How are diet and activity modified during the treatment for amenorrhea?

Updated: Oct 14, 2019
  • Author: Kristi A Tough DeSapri, MD; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Women with findings suggestive of an eating disorder should be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team with special expertise in these disorders. Nutritional counseling alone is inadequate therapy for these women.

In some cases, nutritional deficiencies induced by dieting and exercise can cause amenorrhea even in the absence of a psychiatric disorder. Strict fat restriction often plays a role. Frequently, simply explaining the need to balance energy expenditure with energy intake resolves the problem. In this situation, nutritional counseling may be all that is required.

More than 8 hours of vigorous exercise a week may cause amenorrhea. As noted above, in some cases this resolves with appropriate adjustment of the diet.

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