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Toy picture for podcast: How I Got My Period Back Naturally With PCOS After 1,5 Years The Hart of Health Podcast S1 E17

How I Got My Period Back Naturally With PCOS After 1,5 Years | The Hart of Health Podcast S1 E17

Joané & Jonathan: (00:03)
Hi, I’m Joané Hart, and I am Jonathan Hart. This is The Hart of Health. A show where we focus mainly on health and self-optimization. Here, we like to talk about our experiences and knowledge when it comes to health and biohacking. We hope you enjoy the show.

Joané: (00:35)
Hi, everyone. On today’s episode, we’re going to talk about the fact that I got my period back for the first time in a year and a half.

Jonathan: (00:45)
Despite what other people told you to do.

Joané: (00:48)
Yeah. So, what Jonathan is referring to is the fact that the doctors tried to force me to go on birth control; hormonal birth control to try and get my period back. But I was stubborn and wouldn’t listen and was determined to try and get it back naturally. And yeah, a few days ago it happened. And even the last few days I’ve been brutal in terms of pain. I couldn’t be happier.

Jonathan: (01:21)
Yeah. It’s one of those, like I told you, moments for you with like, you know, everyone sort of just wants to go with the pull method before giving the more natural method a shot. And I feel like it’s, it’s obviously been a long time coming, but I’m glad you, you persisted.

Joané: (01:49)
Yeah, me too. And yeah, it might’ve taken some time to experiment and see what worked. But now over the last few months, I changed my diet and lifestyle in certain ways to try and help me get my period back. Like I started, tracking my symptoms. Because even though I wasn’t getting my period, I was still going through hormonal fluctuations throughout the month. Where about every two weeks I would get very emotional and more anxious and I would break out more, and I would have more pain. So I started noticing these patterns and started writing it down. And there’s this concept called cycle thinking where you adjust your lifestyle, according to the cycles in your period. And I try to match what I was experiencing in certain weeks to certain cycles in the menstrual cycle. And I kind of found my own rhythm and almost pretended like I had a normal cycle, so I would eat a certain way for a few weeks. But then when it was time for my air quote luteal phase, which I don’t know if I actually got for a while, then I would eat more carbs. I would eat more calories. I wouldn’t exercise as hard. So I basically took diet breaks in those times. Because generally, your cortisol levels are higher at that time. Your body is under more stress. You’re also burning more energy. So you don’t want to put extra stress on your body. So I was trying to reduce stress even more. I stopped setting an alarm in the mornings. So I’ve been getting I think about an hour or two more sleep every night for the last three months, which I think made a big difference. And yeah, I’ve also been taking more time to do fun things like watch movies and play games. Not a lot more time like that. There’s still room for improvement on that. But I think those things helped, because the thing is, I didn’t have my period for a year and a half, but before that, my period didn’t stop for a year and a half. So I’ve been on both ends of the extreme spectrum. So it’s been about three years, but three years ago I started going low carb and I’ve been trying to keep it low carb, even though every few weeks there might’ve been a day where I would have fruits or something. Most of the time my carb intake was around 50 grams per day. And I don’t know if that influenced it or how much, because adding more carbs and recently having more fruits, more often, things like that. I think it actually helped me. So I don’t know if being that low carb was just a bit too stressful for my body. I’m not saying that being low carb at all is bad for my body at all. I just don’t think doing low carb the whole time was necessarily good, but I think cycling in and out being low carb for a few weeks, having carbs for a few weeks, I think that is what made a big difference for me.

Jonathan: (05:28)
Yeah. I think this is a testament to the difference between men and women. Men are on a 24-hour cycle. So if you do the same thing day after day after day after day, your body gets into a rhythm and it doesn’t have as much of an effect on how you feel because you’re being consistent. You probably feel pretty consistent where women have, well, it depends, but roughly a month-long cycle, 28 days, 32 days, yeah. So, it’s a much longer cycle. And so certain things are good at certain times. And other things aren’t as good at other times where for guys it’s a 24-hour cycle. So it’s literally just rinse and repeat where women have to actually take this into account and adjust their lifestyle accordingly. If they want to try and maximize their health, they should try and sync with their cycle.

