ve found that being keto has help with my cycles. I am more regular, have less pms (less fatigue, acne, migraines) and have even had less cramoing.

… All good considering I am in my 40s and probably dancing on the edge of perimenopause.

(Amanda Jones) #4

Oh, also I have had NO menstrual cramps since starting keto! :grin:

First time trying keto issues
(Tracy Mason) #5

I’m pretty positive I have endometriosis…will find out in a few weeks…and even though my periods are still fairly heavy, I don’t have anywhere near the cramps and pain I used to. Plus I don’t get migraines at that time anymore.

(Christine J) #6

I’m on cycle 4 with keto now, I’ve always had terrible cycles. It’s improved some and things are trying to level out. I’m pretty sure I’m dealing with endo myself as I have been dealing with pain with bowel movements and urination when my period does come. I’m not up for exploratory to get confirmation right now.

(Meri) #7

I’m on cycle 2 with Keto. PMS symptoms much improved!! I went from debilitating fatigue and cramping to barely a blip! I did notice a bit of spotting during ovulation, which is not normal for me, but my naturopath advised that it’s not something to worry about because Keto changes your hormones, and it will most likely go away with time, and once weight loss has stabilized.

(Laura ) #8

One of the reasons I’m asking is because I’m peri menopausal. I started Keto after my last cycle ended and now, 3 weeks later I’m clearly showing signs of my cycle coming back again. I’d actually experienced 5 months in between cycles and this early December cycle was the first since early summer. I won’t lie. I didn’t miss it! So I started to read up on the subject. On high-fat diets, estrogen levels increase. There has been some speculation and commentary that "estrogen levels RISE when you lose weight. Estrogen gets stored in fat instead of being released and shared throughout the body, so when you lose weight you have an abundance of estrogen in your body. So while the responses I’m reading are informative, I’d like to also hear from some older women about how Keto has affected them. Keep the answers coming ladies! Thank you!

(jketoscribe) #9

I was perimenopausal when I started keto. I also have PCOS so things have been messed up hormonewise my entire life. Keto really smoothed things along, that is AFTER my flax “incident” (eating flax daily caused heavy–hemorrhagic–bleeding for 8 weeks before I figured out what was causing it. Flax is a phytoestrogen so beware!). I had easier periods that were coming every 8 weeks or so on keto and then gradually stopped about a year in.

One of the questions you seem to be asking is whether keto will interfere with menopause and I don’t think so. When it’s time, your body will do what it’s supposed to do. But sometimes it may not really be time, and keto seems to get you on a more normal trajectory.

BTW, I felt GREAT! Easiest menopause ever.

I did have clusters of hot flashes, but if I increased fat, the hot flashes were far less frequent and intense. Same with night sweats. I didn’t have mood swings or other issues that women seem to complain about in menopause. I’m pleased to have literally sailed through it and it’s nice here on the other side. I’m not taking any HRT, I didn’t see any need for it and my doctor agrees.

(RavenRed) #10

My cycles have become more like they were in highschool, but along with that my cramping has worsened. But that was the way when I was young too. They actually put me on the pill for my cramps. In a way, I feel like it’s back to what it “should be” even with the cramping. The nice thing is my PMS symptoms have lessened and if all else is on track, I can still lose weight. I don’t like to expect it, mind you, but it has happened.

(Dana ) #11

I started keto during AF, and am now 4 weeks into it. My period came back a week early and it’s still going strong :frowning: I’m worried because I’ve been on BCP for 3.5 years because I was bleeding nearly nonstop. It was the only thing that stopped me from bleeding all the time and this is the first breakthrough bleeding I’ve had.

(Cathy Schroder) #12

I thought I’d transitioned into menopause. Three months into Keto and I started again. Putting aside the science about hormones, I prefer to believe that I am reversing my age!!

