Lisa came to see me after she had four failed attempts at artificial insemination and two attempts at in vitro fertilization that resulted in pregnancy and miscarriage. She was 43 years old, tall and thin. In addition to wanting to achieve a full term pregnancy, Lisa was having sleep problems and was therefore always tired.
Her diet lacked sufficient protein, especially for breakfast, as well as fruits, vegetables and essential fatty acids. She had sweets cravings after lunch and dinner and usually ate ice cream and chocolate during the day to “feel better.”
I recommended Lisa improve her energy by eating three balanced meals and two snacks with protein in each. This would help with her sugar cravings by keeping her blood sugar stable. I also suggested she add foods high in essential fatty acids to her diet such as flax meal or oil and wild salmon to help stabilize hormone levels.
The supplements I recommended were a natural multi-vitamin and mineral complex, B Complex to help with stress, energy and sugar cravings, GLA for hormone balance, vitamins C and E, which have been found to be protective against miscarriage, and calcium and magnesium, calming nutrients to help with sleep and stress.
Hormone saliva and mineral/toxic metal tests were ordered to get a better understanding of why Lisa couldn’t sleep and wasn’t able to sustain a pregnancy.
Lisa’s mineral/toxic metal test revealed small levels of mercury and aluminum and poor adrenal and thyroid function, indicated by low sodium and potassium levels. Adrenal insufficiency is a common cause of poor hair growth. Lisa also had a high calcium to magnesium ratio which was causing an insulin imbalance resulting in an inability to properly metabolize sugar and carbohydrates as well as sugar cravings. In addition, Lisa’s chromium and manganese levels were low which was also indicative of problems regulating blood sugar.
According to her hormone test, Lisa had a normal ovulation cycle, indicated by an adequate estradiol peak followed by a rise of progesterone in the peak range. Her testosterone and estradiol levels were also in the normal range during the whole month. She had elevated progesterone in the early part of her cycle, which can be due to adrenal dysfunction or heavy metals (consistent with other test), and a luteal phase defect. This means inadequate amounts of progesterone available mid cycle to sustain a pregnancy. This can be due to adrenal insufficiency* and free-radical damage*. As a result of the tests, I recommended Lisa add an adrenal complex to her program and a product to help regulate blood sugar. I also suggested extra vitamin C, and added selenium, garlic and glutathione* to help remove the toxic metals from her system.
Over the next several months Lisa followed the dietary recommendations and reduced her sugar intake except for an occasional cookie. She no longer had sweet cravings, was sleeping better, with improved energy and nicer quality skin and hair. Her periods were also better with less cramping and clotting. Lisa’s doctors were pleased that her FSH levels dropped, and she would be a candidate to do another IVF cycle.
Although drug therapy was always difficult in the past, this time Lisa reported fewer mood swings and less fatigue while taking her hormone stimulating drugs. She got pregnant and delivered a health baby boy with little trouble.
Lisa’s Makeover: Before
Problem: Infertility, miscarriage, insomnia, poor hair growth Lisa had conceived several times, but her pregnancies always ended in miscarriage. She was stressed, had trouble sleeping and noticed that her hair was easily falling out.
Diet: Lisa consumed an average diet that lacked sufficient protein and essential fatty acids. She often craved sweets and ate chocolate and ice cream to boost energy in the afternoon.
Supplements: Prenatal vitamin.
Exercise: Lisa walked three-four times a week.
Stress Mgt. & Self-Care: Lisa had a high degree of stress from the frequent miscarriages. She also had a fair amount of stress from her work and family. She was not currently doing anything proactive to relieve her stress.
Lisa’s Makeover: After
Problem: Infertility, miscarriage, hair loss, insomnia After several tests we found Lisa to have certain hormone and mineral imbalances that were contributing to her symptoms. She also had some toxic metals. After changing her diet and supplement program and learning to relax more, Lisa got pregnant and was able to sustain the pregnancy. She was also sleeping better, had more energy and improved hair growth.
Diet: Recommended a balanced plan with three meals and two snacks. Adding more protein and healthy fats and reducing carbohydrates worked well for Lisa. It gave her a boost in energy and reduced her cravings for sweets. Ice cream and chocolate became occasional treats and were no longer needed to boost her energy in the afternoon.
Supplements: Lisa started on a better health program with a good multi vitamin, vitamins E,C, EPA/DHA, GLA, and B- complex. Once we got Lisa’s test results, we added several supplements to help reduce the toxic metals in her system and improve her hormone balance.
Exercise: Lisa continued walking and added some light weight training. This improved her energy and stress level.
Stress Mgt. & Self-Care: I recommended that Lisa join a support group for women who have had multiple miscarriages. This seemed to help her cope better. I also taught her some meditation and relaxation exercises and how to visualize her health improved.