Hypothalamic Amenorrhea is a lesser known condition in which the menstruation stops in young and generally healthy women for several months. The hypothalamus in the brain releases a hormone that stimulates reproduction and excessive stress can cause the hypothalamus to stop producing this hormone. This effects the menstruation cycle and it can stop for several months. This condition is quite common among female athletes and cross fit enthusiasts. Despite having the healthiest lifestyle, good and nutritious food, a lean body, something is missing and that is your period.
When your body undergoes extreme stress due to over exercising and under eating; restricting too many calories, this increased and sudden stress to your body can give a signal to your brain that vital organs must be safeguarded and systems like reproductive cycle suffer. Your hypothalamus may stop producing that hormone for sometime as your body is not ready for reproduction due to increase in stress. Many women are not aware of this condition and don’t realize that this condition could be behind losing their periods.
Not only your fertility suffers, under this condition you may suffer from bone loss, dry skin, fatigue, poor sleep and digestive issues. This condition is caused by both excessive workouts and a lack of nutrition, anorexic women can suffer from it, highly active women who don’t have a healthy body weight are at a risk of developing this condition. Basically, your brain shuts off reproduction when it receives stress signals that your body is not yet ready. To avoid this condition or reverse it, you must maintain a healthy body weight and never push your limits in exercise.
The goal is to preserve the muscle mass, stay hydrated and have a healthy body weight according to the BMI. If you exercise a lot and don’t eat enough to fuel your body, you are at a risk of developing this condition. Hypothalamic Amenorrhea is a serious condition and it may effect your heart health, too. If you lost weight in big numbers all of a sudden you are at a risk of developing this condition, therefore, causes vary from person to person, and some people are genetically disposed to developing this condition than others.
Your recovery depends on the lifestyle factors, start eating more, get yourself to a healthy weight, stop exercising for the time being, if you are overly stressed due to work or relationships, try self relaxing techniques, such as yoga and meditation. You might hate it but you’d need to increase your intake of fat and carbohydrates to recover fully.