Planning to conceive? Struggling with Infertility?? Expensive treatments and a fingers-crossed are not the only answer!
Even though we can sometimes force pregnancy with a multitude of fertility treatments, this is not always the best option to do first (even if we have to come back to this later), because many of the same things that put us at risk for sub-fertility, also put our to-be-children at risk for a host of issues ranging from allergies all the way to autism. Because epigenetics plays such a big role in our health and the health of our babies, it is vitally important to take the time to prepare our bodies (and our gametes –eggs and sperm) as much as we can ahead of time (sometimes up to a year prior).
Mint Health Fertility Checklist for a baby in Mint condition!
Any of these things that we commonly accept as normal are warning signs:
· fatigue and sluggishness
· allergies and recurrent sinus issues
· puffy eyes
· less than daily bowel movements or other GI issues
· frequent headaches
· inability to lose weight or build muscle
· foggy thoughts or focus
· anxiety and moodiness
· not sleeping through the night
While this certainly is not a comprehensive list, below is a “Checklist,” and you want to be sure you are addressing as much as you can on it!
Make sure you have had a comprehensive male & female fertility evaluation . Men should consult with a urologist, and women with her gynecologist. The couple should consult with a fertility specialist, so they are sure to know all of their options for treatment in the conventional medicine arena.
VERY IMPORTANT: Fertility is ALWAYS a two-person/couple approach. Even if a semen evaluation comes back “normal,” male subfertility is extremely common, & the quality and quantity of sperm can fluctuate. It’s NEVER just up to the mom to be!! Each person should be working together equally on all important items listed below.
· hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to check fallopian tubes
· pelvic ultrasound to look at uterus and ovaries
· autoimmune evaluation
· inflammation evaluation
· blood hormone and thyroid evaluation
· semen analysis (at least one, as this can fluctuate)
· autoimmune evaluation
· inflammation evaluation
· blood hormone and thyroid evaluation
Functional Medicine Specialty Labs:
· Urine Organic acid test (OAT) to understand impact from toxic body burden, micronutrient deficiencies & needs, yeast overgrowth & gut dysbiosis, mitochondrial strain & dysfunction, & oxidative stress levels
· Provoked urine for toxic metals
· Urine test for non-metal, hormonally disruptive chemicals.
· Others may be needed to further assess identified areas of problems, and sometimes labs need to be repeated to assess progress. Food allergies, microbiome balance, yeast overgrowth, parasites.
promotes daily detox, hormone balance, and decreases inflammation with at least 30 minutes of daily (or almost daily) exercise (HIIT, yoga, pilates, resistance training, whatever you enjoy to sweat and get blood and lymph flowing through your body!). This is must and cannot be skipped! If you have injuries or pain, find something you CAN do; utilize physical therapy and/or trainers to help you as much as possible.
Try to get in the sun everyday if possible.
daily practice of relaxation response breathing; assess and manage stressors at home, with family, at work and mitigate as much as possible; exercise, yoga.
Promote your gut health daily. First, it is good to understand where your microbiome is now through the urine OAT test mentioned above and sometimes with a stool test. Treat low grade (asymptomatic) infections when needed (especially yeast overgrowth). Strive to get at least 100 billion CFU daily of probiotics through a variety of fermented foods and probiotic supplements. Eat lots of raw, organic, plant foods to help the good bugs grow.
Consider your exposure to electromagnetic fields in your home, at work, and through your devices; mitigate as much as possible. Use EWG.org as a guide.
Avoid avoidable toxins as much as possible! This is hard, but a must to pay attention to. Use EWG.org consumer guides to help you. Consider what you are exposed to in your food, at work, every product you use on your body, and what you use to clean your home. Evaluate your prescription medications, cookware, items used for remodeling, and the impact from microwaving foods. Consider an air filter in your bedroom (I like IQ Air). Consider an Infrared Sauna (I like Sunlighten). Baton Rouge water is fairly clean, but you can still consider a water filter for added benefit (I like Aquasauna). If you have any silver amalgams fillings (these are 50% mercury) in your mouth, have them removed by a dentist certified in safe removal (it is worse to have them out the wrong way, than to leave them in!). If your toxic burden is elevated on your evaluation, take the steps needed to help your body mobilize those toxins and excrete them (this can take several months, and sometimes requires re-evaluating your progress with repeat labs a few times to assure what you are doing is working).
