The time that our babies are developing in the womb is an exquisite time of plasticity that has lasting effects through our children’s lives.
Marie has always been a go getter, always had the energy to do whatever she wanted, burn the midnight oil, drink a little coffee and make it through the day just fine, keeping up with her exercise, her job, her kids – you name it, she could do it! But more and more lately she’s having trouble dragging herself out of bed. Her morning coffee has turned into 4 lattes just to make it through the day. She can’t focus at work and feels ineffective. When she gets home at night, she just wants to melt into the couch, and feels so snappy with her family. She’s just exhausted! She’s always felt she could handle anything that came her way, but now sometimes she just wants to disappear in a “poof!”-could she be getting depressed? Ugh! And not to mention her bowels – she thinks she’s always had the inclination to being constipated, but her doctor told her for some people it’s just normal to have a bowel movement 2-3 times per week. She finally found the time to get in for a checkup, and had some labs done for thyroid and anemia and told they were all normal. But Marie feels anything but normal – she is not herself. She just wishes someone could find something “wrong” with her so she’d know what to do to feel better!
Liz had a hysterectomy 6 years ago for heavy cycles, so she hasn’t had a period for a while, but she feels that she must be entering menopause now because something is just not right! She’s holding so much more weight around her mid-section and can’t lose it, waking up at 3am and can’t get back to sleep, sweating more than ever, and finds herself extremely annoyed or just plain crying because . . . . she’s not even sure what. Getting through the work day without crashing in the middle of the afternoon is a real challenge, and she feels like her brain can’t focus or get any work done. She went to her doctor for a checkup and had some labs done. Her blood hormone check indicated that she was not in menopause and that her thyroid was normal. Really! No way! Something must be wrong. She talked with her doctor about some things that could help her, and she recommended considering a trial with Prozac to help her mood, and possibly some Adderall to help with focus and attention. Liz is worried about the possible side effects (her sex drive is already in the dumps!), and wonders if this is the beginning of the slippery slope to being on 10 different medications like her mom. She is only 47 years old, and was planning to have another 40+ years of feeling great, traveling, spending time with friends and grandkids on the way, working on that painting hobby she’d always wanted to develop when her kids got older. Well it’s not going to happen feeling like this, and she suspects there has to be a better answer than Prozac and Adderall.
Beth has had irregular cycles for as long as she can remember. She was put on a birth control pill in high school to regulate them, and has been on it since. She’s thinking about stopping them soon because she wants to have a baby. Recently she has been having worse problems with keeping weight off – the scale seems to climb too easily. She’s also having embarrassing breakouts, bloating, hair changes, and funny twinges in her pelvis. She had some blood work and a pelvic ultrasound with her doctor and was told that she has PCOS, and she would need to start a medication called metformin and possibly another medication to make her ovulate when she is ready to get pregnant. She is worried about how these problems will affect her health down the road, and how they may affect her baby if she is even able to get pregnant with those medications. She is having increasing anxiety over why her body is not functioning normally. It seems like all her friends don’t have to struggle so much. She suspects there has to be a better answer aside from just taking a birth control pill to artificially control her cycle, and then taking more meds when she’s ready to get pregnant. She wants help getting to the root cause of the problem and working to fix it now so she can avoid the diabetes, depression, heart disease problems, and cancer that run in her family.
Anna has two adorable little boys – 2 and 5 years old. They are the light of her world (along with her husband!) but she feels like they have too many health issues for their little bodies. Both had terrible colic as infants, then recurrent ear infections as babies and repetitive antibiotic treatments. Her youngest was recently diagnosed with eczema and possibly asthma, and her oldest is having trouble in school, and the teacher wants him evaluated for ADHD. Anna and her husband are ready to have another child, but she is starting to wonder if she can prepare herself better, get her body healthier before and during pregnancy, take some other actions, to decrease the chances of their third child having the same uncomfortable early start in life. When she asked her doctor what to do, he told her these are just typical things that many kids and parents have to deal with. But Anna has read that more and more kids are having these types of problems – why is it increasing so much? She’s read some things on the internet that she wishes she’d known before and during her first two pregnancies, and needs to find a doctor to work with who “gets it” and can help her. One of her friends has thyroid problems and IBS and had a lot of complications in her last pregnancy, and Anna wants to help her find a way to not repeat that, too! She just has to know it’s possible . . . . .