"You need more cholesterol" or, my missing periods, and "hi"
So, hello everyone, this is my first post. I've enjoyed reading the forums for several months; I've learned so much from you folks and I have a situation that maybe you can help with.
I've been seeing a naturopath recently because my periods have been irregular since stopping the Pill 1.5 yrs ago. In addition to taking Vitex (chaste berry extract) the doc has asked me to eat eggs regularly for a while because she thinks a bit of cholesterol will be beneficial. If i remember rightly, she said cholesterol helps to form estrogen and progesterone in the body. good things for getting menstruation on track.
So... I was willing to try the eggs but now I'm just not feeling comfortable eating eggs. My diet is vegan, whole foods as much as possible, getting cleaner all the time and eating eggs just seems a step backwards to me. I'll bring this up with my doc, but in the meantime I thought I'd ask for input here.
Any ideas on vegan sources of cholesterol? Is there such a thing? Would low levels of cholesterol actually help a person?
Coconut or palm oil - it's cholesterol, but the "good kind," the MCTs - medium-chain triglycerides. I've never heard of a link between estrogen and cholesterol. I have heard that excessive animal fats raise estrogen levels, which can lead to problems like breast cancer.
Is there a reason you are concerned about irregular periods? Fertility or something? I can't think of any reason I'd be motivated to consume eggs, raw or otherwise.
Try flax oil, or ground flax too. Its an estrogenic seed so it should help add a bit of natural plant estrogen to your diet. Also try adding a spoonful of raw maca to your morning smoothie. Its great for helping with your hormones.
What are your iron levels like? You may be low in those and that would cause the problems youre talking about.
Are you low/underweight? Your body will not have periods if youre too low in fat.
Try this smoothie out:
1-2 frozen bananas
handful of kale
1 t maca
1 t vitamineral green
1/2-1 T flax oil
ice or water to blend.
super yummy and full of nutrients. enjoy!
Estrogen and testosterone are both produced from cholesterol.. only one chemical step away from each other. amazing!
ah, thanks for the advice! I'll add coconut oil and maca to my next grocery list and be more diligent with taking ground flax. That smoothie sounds good! My iron intake is fine I think and I'm not underweight/low body fat.
Someone mentioned to me taking specific seeds based on the lunar cycle to regulate hormones. Sunflower and sesame seeds when the moon is waning; flax and pumpkin seed when the moon is waxing. Seems curious.
The irregular period concerns me because my sense is that it's due to some imbalance in my body. It came regularly before the Pill and has been irregular post-pill. Pimples now also accompany my period and while that's not out of the ordinary for women in general it is new/odd for me. I'm not trying to conceive or anything, I just want everything to be functioning efficiently!
I just learned some information that may help you. I teach a raw food segment in a monthly class that my naturopathic doctor gives. Each month is on a different system of the body and this month was the endocrine system which is responsible for the production of hormones. Here are some things I learned that may help you.
Cholesterol is a "forerunner" for lack of a better word to all hormones, in other words all hormones are either made from cholesterol or from another hormone that was made from cholesterol. So it's like the mother/grandmother of hormones. Although we do get some of our cholesterol from our foods, most of it is produced by our bodies.
Maca is a WONDERFUL supplement for balancing hormones. Do a little research on it because I think it can be overstimulating if you take it everyday for extended periods. Most people recommend taking only 4 days/wk for example. Here's a video explaining some of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0daJkgcbuGs but you probably want to research it further.
Also, when I was in high school I was eating about as healthy of a diet you can eat aside from eating raw. And I worked out religiously, went to school, and had a part time job. I was very strict on myself to the point that my attempts to attain physical health were decreasing my emotional/spiritual/mental health. And I stopped having my period for almost a year. After I graduated high school I became easier on myself and lightened up while still maintaining a good level of health. Miraculously my period returned.
It wasn't clear to me then, but looking back I see that I was putting so much stress on myself that I became unfit to have a baby., therefore stopped having my periods. So it seems to me that if you have problems going on in your life (not just physical) or some emotions/stresses that are way out of balance, it is possible for us to stop having a period. Some people say that if you go below a certain body fat percentage that can cause your periods to stop, but I have less body fat now than I did then and I still have regular periods.
So I would recommend adding maca to your diet and maybe do some yoga or meditation and listen to your mind and body and send love to your body and just be very kind to yourself-physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. I have found this to be VERY helpful for me. When I have a problem I just try to turn as much attention inward as possible and it seems like my body communicates to me what I need to do or where I'm out of balance, etc.
I really hope this helps, please let us know if you make any progress. My best wishes and love to you!
Not to gross you out or anything, but by eating eggs, you are actually consuming the matter of a chickens menstral cycle. Do you really want to be eating an animals menstral cycle? We should not be consuming cholesterol. Our bodies make their own cholesterol which is known as good cholesterol. Any cholesterol that is consumed or ingested is what is known as bad colesterol, which is what causes heart related illnesses. There are many foods that can help our bodies to make this good cholesterol. Try coconuts, avacados or flaxseeds.
By the way...most doctors receive very little to no nutritional training in medical school. Which is why I never seek out any nutritional advice from any doctor.
My two cents.
For the record, plant foods do not contain cholesterol. Period. Not palm, not coconuts, not flax, not avocados.
Your body makes cholesterol, and eating the plant foods mentioned above can help. I also second (third?) the maca suggestion; it's awesome.
coconut oil is known to lower cholesterol, but if you do not have any cholesterol it will raise it. it does have a little bit in there. maca helped me out with my period as well. also keep track of your iron intake because usually those who do not get periods are deficient in iron. load up on spinach :)
i disagree with azul blue. some of my mother's friends are naturopaths and their training only begins as a typical medical doctor. as the courses progress the focus becomes more holistic. holistic medicine by nature involves diet, herbs, etc. i'm sure if you tell your doctor you are vegan and don't want to change that he/she can help you find some alternative.
On the subject of missed or irregular periods, has anyone ever taken don qui or vitex? I had been taking raw maca capsules and it restored my cycles but now have a problem taking it b/c it upsets my stomach. I heard that don qui and chasteberry vitex can help in similar ways to maca root. Does anyone have experience with either of those?