A woman’s hormones are influenced by the food she eats, and a low-carb diet can change them. But how do hormones affect the body? In particular, low-carb diets can affect insulin sensitivity, Leptin levels, and amenorrhea. These changes can affect women’s sexual health and how they feel and act during menstruation.
Low-Carb Diets Cause Amenorrhea
Low-carb diet disadvantages include amenorrhea, a condition where a woman does not have a menstrual cycle. It is a condition that occurs when a woman does not have her monthly menstrual cycle for more than 90 days. This condition is caused by a variety of factors, including a low-carb diet and disordered eating. It can also be a result of low levels of hormones in the hypothalamus. Amenorrhea is more common in marathon runners, athletes, and women with low body weight. Low-carb diet effects on body function include switching the body into starvation mode, which causes a loss of estrogen. A lack of estrogen can cause infertility and an increased risk for osteoporosis.
Leptin Levels are Affected
Low-carb diet disadvantages include an increase in leptin levels in women. High levels of leptin promote a higher rate of hunger and weight gain, but leptin can also decrease a person’s sensitivity to hunger signals. Obese people are at higher risk for leptin resistance as they have increased levels of the hormone.
Overfeeding carbohydrates causes a short-term spike in leptin levels. However, this spike is temporary, lasting only as long as you continue to eat carbs. Therefore, it is important to increase calorie intake periodically to prevent leptin from dropping to dangerous levels. Any hormones specialist can tell you Leptin is most effective when a person has a lower body fat percentage. The percentage of body fat should be between 10% and 15% for men and 20% for women. However, leptin levels drop when the body fat percentage falls below 10%, making it harder to lose weight.
Insulin Sensitivity is Affected
The number one factor that affects insulin sensitivity is daily physical activity. Exercise uses up free-floating glucose in the blood, lowering blood sugar levels and increasing insulin sensitivity. Even a single sweat session can boost glucose uptake by 40%. A woman’s body is also more likely to respond to insulin if she is less overweight or has less belly fat. Smoking, sedentary lifestyles, and various environmental toxins may also contribute to sexual health problems.
A low-carb diet for women may be an effective treatment for women who are insulin resistant or have diabetes. This diet is known to maintain insulin sensitivity and prevent metabolic disorders. Sugar induces an enormous spike in insulin, which is found in various everyday foods. Natural carbohydrates are more beneficial than processed ones and are a good choice for reducing insulin levels.
A ketogenic Diet Doesn’t Work for Many Women
While the keto diet for women may increase weight loss, it has the opposite effect on women’s hormones. Women’s hormones control many aspects of our lives, including metabolism, energy levels, mood, and sex drive. If these hormones are not balanced, weight loss becomes extremely difficult.
Stress affects your hormone levels, too, and can lead to hormonal imbalance. When your hormone levels are out of balance, it can lead to PMS symptoms or various other undesirable effects. Studies have shown that women who follow a ketogenic diet may experience adverse side effects from its calorie restriction, which may interfere with menstruation. Furthermore, the keto diet reduces the amount of insulin, a key growth hormone. This can cause hot flashes and other problems for women.
Effects of Low-Carb Diet on Women’s Sexual Health
Apart from the low-carb diet disadvantages, it has several potential benefits, including weight loss and improved hormonal balance. Women who are entering menopause may find that it reduces hot flashes and other unpleasant symptoms of the transition period. A low-carb diet is also known to regulate insulin, which affects blood sugar levels.
Some researchers believe that a low-carb diet may negatively affect bone health. In a study of elite endurance athletes, low-carb diets led to bone loss. In addition to weight loss, women on these diets are more likely to suffer from anemia or iron deficiency. While researchers are not certain exactly how hormones affect the body and how the diet affects menopausal hormone levels, preliminary findings suggest that a low-carb diet may help women manage their weight during menopause. Studies show that women on low-carb diets experience less post-menopausal weight gain. Low-carb diets also have been found to decrease hunger, a common symptom during menopause.
Rachel Moore is a Senior Marketing Consultant for Wellward Regenerative Medicine, an integrative medical clinic in Lexington, KY, dedicated to optimizing your body’s ability to heal through interventional, regenerative, and functional medicine. Her only goal in life so far has been to get people back to pursuing their life goals again.