Stevia Affecting Hormones? Blood work recommendations

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I’ve been reading about stevia’s hormonal effects. I’m wondering if my irregular menses could be linked to my excessive stevia use. I’m looking for advice on what blood tests I should get to gather some data.

For about 6 years I used stevia with no issues. However, a year and a half ago I heavily increased my stevia use from around 14 scoops per day to around 66+ scoops per day. The exact stevia is the white powder, organic stevia extract from Whole Foods. One scoop is .03 tsp. Now, I put it in every meal, snack, and almost every drink. I’m obsessed!

Around the same time that I increased my stevia intake, my menses became irregular for the first time ever. I thought it was due to my caloric deficit. But it was a mild deficit. I didn’t lose that much weight. Furthermore more, for the last year, I ate at or above maintenance calories. But my menses are still irregular.

I got my FHS, LH, and prolactin tested. The doctor said the levels were normal. I want to find an abnormality in my hormones or something in me before I quit stevia. This way I could get better data on what stevia is (if it is) exactly affecting. I think the data I find could be helpful to others.

What tests should I get besides the three I already took? Is there a company I could get the tests from or do I have to go to the doctor?

Presumably the amount of sleep and exercise has remained more or less constant, and there are no other unusual dietary changes?

Don’t know what other blood tests would be useful (all of them?), but it could be interesting to compare your microbiome before and after, since it can be affected by some sweeteners.

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Yea no diet or sleep changes that I can recall that I haven’t already explored. When you say all the blood tests, is there a set list of them?

I think I’ll look into microbiome later. Doesn’t seem as directly related to this issue. I haven’t come across even extreme gut issues effecting menstruation, but I’m ignorant on the subject.

See this thread regarding blood tests.

It’s conceivable that all that stevia consumption would result in changes to your microbiome, and the nature of those changes could be a hint as to what is going on (even if you have no “gut issues” otherwise).

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I hate to say it but I think the straightforward thing to do is quit stevia (or reduce to previous levels) and see if that has an effect. (I know you said this isn’t something you want to do.)

The effects of hormones on periods varies a lot, so it’s hard to know what they mean (even if they look unusual), and it would be hard to know if stevia is the cause. (I’ve deliberately dramatically changed my hormones via mirena IUD and two months into testosterone therapy, and the consequences on periods are very unpredictable.)

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I’ve been off stevia since October 25. Today is December 22. My period is not better, not even slightly. In fact my current cycle is the 2nd longest it’s ever been- 48 days and counting.

I was still consuming small amounts of stevia because it was in a supplement I had to take. But I stopped taking the supplement about 18 days ago when I saw that my period was not any better.

@ejain I did come across some anecdotes that linked gut biome issues with delayed menses.

Now I’m wondering how to find a good doctor. I’m in Chicago. Any suggestions on how to find a doctor who is open to self quantification or “biohacking” for lack of a better term? I’ve heard a lot will just through birth control pills at any problem which tend to solve the symptoms but not identify the root cause. As a body builder hobbyist, I’m wondering if I should maybe find a gyno who deals with athletes?

It’s nice to hear the follow-up, though it sounds like you still have a mystery!

Maybe testing stuff that’d be used to check for PCOS, if that wasn’t already done? That is, androgens and looking for cysts?

(I assume you’re not already taking androgens deliberately – if you were, that would be a prime suspect, of course – but I guess it might be ironic if you discovered you were naturally high.)

PCOS was ruled out. Got an ultra sound and got some labs done. Doctor said everything looked fine, but when I looked at the labs myself, my prolactin was in the low range. I’m not sure why my doctor didn’t mention this and I don’t know yet what to make of it.

My current experiment is going off keto and seeing if that helps. I was keto paleo. Now I’m regular paleo.

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