Today I received an email from a beautiful young girl who wanted some advice. I realized that the questions she asked are likely questions that a lot of other lovely ladies may have, so I wanted to share my response.
So, you think you have Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, and you have NOT been on the pill, so you don’t think this is the cause. What should you do?
First Things First
Congratulations on commencing your journey to recovery – acceptance is the first step. I recommend that you start by seeing your primary care provider and having blood tests done. The doctor will check your Estradiol, LH, and FSH levels. You may also want to ask to have your thyroid function checked via the blood tests to make sure that thyroid issues are not the root cause of the amenorrhea. Vitamin D levels would also be good to get checked. Vitamin D helps our bones absorb calcium. In women with amenorrhea, the low levels of estrogen can prevent our bones from absorbing adequate calcium, making us more susceptible to osteoporosis.
What’s The Cause?
It is important to know that Amenorrhea can be at 4 levels:
– This is where my amenorrhea is rooted. Excessive exercise and restrictive eating cause our hypothalamus (the part of our brain that regulates hormone function) to panic. It essentially enters ‘survival mode’ due to lack of nutrition, and shuts off all ‘unnecessary functions’ in order to make sure the body survivors. Unfortunately, reproduction is not a function that is essential to our survival, so my hypothalamus just told my body to stop producing Estradiol, LH and FSH.
2. Pituitary / Thyroid