Keto and menstrual cycle: continous bleeding
(melartweaver) #13

I’ve never been “not normal” with periods, but since I’ve gone keto in May 2016, I’ve had more “effective” periods. I noticed the change within about 2-3 months. Instead of a general flow of about 4-5 days, now I have to be super-prepared for one extremely heavy flow day, followed by a day or two of very light flow–then it’s done. I’m not sure what that means, (besides having to stay very near a bathroom on the one heavy flow day) but it’s nice being finished more quickly. :slight_smile:

(Sondra Rose) #14

I am 53 and this year my cycles have just started to change in frequency. I’ve been Keto for 5+ years, mostly ZC for the last 18 months.

My insomnia and perimenopausal weight gain stopped soon after going Keto.

Keto kept hot flashes at bay until this summer, but I had been losing body fat, so it made sense to me that my estrogen level was higher. Have been using Pro-gest cream with great success. Now that I am close to maintenance weight, I am tapering off the cream.

Here’s an excerpt from Maria Emmerich’s FB page that I found helpful:

Keto Adapted - Maria Emmerich
_September 23, 2013 · _
A well-formulated keto-adapted diet works for menopausal symptoms by replacing glucose that’s lacking from the estrogen-deprived brain. When glucose can’t get into brain, it causes hot flashes and low cognitive function, two common complaints of my clients going through menopause. Ketone bodies are water-soluble fat breakdown products that can pinch hit for glucose in the brain and other tissues.
When the brain is deprived of estrogen after decades of exposure, hot flashes arrive. During the years of exposure, estrogen becomes closely involved in the transportation of glucose into the brain cells. When we are menstruating and have healthy estrogen, it transports about 40 percent more glucose into the brain cells than would be shuttled without estrogen. When the healthy estrogen goes away at menopause, the transportation of glucose into the brain cells decreases, and the brain cells become a little starved for energy. The hypothalamus responds to this starvation by increasing the release of norepinephrine [adrenaline], which increases the level of sugar in the blood, to raise the heart rate, and this causes an increase in the body temperature. A hot flash is an outward sign that the brain’s trying to protect itself from blood sugar starvation.
Ultimately, you want to use fat to fuel you’re your body instead of carbs. Carbohydrates promote inflammation and leads to hormonal imbalances that further intensify symptoms. Women who are already in menopause and halt the detrimental symptoms with a well-formulated keto-adapted diet often see a regular menstrual cycle return, less belly fat tissue, along with increased libido.
To get keto adapted ASAP, sign up for the accelerated package!

(Melissa Feather) #15

I started Keto September 2016, I’m 49 y/o and have regular periods. My first period after starting Keto was totally whacky! I had excessive blood loss far more than I’ve ever had in all my years before. I felt weak, lethargic and headaches for 2 days. I also became a raging monster and was willing to fight with anyone, anytime during that few days. I was definitely going through Keto Flu at the same time. I’m only writing this because I totally believe my body was a) transitioning to the Keto WOE and b) my hormones were adjusting based on years of SAD eating. I’ve had 4 cycles to date and each one has been much better than the first month of Keto BUT I too seem to have a substantial cramps about every other month. Knowing my body as I do - I believe it will continue to get better with each passing month, but it may take up to a year to totally level out to my new “average” cycle. The sad part is that will be just in time for pre-meno crap to hit.

(Annemieke van der Veen) #16

Would all the above mean that the ketogenic dieet is not suitable for women with (a high risk of) oestrogen-receptor postitive breastcancer ?

(jketoscribe) #17

That’s a good question to ask an oncologist, hopefully one familiar with the benefits of a ketogenic diet as an adjunct to cancer treatment. I’d be very interested in the answer.

(Annemieke van der Veen) #18

Me too. My experience (I live in the Netherlands) is that nutrition is hardly ever mentioned during cancer treatment.

(jketoscribe) #19

Remembering from my father, he was losing too much weight with chemo and radiation (colon and liver cancer) so they wanted to have him eat a lot of calories. My mom put tons of butter and cream in everything. You know, the same stuff I used to LOSE 75 lbs. interesting, isn’t it?


I am finding that ‘Shark Week’ sneaks up on me now. I used to be able to tell when my period was coming by the cramps and the acne and the insatiable chocolate cravings.