SHA – Secondary Hypothalamic Amenorrhea is an extremely common condition in women between the ages of 24-35. Over 7% (almost 1 in 10) will experience at least a 6 month loss of their cycle. Over 35, at least 4% will lose their cycle at some point.
Reasons why can very greatly from early signs of PCOS, over-training, under-eating, low progesterone, high cortisol, lack of fat in diet, overworking, prolonged high stress for over 6 months, and so many more.
The trick is formulating a program that addresses every potential reason so the chances of success remain high. Many women can try for years to get it back and sometimes never do without intervention. The problem with pharmaceutical interventions is that it can create massive weight gain, acne, and many other unwanted potential secondary conditions.
Gaining your cycle back naturally and without prescription medication may take longer. But as long as you give the body everything it needs and the lifestyle to support it, we can get it to come back with time and patience. When the body gains its cycle back on its own, it’s much more likely to stay long term. Now, not everyone should have a cycle so it’s important to speak with a professional functional health practitioner on our team.
Some women could have severe consequences from turning the cycle back on, so the pros and cons should definitely be discussed. Abbie is a goal-driven fitness entrepreneur. The stress of school, running a business, managing clients, and chasing an abundant life stressed her body out over this prolonged period of time.
This left her with a severe bacterial infection of gut and a hormone imbalance that created her Amenorrhea. The problem is that you can’t restrict calories and over-train your way out of this problem. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
So how do you cut most activity, increase carbs and calories dramatically, and not gain lots of weight – and actually even lose weight? Like in Abbie’s case, she lost a few pounds and gut issues are getting better. During the process she learned to manage stress better, stop saying yes to everything, and really implement healthy lifestyle changes.
Two months later, she’s finally regained her cycle, lost some weight, alleviated her stress, and healed her gut issues! Congrats Abbie!