Is It PCOS or Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (Undereating)?

PCOS versus hypothalamic amenorrhea.

What is the difference between polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothalamic amenorrhea?

PCOS is the condition of androgen excess when all other causes of androgen excess have been ruled out. It’s often associated with irregular periods or no periods.

Hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) is irregular periods (or no periods) due to undereating or other stressors. It can also present with mild acne, facial hair, and polycystic ovaries.

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Food Addiction and Other Causes of Abnormally High Hunger

Do you feel hungry all the time? Abnormally hungry? If so, it’s worth trying to figure out why. Potential drivers of abnormally high hunger include insulin resistance, gut and microbiome issues, low blood sugar, and food addiction—just to name a few.

In the latest episode of my podcast and YouTube video, I explore food addiction and some of the controversy around the term. I also discuss the next best steps on your road to recovery.

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Are You Eating Enough to Get a Period?

Keto period or amenorrhea

Lost your period? You might just need to eat more. A lot more. Losing your period to undereating is called hypothalamic amenorrhea and is common, especially in women under thirty.

Unfortunately, hypothalamic amenorrhea can sometimes be misdiagnosed as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) because both hypothalamic amenorrhea and PCOS can have “polycystic ovaries” on a pelvic ultrasound exam.

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The Most Common Cause of Weight Gain

insulin resistance

There can be a strong hormonal component to abdominal weight gain. And in most people, that hormone is insulin.

In episode six of my podcast/YouTube video (released in May 2022), I discuss insulin resistance, including why you could have insulin resistance even if your blood sugar is normal, the role of mitochondria, and all the ways to lower insulin and improve metabolism.

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