Joané: (06:25)
Yeah, because I mean, you get the menstrual phase ovulatory phase, a menstrual phase, follicular phase, ovulatory phase, and then luteal phase all the two main phases are follicular and luteal, but then they’re broken down further into the four phases. And in each phase, your hormones are different. Your body’s requirements might be different. And there are a lot of studies on it showing, you know, how women respond in certain parts of their cycle. And I think it’s actually really cool. Even if you don’t struggle with your period like if you do get your periods read regularly, but you want to improve your performance in a certain sport or add work. Because another thing that I noticed is with the different cycles is my attitude towards work is also a lot different. During some phases, I will want to work hard and get a lot done. I’m super productive, others phases. I just want to sit and journal and do things that aren’t very mentally challenging. So I’m trying to adjust my work schedule to it as well. And it’s actually been helping me be more productive and get more done because certain tasks I want to do, but they’re not urgent. And if they’re kind of mindless tasks like sorting out a cupboard or something, then I’ll just leave it for the week where my brain is not performing optimally.

Jonathan: (08:05)
Yeah. I remember the, we had a conversation not too long ago, a couple of months back where you were telling me about how there are all these different phases and you should be doing different things in these different phases. And then I was saying, well, why don’t you just sort of guess, you know, like say this is when I think I’m in this phase because of these symptoms I’m experiencing. And this has been I’m in that phase because of X, Y symptoms and sort of then just start almost like forcing your lifestyle to almost trigger your cycle. (Yes).

Joané: (08:46)
And that was a very good idea. I’m so happy that I did it. Because the thing is I have PCAs. I didn’t have enough SIS apparently for the doctor to say that classifies as PCRs or my blood work looks fine. But then when you do a scan, then my ovaries have quite a few cysts on them and they look very damaged. So I have all of these PCRs symptoms, but my blood work looks fine, but the doctor explained that your blood work can look fine, but on a cellular level, there could be hormonal disruption. So that was quite interesting I found.

Jonathan: (09:33)
But like you said, in this recent scan, you have fewer cysts.

Joané: (09:37)
But they’re hard to count as well. They’re very hard to count. So, they keep telling me, you are like, just on that border of PCRs put, you know, my skin is breaking up. I have all these symptoms struggling to lose weight. Insulin’s a problem. So I always find it funny. It for me it feels like in the fashion industry, there’s the size. If you’re about my size or whatever, but it used to be like that nowadays it’s different, but you were too big to be a normal model, but you’re too small to be a plus-size model. So it’s like your numbers are a problem. You have all of these PCRs symptoms, but you’re just not there yet for us to say you’re in this category, but everything is still, you still showing all the signs. All of a sudden times, you’re going through these heavy hormonal fluctuations. But just because it’s not textbook this number of cysts, they don’t take it as seriously at sometimes I’ve discovered that, or, you know, women could have a problem, but, and the doctors can see, yeah, you have all these signs of PCRs, but yours is not that bad. Or if you’re not overweight as a woman, because my weight is technically normal, then they don’t take it as seriously. Some doctors I’ve even heard of doctors saying to women, Oh, you have PCAs, but don’t worry about it because you don’t want to have kids. Meanwhile, your body’s not that healthy, you know?

Jonathan: (11:23)
Yeah. It’s like saying like you’ve got this problem in your body, but don’t worry. It just affects this one thing. It doesn’t just affect the kids affects your quality of life.

Joané: (11:38)
It affects my skin. It affects my hormones every month. But yeah, there are a few reasons why women can lose their periods. A lot of female athletes, women who work out a lot, they can lose periods when a lot of women who diets a lot and you know, train for like bikini competitions and get to a very low body fat percentage, they often lose their periods as well. You get hypothalamic amenorrhea as well. Amenorrhea is when your period disappears. So for me, PCOS is, is a big reason why I didn’t get my period. So, um, it really is specific. So if there are other women out there who aren’t getting their period, it might be PCOS, it might be the hypothalamic amenorrhea. You really have to go to the doctor and try and find out why, but I would always recommend trying to fix it naturally instead of taking a bunch of hormones. Because that’s the thing, one of the first things your doctor might recommend is that you go on the pill to try and fix it. But for me, that’s just masking things really.

Jonathan: (12:53)
Yeah. And I feel like a lot of the problems also started with hormones. So when you first started going onto the pill and then tried the implant and stuff like that, you could almost notice that things got worse when you introduced the exogenous source of hormones instead of just trying to fix it endogenously.

