Women's Integrative Health

Purify Your Body, Transform Your Life

Mind, Body Spirit

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Balancing Your Hormones after Using Hormonal Birth Control-Part I

I often hear from women that their cycles have been disrupted from the use of birth control containing synthetic hormones.  If we could educate ourselves and understand what they are doing to our bodies and learn of alternative methods of preventing pregnancy, it may be better for our long-term health.  We could prepare for conception in a healthier way.

We now have more control than ever to choose when we want to have children.  Perhaps knowing the consequences of using hormonal birth control would be helpful when making decisions about birth control.

Choosing Birth Control Responsibly

Each of us owes it to ourselves and our families to research facts on long-term side effects of hormonal birth control use.  Having the understanding that it may affect our fertility and health later in life is important.  Getting pregnant – not getting pregnant – how will getting pregnant impact my life?  How will preventing a pregnancy impact my health?  Balancing those choices to serve our highest good is the question.  When choosing hormonal birth  control, ask yourself:

  • Is this something I am willing to use long-term or is it a short-term goal?
  • How will taking this impact my fertility?
  • Are there better or safer options?

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Can You Treat Inflammation Holistically?

Smoking and inflammation

It’s pretty common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health and contributes to the development and exacerbation of a slew of diseases.  Researchers have recently developed a theory as to why smoking is so closely related to so many inflammatory conditions.  Apparently nicotine is able to activate a specific kind of white blood cell called a neutrophil, and while normally neutrophils work to protect the body, they are also responsible for tissue damage due to excessive inflammation.  So one way to decrease inflammation is to quit smoking.

Conventional treatments for inflammation
Non-sterodial anti-inflammatory drugs (NASIDs)

As you might know, the most common over-the-counter treatment for inflammation is a drug called ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).  These can be amazing drugs for the occasional ache or pain, but they are not designed to be taken regularly and do not treat the underlying cause of inflammation.  Symptoms of NSADIS include stomach ulcers, hypertension and rashes.  Taken long-term or too often, they can be dangerous, linked to heart attacks, strokes and stomach bleeds.

Corticosteriods

Another common type of anti-inflammatory medication are corticosteroids.  These drugs work by suppressing inflammation-causes genes.  They often come in the form of cortisone injections, and can be very effective at decreasing inflammation.  They also come with a lot of side-effects and the body can also start to build up a tolerance.

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Allergies and Inflammation

Allergies are another common sign of chronic inflammation.  If you suffer from seasonal or year-round allergies, you have probably wondered why they seem to affect you but not some of your friends or members of your family.  It’s because people wit allergies have an immune system that is launching an immune response to harmless substances (like pollen), as if they are a threat to the body.  This activates an immune response and causes that annoying persistent sneezing, mucus, and inflammation.  The immune systems of your fortunate allergy-free friends is simply not perceiving those substances as harmful.

The body will provide a tone of subtle signs when someone starts to develop chronic inflammation, and this is where conventional medicine can sometimes fall short.  Your doctor will be well aware of inflammation caused by infection or injury and fully recognize autoimmunity and autoimmune disease, but they don’t seem to pay much mind to the subtle signs of chronic inflammation.  And if they do, they will prescribe a medication that will treat the symptoms and not the root cause.

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Inflammation and the Immune System

The Immune System

Our immune system is one of the most incredible and complex parts of the human body.  The immune system is able to recognize foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria that might do our body harm.

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Fertility food

Eating for Long-Term Health – Lowering Inflammation Is the Key!

Inflammation in the body causes or contributes to many debilitating, chronic illnesses.  These include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cancer.

Eating a diet focused on anti-inflammatory principles not only helps protect against certain diseases, but also slows the aging process by stabilizing blood sugar and increasing metabolism.  Many people find they also lose weight by following an anti-inflammatory eating pattern.

Incorporate these principles into your diet for optimal health:

Consume at least 25 grams of fiber every day.

A fiber-rich diet helps reduce inflammation by supplying naturally occurring anti-inflammatory phytonutrients found in fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods.  Seek out whole grains, fruits and vegetables to get your fill of fiber.  Best sources include whole grains such as barley and oatmeal; vegetables like okra, eggplant, and onions; and a variety of fruits like bananas and blueberries.

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Optimal Fertility and the Gut Health and Microbiome Connection

Digestion plays a role in the health of virtually every body system.  70% of your immune system cells reside in the gut wall.  Gut and digestive health are important for all couples trying to conceive.  Enhancing digestion can greatly aid men and women with fertility concerns.  An improvement in gut health may be the missing link to solving otherwise unexplained fertility.  Do you have digestive problems?  Hopefully this information will help and pave the way for relief and new power over your fertility.

How Does Digestion Impact Fertility?

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Low Down on Hormone Tests – Part 4!

MTHFR – What is it and why do you need to know about it?

MTHFR: methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase – this is actually a genetic test for how well you absorb and process folate.  It possibly is an issue in early stage miscarriage.

If you have this mutation, it could affect your ability to get and/or stay pregnant.  This mutation has an effect  on mental health as well as having implications on reproductive health.  Women usually find out about this mutation after having multiple miscarriages.  Wouldn’t it be easier and better to know before?

The MTHFR gene produces the MTHFR enzyme which is necessary for the proper utilization of folic acid or folate (vitamin B9).  The MTHFR enzyme breaks folic acid down into L-methylfolate to make it usable by the body.  This is known as methylation.

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Low Down on Hormone Tests – Part 3!

Thyroid Hormones – TSH, fT3, tT4,rT3

Understanding the Physiology

TSH is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  TSH is released in the pituitary to urge the thyroid gland to produce hormone.  The thyroid produces T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) which is then converted to T3 (active) and reverse T3.

It looks like this:

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Effective Labor Positions

These positions are all helpful for labor.  Ask your Doula or other member of your labor support team to help!

Abdominal Lift

  • Best for mom’s with lax abdominal tone
  • Takes pressure off back
  • Improves position of the baby in the pelvis

Straddling Chair

  • Good resting posture
  • Access to back for counterpressure
  • Some gravity advantage
  • Straddling may help open pelvis

Standing, Leaning on Bed

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Low Down on Hormone Tests – Part 2!

So, if you are like most couples that have been struggling to conceive or even if you are just starting this journey, you probably have a binder full of tests!  Test after test has probably been done trying to figure out why you are not getting pregnant.  Possibly you have the diagnosis of – “your test results look good, we are not sure why you are not getting pregnant!”

Let me help you try to make sense of some of this testing so you can be empowered with the information that I use to analyze my client’s lab results so they can be successful on their fertility journey.

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