Fertility after 40 and miscarriage prevention, a podcast with Iva Keene

Recently I had a chance to interview Iva Keene from Natural Fertility Prescription and she shared a lot of her wisdom with us!

We discussed:

1. The basics of a fertility diet and simple ways to add nutrients to the way you currently eat.

2. Fertility after 40, a few of the factors that come into play

The reproductive system is not crucial to your survival, so as such, the body will not give a lot of energy and a lot of nutrients to it unless it has a lot to spare. The heart, the lungs, the brain, these are all the key organs that get the nutrients first.”

3. Tests that are important, things like –

  • heavy metals
  • hair mineral analysis

4. How to decrease the negative affects associated with artificial reproductive technologies, including the nutrients that are really important to sustaining the health of the egg and sperm.

5. We discuss a couple ways to reduce the possibility of a miscarriage as well as what you can do after a miscarriage to facilitate balanced hormones and fertility.

Iva is also doing a fertility retreat at Sanoviv Medical Institute in Baja, California from September 19-25, 2013. It’s a five star health resort that serves all organic foods and some of the latest testing, where medical doctors and naturopaths work together. As a bonus, it’s also very much a resort and offers many spa services. Couples will be able to work with Iva and the staff to be able to get to the bottom of their fertility issues.

Listen in HERE: Iva Keene, part one

Iva Keene, part two

(click on the link above to listen in or right click and save to your computer)

 

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Undiagnosed Thyroid Conditions #1 Reason for Infertility?

{a guest post by Magdalena of  Thyroid Diet Coach}

I went for dinner with my single male friend just the other day and as we just sat down he said: “You know, just about every other woman I go on a date with has a thyroid drama going on.” Yes, he is a serial dater and yes, thyroid problems have become nothing less than a pandemic. “At least these women have a diagnosis”, I said.

They are lucky girls (to have a diagnosis) as once you know the enemy you can derive a plan of action; be it medications, diet, herbs, acupuncture or lifestyle changes. Whatever it is, it’s in your hands.

It’s the worse thing when we experience a list of symptoms and nobody can tell us what is really going on. This sounds like a typical undiagnosed thyroid story; infertility, miscarriages, fatigue, weight loss resistance, low-grade depression, anxiety, hair loss, brittle nails and the list goes on.

There are plenty of studies showing a connection between the thyroid function, fertility, miscarriages and a healthy pregnancy. An underactive thyroid function can prevent ovulation even though you are menstruating.

If you have been struggling with these and have been told that “your thyroid is OK”, I recommend getting your thyroid tested or re-tested even if you have done so already.

This is why: in spite of a mountain of evidence that the “standard thyroid tests” of TSH, Total T4 and Total T3 hormones are insufficient and inconclusive, very few doctors test for more.

And this is where the problem begins.

As a Thyroid Diet Coach, I see too many women with TSH, T4 and T3 within “range” even though they display every symptom described above. Take the TSH as an example. The conventional medicine range is 0.5 to 5.5 whereby the functional medicine practitioners will not accept anything else than 1-2 range. Furthermore, many women show a perfect TSH even though they are still suffering from many symptoms. As a former Hashimoto’s (hypothyroidism caused by an autoimmune disease) patient, my TSH was also “perfect” even when I felt at my very worse.

So what can you do? Here are a few suggestions for you:

1). Find an open-minded doctor

This might sound easy but it’s not. I’ve had many of my clients being dismissed and laughed at by their physicians when they request for a full thyroid panel. Sadly, most endocrinologists are very set in their ways and you might have more luck with internists and naturopaths.

Besides, of course, doing a Google search in your area, you can also try another great trick: ask your local pharmacy about doctors who order compounded thyroid medication. These doctors tend to be far more open-minded and willing to work with you.

