Can Keto Diet Affect My Periods?
The Keto or the Ketogenic diet is a globally trending diet which is low in carb intake, high protein based and high in fats. It basically revolves around weight loss, burning of the extra saturated fats, fat loss and reshaping the body metabolism in the long term by formation of ketone body through the process of ketosis.
Despite the endless health benefits it has to offer, the Keto diet can have strange or adverse effects on some people, where people might start gaining weight instead of losing it ( lose weight) , some people might get affected by type 2 diabetes instead of it's prevention.
Cases like these are rare and people are advised to go through an allergy test, full body checkup to find out about the potential side effects of a certain diet on the body. People with a history of chronic diseases, eating disorders etc should not follow the diet, neither for a short term nor a longer one.
One such strange effect/ side effect that the Keto diet can have is irregular or disrupted menstruation or periods in the menstruation gender, majority of which are women. Some women on the Keto diet have reported irregular period cycles, amenorrhea (vanishing of periods altogether), heavy or frequent periods, heavy and unusual pain before and after the cycle. All these menstrual dysfunctions are the results of the Keto diet which did not go through well.
WHY WOULD KETO MESS WITH ONE'S PERIOD CYCLE?
According to gynaec's and keto experts, the most common reasons of the Keto diet interfering in the menstrual cycle and causing dysfunctions could be the following:
1. One of the major reasons of the irregularities in the periods is the consumption of less calories than the body needs to survive and proper functioning of the body cycles of which menstruation is a vital part. Keto friendly products such as olive oil should be included in the diet.
As far as the female body is concerned (or any other menstruating gender) any diet which tends to cut off on one of the major nutrients directly hits on the reproductive system. Therefore, if a woman is on a Keto diet, she should take care that she does not suffer from Keto deficiency.
2. Not consuming enough water and iron supplements could be another major reason for the disruption of the cycle. In the initial days of the Keto diet, the body tends to lose a lot of water and essential nutrients due to Keto Flu. Eating plans should be strict and perfect with proper consumption of water in the diet for best results.
If the Keto diet's beginning collides with the period cycle of the woman, (considering that the woman's body is losing a lot of water, salt and iron due to Keto Flu) in this case, the body will have enough blood to clean up thus leading to very low bleeding or no bleeding at all.
3. Lower estrogen levels could also be one cause, most of the women who have some kind of deficiency don't realise it in the long term. If they follow a specific diet such as Keto, the body is also scarce in terms of nutrients and in this case hormonal imbalances are very natural.However this should be taken care of and the doctor should be consulted otherwise it can lead to other details.
Studies show that this disruption in the menstrual cycle does not only happen in the Keto diet but can happen on any other dietary regime such as intermittent fasting, vegan etc. or exercise schedule because the body take at least half a month's time or so to adjust according to the diet and if they collide with periods, it is obvious that some side effects would occur.
DO YOU NEED TO WORRY ABOUT ?
You should be worried about irregular period only when, You are suffering from amenorrhea which is completely vanishing of the cycle. (Amenorrhea is basically caused due to carbohydrates deficiency in the body due to scarcity of ample amounts of carb consumption over a long span of time.)
You have high bad cholesterol levels. If you have low estrogen levels in your body and you feel lethargic and fatigued all the time. If you start facing other health issues due to it such as pimples, breast pain, back pain etc. These problems should not be taken lightly and a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.
If you are not thinking of pregnancy then you need not worry about your cycle for at least 2 months. If you're already pregnant. (However pregnant women should not follow the Keto diet as it can harm the formation of the baby.) If you suffer from osteoporosis, it can cause bone marrow cancer.
If you have not had regular periods of six months before the irregularity started. If the irregularity continues for more than 1-2 months, you should see a gynaecologist soon and get yourself checked.
GETTING BACK TO THE NORMAL CYCLE
While most women return to their natural cycles gradually after leaving the diet, some might need to take the required medications while some might still face the same problem even after giving up on a carb high fat diet.
Experts suggest that such women should try increasing their calorie intake (by increasing the calorie intake by 300 more calories per day, with more carb diets in it ) which could help the body in gaining weight, essential nutrients so that the body systems return back to normal.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Studies show that women who keep a check on their calorie intake (preferably with a Keto Calculator, if they are not sure) they don't lose much muscle mass or burn fat unnecessarily thus there is no problem with their menstrual cycle. A good weight automatically returns the body to regular periods in most of the cases and we hope the same for you.
Health should be the first priority for everyone and especially the women who are the pillars of human existence on earth. Any problem related to menstruation or menopause should never be taken lightly and a gynaecologist must be consulted irrespective of the diet.