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Posts Tagged ‘PCOS and infertility’

You won’t hear this from your doctor, but exciting
new research is revealing that plant pigments may
improve the health of your ovaries and help
normalize their function.

If you’re not eating your veggies, this article should
give you a compelling reason to get started!

Many plant foods are high in red, yellow and
orange pigments called “carotenoids”.  They are
especially abundant in yellow-orange vegetables
and fruits, and dark green, leafy vegetables.

Carotenoids provide antioxidant protection, improve
cell-to-cell communication and support the immune
system, in addition to other functions.

Carotenoids appear to protect the ovaries against
damage from free radicals, which are unstable
elements in your cells.  One study has noted that
women with more consistent levels of carotenoids
were more likely to become pregnant with in-vitro
fertilization (IVF) than other women..

Several studies have suggested that free radical
activity may interfere with the corpus luteum’s
ability to produce steroid hormones such as
progesterone.  Carotenoids may help to control
some of this free radical activity since they are
well known as antioxidants.

And thus increased intake of carotenoids may help
to increase progesterone production.  This has
been demonstrated in an animal study.

Carotenoids may also be helpful for controlling
insulin levels and reducing risk of diabetes.

Carotenoids also appear to reduce your risk of
ovarian cancer.

The available research clearly indicates that
dietary carotenoids will contribute to improved
ovarian health and function.

Refer to chapters 8.8 and 8.10 of “The Natural Diet
Solution for PCOS and Infertility” ebook for lists of
vegetables and fruits that are high in beneficial
carotenoids.

Increase your carotenoids and your ovaries will
thank you!  Your PCOS problems could diminish
too.

 

Source: PCOS Review

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A while back I was asked this question: “Do you have any ideas that deal with talking to your spouse/husband about infertility and PCOS?”

“My husband knows I have this condition, but really does not understand how/why it is affecting me. He seems to think that since it’s my problem (and not his) he does not need to concern himself with it.”

“What he does not realize is that I need his support to get through this, but how can I get his support if he does not understand what’s happening to me. I really could use some advice on how to talk to him about it. Thank you.” — Client

This is an excellent question. An understanding and accepting spouse or partner is a critical factor in your successful journey toward better health. Yet little is said about it.

I certainly don’t have all the answers. But here are a few thoughts.

1) You can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink.

Some men have the maturity and interest to be deeply concerned and supportive of their mate’s health. Some don’t. Most men don’t focus on their own health, so it’s no surprise they would not focus on the mate’s health.

If a spouse is not mature enough to be supportive, develop your own support group independent of him.

2) Explain to him that infertility and PCOS is a very serious condition.

You might ask him to imagine how he would feel if he had a serious disease, such as prostate cancer. If he had prostate cancer, would he like to have YOUR understanding and support?

If he understands that you need his support, you can start to educate him about PCOS and your particular diagnosis. You could take the information you have gathered from your research.

Explain that you have a very serious matter on your hands, which can severely reduce the quality of your life, your happiness, and your health. For example, some possible consequences of  polycystic ovary syndrome are depression, impaired lung function, liver trouble, acne, infertility, obesity, hair loss, hirsutism, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Tell him that cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of women and that women with PCOS have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than other women.

Explain that you are in an “at-risk” group for health problems. You might ask him how important it is to him for you to avoid heart disease. How important is it to him for you to avoid diabetes? Or depression? Does he want a wife who is healthy and attractive, or who is chronically ill? And who might have a shortened lifespan? Find a way to ask questions like this without making him feel defensive.

Further explain that there is no cure for this disorder and that most doctors don’t have an effective logg-term solution. So your long-term health is in your hands, not the doctor’s.

PCOS is partly driven by your genetic inheritance. Therefore you have to counteract this genetic tendency. The best way to counteract your genetic tendency is to eat a very healthy diet, get lots of regular exercise, and avoid chronic stress (as described in this ebook). Tell him there are no magic pills out there for PCOS. The only solution is to have the persistence to develop and maintain exceptionally good health and lifestyle habits.

3) Share your feelings about PCOS with him. Does he know what you’re experiencing inside?

4) Ask for his cooperation in very specific ways.

Start with something small. Make it easy for him to cooperate and praise him for his cooperation.

If he likes to eat half a gallon of ice cream after dinner, ask him to not offer you a bowl of ice cream. You can skip dessert, or if you want dessert with him, have some berries and raw nuts.

Or, invite him to join you in a walk around the neighborhood. You get the benefit of exercise and so does he. It’s also an opportunity to spend some uninterrupted time together.

Incrementally add more things about which he can be cooperative and supportive.

Be sure to offer generous praise and thanks when he does support you. Tell him it means a lot to you and you really appreciate and love him for it.