2). Insist of getting a full thyroid panel

This is THE key. Forget the standard TSH, T4, T3 alone. This is what you would need to test to get a full picture of what is going on:

  • TSH
  • Free T4 (not just Total as we want to know what is “free” and available for your body receptors to use)
  • Free T3 (same for “free” as above)
  • Reverse T3 (it’s a type of T3 that mimics T3 but it only blocks the receptors and does nothing for us)
  • TPO antibodies
  • TGB antibodies
  • TSI antibodies (if you suspect an overactive thyroid)

This is a good start. However, the thyroid does not function in isolation from all other hormones therefore I also like to recommend testing for sugar levels (glucose, insulin and HA1C), cortisol levels (especially if you have been experiencing stress), estrogen, progesterone and DHEA-S.

Since the conversion of T4 hormone to T3 is dependent on many factors, including vitamin and mineral deficiencies, I would also recommend testing for Vitamins A, B2, B6, B12, D and ferritin (bio-available iron), zinc, selenium and copper.

3). Reduce your antibodies

90% of thyroid conditions are caused by the immune system’s attack on the thyroid. This means that it’s not the thyroid that originally fails to function well, it’s the immune system’s attacks that causes the thyroid to become under- (hypo-) or overactive (hyper-).

This is why most people with hypothyroidism have Hashimoto’s Disease which is the autoimmune condition and people with hyperthyroidism (more rare) have Graves’ Disease.

How do you know you have it? It’s pretty simple – you need to test for the TPO, TGB and TSI (in case of hyperthyroidism) antibodies.

Elevated antibodies have been connected to infertility, miscarriages and children with learning disabilities and even autism.

Taking thyroid medications like Synthroid, Armour or Levoxyl will NOT lower the antibodies completely as they will not do anything for the immune system.

So what does? This is where your diet comes in.

What many of us don’t realize is that 70% of the immune system resides in the digestive tract (aka “the gut”) in the form of a complex and vast network of lymph tissue referred to as GALT (gut associated lymphatic tissue).

You might therefore not be surprised to hear that most women with thyroid conditions also experience many digestive issues such as frequent bloating, constipation, gas, acid reflux, burping or diarrhea. In fact, for many, it’s so common that they assume it’s “normal”. By no means it is normal or acceptable if you want to live a healthy live.

The key things you can do to start addressing and repairing your immune system and your digestion are:

  1. Find out what your food intolerances are

It’s estimated that 70% of people in developed countries suffer from food intolerances (they are different from allergies) which create havoc in the digestive tract and therefore the immune system. The common culprits (although this is not an exhaustive list) are: gluten, eggs, dairy, soy and corn.

Blood tests are often not accurate therefore it’s best to go on an Elimination Diet to gain full clarity and control. If you need help in doing one, you can get The Elimination Diet Guide which was written specifically for thyroid patients. 

  1. Introduce probiotics

Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that will push out the pathogenic bacteria, virus and parasites that are aggravating the immune system. Beyond commercial yoghurt (which is very poor in good bacteria and most often loaded with sugar and additives), try incorporating lacto-fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, pickled cucumbers or kombucha tea.

  1. Support your liver

The liver plays a huge role in detoxifying our body, storing vitamins and minerals, balancing our hormones and converting the T4 thyroid hormone to T3. We will never be healthy if we have a sluggish liver. One needs to be careful, however, about many bogus detoxes, especially the ones promised by pill and powders. It’s best to focus on really freeing the liver temporarily from animal fats, meats and toxins by fasting and adding cleansing foods like dandelion, parsley, lemons, flax seeds, etc. For more details on how to do a detox that is thyroid-centric, you can check out Thyroid Detox home-study program.

I’m a big believer that we eat our way into many health problems, often times unknowingly. But, I also believe we can eat our way out of these problems.

Give food a chance. Our body is an amazing machine; designed to self-heal and self-regulate. Just give it the right environment and you will be amazed what might happen.

You can also sign up for the free video classes. I’ve watched the first video on what foods could be sabotaging your thyroid and from what I’ve been reading, aligns very much with what I know of healing the body.

Magdelena’s also has a  Fire Up Your Thyroid class that Is currently 35% off until December 31, 2012. Just use the code: THYROID2013.

