the RD experience

January 26, 2011

first, a note
i’d like to share most of the details from this appointment, because i know that personally i’ve always been curious what an RD visit entails, and i know that if it were on someone else’s blog, i’d want to read about it. furthermore, i’ve received several emails from other women also experiencing technical difficulties TTC, and i think that for some, hearing about my experiences thus far could be helpful.

that said, i just wanted to note that in the next section, i’m going to delve into some of the details, which includes some discussion of things like kcalories and BMI. and i know that there are some people out there who really try to avoid reading about those types of things. as charlotte pointed out just this morning (i LOVE this woman’s insights, btw), a fixation on numbers can lead to comparisons and obsession, and therefore it makes sense for some to try to stay away. so please: if that is the case for you, just skip this post! you can always


  • Reply Meredith March 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Eek I don’t know why it automatically posted a comment I wrote before! It seemed to have saved it from yesterday?
    What I meant to say was, I’m glad you had a good appointment with the RD! 🙂

  • Reply Caitlin March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    RDs do some fascinating work – there are some times when I consider going to one, given that I have relatively significant food issues. (Thanks genetics, for making EDs run in my family…) I’m glad that your appt went so well, and it sounds like your RD is giving you nice and manageable goals that seem to coincide with what you’ve already noticed as helpful. I’m (obviously) rooting for you 🙂

  • Reply Susannah March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Sarah, 1200 cals one day? yikes!! Glad to know that is not the usual. SO glad that you went to a knowledgeable RD with experience helping patients struggling with infertility. I went to a nutritionist once during a time in my life when I definitely needed to gain weight, and she told me that because of my height, I really only needed 1500 calories a day. Scary to think that woman had a degree and license. I do think that dealing with energy imbalance can be tricky. I always thought that if I was running too much and not eating enough, I’d be losing weight and that would tell me I needed to eat more. But apparently some of us can become quite efficient at running and not eating enough, but the body will always sacrifice something, and sometimes that something is really important, like a period!!

    I know that no matter how many people tell you this it doesn’t help until you believe it yourself, but seriously….you look great. Best of luck.

  • Reply runnerstrials March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    I’m so glad you went to the RD, Sarah! It can be an eye-opening experience. I did the same thing last year when I was first having fertility issues. My RD concluded it likely wasn’t due to my weght and eating habits (I eat 3000 cals avg, yikes). This infertility rollercoaster is just so darn frustrating. I truly hope that tweaking your diet solves your problem and you’re expecting soon 🙂

  • Reply megan March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    I totally stumbled across this post and it is SO interesting to hear about your experiences. My husband and I are just about ready to start trying to get pregnant and I’m concerned I’ll have issues because historically my period has been very irregular. After I stopped taking the pill, I didn’t get a period for almost 2 years! Thankfully, and miraculously they returned to 4-week cycles about 5 months ago. I’m also a runner and I’m always concerned about proper fueling like you. Best of luck to you and I’ll definitely be following your journey. Thanks so much for the insight.

  • Reply mealsformiles March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    thanks for sharing! I’m kind of in a similar boat as you (although not TTC, I would like to be able to someday). To help get estrogen levels to where i need them, I’ve been trying to incorporate more fat into my diet and a little less fiber so more fat can be absorbed. I definitely think amenorrhea in people like you and I is related to fat, like you say, not overall body weight. I think it’s a fairly gradual process, which is kind of annoying, and I haven’t had much luck yet but I’m hoping! Good luck to you too – interested to hear how everything goes 🙂

  • Reply whatkateiscooking March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Very interesting! I didn’t get my period for a year and a half, even though I was at a healthy (slightly above) average weight. I had lost weight pretty quickly, and I think that’s the reason. My doctor didn’t think it was weird at all and thought my weight had nothing to do with it. I need to switch doctors…

  • Reply Atilla March 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    that video is hysterical LOL

  • Reply Amy March 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm


    Thank you for sharing your experience with the RD and your infertility struggles. I have recently been diagnosed with PCOS and I fall into what you referred to as the "lean PCOS" category. I stopped taking the Pill in November 2009 and have not had a period on my own since then. At the time I had just finished training for a marathon, so it didn’t seem that abnormal that it was absent. Since that time I have gone through two rounds of progesterone to try and kick start my system. The second round did the trick, but no period since then. I’m on my third round of progesterone and it will be followed by Femara if I actually get my period.

    I have drastically cut back my weekly mileage to only about 12-15 miles a week with my longest run being 5ish miles. I haven’t seen an RE yet, but my OB/GYN didn’t mention the need for weight gain, but your RD’s explanation makes complete sense. How did you determine your BMI? I know the right percentage is different for everyone, but I would be interested in trying to figure out an accurate way to calculate mine. I’m in the Triangle area and work near Durham, so if this round of treatments isn’t successful, I am considering making an appointment with Profile Associates.

  • Reply Carrie March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    I have insomnia and am just linking and blog hopping and arrived here!

    I’m an RD : ) I’m always happy when someone has a good experience with one! The exchange system is kind of a hassle, not going to lie. But, since you are a scientist, just look at it as an experiment. Data and patterns. I haven’t read very far back, so you might have addressed this, but what is your glucose/a1c normal? I know PCOS can present with high glucose-a friend of mine who was in the ‘lean pcos’ category had excellent results with Metformin and diet changes even though her numbers weren’t that far outside average.

    (I always feel weird talking medicine with actual doctors. But I’m never 100% sure exactly what you guys learn! Even though technically my husband is one, I think he has forgotten all non-relevant material.)

    Anyway. I know you don’t know me or anything, but you can message me if you have any questions. I’m not sure how available your RD is/what insurance covers, but I would be happy to help if I can : )

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

      thanks carrie!! i’ll have to stop by your site, too.

      my insulin and glucose were both low — (1.9 and 69 fasting, respectively) so the doctor didn’t think metformin would help. but YES it can be a great drug for true PCOS pts!

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