Joané: (13:20)
Yes. I wish I never took exogenous hormones, but you know, I was also very young. I didn’t know how my body was going to react and my body reacted very badly to it. So I’m very scared of taking exogenous hormones. I always prefer to do the natural thing, but yes, I’m very excited about the fact that there is some positive change in my body and that it has come back and it’s a learning experience and it’ll be interesting to see what happens going forward. But now that I actually got my period cycle tracking and sinking should be easier. So now, I’ll be able to say, okay, this was definitely the menstrual phase. So I know as soon as it stops, then I’ll be in the next phase, you know, and I’m excited as a, as a biohacker because this is really like biohacking female biology, really, you know, I have to keep track of all these symptoms I’ve done blood tests. I’m really trying to hack my hormones in a way, but in naturally as naturally as possible. Yeah. Exciting times. Exciting times I do get really bad PMs and I get quite bad pain to the point. It feels like I can stand up or can’t move, but I just kind of pushed through it. I don’t really mind the pain right now, as long as I got my period and it’s a sign of health, so I’m happy to deal with the suffering.

Jonathan: (15:11)
Yeah. And there’s another good example of your doctor is not always right.

Joané: (15:17)
Not necessarily, no,

Speaker 2: (15:18)
I guess, they are a qualified medical professional, but they’re not infallible. And there are certain things that are sort of taken for granted as like, this is the problem, this is what you do with no, no questioning, you know, no saying maybe we can try this method first and then we’ll go to this method. It’s like, nope, this is the only way to do it. And then in this example, you did it in the way they said it would never happen.

Joané: (15:55)
Yeah. And I’m very happy that it did. I’m very happy. I’m just overjoyed. I’ve been waiting to get it for like a year and a half. And it was actually really funny because it’s been so long since I had to buy supplies for my periods. So when I had to go to the store to buy, like I saw new brands, I didn’t even know what it costs anymore. It was just such a weird and your experience; I’ve been out of the loop for so long that it’s just been, it feels like I got it for the first time ever in my life, even though I’ve gotten my period a lot in my life because there was such a long gap. It was just as exciting as the first time I got it. The first time I got my period, I just loved it. And I was just so happy and I was also waiting like very like eagerly for it to come the first time and waiting for it to come now, like the last year and a half felt like me as a kid waiting to get my period.

Jonathan: (17:06)
Well, I won’t be able to relate to that experience, but…

Joané: (17:13)
No, but it’s cool. I’m so happy.

Jonathan: (17:18)
Yeah. So, I’ve been pretty consistent then. It’s not, there’s not much of an update on my side, so it’s good to have some newsworthy story to talk about. Yeah.

Joané: (17:31)
Some positive changes in health for one of us because we’re always setting health challenges and things, but because our lifestyles are already reasonably healthy, usually we don’t see dramatic changes that are super exciting and other people might be excited about it. But this is quite big for me. I’m curious to know if it’ll come back next month, but I’m choosing to be positive. I’m choosing to believe that it’s going to come.

Jonathan: (18:09)
Well, that’s what I said. Almost like force it.

Joané: (18:11)
Yeah. Yeah. I was going to keep…

Jonathan: (18:14)
Live your life like it’s going to happen that way.

Joané: (18:16)
Exactly. I’m just going to prepare for it to come next month with the law of manifestation.

Jonathan: (18:23)
It’s almost like that except you’re actually trying to trigger your physiology with your actions.

Joané: (18:29)
Yes. So for example, I was planning on doing harder workouts this week, but then when I got my period, I thought, okay, no, I’ll put that on pause. I just want to take things gently because I don’t want to put my body under too much stress and then it scares next months period away. So I’m really listening to your body and respecting the cycles syncing method and okay, I’m in this phase now. I shouldn’t be dieting too much. I shouldn’t be pushing too hard because I could mess things up.

Jonathan: (19:11)
Yeah. It’s funny forcing it could also mean this is when you need to take a break. Yes. So it’s actually not necessarily about just working hard or anything like that. It’s actually trying to work on the same frequency as your body and try to match what’s happening with what you’re doing in your life because you don’t want to be swimming upstream, especially when it comes to things like hormones rather go with the flow.

Joané: (19:39)
Yes. Go with the flow. So yeah, that was just an update; sharing the good news that I got my period back.

Jonathan: (19:49)
Yeah. I’m still calling for, but I’m probably looking at trying things like fruit later this year. I’m also keen to do a honey experiment. If we had a bit more money to afford that much honey.

Joané: (20:04)
We just need to get a honey dealer. We’ll find someone who can supply honey for a more affordable price.

Jonathan: (20:09)
Yeah. Especially if it’s rural people, but yeah.

Joané: (20:14)
Until next week, thank you for listening to the Hart of Health podcast.

Jonathan: (20:20)
And enjoy the rest of your day.