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recovered anorexics and periods

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I have a question and would like those that are close to being finished their journey of recovery ; to those who have been recovered for years....

Did they by change regain their period at a weight which was much less than when they lost it?

I have read that the weight that you lost it is NOT necessarily the weight that you need to regain it...

furthermore...many have gotten it even earlier.....?

Anyone experience this...

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My anorexia has become a thing of the past. My recovery is ongoing.

I will deal with periods in a second, but first I'm going to deal with the weight thing. I would say that "the weight you lost is NOT necessarily the weight you need to regain" period. Some people start out at a weight that is actually too low to begin with, develop anorexia and lose weight, which puts them at an even lower number on the scale. These people may have to gain over and above their original starting weight.

Some people start overweight and lose weight, but then it gets out of control. This person may not have to go up to their original weight.

It changes and there is a big spectrum. Now onto periods...

I was sick for 13 years (beginning at age 9). I didn't get my period until I was almost 15 years old - my doctors think this was probably delayed onset because I was so underweight and my body was way behind where it should have been. My body then adapted to my ridiculous eating habits and I was able to get a period on a regular cycle (i.e. every 5-6 weeks for about 4 days at a time, light flow). 

Now that I have gained weight and kicked up my exercise (I actually had to start working my muscles to gain weight), my body is completely confused and I have missed periods because my body is used to working at a bare minimum level and I have thrown it off by normal eating.

Weight isn't necessarily the only mitigating factor here. There are A LOT of different things that can effect your period. Restoring weight to YOUR BODY'S "HAPPY PLACE" will probably start your periods again - this can't be determined by BMI alone. For some people a BMI fo 19 will work, some girls have had to go up to a BMI of 25 or 26. It depends where your body naturally sits.

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I would say that it depends on your body type, shape, and how severe you've restricted. Once you've gained enough weight to supply ALL of your organs with nutrients again, it'll come back.

I personally did not start my period until I had gained all of my weight back (from 75lbs to 130lbs) But I've heard of others starting earlier. It'll come back sooner or later, as long as you're body decides you're healthy enough to have it.

I don't know at what weight I lost my period, and I don't know at what weight I got my period back.

I do know that I was thinner when I got my period back versus when I first lost it.

I believe it's because I had been restricting and over exercising for a long time before I actually dropped much weight (I was thin to begin with). I had also severely cut fat in my diet when I was developing my eating disorder. My recovery diet had tons of fat from nuts and peanut butter and cheese.

This also goes to show that getting your period back is NOT in instant indicator of good health. I was, at most, at a BMI of 16 when I got my period back.

Regardless of when you lost your period or when you will get it back you must still fully recover from the ed. That means reach a healthy bmi range,eat adequate calories to repair/regain,no overexercise or b/p etc. Like I said I also got my period back very early but still gained to reach my healthy bmi. Being underweight you still are at risk for organ failure and other health issues. You can't full recover mentally from an ed if you don't reach a healthy weight.

I have always been a BMI of around 21. Anorexia started, lost my period at BMI 16-ish. Lost more weight til I reached BMI 11, started recovery, gained weight and started maintaining BMI 19 for two months on 1800-1900 calories. Then I upped those again until I was eating 2500 calories a day, reached a BMI 20.5, got my period for the first time in 2.5 years, and my weight just stabilized there. I now have regular periods. So obviously, I'm not exactly where I used to be, but I am around there, eating til I feel full, no obsessive exercise, and this is the only way I restored my period. But there are also anorexics who get their periods at BMIs as low as 13! So I guess everyone is different. Still, not an excuses not to eat as you wish and give yourself and your body well-deserved rest.

francateresa- I believe we talked before, but I lost mine when I was going down from 110, around 105 I believe I lost it.  I kept going and continuted to lose, around the next 7 months or so I didnt have it, at that time I was at 97 adn regained it.  At teh time I was under extream stress and while I was still losing it was October and there was candy in the house so I wass eatting that.  But I didnt gain, and I got it back at 97.  Then I was able to keep it for the next 4 months till feburary, then I lost about 13 lbs within the months of Jan-Feb and after Feb I lost it again.  Ive been in recovery for about a month and a half-2 months.  Ive gained 15 lbs and still havent got it back, but Im at 96 about the weight I was when I got it back before and there is no sign of me getting it back rihgt now.  Idk if that helps at all, but mab someone can relate.

Thanks so much guys.   I know this is a continual process and it is no sign that I would be done recovery...but I just want it back so bad and know that I need to trust the proces.


Some people start overweight and lose weight, but then it gets out of control. This person may not have to go up to their original weight.

That was exzacly me...not fueling enough for my body and using supplements and working out like crazy....

so it doesn't necessarily mean hat I need to be there.

