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Help for short follicular phase/luteal phase

Blog Forums Women’s Health Help for short follicular phase/luteal phase

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    I am a success story of Matt’s [reversing Hashimoto’s HYPER-thyroid]. While I have all the signs and lab reports of a healed metabolism, my cycles are still showing the effects, three years later.

    Cycle Length Overall – 25-26 days between ACTUAL bleeding times. Ovulation on days 10 or 11, as early as 9, but never later than 12. Luteal phase lasts approximately 9 days before brown spotting begins, which goes on for 3-5 days until actual bleeding begins. This is clockwork, no skipping, no variation.

    My actual bleeds I’ve brought down to 4 days, no cramping and lighter flow, using nettle infusions.

    Weight – 150-ish, 5’4. I feel and look chubby & bloated. Gained quite a bit of body fat over the last year b/c of antibiotic use [Damn MRSA!]. Have been clean for about 6 months now. I do gentle exercise: walking, dance, gardening, housework, am not desk bound.

    All those metrics out of the way – here is what I struggle with:

    1.) Getting enough calories: myfitnesspal calcs say that I average 1700-1900 calories a day (and that is really concerted effort!). I don’t feel hungry. Eat 3-4 times a day. No restrictions. HOWEVER, I still have a “restrictive” mindset because I am so darned bloated. I can’t afford any more sizing up in clothing!

    2.) My cycle patterns clearly show that this is not “enough”, i.e., the opposite of PCOS, which has long follicular phases from excess of everything.

    3.) I just don’t know how to raise calories and get enough carbs, practically speaking. Ice cream chubs me up…but sometimes, at the end of the day, its like, “Shoot, woman, you’ve only made it to 1600 calories today. B&J it!”

      How do I get in enough carbs and lower fat?

    I am a confident cook. Too much tropical fruit makes me break out in acne. Dittoes with anything pasteurized containing whey, like yogurt.


    Have you tried red clover infusions for help with your cycle?

    As for increasing calories, I’d find something you like that is calorie dense. Maybe add small snacks of dried fruit or cooked fruit (pies, crumbles, etc). I have a recipe for coconut oil chocolates that is really easy and yummy. If ice cream isn’t working for you, find something that will. Cake? Cookies? Fudge?

    There’s a thread about upping sugar intake in the Eat The Food forum. You might find some helpful suggestions there.


    You could try Vitex/Agnus Castus- meant to regulate length of menstrual cycle, particularly luteal phase. There is lots of info about various options here:

    To get more carbs, well quite simply you need to eat more carbs- have a serve with every meal plus carbs in your snacks. You might feel like a stuffed chicken at first with the extra food but it usually only takes a few weeks before your body goes ‘hey! this is awesome! give me more food!’ and then it’s easy to eat more :)

    Not sure why you need to drop fat though. Fat is good for you and will help you to up those cals easily!

    Hannah Ransom

    Do you crave carbs? I’m not really pro pushing any certain macronutrients, especially when it’s not what your body is asking for, so I would say just eat what you crave. I also don’t really think there is a problem eating whatever you truly want (though I am an advocate of organic and whole foods for the most part). I will go through stages of eating tons of fat, then tons of carbs, etc.

    If you do want more carbs, I’m big on fruit. Eating a lot of grains is gross to me (not yummy) and doesn’t generally make me feel good, so I tend to eat a lot of fruit. I know you said tropical fruit is a no-go, what about dates? The medjool variety are like ~60-70 kcal each and really good in smoothies and stuff. Orange juice is good. Depending on where you live what you can get will differ. This time of year you could probably be getting a lot of melons, which are pretty low calorie, but totally delicious and very carby.

    Your luteal phase actually ends when you start the true bleeding, not the spotting, so your luteal phase is longer than 9 days, but spotting before your period generally does indicate low progesterone levels.

    From what I know, a short follicular phase can be caused by increasing age, stress, alcohol, as well as high estrogen, so it could not be a low hormone problem (overall).

    Personally, I come from a super holistic standpoint so I always start with really benign stuff when trying to figure out health issues. How is your stress levels? Sleep? Do you sleep in darkness (you can’t see your hand 15 minutes after turning out the lights). Having a good sleep pattern, going to bed early, sleeping in darkness, and low stress can do wonders for progesterone levels. If affordable, I would try to eat mostly organic, because the conventional stuff can be bad for hormones due to endocrine disruptors.

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