Can Fat Burners Affect Your Period? (Science-Backed Truth)

Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD
Published by Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD | Medical Doctor
Last updated: January 26, 2024
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As a medical doctor, I've seen far many cases of women who suddenly develop irregular cycles. When I trace back some of those cases, it often goes back to phases of rapid weight loss, either through diet pills or extreme exercises.

So, in this report, I've compiled what I know about how diet pills affect your periods and added some tips on how you can avoid irregular periods when losing weight.

Let's dive in.

Quick Summary

  • Fat burners can cause rapid weight loss which can decrease estrogen levels and stop ovulation. This is often what results in an irregular cycle.
  • Substituting balanced, nutrient-dense meals with diet pills can lead to a nutritional deficiency which often results in irregular periods and other harmful side effects.
  • In a research study published by the National Library of Science that sampled 835 adolescent girls, it was discovered that those with elevated BMI and a higher percentage of body fat were at an increased risk of experiencing irregular menstrual cycles.
  • In my practice as a medical doctor, I've observed the multifactorial nature of irregular menstrual cycles and emphasized the importance of balancing dietary and exercise choices to maintain hormonal health and overall well-being.

How Diet Pills Affect Menstrual Cycle

As a medical doctor, I've encountered numerous patients with irregular menstrual cycles, and I've often observed the multifactorial nature of this condition.

That said, It's not uncommon for lifestyle factors, including the use of diet pills, to indirectly contribute to secondary functional hypothalamic amenorrhea. This observation aligns with research from the National Institute of Health [1].

The factors include:

1. Poor Nutrition

A person eating unhealthy foods

The female body requires specific amounts of fat, vitamins, and minerals for a healthy menstrual cycle. However, many diet plans aiming to burn belly fat tend to eliminate these essential nutrients.

Consequently, some individuals resort to appetite suppressants and fat-burner diet pills, which may lack vital micronutrients and block the absorption of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins, potentially leading to irregular periods and associated mental effects such as depression and eating disorders.

Some of the mental effects of irregular cycles include depression and eating disorders, as per research by the Office of Women's Health [2].

2. Rapid Weight Loss

A person on a weighing scale experiencing rapid weight loss

Losing too much weight too quickly, with or without using weight loss pills, can lead to decreased fat levels, triggering the body's starvation mode and disrupting hormones, resulting in decreased estrogen levels and halted ovulation, leading to irregular periods.

Provitalize is an effective weight loss supplement for women, based on my observations and patients' experiences. Check out our Provitalize review for insights into how this thermogenic probiotic supplement may affect weight loss and menstrual cycle patterns.

3. Drastic Weight Gain

Just as extreme and abrupt weight loss can cause irregular periods due to hormonal imbalance, so does obesity and gaining too many pounds fast.

“As women become more overweight, the excess fat can produce hormones that increase insulin resistance, which can cause irregular periods.”

- Dr. Jessica Chan, OB/GYN

According to research published in the National Library of Medicine, young overweight girls are more likely to experience an irregular menstrual cycle than their counterparts [3].

Suppose you're experiencing irregular periods and have concerns about your body weight. In that case, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional who can guide and support you in managing both aspects effectively.

4. Excessive Exercise

A woman experiencing fatigue due to excessive exercise

According to the National Institute of Health, starting a new vigorous workout routine suddenly or following a regular extreme exercise routine for longer (training for a marathon, doing HIIT workouts, and similar) might stop your period and cause other long-term side effects, including osteoporosis [4].

“Excessive exercise can lead to skipping periods or light periods because your body needs a certain amount of body fat to ovulate.”

- Dr. Carolyn Alexander, MD, F.A.C.O.G.

Training too intensely can trigger the release of exercise-related hormones like beta-endorphins and catecholamines, which can have an impact on the production of essential hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

Doctors’ Tips

woman with a towel on her shoulders outdoors, woman drinking water from a glass

To maintain regular periods and ease PMS symptoms while trying to lose weight, it's crucial to strike a balance.

Consuming enough calories, protein, and essential nutrients from healthy sources, staying hydrated, avoiding foods that cause gas and bloating, and refraining from skipping meals and high-dose stimulant diet pills can help preserve hormonal health and overall well-being.

If irregular periods and body weight are a concern, consulting a healthcare professional for guidance and support is advisable.

FAQs

Do Fat Burners Affect Hormones

Yes, fat burners can affect your hormones. Stimulants and other ingredients in weight loss pills increase the stress hormone cortisol and a male sex hormone, testosterone derivative dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The pills also influence some gut and brain hormones that help you fight cravings, suppress appetite.

Can Diet Change Your Period?

Yes, diet can change your period. Overeating spicy foods, skipping meals, too low daily intake of protein and calories, nutrient deficiencies, long-term ketogenic and other low-carb diets, restrictive, crash and other types of extreme dieting, rapid weight loss or weight gain, or any sudden change in your diet can disrupt your hormonal balance and affect your menstrual cycle.

Does Body Fat Affect Menstruation?

Yes, body fat affects menstruation. Menstruation can cease in underweight women with a low percentage of fat stores, whereas obese women with excess fat stores often experience irregular and heavy menstrual cycles and are at a higher risk of other menstrual cycle disorders.

Can Losing Body Fat Stop Your Period?

Yes, losing body fat can stop your period, causing amenorrhea because a female body cannot initiate and maintain regular menstrual cycles below a particular percentage of fat tissue.


References:

  1. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/amenorrhea/conditioninfo/causes
  2. https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/living-mental-health-condition/reproductive-health-and-mental-health
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9449629/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3946734/
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