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KoolKatUK 03-24-2012 02:03 AM

Low Carb Diet Effects?

I was supposed to start my monthly on Monday-Wednesday. It's now Saturday and I've not even had any of the cramps or even a small twinge.

I started a very low carb diet last week (not atkins - just reducing carbs to at most 50g per day but still trying to eat healthily) and I was wondering could it be due to this?

I saw on a site that a low carb diet can mess with women's menstruation cycles but I couldn't find more information. It seems different sites have different ideas about what a low carb diet is, does and what the side effects are.

Has anyone else tried a low carb diet and had problems like this? :confused:

crazigerl 03-24-2012 05:00 AM

For me in my experience in doing Atkins was that my periods were horrendous. They were irregular, heavy when they came and I had 30 years of being as regular as clockwork. I had to come off it as I started losing my hair. As soon as I upped my carbs they came back and I'm regular as clockwork again. Each diet plan has a different effect on each individual. My BF had no side effects. Go figure.

meking703 03-25-2012 12:04 AM

I have heard that women who have very low body fat run the risk of their periods ending entirely, but I hadn't previously heard of a link between low-card and this type of disruption.

Personally, I've tried low-carb diets three times now - and I couldn't stick with them for more that two weeks at a time. I didn't notice any issues with my cycle, but each time the lack of energy and the dry heaves really did me in! Not to mention I didn't loose a significant amount of weight. Never again!!

I think that everyone reacts to extreme diets differently. For some people a particular diet protocol will work really well, while for others the same diet plan will be a disaster. You just have to find one that works for you.

In your case, if you've noticed a significant change in your cycle, I think you should discuss this with your doctor (or other medical practitioner). To me, no amount of weight loss is worth risking a potentially long term health issue.

KoolKatUK 03-25-2012 12:30 AM

Thank you Crazigerl and Meking703
Hi crazigerl, I was regular as clockwork too. Took a pregnancy test this morning in case but was negative and then started my monthly about noon so definitely not due to pregnancy.

It's very heavy and painful but maybe it's just the drastic change in diet - I'm shocked how many carbs I was eating before without realising. No wonder I put on weight. I was addicted to bread, crisps, chips, pastries and pasta lol. :D

meking703, while I agree with you that it would be best to discuss it with a doctor, unfortunately seeing a doctor is easier said than done where I live with the hours I work. Sadly a lot of doctors see it as a waste of time because they have numbers they have to work to that are set by the government budget. I got shouted at a few months ago because I went to the doctor worried that I might be developing an underactive thyroid. I was exhibiting all the symptoms and my mum and nana on my dad's side both have it but apparently the doctor thought it was ok to shout at me for wasting his time when my blood test came back negative. :( I have a new doctor since I've moved but I'm worried they won't be much better so I haven't made an appointment yet. I miss our family doctor I had when I still lived with my parents - she was so lovely and understanding. I guess she wanted to be a doctor for the right reasons...

Anyway before I get carried away about the current state of the NHS (I do actually appreciate it's existence believe it or not lol ;) ), I don't think the diet is particularly dangerous as I'm still eating healthily (avoiding high fat foods and trying to eat lots of veg as well as taking multivitamins and soluble fibre) so I'll just push on and see if it evens out over the next month or two. If not, I'll look at adjusting the diet.

I only took on the low carb diet after speaking to my mum. I'd tried loads of diets, exercise and reducing calorie intake but nothing was working. I noticed I got a painful bloated stomach after pasta and bread and then felt hungry at least half an hour after eating it and Mum said she struggled with these types of carbs. I then tried cutting them out of my diet for a couple of days and I've felt so much better for it.

Thank you both for your help. This was just something I was curious about as the contraceptive pill, illness and certain medicines have affected my monthly but never a diet before.
I also thought maybe it would be worth bringing up in case anyone else had this worry so they could read more into it as I couldn't find much info when I tried to Google it. :)

KoolKatUK 03-25-2012 12:40 AM


Originally Posted by meking703 (Post 77186)
I didn't notice any issues with my cycle, but each time the lack of energy and the dry heaves really did me in!

Sorry, I forgot to mention, for the first few days I felt so hungry that I felt like this too. I think it might be a bit of sugar withdrawal.

I fed this with babybel (lights), boiled eggs, celery sticks, ruby grapefruit, flavoured water and lots of glasses of Pepsi Max. I know diet drinks aren't great because of the artificial sweeteners but as a short term solution to filling in the hunger pangs these are really handy and help a lot. After a few days the horrible symptoms went away and I'm feeling a huge amount more in control of my hunger and what foods I want to eat.

Of course as you said, everyone reacts differently so I can't guarentee these would work for you, but just thought I'd share in case. :)

meking703 03-25-2012 06:34 PM


Originally Posted by KoolKatUK (Post 77190)
Sorry, I forgot to mention, for the first few days I felt so hungry that I felt like this too. I think it might be a bit of sugar withdrawal.

Hey KoolKatUK,

I know a lot of people feel this way for the 1st few days on low carb (I've heard it called the "Atkin's flu"), but for me the symptoms never did abate, which is why - after 14 days of feeling this way - I gave up. For me, my body just never seemed to adjust to the lack of carbs. Maybe its the Irish part I inherited from my Grandmother - just can't do without my potatoes! :D

I have relatives in the UK, and it sounds like the NHS can be a challenge to navigate. All I can suggest, is try meeting with the new Dr - you never know, they may be better then the last (can't be much worse, from the sounds of it). It also sounds (from my non-professional take) that you may have some degree of a wheat intolerance - something that seems to be on the rise these days - and something to talk to the Dr about.

Good luck, and remember, no one knows your body as well as you do, and no one will advocate for you as well as you will.


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