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Amenorrhea – what is it and how to cure it?

by Wednesday, April 1, 2020

This post is available in Bulgarian

My personal story about amenorrhea and how I treated this problem.

Hey, you, yes you, you are not alone! You are not the only one going through this and you are strong enough to fight with it!

What is amenorrhea? This is the absence of menstruation for 6 months or longer. It can occur for a variety of reasons – psychological, physiological, genetic or biochemical disorder. Also lifestyle factors as excessive exercise, low body weight, stress and changes in the diet. During the normal course of your life, you can experience amenorrhea for natural reasons, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause and when you haven’t got your first period yet.

There are two types of amenorrhea: primary and secondary. The primary is when the period doesn’t start during the puberty. And the secondary is the one that we are going to talk about. This is when the periods start, but then they cease to occur.

Enough with the theory. Now I am going to share my experience with you. Back in 2014, I decided that I want to lose weight. Here is the moment to say that I haven’t been overweight I was 50-51 kg (110 lbs), but I was maniacally into losing weight and looking better. I was thinking that I was not sexy enough, that I could have a better body shape and I did not like myself. I started a variety of diets and in the summer my problems with the period started. I didn’t care that much. Honestly, when I am looking back to this period, I even felt good, I was careless. I was doing weight exercises, yoga, every day and I was not eating enough. Fewer calories than I needed to survive. I was on a keto diet, vegan diet, smoothies, raw diet, everything that you can imagine. Finally, I reached 46 kg (101 lbs) and even then I did not like myself. The girl in the mirror was still “fat”. I needed to change more.

And all due to my vanity I had.. I was not fat, I was just a normal shaped girl, but I wanted to be skinnier. With lots of restrictions, minimalistic diet, excessive exercises.. all of this at the same time, without realizing that I was damaging my body. Until…they told me that I am close to anorexia. In the first moment, of course, I didn’t accept it, but..within time I was feeling worse and worse and I needed to fix this problem.

My mom was the most affected in the whole situation. She was trying to give me advice, to protect me, to save me, but when you are 21 years and you are up to something there’s nothing that can stand on your way. So many arguments, tears, stress. At the beginning of 2015 I went to a doctor. Her words put me back on the ground that much that I couldn’t stop crying. She said that my ovaritis were smaller than of a woman in menopause. Furthermore, if I did not start eating, I would not have kids. I was in shock, I have always wanted to get married young, to have 2-3 kids at least. During all this time I had a partner, that never made me have any doubts in myself, he loved me the way I was. But my brain was sick.

I started with different hormonal tests and therapies. I slowed down – I did not exercise that much, I started to eat more. But things were not changing, I did not know what to do. I started gaining some weight, not much, but for a year, there weren’t any results. After long conversations with my mom, who works in a hospital, we decided that I should stop getting hormones and let my body to recover naturally. I want to make a note here and tell you that I am not a doctor and I do not advise anyone to stop their treatment. Only because it helped me, it does not mean it will help you. So advise with your GP.

I was wondering where the problem was. I was eating everything, I did not kill myself with workouts, but in my head, it was a mess. It was awful thinking every second that you are sick and not knowing what is best for you. At this moment everything was on a psychological level. I was so anxious and scared, my body was growing, but my period was not coming back. I was scared to restrict myself again. I was going from one edge to another, from the moments that I was eating an apple a day to the moments of eating everything possible you can imagine. I couldn’t stop myself till the food was gone. In the summer of 2016, my period came back. I was the happiest ever.

In the beginning, it was not so regular, but it did not matter because I got it again. I did not complain, I was not anxious either. Then the fear came..the fear that if I did not eat much, I was going to lose it again.

At this point, I was thinking that I am cured already, that I can start working on myself again and learn how to love myself and my body. For a period of 2 years, I gained more than 20 kg (44 lbs). It was a big shock, not only for my body but for my brain as well. There are not many people who will realize what is to change from 34-36 EU size (8 UK) to 40 EU size (12 UK). I was not able to look myself in the mirror, I did not buy anything, because I was waiting to be skinny again. The feeling was terrible. There were times that I did not want to go out with my friends, I did not want them to see me this way. I have always been very communicative, but I hid myself in a shell. I preferred going out alone. I was feeling sorry for myself and I could not realise how did I end up like this. I wanted to be happy, without having my world controlled by food and weight.

It took me 2 years more to learn how to love myself. Firstly I hated myself, I hated the big girl that I had become. I was eating a lot, lots of sweets, not healthy food, full of sugar, I could not stop. I hated myself that much and the body I had. But I realized that if I wanted to change, I needed to accept myself. To understand that people around me did not judge me, did not choose me to be their friend because of my body shape, but because of my personality. I had their support and love, which made me look at myself in a different way.

At the beginning of non-intentionally, I stopped eating emotionally. I was listening to my body and I was feeding it when I felt hungry. I did not need to finish the chocolate that I just bought and to blame myself after. This was the first change that happened to me. With the time I started moving more, long walks, 30-40 min of yoga a day, not a lot, but just enough to tone my body. I started losing weight naturally and my self-confidence was growing. I liked the girl that I was becoming. After that, I started having workouts with weights and bands. Also, I was trying to eat less sugar. Sweets are my guilty pleasure and I love trying new recipes with sweet substitutes.

For more than a year and a half, I did not wear any trousers, only dresses and skirts. But I bought my first pair of jeans, and that was a big sign that I was on the right way. I believed in myself and the people who loved me supported me.

Going through all of that, I realized that we have just one life and limitations do not help us. They are a reminder that if you restrict yourself too much, you will get it back even more. That is why since then I do not push myself that much. If I want a cake, I will eat a cake, but better a bite now, than a full cupboard after.

The whole process of rebuilding was long and hard, but I did it. You can do it too. It took me a long time because I was suffocating my body for so long. For you, it can be easier. But remember that everything is in the balance. Nothing is bad if it is in the right amount.

One thing is clear now, after 6 years, going to the extremities, I will not let myself go there again. Now I do workouts when I want to, I eat chocolate or gelato if I want to. And yes, 80 % of the time I am trying to eat healthily, but the other 20 % are for all these moments that we want to treat ourselves.

If you are going through a similar situation and you need to talk with someone, just text me. I am going to be more than happier if I can help 🙂

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