And until the end of January 2013, you can take $20.00 off the Thyroid Detox home study program with the code: TD20OFF

The author of this article, Magdalena Wszelaki is the founder of Thyroid Diet Coach; a nutritional practice dedicated to empowering women with thyroid and autoimmune conditions to self-heal and reclaims their lives.

Magdalena is a former Hashimoto’s patient (autoimmune disease causing underactive thyroid) and she has been in remission for several years now. You can watch her videos, listen to her FREE Thyroid Community Calls and read her articles on Thyroid Diet Coach website.

 

 *some links in this article may be affiliate links

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Today’s the Day

May 16.

A day etched into my memory.

Not because of what happened, but because of what didn’t.

The loss of a dream.

healing after miscarriage

photo credit: alicepopkorn

Today was my due date.

And instead of holding a new little baby, I’m holding on to the promises of our Creator. That He is loving, and kind, and just. That His peace that passes all understanding washes over me. Filling me.

Instead of being in the trenches of newborn life, I grieve. Yet count the ways I have been blessed and give thanks. For He is good.

While no lullabies are being sung, I sing out in praise to my Heavenly Father.

For my life is no less blessed in trials as it is when I can easily see that life is good. And this one very small and seemingly insignificant child has taught me so much in such a short amount of time.

While difficult, I’ve seen growth in myself, my marriage, and my family. I’ve learned what it means to be held and comforted.

Some days are not easy, and I’m sure some of you have these days as well. I lash out. Where the pain is raw, where my heart aches, and my arms crave to hold. Where I want to disappear, to hide, to spend time alone.

To choose joy is not always easy for me.

But I must choose peace in my here and now. That this is my life. That this is where I’m supposed to be – learning, stretching, growing. Opening myself to His goodness and grace.

Finding joy in my every day life. Even when it’s difficult.

 

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

The Sting of Mother’s Day

It’s that day every year where many women feel so very alone, left out.

We turn our focus inward, separating ourselves from others.

What we lack becomes our only focus. We get angry, bitter, sad, depressed. Skipping Mother’s Day get-togethers with family or services at church.

We’re being selfish, but we have a right to be. Right?

I want to challenge you this year, to make a change. To make a difference.

Over the last few months, since our baby passed away, I’ve been thinking. A lot. I always looked at other people in crummy situations and thought “If that ever happened to me, I’d still live out my life to the fullest. I would choose to be happy and make the best of my situation! I would want to be a witness to others for God’s amazing love, even though I struggle.”

But I haven’t always done that.

In fact, I’ve done a really bad job of doing that.

I may not have cancer, and I may not deal with physical limitations, but I still get brought down with my struggles. I let Satan’s record play over and over in my head, telling me I’m not good enough. That I’m not worthy, that something is wrong with me. I allow the events of my miscarriage to replay over and over, robbing me of the peace I’ve experience over the last few months. The grief keeping me up at night until the darkness overwhelms me. I dwell on how “unfair” it all is.

My grief became sin.

And I call out to God – crying and pleading for peace, to settle my soul. But it doesn’t come…… until I realize that the little voice in my head is not my own.

Are you allowing yourself to be brought down by the one who wants to see our demise? Are you in a battle against the enemy that wants nothing more than to make you feel miserable, so much so that you stop doing the work of the Lord?

My dear friend, I want you to know that you are enough.

You are good enough, you are whole enough, and you are so very loved. Your status as a mother does not define who you are. And we can not let these attacks on our emotions take control of us.

“Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name.” – Psalm 142:7

Let us choose joy.

Let us choose to be full of life and service to others.

Let us show how the love of the Lord works in us and through us, even in times of struggle.

“May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

It seems difficult to serve others when we ourselves are hurting, but you, my friend, also know how others in your situations may be feeling. Your ability to minister to others will leave a lasting legacy in their lives.

So how do we show love to others this Mother’s Day?

