It’s been a while since I wrote on the topic of hypothalamic amenorrhea. Not because I haven’t wanted to, or because there is nothing more to say, but more-so that I have been pretty slack in writing ANY blog posts, and I have something I like to call “shiny things syndrome”. I get distracted easily, and excited by, new and shiny things. So I temporarily change paths and focus on something different. I think it might be the Gemini in me. Can you relate?
Anyway, we’re back, talking all things HA. This time all about what supplements you might want to consider taking to help get your period back.
Now first let me say this – if you do not apply the fundamentals for healing HA (eating more, exercising less, managing stress, and ensuring adequate body fat levels), then you’re probably not going to see the return of your cycle with just supplements. Note to self – they are called “supplements” for a reason. They serve the purpose of supplementing the absolute essentials. So don’t waste your money on pills and potions if you aren’t prepared to also make some pretty big lifestyle changes. K?
OK, now we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the top supplements I like to suggest for women with amenorrhea and subsequent infertility.
A good quality multi
This one is especially important if you have been on the oral contraceptive pill (as it depletes vital nutrients) or if you are looking to conceive in the not-too-distant future. But I actually think most with HA can benefit from a multi vitamin/mineral. Why? Well chances are your stores of nutrients are probably depleted from not eating enough and/or exercising too much and/or stressing too much, AND our soils are pretty depleted of many nutrients these days. Taking a good quality multi can help you replenish stores to make sure you have all of the extra bits and bobs your body needs to function optimally.
I currently love (and am taking myself) the doTERRA Lifelong Vitality Pack, which you can read more about HERE, and THIS POST tells you how to get your mits on it at wholesale prices.
I also really like the following brands – Thorne Research, Innate Response, Pure Encapsulations and MegaFood (I get most of my non-doTERRA supplements from Iherb.com – great price, range and quality)
If you are looking to conceive, you need a prenatal at least 3 months before conceiving. Make sure it has 800mcg of folate (NOT folic acid) and 150mcg iodine. Please don’t wait until pregnancy is confirmed to start taking these. Folate, especially, is required in the first 8 weeks of gestation to help prevent neural tube defects
Acetyl L-Carnitine is my “if you take nothing else, then take this one” supplement for HA. Why? It is the one that has been shown in the scientific literature to nourish the mitochondria (energy houses) of the ovaries and support the production/release of luteinising hormone (essential for ovulation and, therefore, menstruation).
I like the Now Foods brand at a dose of 500mg, twice a day. dōTERRA also do a fab supplement to support mitochondrial function, which you can read about HERE (get in touch if you want help ordering it for cheaper).
Note: if you have a thyroid issue, clear this one with your doc before taking.
Seems too simple, right? Don’t underestimate this little powerhouse of a nutrient! Vitamin C is wonderful for supporting your adrenal glands (which often need a little lovin’ in those with HA). It also aids in the production of progesterone. So, if you also find that (once your period returns) your luteal phase (the second half of your cycle) is short, you will want to incorporate extra vitamin C to help bump up progesterone, and lengthen your luteal phase, to increase your chances of conception.
Choose a brand that does not come from GMO corn, and go for 1,000-2000mg per day (divided dose, for maximum utilisation)
If your gut health sucks, your hormone health is going to suck. You need to prioritise gut health to help restore your cycle. Try and get as much probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods in your diet, but also look at temporarily supplementing with this one.
I like the Garden of Life Women’s probiotic.
Did you know that magnesium is used for over 300 processes in the body? Did you know that one of those things is hormone production? And did you know that most of us are deficient in this key mineral? Get it into you!
I like, and use, the Now Foods Magnesium Caps. I take 2 at bed time (also wonderful for sleep which, in itself, will support hormone balance).
Zinc promotes ovulation by nourishing the follicles in your ovaries. It also supports healthy thyroid function, which is essential for healthy menstruation and fertility.
Go for something like Jarrow Zinc Balance, which has an appropriate ratio of zinc to copper (maybe choose something without copper if you know you have copper overload).
This wonderful herbal adaptogen is amazing at supporting the adrenal glands, helping to mitigate the negative effects of stress, and supporting menstrual health. Check in with your health practitioner for dosing recommendations.
Hypothalamic amenorrhea goes hand in hand with low oestrogen. Low oestrogen is problematic for bone health. I always recommend women with HA to get a bone density scan. If your bone density is looking a little dodgy, I suggest getting on a good bone nutrient complex, such as this one from doTERRA (again – have a look at THIS POST or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details on how to order the goods for wholesale prices).
Essential oils that act as emmenagogues
Emmena-what now?? Emmenagogues are substances that can stimulate or increase menstrual flow. Clever, right?
The following are some wonderful essential oils that are known for their ability to support menstrual flow (and therefore not to be used in pregnancy):
- Clary Sage
- Juniper Berry
You might also want to look at nourishing your pituitary gland, which controls all other hormone glands in your body. The following oils help to balance the pituitary gland:
- Ylang ylang
When it comes to essential oils, quality really does matter. You can read in THIS POST on why I only recommend dōTERRA essential oils and products, and then read THIS POST on how to get some for yourself (or email me for more info and individual advice).
Hope this helps, beautiful ladies! Do be sure to check in with your healthcare practitioner if you’re unsure if any are right for you (especially if you are taking any other medications). Sing out with any questions or comments.