ZocdocAnswersCan being 2 lbs underweight pose a problem?

Question

Can being 2 lbs underweight pose a problem?

hey! I have a question about my weight... I'm 14 years old and am 83 pounds (without clothes) I know I am underweight by 2 lbs but I was wondering if this really poses a risk to my heath. Last year I got my period but it went away after only a few months and never returned (at the time I was at a heathy bmi so I don't think it's due to being underweight.) I am always cold and I started to take iron sup's a week ago because animia runs in our family. I was thinking this might have caused me to lose my period...or maybe I don't have it yet and that thing last year wasn't really my period? So my question is.....can being underweight by 2 pounds have cased this? I eat around 1500 calories a day or more so I'm not undereating. Thank you very much for any help!

Answer

There are a couple things going on in your question and I recommend that you discuss this issue with your doctor. First, the fact that you are not getting your period does suggest that you are underweight. It is normal when women first get their periods for them to be irregular, but the fact that your period has not come back is concerning. This can happen even at a low-normal body weight if a person is exercising too much or under a lot of stress, but given that you are below the recommended weight one of the first things to try would be to gain some weight. 1500 calories may not be enough for you depending on your height and how much you exercise. I am concerned that you were at a normal BMI last year and are now underweight, as this is not normal for a teenager who should still be growing and putting on weight. Being at a healthy enough weight to have periods is extremely important for your long term health for many reasons, but one of the most important has to do with your bones. Women deposit calcium onto their bones through their twenties, but if they're not having periods it means that their bodies aren't making enough estrogen, and it not only prevents that bone deposition from happening but means that you can actually start losing bone. This can cause fractures and early osteoporosis, which is very difficult to treat in a young person, and sets you up for all kinds of problems later in life! The fact that you may also be anemic while not having periods is also a little concerning. Most women who are anemic and need iron have that from losing blood during their periods. You are not bleeding, which suggests that you may have another reason for being anemic that needs to be worked up. Anemia does not cause people to lose their periods - periods cause women to be anemic. All of this is to say that you really need to sit down with your doctor and discuss these issues. Figuring out why you are not having periods is really important to your long term health, and if you are anemic then this also needs to be worked up. I know it's not fun to visit the doctor, but these are potentially serious issues and a doctor is the best person to advise you on this.

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