  • Send a card to someone who may be dealing with infertility. Let her know you’re thinking of and praying for her.
  • Same thing goes for a woman who has experienced the loss of a child this year. To often our culture deems a woman only a mother when she can physically hold her child. But there are many that long to hold their children, yet will have to wait for heaven until they can. Let these mothers know that they are celebrated and loved.
  • Look around your social circle or church for that single mom that needs encouragement. Invite her over for dinner or send her a card acknowledging her work.
  • There are also mothers out there struggling with feeling their worth as older children cause a divide in the home. Find a way to encourage them, give them a hug and let them know how “good enough” they really are.
  • The loss of a mother is also a devastating event. (it’s actually the real reason Mother’s Day was created. The founder wanted to have a way to honor her mother after she had passed.) So remember those around you that no longer have their mother with them.

I’m not suggesting that the pain of infertility or loss will go away. We all have different journeys, different emotions, different outcomes. I’m only suggesting that we show love to others who are struggling on Mother’s Day as well, to let them know they are being thought of, that they are loved, to help take some of the sting out of their day.

How have you been able to choose joy?

How are you showing love to someone else this year?

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Beyond Words

I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie, from Beyond Words Designs, at Blissdom this year. Actually, it was Fran from Small Bird Studios that brought her over to introduce to me. She thought we might get along. (thanks Fran!)

And Stephanie began telling me her story.

Sharing her artwork with me.

Art

She sat down and spread her business card out in front of me, each one had a different replica of her paintings on the back. And as I looked at each one and listened to her tell her story of miscarriage and stillbirth, I began to get teary.

Twenty-four weeks into pregnancy with my fourth child, Amelia Rose, my daughter was diagnosed with multiple congenital anomalies that were not compatible with life. We were told she would most likely NOT make it to the third trimester, let alone term. I spent the next 16 weeks of my pregnancy falling in love with my baby knowing that we would not likely ever see her alive. We were blessed with 16 weeks to plan and prepare for Amelia. We were given the miracle of time. She endured for 40 weeks against all odds.

Choosing to create was a driving force for me during the last part of my pregnancy. The genesis of Beyond Words Designs had given me something to hold onto as I awaited Amelia’s birth. I truly believe that it had been a lifeline; a way for me to crawl out of the devastation and help others by creating beauty from pain. ~Stephanie

She’s passionate about helping women through their grief and hopes that her artwork can offer some healing to wounded hearts.

I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than the relationship between mother and child . . . and this has become the subject of my art.  The joy of pregnancy and motherhood.  The grief of pregnancy and infant loss.  I have experienced both and find healing in the painting of each. ~Stephanie

And she donates her art cards to hospitals so that the women, the couples, leave the hospital with something beautiful to remember their baby’s by. (You can help her continue donating these cards with a monetary donation – and 10% of her proceeds go to help fund this ministry)

My Hope, My Dream, My Wish . . .  is to add something special to hospital memory boxes throughout the United States.  I want parents to have something visual, beautiful, tangible and ‘sharable’.   I want to create a piece of commemorative art that a family can hand down through generations.   A visible reminder to all who see it ~ that our babies were here and motherhood is forever. ~Stephanie

I left our conversation with one of her brand new necklaces, just recently launched in her store. The necklace is a Giclee print from her original artwork, this one called Gone Too Soon.

Necklace

Gone Too Soon

Loosing a child during any point in pregnancy is devastating. And often women are not allowed to grieve for a early loss ~ a miscarriage. I wanted to honor these women ~ these mothers ~ by creating a piece representing the life ‘Gone Too Soon’ . . . because a mother will always remember her child.

Hand painted touches are added before it’s finished under glass so that each pendant is unique, and I love to wear mine. Even my young daughter, at three, knows it’s something special and often holds the necklace while I wear it.

But not only does she have artwork, both prints and necklaces (and even magnets), that convey the grief and loss of a baby, but that of celebrating pregnancy. Because she realizes that pregnancy is to be celebrated. And these pieces make great gifts not only to one’s self as a reminder of their own pregnancies, but also would be fabulous gifts for your midwives, OBs, doulas, and other birth workers.

I am a huge fan of Stephanie and her work. I can not wait to see how far this woman and her artwork will go.

So make sure to “Like” her on Facebook:

And if you’re interested in one of her necklaces, check out her announcement of a special sale when you order before April 30th!

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.