We are so diverse and have all gone through so much....way to go....I think I don't eat enough FATS...otherwise I do eat...until I am up the fats...wish me luck.  Yes my bmi is low but I will get there...thanks

This is good info!

I am going through the same thing Francateresa. It has been over a year that I have seen my period :(

Have any of you women who got there period back eaten a lot of peanut butter and high fat food? I find it hard to get in my diet and was thinking Peanut butter would be a good thing to add daily. (on top or eating normally)

What kind of foods did you guys eat?

Did adding a lot of fat help?

I think my diet is just to low in fat...

TBH, I don't think getting your period back has anything to do with eating more dietary fat than average. Periods-> hormones-> normal amount of adipose tissue. Increasing the amount of dietary fat you consume won't necessarily lay more adipose tissue, and we all heard it over and over again: "fat doesn't make you fat".

(I'm not saying having some fat on your body means you're FAT! Don't get me wrong ;P )

Carbs, protein and dietary fat can all turn into adipose. Get enough of all those, your body knows what to do with them! -->> Eat, no restriction!

Don't worry about getting enough of this or that: Stopping restriction in general when it comes to food is the key. After that, patience!

Personally, there is no food I decided I should eat more of in particular. I happened to crave lots of protein (and still do)... In fact, I think I even had less dietary fat than an average person! But that was what I craved for, I satisfied my cravings, which happened to be protein. I didn't let the ED control what I ate, and the periods just came back.

I know you are right...just eat normal!

I am really caving peanut butter so I am going to make a sandwich today ;) Hopefully all will return to normal soon. <3

Suspendue I don't disagree with you about eating more than average but eating less than average or restricting fats can affect your period. If your body fat% is very low then that can affect your cycle so eating more fat to restore what was lost during restriction can help as well.

Thank puddykat!

Do you think upping my fat will help? I have felt better sense doing this. I have also been drinking high fat protein drinks. I was eating last year just NO fat at all. I think my body went into shock from having no fat at all.

Puddykat: It's true I eat a less than average amount of dietary fat, but I think it's a good amount for my body because I happen not to crave it much, and I can tell I'm getting an adequate amount because I have good skin, better hair and nails than before, and (sorry if this is TMI) stools indicate whether one's intake of fat is good. Mine is.. just fine <:T  So far my periods are regular, and I have a healthy BF%, if I'm craving a "big fat" slab of butter on my bread I'll have it without any second thoughts, nothing to worry about =P

c1234567: If you can actually feel better physically with an increased fat intake, go ahead, you said it yourself: You feel better! Everybody is different, with different needs. Even if dietary fat intake is not directly related to restoring a lost period, your own body might still be lacking a certain nutrient, preventing it from returning to a completely healthy state. Try it if it suits you well.


Hi suspendue_lahaut!

Thank you! You are totally right. Just do what you feel and all will work out! 

Can I ask what mayor changes you made to get your period back? Are you fully recovered? Could you tell your period was going to come back?

I have been doing really well lately and was always thin. In fact I had my period before at less weight and lower bmi (but I ate whatever I wanted and NEVER was hung up on calories and fat)  but I think by cutting all fat my body couldn't handle it anymore.

I am eating normally and taking a multi vitamin and drinking protein shakes. My husband said protein shakes are probably a good idea for me right now. 

I really want my body to recover and be happy and healthy again. <3

Thank you!

The only change I made before restoring my period was getting more calories in, in general.

Like I said in a previous post, I got up from a bmi 11 while consuming 2500-3000+, reached bmi 19, dropped my calories to maintain on around 1800-1900 calories.

After a couple months I realized I might be restricting myself, because I'm quite active in nature, calculators indicated I burn at least 2400 cals, when I'm not moving much! I used to eat a lot more than 1800 pre-ED anyway, and was always very healthy, rarely ever got sick or felt tired! So why not eat like that again? I started to count less rigourously, but made sure I hit at least 2500. A couple months later I got my period for the first time in over 2 years.

So even though a BMI 19 is technically a healthy one, and it's not too far from the 20.5 I am currently at, it still was not enough for my body.

So you can see the ONLY change I made was getting enough calories, didn't really focus on where they came from, just made sure I got them through what I felt like.

All that much to say nothing works better than not restricting. I'm just another living proof :P

Thank you suspendue_lahaut!

I guess I will have to let my body decide what is best. What you said makes sense! <3

I guess it was hard for me because I haven't done this or had ed in my life for quite some time before this when I was 17 and 93lbs. So now that I am older and it came back but I weight 117 I feel like...I don't know.

You are totally right though. I have to listen to my body now and let it tell me what to do.

Thank you! <3

Completely agree with you suspendue everyone is different. Calories over all are the most important thing, basically not restricting any food groups is important. I'm glad you are healthy!

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