What about foods affecting hormone production?
Some people might suggest adding foods, herbs, and spices that are high in phytoestrogens and phyto progestins. Soy milk increases estradiol levels. Herbs such as black cohosh, yam, licorice, red clover, thyme, turmeric, hops, damiana, oregano, and verbena have the capacity to raise or lower hormonal levels in the body. (3) Of course it is always best to consult with your treatment team first.
What about the effects of nutrients on the periods?
One study published in 2020 in a journal on nutrition and diet tested the effects of riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 on ovarian cycle function. They tested 259 healthy people who menstruate from 18 to 44 years old with menstrual cycles that were between 21 and 35 days and were not using contraceptive hormones during the previous three months. The researchers measured hormone levels four times during the menstrual cycle and did this for two cycles. (4)
Higher levels of riboflavin caused a decrease in estradiol levels. Small increases in testosterone were found with vitamin B12 intake. Higher vitamin B6 intakes were found to cause higher levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
Another study found that vitamin B2 and B6 have estrogen-like effects and act synergistically with estradiol. Vitamin B1 and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) enhance the action of estradiol but do not have any estrogenic action themselves. Vitamin B12 did not have an estrogenic effect and did not influence the action of estradiol. (5)
Boron is a mineral and can be used to support estrogen production in the body. Taking 5 to 10 mg boron during the menstrual cycle from two days before it starts to three days into the flow has been found to be helpful for pain severity and duration during the period by researchers in Iran. (6)
About half of adolescents with bulimia nervosa have been found to have a dysfunction in their hypothalamus as well as irregular menses.
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How does bulimia affect your periods?
With hormonal disruptions your period may:
- Stop for several months and then starting up again
- Be irregular
- Be very light
What to Expect After Treatment for Bulimia
Treatment for bulimia should be multidisciplinary. You will especially need a dietician who specializes in eating disorders who can assess your nutritional status and create a meal plan which may contain supplements that are appropriate for your body.
It can take up to six months after starting your protocol for your period to return, however, keep in mind that everyone’s body as well as their recovery is different and it could take longer. Working on reducing and eliminating binging and purging behaviors can help your periods to resume.