Build on small successes.

5) The future health of your children is at stake.

If you haven’t started a family, explain to him that because of PCOS, your future children have an increased risk of developing health problems as they mature.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is thought to start in the womb. It affects both male and female babies. So if he wants to have healthier, happier children, then you want to get your hormones into better balance before you conceive. One crucial way to get your hormones into a healthier balance is to adopt good health practices.

PCOS is not just a little temporary problem with your ovaries. It is a systemic disorder that requires life-long attention.

6) Your spouse’s health can also be improved.

You could also let him know that if he chooses to participate in your improved health practices, he will improve his health and longevity.

In conclusion, patiently educate him as to what you’re really dealing with. This process may take months or even years.

Ask for assistance in simple, clear ways that he can understand and can fulfill. Don’t make him feel guilty or pressured. Avoid criticism. Be liberal with thanks and praise when he does anything that is supportive.

And finally, PCOS is a family issue simply because every family member will be affected.

Source: PCOS review

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A cause of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications has been identified by the University Magna Graecia in Italy.

The researchers compared 73 pregnant women with PCOS and 73 pregnant women who did not have PCOS. They measured the flow of the artery that supplies blood to the uterus during pregnancy. They discovered that the PCOS group had reduced or abnormal blood flow to the uterus, which substantially increased the risk of pregnancy problems.

What might be a reason for the abnormal blood flow?

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are more likely to have a condition called “endothelial dysfunction”. Endothelial dysfunction means that the cells in your artery walls are not working properly. This condition is an “early warning” sign of future, more serious cardiovascular problems such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

What might you do about it?

Eat a healthier diet. Avoid unhealthy fats and eliminate all refined sugars from your diet. (If you don’t know what an unhealthy fat is, read the “Fats and Oils” section of The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility ebook.

Of course, regular exercise is highly advisable.

There are also certain nutritional supplements that may help. For example, a report from the University of Indiana School of Medicine indicates that L-carnitine can reduce endothelial dysfunction in some people, especially if they have a weight problem.

Source: PCOS Review

Sources: Melnik B et al, Role of insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, hyperglycaemic food and milk consumption in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris, Exp Dermatol. 2009 Oct;18(10):833-41
Danby FW, Acne, dairy and cancer: The 5alpha-P link, Dermatoendocrinol. 2009 Jan;1(1):12-6
Melnik B, Milk consumption: aggravating factor of acne and promoter of chronic diseases of Western societies, J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2009 Apr;7(4):364-70
Melnik B, Milk–the promoter of chronic Western diseases, Med Hypotheses. 2009 Jun;72(6):631-9

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Did you know that over 80,000 chemicals have been released into our environment? It’s scary that no one has tested all of these 80,000 chemicals to determine their effect on your health. No one has performed medical studies to find out how all these 80,000 chemicals interact with each other or how they interact inside your body, or what their combined and cumulative effect is on your health.

Folks, we are in the middle of a chemical crap shoot. No one knows how this will turn out. But the limited research so far is mostly bad news.

Here is a recent example: a chemical called “bisphenol A” and its possible relationship to PCOS.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is sometimes referred to as an “endocrine disruptor” or “hormone disrupter”. This chemical is found in numerous consumer plastic products and canned foods to which you are exposed.

The University of Buenos Aires in Argentina recently completed a study of rats exposed to BPA. The researchers exposed baby female rats to BPA.

When the female rats became adults, they discovered that their BPA exposure was associated with increased testosterone and estrogen, and reduced progesterone. This is an unbalanced hormone pattern commonly seen in women who have polycystic ovary syndrome.

In addition, the exposed female rats had much reduced fertility. Also, their ovaries had large numbers of ovarian cysts.

If it can happen to a rat, can it happen to you? Think of the rats as canaries in a coal mine. If the canary dies, the miners are in trouble. One recent study showed that 99% of pregnant women had at least one urine sample with detectable levels of BPA. That’s 99 of every 100 women!

Even though it’s invisible, you can start by reducing your exposure to BPA. It is used in a multitude of hard plastic products such as water bottles, food containers, infant bottles and medical equipment and supplies. BPA may also be found in the lining of canned foods and in many other non-obvious products such as thermal-printed cash register receipts and some dental sealants.

We suggest that you reduce the use of canned foods and eat more fresh food instead. Try to use glass containers instead of plastic for food, water and beverages. Don’t use plastic bottles to feed your baby; use glass instead.

Finally, it is critical that you improve the quality of your diet. Why? Because a diet that is free of chemicals as a diet can be is the best option.

Source:
Fernandez, MO et al, Neonatal Exposure to Bisphenol A and Reproductive and Endocrine Alterations Resembling the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in Adult Rats

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A new study from the University of Texas Health Science Center has confirmed that the hormone melatonin plays an essential role in reproductive health.

Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces during darkness. It is not produced during daylight hours or when your lights are on. Melatonin helps to regulate your day-night biorhythm and is a powerful antioxidant.

In addition, melatonin has a direct on your ovarian function.

Authors of the study concluded: “Melatonin could become an important medication for improving ovarian function and oocyte [egg] quality, and open new opportunities for the management of several ovarian diseases.”

An earlier report from the St. Louis University School of Nursing said that light exposure may affect menstrual cycles and symptoms through the inhibition of melatonin. The also said that women with PCOS may have a greater vulnerability to the influence of light-dark exposure.

What does all this mean?

It means that adequate melatonin production during darkness could improve the functioning of your ovaries, and possibly also improve the quality of your eggs.

People who are “night owls” and leave the lights on until late at night are less likely to produce enough melatonin. Nightly melatonin production is also reduced if you turn on the lights when you get out of bed to go to the bathroom.

Melatonin production is enhanced if you sleep in total darkness.

It’s quite important to get to bed at a reasonably early hour, in a very dark room. You want to give your body a chance to start producing melatonin.

Getting a good night’s sleep in total darkness should be an integral part of your strategy for dealing with PCOS.

Ask your doctor about supplemental melatonin. It is available in the United States without a prescription.

Sources:
Tamura H et al, Melatonin and the ovary: physiological and pathophysiological implications, Fertil Steril. 2009 Jul;92(1):328-43
Barron ML et al, Light exposure, melatonin secretion, and menstrual cycle parameters: an integrative review, Biol Res Nurs. 2007 Jul;9(1):49-69

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You may be surprised to know how prevalent polycystic ovaries are among young women. This information from the PCOS Health review was interesting to me so I thought I would pass it along. I think it is important to know the difference between PCO and PCOS.

A report in the September issue of the Gynecological Endocrinology medical journal  said about 4 of every 5 normal, healthy women have polycystic ovaries. However, as women get older, the rate of polycystic ovaries decreases.

We were surprised that polycystic ovaries are so common. However, polycystic ovaries is not the same thing as polycystic ovary syndrome.

In the case of polycystic ovaries, the ovaries are larger than normal, and there are a series of undeveloped follicles that appear in clumps, somewhat like a bunch of grapes. Polycystic ovaries are not especially troublesome and may not even affect your fertility.

However, when the cysts cause a hormonal imbalance, a pattern of symptoms may develop. This pattern of symptoms is called a syndrome. These symptoms are the difference between polycystic ovary syndrome and polycystic ovaries.

So you can have polycystic ovaries without having PCOS. However, nearly all women with PCOS will have polycystic ovaries.

The good news is that you can deal with both problems with the same approach: improved diet and lifestyle.

PCOS Health Review

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1) Omega-3s Beneficial for PCOS

Omega-3 oils, especially from marine animals such as fish, are beneficial to your health in a number of ways. In this article, we’ll describe three specific ways a product such as fish oil can help you.

(1) The first reason to take fish oil is “fatty liver degeneration”, otherwise called “nonalcoholic fatty liver disease” or NAFLD, which doctors still tend to ignore. NAFLD is a disease you don’t need and should get rid of.

A study at Cornell University has shown that 55% of PCOS women have NAFLD. Fatty liver disease is not restricted to overweight women. In this study, nearly 40% of the women with NAFLD were lean.

We have previously reported research showing the fish oil is effective for reversing this disease.

A new study of PCOS women from the University of Western Australia has confirmed the previous research. In this study, 25 women with PCOS were given 4 grams daily of omega-3 fish oils for eight weeks. The women experienced reduced liver fat content, triglycerides and blood pressure.

The researchers concluded: “Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has a beneficial effect on liver fat content and other cardiovascular risk factors in women with PCOS, including those with hepatic steatosis.”

(2) A second reason to take fish oil is that it helps to relieve depression, according to a number of medical studies. Depression is a common symptom of PCOS. Depressed people tend to have lower levels of omega-3 fats.

(3) A third reason is that it may improve your lung function. We previously reported that women with PCOS are more likely to have impaired lung function when compared to other women.

The National Research Center for Environment and Health in Germany has reported a correlation between lung capacity and the level of DHA, which is one of the omega-3 fats found in fish. People with the highest DHA levels also had the best lung capacity.

The authors of this study concluded: “A high concentration of [DHA]…may have a protective effect on lung function. Because this long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid is almost exclusively derived from marine oils, fish might have a beneficial effect on lung diseases.”

When you sum it all up, supplemental fish oil sounds like a very good idea.

Bill Slater, Editor
PCOS Health Review

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