Why you might need more carbs to get your period back

Posted on April 14th, 2015

In the past nine months I’ve put on a few kilos. In the past nine months I also got my period back, after six years of nada. The cause of this not-great condition is my autoimmune disease (Hashimotos). What got me back on track? Changing my diet, backing off on exercise and… consciously putting on weight. Kate Callaghan (who’s sharing today’s post) and I met shortly before this when she was working with me as a much-loved member of the I Quit Sugar Team. We discussed this idea – putting on weight to get our menstrual cycles back. And doing so by eating more carbs than what we’d normally choose to. (Previously, she’s shared the changes she made to reverse her infertility and coming to terms with putting on weight.)


Kate Callaghan

Anyway, I’ll be discussing this a bit more here and over at I Quit Sugar in the next little while. But for now, I’ve asked Kate, a dietician, personal trainer and lifestyle coach, to explain how the eating more carbs thing played out. The below is taken from her new ebook, Healing Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, which you can buy here. Got questions for either of us? Post below and we’ll endeavour to answer. Over to you Kate…

When it comes to hormonal health, most people will tell you that proteins and fats are essential as they are the building blocks of hormones. They’re right – these ARE essential, but when your period goes missing in action, you might need to look at upping your carb intake too. Here’s why:

1. To calm your adrenal glands.

Your body is pretty smart when it comes to maintaining homeostasis (science speak for “balance”). If your blood sugar levels rise, your body releases insulin to push that sugar into your cells where it can either be used for energy or stored. If your blood sugar levels drop (for example – between meals, or from inadequate carbohydrate intake), your body will either pull glucose from storage in the liver and muscles (glycogenolysis) or Read more

Can quitting artificial sweetener reverse autoimmune disease?

Posted on April 7th, 2015

There are many, many, and many more causes of autoimmune disease. And then, too, there are none. Ultimately no one can really pin point a root cause. It’s truly a clusterf*ck.

There are factors, of course, that flare the condition. Like gluten, sugar and anxiety.

Image by Lissy Elle

Image by Lissy Elle

But one I haven’t really covered before is fake sugar. So, we’re talking saccharine (Sweet’N Low), sucralose (Splenda) or aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet). More people are consuming these chemicals, more people are getting AIs. And what do you know, there’s now some links connecting the two phenomena.

1. Aspartame is linked to immune disorders. Aspartame is converted to formaldehyde (an embalming fluid) in your body. Your liver can’t clear this toxin normally, so it remains lodged, activates inflammation and can lead to autoimmune issues and cancer growth.

2. Sucralose is linked to IBS, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis… according to a study in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology. Sucralose has an inhibitory effect on beneficial gut bacteria, which, as we know is linked to AI (the microbiome makes up 80 per cent of our immune system). A report by the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health confirms this. It was shown to halve the good bacteria in the microbiome and raise gut pH levels. Read more

10 reasons why coffee might not be great if you have autoimmune disease

Posted on February 6th, 2015

Coffee is good for us, yes? I reckon there’s a fair bit of evidence now saying it’s so. But what about if you have an autoimmune disease? (New here? I have Hashimotos and I often write from this particular POV.) Me, I drink coffee – about 2-3 cups per week. But I’ve been starting to wonder if I might want to back off even more. And so I dug around. Figured you might like to know what I came up with…

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

10 reasons why you should think twice before drinking coffee

1. Coffee can mess up your blood sugar. Caffeine impairs insulin action. In young, healthy folk, moderate intake of caffeine is unlikely to affect blood sugar levels too much, but for some AI types, drinking coffee causes both insulin and blood glucose spikes after meals. Over time, your insulin sensitivity goes down, making it harder for the body to respond to blood glucose spikes when they occur. Ergo, havoc.

2. Coffee disrupts your sleep. I don’t sleep well at the best of times. It’s one of 3984928374 AI symptoms. Further, cell damage from AI mayhem is repaired during sleep, but only once our bodies have attended to everything else we’ve put into it during the day. Which requires solid sleep.

3. It boosts stress hormones.When stress occurs, cortisol is released to make energy available – so you can fight or flee. When stress ceases, the body goes back to its normal state. But when stress becomes chronic, as it can do with drinking coffee regularly, our body is continually exposed to high levels of cortisol which have been linked to (among many other things) Read more