Anorexia/Eating Disorders/need help!!


QUESTION: i am 13 years old 4 foot and 8 inches and weigh 75 pounds. i lost my period because of anorexia will i get my period back? when will i get it back? and how do i get it back?? also if your period is not returning does this mean you need to gain weight??
my next question is if i keep gaining weight will my weight finally stablize?? when it does do i still eat the same amout of calories to stablize my weight??
i know theses are a lot of questions but i would love it if you can answer them all with some sort of explanation for each!
         thanks but i really need help

ANSWER: Hi Becky,

I assume you are the same Becky I've been corresponding with for the past few days? If so, some of this will be repetitive with my previous responses. If not, then let me know if something doesn't make sense and I will elaborate.

1) Yes, you will get your period back after your weight has been restored to a healthy weight.
You will likely have to put 10-20 pounds on to get your period back. It can take two or three months sometimes for your cycle to come back even after you're at a healthy weight because you have to wait for your estrogen levels to normalize (they drop when your weight is too low). If you want to know more on the biology behind this, let me know and I will give you Biology 101 lesson on menstruation.

2) If you have gained let's say 10 pounds after 2-3 months, if you still have no period then your weight is likely too low and you need to put 5-10 more pounds on and see if it comes back.

3) Yes, your weight will stabilize. Let's talk about your metabolism for a minute.

Early in a diet, caloric deficit results in weight loss from fat stores being burned and loss of body water from glycogen depletion. After a few days, your body notices this change in fat stores and decreases Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) to replenish lost fat. BMR might decrease by up to 45% in an effort to stop you from losing weight (your body really doesn't want to lose weight so it will fight you every step of the way). When the decrease in BMR = the decrease in calorie deprivation, you hit a weight plateau and stop losing weight. The same is true for weight gain. At some point, when your BMR equals the number of calories you are taking in, your weight will stabilize. To gain more weight, you will thus need to increase your caloric intake. To maintain your weight once it stabilizes, you will need to keep eating the same number of calories.

To determine how many calories you need to eat, go to this website and create a profile using your GOAL weight: Once you've done that, it will tell you how much you should be eating of each food group each day. If you click around, you'll even find sample meal plans. Follow this for a few months and see if you are gaining weight, how you feel, and whether or not your cycle comes back. Keep me posted and please let me know if you have any questions.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you! however i have still got questions for you. what foods are good for period to return? eg(bannanas, pizza ,chocolate ,apples). how  many calories is a minimum? also if i am eating 2500 calories and my weight finally stablizes does this mean i will have to eat 2500 calories to maintain my weight which has stablized?
         hope you get what i mean!
         many thanks xx

ANSWER: Hi Becky,

Have you ever heard of the Mediterranean diet? It is high in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocados ( Healthy fats in moderation are really important for hormone production.  

Your minimum calories depend on your goal weight and activity level (go to the supertracker website I mentioned in my last answer). So if you wanted to weigh 95 pounds and were moderately active, you would need 1800 calories per day. Once you were at 95 pounds, you would still need 1800 calories a day (assuming your activity level stayed the same) to maintain your weight of 95 pounds. Does that make sense?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ive been eating over 2000 calories a day for 4 months andhave gained a
Lot of weight. About 12 pounds but still no period. However I used to be 7stone but naw 5 and a half. I have not had my period for 7 or more months. WHAT SHOULD I DO?????

Hi Becky,

You poor thing. I know you are really struggling with this. I have two thoughts. One is that you still don't weigh enough. The other concerns your thyroid and hormone levels. Have you had your hormone levels check? Sometimes eating disorders can cause hypothyroidism (basically your thyroid gland becomes inactive). As the thyroid is a Master Gland for hormone secretion, if it's not telling your ovaries to make estrogen and progesterone, you won't ovulate. Hence, no period. Is it possible for you to go to the doctor and get your hormone levels measured? I would recommend TSH, Estrogen, Progesterone, and FSH.

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Mary Pritchard


I can answer questions about the psychology of eating, disordered eating attitudes and behaviors such as drive for thinness, drive for muscularity, binge eating, body dysmorphia, dieting, excessive/obsessive exercise, and body dissatisfaction. I can also answer questions about anorexia and bulimia.


I have a PhD in Psychology and teach courses in the Psychology of Health and the Psychology of Eating. I have been conducting research on disordered eating and exercise behaviors for 15 years.

Midwestern psychological association, rocky mountain psychological association

Over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles in journals such as Eating Behaviors, Eating Disorders, and Eating and Weight Disorders

PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver

Awards and Honors
30 teaching awards, have received funding to conduct my research from academic institutions and state and local government

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