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Can Switching to the Paleo Diet Affect Your Menstrual Cycle?

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Plenty of studies show that paleo and other low-carb diets can improve metabolic health and weight loss in the short term, but how does it affect a woman’s hormonal health? Let’s take a look at what the science says about how low-carb and paleo diets impact the menstrual cycle.

Cycle Paleo

What do Studies Say About the Paleo Diet and Menstrual Cycles? 

Unfortunately, there’s little information on how the paleo diet affects the menstrual cycle. In studies that are available, researchers will use low-carb and paleo interchangeably. 

Due to the limited amount of studies available, it’s a good idea to monitor your menstrual cycle using a tracker and try to calculate when your next period is due to see if there are any changes. Certain diets can affect people differently. For example, blood sugar levels in response to foods are highly individual. Not only that, but how long you stay on a low-carb diet can determine if you benefit or whether you could be harmed by it.

Since there’s so much variability, tracking your menstrual cycle can give you a better picture of any changes. It’s a good idea to track your cycle over several months for accuracy.

What do Studies Say About Low-Carb Diets and Menstrual Cycles?

As stated, there are few studies that examine the effects of low-carb diets on a menstrual cycle. However, there’s enough information to determine that a low-carb diet can severely and negatively disrupt the average woman’s menstrual cycle if they continue eating this way.

Here’s what the science says:

After a bit, it seems beneficial for women to introduce carbs back into their diet if they want to maintain a regular menstrual cycle. The risk of disrupting or possibly losing your menstrual cycle is too great. However, in the short term, paleo doesn’t seem to affect your period.

In Conclusion…

Based on what we could find, it’s possible that the paleo diet could disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle. With that said, most of the studies we could find focused on general low-carb diets and long term results. While these results may sound troubling for some women, it may be safe to stay low-carb for a limited time. Otherwise, there’s a chance amenorrhea will occur. 

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