Facebook Pixel
EmpowHER Guest

Hormone imbalance or Vegan Diet causing weight maintenance issues?

By Anonymous August 10, 2016 - 9:23pm
Rate This

A little background: I'm 20 years old, and for almost a year now I have been steadily losing muscle mass and gaining weight, despite regular exercise (I work on a farm, walk at least 5 miles a day, and supplement with calisthenic-like exercises such as pilates and squats). I transitioned to a vegan diet a few months ago, and since then have also experienced about a five pound weight gain despite eating FEWER calories, entirely whole foods, and no sugar. I've cut out virtually all wheat as well as other inflammatory foods that don't fit in a vegan diet. I also don't have the incredible energy that most new vegans claim to have (again, I am the furthest thing from a junk food vegan!!) I have a history of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, suffer from anemia, but, last time I was checked for it, didn't have an underactive thyroid. I'm wondering if maybe my vegan diet is exacerbating the anemia and making it hard to lose body fat, because I don't understand how a 20 year old active woman with a clean diet of between 1000-1500 calories a day could possibly have even an ounce of fat on her body. Another theory I have is that I have a hormonal imbalance. The reason I'm thinking hormone imbalance is because I do not EVER get a regular period unless I am on the pill (which, since being vegan, I have not been; going vegan and stopping the pill just happened to occur at the same time. I didn't go 100% granola and decide to boycott my hormone meds.) I also have ZERO libido, although my sex drive was always barely there, and certainly feel ditzy in the brain, but this could also be anemia. UGH. I have so many issues with symptoms that overlap! Help! Do any of my ailments scream one or the other?

Add a Comment1 Comments

HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for reaching out to EmpowHER with your concerns.

Anemia certainly seems to stand out as a reason for your lethargy.

A vegan diet is fine when done properly - making sure you have adequate protein (if not, this could explain the muscle mass loss) and iron (anemia) as well as all the other supplements. Talking to a vegan nutritionist is a good idea - I have seen one and they have remarkable information that I had no idea about even though I considered myself well-read (and well-written) on the topic.

Women with PCOS often deal with weight gain - so your weight gain may be hormonal in nature.

My advice is to see a nutritionist as well as your regular doctor again and make sure all your levels (hormonal, iron, thyroid) are ok.

I hope you feel better soon,

August 11, 2016 - 5:49am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.