Focus on organically sourced superfoods and avoid all fake foods and inflammatory foods and items.
Consistently avoid GMO soy, gluten, refined carbs and sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, GMOs of any kind, processed meats, fried foods/PUFAs, alcohol (limit to 3 or less per week), energy drinks, stimulants, food additives and sweeteners, grain-fed dairy (some need to avoid all dairy), plastic food/beverage containers, and pain meds.
Examples of superfoods for regular consumption:
* LOTS of non-starchy veggies, 8+ servings per day, including leafy greens (arugula, asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, swiss chard, bollards, okra, spinach, etc); fruits (blackberries, blueberries, cherries, pomegranate, raspberries, etc)- limit to 2 servings
per day; raw nuts and seeds (soak first if able).
* Organic grass-fed, free-range meats/poultry (beef, lamb, pork, chicken, duck, goat, venison, etc); Fats such as ghee, olives, avocado, coconut, full fat coconut milk; bone broths and collagen peptides; starchy tubers like sweet potatoes and plantains.
* Organic grass-fed organ meats (I like organic beef liver from Iverstine Farm’s on Perkins Rd.); wild caught small, high-omega fish (sardines, small salmon, anchovies, small halibut and cod– use ewg.org mercury in seafood guide), organic free-range eggs
(unless you have an egg sensitivity).
* Fermented veggies (raw/live), and drinks like kombucha and kefir, fermented non-dairy no-sugar yogurts.
* Drink blender drinks (smoothies) daily. Some important items to work in the rotation – parsley, cucumber, apple, beet, celery, ginger, lemon, daikon radish, watercress, fresh aloe, carrots, raw flax, apple cider vinegar, coconut water, cranberry, pomegranate,
blueberries, watermelon (when available).
* Consider a daily drink of ¼ cup organic cranberry juice, juice from a ½ an organic lemon, 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, and water/ice to help with alkalization and kidney detox.
* Use Celtic sea salt for extra minerals instead of other types of table salt; even try a pinch in smoothies.
Consider supplements like digestive enzymes, fermented cod liver oil or other omega supplement (omegas are very hard to get appropriate levels just in food), liposomal glutathione, trace minerals, magnesium, probiotics, liposomal Vitamin C, methyl B complex, L-carnitine, fat soluble vitamins A-D-E-K, DIM (stop when pregnant). Each person’s recommended regimen can be individualized based on their workup, but these are most common.
And last to discuss, take steps to alkalinize your body . Create an alkaline tide daily with the apple cider vinegar/lemon drink above; mineral supplementation and digestive enzymes to help absorption; test your urine pH with urine testing strips and strive for between 6.5-7.0; eats lots of fresh organic raw veggies, and a couple of fruits!
Our hope with sharing all of this information is that you realize there is SO MUCH that you can do for you and your future baby! At Mint Health
, we have the ability to do more comprehensive testing that looks at oxidative stress in the body, impaired detox, imbalanced gut, detailed hormone testing (stress hormones, sex hormones, and thyroid hormones), food allergy testing, and checking nutrient levels searching for deficiencies in macro nutrients like fats and proteins and micro nutrients like your vitamins and minerals.
Taking a functional medicine approach means we will use a systematic method to peel away the layers of what is going on with you so that issues like infertility and sub-fertility can get better and so that you can have a healthier pregnancy and baby. Everything affects everything in our body and in the body of the baby we are growing.
For those of you that haven’t already started working with us in the Functional Medicine part of Mint Health
, I encourage you not to let months go by before you take the time to work on your health and get more in touch with your body.
If you are seeing us on the Ob/Gyn days (Tuesday/Thursday), and you want to take a deeper dive than we are able to do with conventional medical workups and recommendations, please click on the ” Get Started
” tab below to begin your life-changing journey into Functional Medicine (these appointments are on Mondays and Wednesdays and are longer, more in depth, and offer more thorough “lab” evaluations to help us figure out YOU!).
Take a look HERE
at what some of our patients have to say about Functional Medicine!
And if you have missed some of our previous write-ups, you can access these HERE
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Dr. Buchert and the Mint Health Team