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Amenorrhea and recovering from anorexia

By June 25, 2011 - 11:52pm
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I have recently started to recover from anorexia, which lasted for about 5 months. I'm 162 cm and 51 kg now or 5'3" and 112 pounds. I eat very healthy now,lots of fruits, vegatables and protein and I do some exercises every now and then(usually 3-4 times a week). Unfortunately, I haven't had my period since November(I was 49 kg and I had my last period then),that is for 7 months and I haven't taken any pills, as I have been told by the doctor that as long as I gain weight sooner or later the periods will come. But my questions are: "How much weight should I gain???Do I need to reach a standard BMI??? Am I still considered underweight?" and "Does excercising affect my recovery?Should I stop?"

Thank you for your time and attention in advance.

Add a Comment9 Comments

hi dear,
one question: how old are you now?
if your eating disorder started when you were 14-15, it can be that it had arrested your hight growth more then the period actually. I have a friend who has been diagnosed with the celiac disease at the age of 19, after he started having quite some problems around the body. But as soon as he switched to the gluten-free diet (his entire family did), he actually started to develop fully, gained hight, developed more bone and muscle mass, all those things boys complete usually before 15-16 years of age.. in this case his gluten intollerance kept his entire body on hold. Could be that the eating disorder did the same to you, as it really affects every single system in your body.
good to know you're doing well :) keep up the good work!



September 9, 2011 - 6:31am
(reply to mena)

Hi Mena,
I'm 17 years old now and my eating disorder started last year (September 2010) and didn't really last that long(until March).I had lost a significant amount of weight and my period stopped.I was perfectly healthy between the years 13 and 16. And now, considering that I am eating properly again I got taller!! I don't why,maybe it's genes and maybe it's because of amenorrhea. But I'm really happy for that!

September 10, 2011 - 8:57am

Hello,just an update.
I haven't got my period back yet, but I got taller!!! I had stopped gaining height at about 14-15 years old. I also know from a doctor that generally after you first develop your periods you don't get more than 5 cm(2 inches) taller.In my case that was what had happened(I had my first period at 13 and I didn't gain any significant height after that,I was about 162 cm-5 feet 4 inches- and stayed that way,until now that I've gotten about 3 cm taller in the last 3 months!!!!! I couldn't believe it! Does anybody think that stalling my period caused my organism to "return" back to the point where I was still growing and I didn't have a period??? Like I'm 13 years old again and still growing??? Any ideas?

September 2, 2011 - 8:27am

Hey Stelladeli,
funny enough i was in your same age when i dealt with your problem, don't worry really, the body & hormones generally are raging in teenage years and irregular or missing periods are quite common, even without having to deal with an eating disorder recovery!

so just keep on doing the great job you are, keep yourself on the safe side if you decide to become sexually active and you'll be fine! for me it worked out, it was long and slow but the feeling of self-love and acceptance and inner balance you achieve at the end of the tunnel is worth every single moment of your effort!

wish you all the best!

July 17, 2011 - 6:01am
(reply to mena)

Hi Mena,
Thank you again for your words of strength! It makes me feel a lot better knowing that someone who was (unfortunately of course)in about the same situation as me managed to grow out of a disorder and recover completely. Even if it takes a long time, I will be patient. I will do my best to get back to normal.

All I have to do now is try to help a friend, who is in a much much much more worrying state than I was.

Anyway, I hope you are well and thank you once more.

July 19, 2011 - 8:06am

Hey Stelladeli!

Congrats, great job! just keep on doing what you are now! i think your BMI is actually in the range defined as normal, so i guess no worries about gettin your period sooner or later - your body just needs to remember it and kind of recover from the shock of going into the disease and out of it again... it's a lot of turmoil for it, and from my own personal experience - it can take quite some time!
..just one detail: if you're sexually active in the meantime, make sure it's always protected, you never know when your ovulation & period will kick in...

wish you all the best,


June 26, 2011 - 5:57am
(reply to mena)

Your advice is greatly appreciated!!! I will continue with my recovery and hope it ends successfully! You said you had your own expreriences and I hope you are well now and everything has worked out for you! Because I forgot to mention-and maybe it is kind of important- I'm 17 years old, but sexually inactive. Nevertheless, thanks for your tip, I'll keep it in mind!

June 26, 2011 - 9:58am

Hi Stelladeli,

Congratulations on your success! Winning the battle against anorexia is quite the achievement. At 5'3" and 112lbs, your Body Mass Index is at around 19.8 which is normal :) It is a little bit on the lower side of Normal so if you gained about 5-10 lbs, it would be ideal but you'd be okay if you only gained a couple of more pounds. As you remain in a stabilized, normal weight your body will recognize this and begin to ovulate again. Give it some time, this sometimes takes from 6 months to a year--depending on the severity of anorexia
Exercising is great as long as you are not overdoing it-- since you're still trying to put on some pounds, I'd limit it to 3 times a week.

Wishing you continued success,


June 26, 2011 - 5:24am
(reply to Rosa Cabrera RN)

Thank you very much for your advice!!! It has really been helpful as I desperately wanted to know approximately how much time it takes to fully recover(meaning getting my periods back), so that I could stop being so anxious about it. I promise to never relapse again! As for my vitals, they were actually good even while I still had the disorder(my bone density was intact and the iron levels in my blood were good).I only sometimes felt like I was having hypoglecymia and was always cold. That means I haven't done anything more harmful to my organism other than losing my period. I will also act on your advice for exercising and keep it at a moderate level, as I don't want that to prevent me from gaining back my period. I hope everything goes well!!!

June 26, 2011 - 9:49am
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