I exercise about 2 hours a day every day. In the last 2 months I've lost 26 pounds, but my period is gone. What should I do?
It's not surprising you're not having your period after such rapid weight loss. Two hours of exercise a day can add up to a lot of calories burned, which means that you need to take in more calories than when you were not as active. Exercising a lot and losing weight quickly can cause your period to stop, especially if you're not getting enough calories and healthy foods.
Unfortunately, some girls who exercise a lot also develop unhealthy eating habits. This combination of poor diet and intense exercise can have unhealthy consequences, including nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, loss of lean body mass, and amenorrhea (no periods). Amenorrhea is a sign that other things might be going on as well, such as bone loss. This can increase risk of fractures now and osteoporosis in the future.
Some girls who play sports or exercise intensely are at risk for a problem called female athlete triad, which is is a combination of three conditions: disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. A female athlete can have one, two, or all three parts of the triad.
Work with your doctor to get back on track with healthy eating and exercising. Your doctor may ask you to increase your calories and decrease your workouts to get your body and your cycle back on track.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: August 2013
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.|
|American Council on Exercise (ACE) ACE promotes active, healthy lifestyles by setting certification and education standards for fitness instructors and through ongoing public education about the importance of exercise.|
|WomensHealth.gov The Office on Women's Health (OWH), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), offers reliable health and wellness information for women and girls.|
|Female Athlete Triad Female athlete triad is a combination of three conditions: disordered eating, amenorrhea (loss of a girl's period), and osteoporosis (a weakening of the bones).|
|Compulsive Exercise Compulsive exercise can lead to serious health problems. Lots of people don't know when they've crossed the line from healthy activity to unhealthy addiction. Read about ways to tell.|
|Sports and Exercise Safety Playing hard doesn't have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how.|
|Coping With Common Period Problems Many girls have to deal with PMS, cramps, or headaches around the time of their periods. These problems are usually nothing to worry about. Get the facts on which period problems are normal and which ones might indicate something's going on.|
|A Guide to Eating for Sports You've prepared for the game in almost every way possible: but now what should you eat? Read about performance foods, nutritional supplements, and more.|
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