Bethany went for a decade without ever having her period. After being diagnosed with PCOS she tried everything she could think of to reverse it, but nothing worked. She stumbled upon a keto cookbook and signed up on the two-week keto low-carb challenge. This is what happened:
I have struggled with PCOS for ten years. Unknowingly for about 7 years. I actually had regular cycles for two years before they completely stopped at age 15. My physician at the time put me on birth control and since I had a false period that way, he considered me cured.
Every time I went off birth control though, I never got a cycle. It wasn’t until I moved out of my small hometown at 22 years old and got a different physician that I found out about my diagnosis. I had PCOS. A ‘ring of pearls’ in my ovaries. My testosterone and progesterone levels were slightly elevated, thankfully there was no tumor in my brain pushing on my pituitary gland, but it gave me the diagnosis of PCOS. I was so relieved to put a name to my condition, but unfortunately, the doctors told me they can only help with the symptoms and not actually cure it. I felt hopeless.
I am a person who already values being healthy and strives to live a healthy lifestyle, even before my diagnosis. I always ate a home cooked food, balanced diet and hated sweets — didn’t even like fruit juices. Looking back I see the flaws in my diet. I wouldn’t eat processed or sugary foods, but I ate bread and crackers as snacks, and chips or popcorn as junk food for movie nights.
Also being the androgynous type of PCOS victim, instead of the overweight type of PCOS victim, indulging in carbs didn’t fluctuate my weight so I never monitored my carb intake. I felt that I couldn’t live a healthier lifestyle than what I was living and I was confused as to why I developed PCOS. However, it started my pursuit to find a natural solution to heal my body. Give my body what it’s lacking, or take away something harming it.
Two years after my diagnosis, I met my husband. We both wanted to be and feel healthier so we tried veganism. Shortly after going vegan and traveling to another country, I got a bladder infection. I went on an antibiotic and that’s when the ‘immediate-relief-needed’ happened. I was sick all the time after that antibiotic. I would have a cold after cold, infection after infection, cold sores, random and sporadic inflammation of my eye, digestive problems and relentless pain in my stomach, and probably more.
The doctors believed my symptoms but everything they tested for came back negative. I was not celiac (though I could NOT stomach wheat AT ALL anymore), I didn’t have a parasite, and I didn’t have c-diff. In Canada, they don’t have the lab to test for candida in the stool, which is now what I think I had and causing me so much digestive distress and random, annoying symptoms.
After about a year of this (yes, it was one of the worst times in my life), my mother-in-law showed me her new Keto Diet cookbook. Within the first couple pages, they talked about how keto can be used to heal PCOS and candida — which I was convinced I had. I was so overjoyed to finally find a solution that I drove to the bookstore that day and bought a keto cookbook.
That night we cooked a recipe (hamburger sauce with avocado) but the next morning I still felt sick as I always did those days. I brushed off the keto diet and put my cookbook on the shelf. But I still thought there might be some merit to fewer grains, starches, and sugars. So, I tried to keep my vegan diet alive but without the root vegetables and grains. I didn’t follow a meal plan and I had zero relief. I was also always hungry and felt some guilt about never having a voluptuous meal cooked for my family or being able to eat anything when we went out.
In researching more on the keto diet, as I always do, I found the Diet Doctors two-week challenge. I signed up and took it seriously. I had nothing to lose — I was already sick; I was already not making delicious meals. It was worth a serious try. And worth it, it was. I had never gotten a natural cycle in ten years, as I had mentioned, and after honestly three days of being on the keto diet, I got my period.
What actually happened was I followed the diet strictly for three days and by the third night, I thought I was going to die. I knew about the keto flu so I tried to ‘tough it out’ but I couldn’t handle my symptoms so I ate a whole bag of popcorn. To my amazement, I woke up and my period had come. I found it strange because I had filled up on carbs the night before, but my body must have already done what it’s supposed to do at that point. Three days of high fat was enough to give me a natural cycle. One that I honestly couldn’t acquire naturally for ten whole years.
I continued to follow the two-week challenge religiously. I felt great afterward. After the challenge was over, I took my cookbook off the shelf and showcased it by my stove. I follow a meal plan in there now. My next cycle happened two months later. I think my body is still healing and I am still on my naturally-healthy journey. I also use an app now to track my macronutrients and I continue to stray from root vegetables, grains, and sugars.
I’ve read so much about keto diet and I understand the basic science behind it, but I still don’t think I know why or how I got a period after three days on a high-fat diet after ten years of not having one naturally. All I know is that it happened and I am forever grateful to have found this diet. Also, the meals were delicious. Even my husband, who’s fairly picky, liked them. He namely liked the tuna salad, thai curry fish, and the goat cheese frittata.
What a journey, Bethany. Thank you for sharing your story and for your very helpful insights!
Do you want to try what Bethany has done? Sign up for our free 2-week keto low-carb challenge!
Most popular success stories
All success stories
Type 2 diabetes
Do you want to support Diet Doctor and get access to bonus material? Check out our membership.
Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous.
It would also be greatly appreciated if you shared what you eat in a typical day, whether you fast etc.