Friday, November 10th 2017

Season 2 Episode 14: Undernourished periods

Excerpt: We learn about the female athlete triad, and how menstrual disturbances have more to do with not eating enough and adhering to cultural conceptions of beauty than overexercising.

Summary: Last year, Vox ran a piece about exercise and periods that made my blood boil, not least of all because it misrepresented the research of someone I really respect. It took a while to coordinate our schedules, but I was very pleased to finally get to interview Dr. Mary Jane De Souza. Dr. Mary Jane De Souza is one of the best researchers in the world on the topic of the female athlete triad – that mix of low energy availability, low bone mineral density, and menstrual disturbance that was once believed to be inevitable for exercising women. I was so pleased to have the chance to pick her brain about food, exercise, and periods. We now know that the cause of these menstrual disturbances is probably more about undereating than overexercising. So if you lose your period, it’s not your weak lady constitution, it’s more likely you haven’t fueled your exercise with enough food.

Many thanks to Dr. Mary Jane De Souza, professor of kinesiology and physiology at Penn State. Stay tuned for next week when we continue the conversation around food, exercise, and periods with Intuitive Eating coach Lu Uhrich.

Thanks to Ellebox for sponsoring season 2 of PERIOD. Enter our giveaway to receive a deluxe three month subscription – you have until November 22nd, 2017. And use coupon code “periodpodcast” or this link to get 50% off your order.

Do you want to be a patron, or is there someone on your shopping list who would want to be? Check out my new Patreon page for ways to support this podcast. Help me make beautiful things!

If you have a sponsor, why are you still asking me to be a patron?

The sponsorship with Ellebox is not something that provides a regular source of funding – it’s an affiliate program where I only make money if you buy their boxes. I would love for you to buy their boxes because I like the product and of course it helps the podcast tremendously. But affiliate programs are never going to bring in much money. This podcast is expensive to run – in addition to what I already spent on equipment, it also costs money to pay my editor and host the audio. I also send gifts to all my guests. Patreon offsets some of these costs, though I still spend money and do not break even. I am looking to break even, and if I ever have a surplus I will roll that right into funding other makers through monthly donations at Patreon rather than keep the money myself.

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Call or write me! I am collecting two things right now: your period questions, and first period stories. Leave me a voicemail with either or both at 262-PERIOD-2 (262-737-4632). Don’t forget to tell me how to contact you if you don’t mind my following up.

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1 Comment

  1. Isabel said:

    Was undernourishment the reason girls in the 1800s didn’t have menarche until about 16?

    https://mapbiology.wordpress.com/menarche/

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