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body fat percentage and periods

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I was just wondering if anyone knew anything about the correlation between the two. I have battled with keeping my weight around 105 (I am 5'4") and I recently bought one of those scales that give your weight and body fat percentage. I weigh myself at the same time of day and in just underclothes and at first my body fat % was 17, but not long after that I lost a little weight and since I have missed two non-consecutive periods and last month my % was 13.4 and this month it is 13.1. I just want to see if anyone else has had any similar situations and if so, what did you do?

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replied May 22nd, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Why are you struggling with your weight so much?

A body fat % under 15% is dangerous- and considered anorexic. I'm not saying you have an eating disorder because I don't know anytihng about your situation- but there has to be some reason (medical or otherwise) why you're not keeping weight on.

Of course, if your body fat % is so low, you will not get your period. When you don't have enough nourishment, your body will stop supporting your reproductive cycle and focus on the basic necessities (like eating, breathing, thinking), because there isn't enough energy to support every body function.

You need to get your weight up!
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replied May 22nd, 2008
I have seen my doctor about the weight issue a while back and he ran a bunch of tests and all came back fine. The only explanation he could come up with is that my metabolism is just fast. I have kept records of what I eat and I don't have a problem with eating and just for clarification I don't have an eating disorder. While tracking my intake I found that I consume just over what my daily exertion consumes. I eat small meals, but frequently throughout the day and I have a snack or two. I don't force food down when I am not hungry and stop when my body tells me I am full. I also don't eat much bread and don't drink soda at all and don't eat chocolate or any candy for that matter.

Anyhow, does anyone know where I can find a chart that helps identify necessary body fat percentages for your specific type of height, wieght and build or if there is anything like that out there? I am a very small build so that accounts for me not having as much weight as others that are built bigger than I am. My doctor and I agree that a healthy weight for me is between 107-110 pounds. I just have a hard time getting up there.

If I can increase my body fat, how would I go about doing so in a healthy fashion? I am not going to eat candy and fattening stuff that is not healthy since I don't like it. I just want to find out how to increase so I know that my body can be healthy and will function properly.

Thanks for the input and suggestions and sorry this post is so long but I am having a difficult time searching online for body fat percentage charts like I asked for above and need some suggestions from anyone.
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replied March 23rd, 2011
Try ensure. It is a really healthy shake. It is somewhat high in calories but it is designed to give you all of your nutrients. I know you are not anorexic, but I used to be. Ensure is what my doctor told me to drink when I was trying to put on a little weight in a healthy way. Good luck!
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replied May 22nd, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Normal body fat % for women is 25-31%. Of course, for very slim women or athletes, this will be lower. But still, under 15% is not considered healthy- as you are finding out- your body can't support itself.

I would push the doc about it- especially if you're not getting your period, that's a sign that your body isn't operating as healthy as it should.

Healthy ways to gain weight are just increasing calories. You should consume about 300-500 more calories than you burn if you want to gain weight. So, depending on how active you are, you will need to adjust. There are lots of good websites to help you figure all that out- if you pm me I can send some to you.

Lots of people have reported success with nutrient shakes and that type of thing- high nutrition, high calorie shakes and bars and such. Plus, just eating enough!
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replied November 7th, 2010
This is a great article ...

Periods - They May Be 'Normal', But Are They Healthy?


From the comments at the link below ...

In college, I studied anthropology and was particularly interested in diet, health, breastfeeding, childbirth etc. of the cultures I explored. The Kung people of the Kalahari Desert in Africa still lived a hunting and gathering lifestyle when anthropologists studied them in the first part of the 1900's. The women did have very light periods, and they used a very small of dried plant matter to absorb the blood. Obviously, for this to be sufficient, it would have to be very slight. While they ate a hunter-gatherer diet that included wild game meat, their over all diet was quite low in fat I believe. The only overt fat they had access to was the mongongo nut, and I am not sure what percentage of fat it contained, nor do I remember if they had access to it year round. The women did not start menstruating until the age of 18, they gave birth in about 2 hours, and breastfed each child for about 4 years, so they only had about 10 periods total during their entire reproductive life.
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replied November 18th, 2010
Hello,
I relate to your post in many ways. I am 24 and 5'3" and I weigh 112 lbs. Over the past three months I have lost 10 lbs (going from 122-125 to 110-112) and also my period. I am extremely energetic. I run an average of 50 km a week and have a wonderfully fun sit-up and push-up program. I eat a diet based on fruit, vegetables, dairy, whole grains and monitored meat proteins. One day a week I eat like food is going out of style. My concern is that I'm more fit than I've ever been but my menstrual cycle has not come for the past two months. I, like you, am not unhealthy, quite the opposite but am concerned about my monthly "gift". I do not want to put on body fat and become lathargic. There seems to be no real solution to this. I wonder if taking some sort of supplement might help our estrogen levels... anyone with any thoughts?
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replied November 18th, 2010
Hello,
I relate to your post in many ways. I am 24 and 5'3" and I weigh 112 lbs. Over the past three months I have lost 10 lbs (going from 122-125 to 110-112) and also my period. I am extremely energetic. I run an average of 50 km a week and have a wonderfully fun sit-up and push-up program. I eat a diet based on fruit, vegetables, dairy, whole grains and monitored meat proteins. One day a week I eat like food is going out of style. My concern is that I'm more fit than I've ever been but my menstrual cycle has not come for the past two months. I, like you, am not unhealthy, quite the opposite but am concerned about my monthly "gift". I do not want to put on body fat and become lathargic. There seems to be no real solution to this. I wonder if taking some sort of supplement might help our estrogen levels... anyone with any thoughts?
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replied March 18th, 2012
Body fat and Periods
hi i have a similar problem.. i dont know what my body fat% is but i think that it did get quite low, i struggled with severe anorxia for 3 months but whta made me stop was my non existent period and my fear of becoming infertile. I am in the process of gaining weight which is hard because i still want to be thin, but i want to have kids more so i am gaining weight,(i'm 17 by the way) i havent had my period for 5months it has been two months since i began eating a normal diet, a little higher in fat than it used to be. I have gained a bit though i threw out my scales so i dont know how much, i'm interested though to hear that there is a correspondance between body fat and periods, and am glad to here that i may be on the right track Smile
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replied March 31st, 2012
Your body probably thinks your body fat is too low, so that's why you've missed periods. It's strange for me though because I've been underweight my entire life, and my body fat percentage is around 14-15%, but I've always had normal periods every month. So my weight must be normal for what my body thinks.
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replied August 17th, 2012
If you want to gain weight, eating a bunch of small meals throughout the day is the wrong way to go. Try eating 3 larger meals instead. For anabebs, instead of running 50km/week, run sprints instead. You will see muscle gain and increased cv capabilities compared to running/jogging. Also, meat protein is your friend, especially grass-fed, natural, unprocessed meats and wild caught fish from trusted sources. Limit your grains, legumes, and dairy as they are shown to decrease health. For more information check out "The Paleo Answer" by Dr. Loren Cordain.
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