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Friday, October 30, 2015

TTC? WATCH OUT FOR TOO MUCH CANDY!

Even if you don't have kids, Halloween is a time when everyone seems to be throwing candy at you. Either you have it around the house for the trick or treaters or there's a big bowl of it at work.

If you're trying to conceive, all that fat and sugar can negatively affect your fertility. Here's a link to a book and article that discusses how what we eat can affect almost all aspects of our health including fertility:

SEE ALSO: MY SERIES ON FOODS FOR FERTILITY (getpregnantover40.com)

According to the article:

"Many fertility experts believe that an unhealthy diet, high in fat, sugar, and processed foods and low in nutrients essential to fertility, can lead to infertility and increase the chances of miscarriage."

Related to your overall health:

A diet high in fat (particularly saturated fat) and high in salt is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
It is estimated that, on average, a third of cancers could be prevented by changes in diet. A diet which is high in fiber and whole grain cereal and low in fat has the potential to prevent a number of cancers, including colon, stomach and breast cancer.



A diet high in fat, sugar and salt leads to weight gain and increases the risk of obesity. Carrying excess weight doesn't just increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and infertility, it is also associated with fatigue, low self-esteem and poor mental and physical performance.

An unhealthy diet increases the risk of depression and mood swings. It's also linked to PMS, food cravings and anxiety.

A diet high in additives, preservatives and refined sugar can cause poor concentration, hyperactivity and aggression. This is because foods high in sugar and additives lack chromium, which is removed in the refining process. Chromium is needed for controlling blood sugar levels; when these levels are out of control it can trigger these behavioral problems.

A diet that is low in the essential nutrient calcium (needed to keep your bones strong) increases the risk of bones becoming weak or brittle - a condition known as osteoporosis.

A diet low in nutrients puts enormous strain on the liver. The liver is essential for the proper digestion and absorption of life-sustaining vitamins and minerals. For optimum health you need your liver to be in peak condition. The liver cannot cope with large amounts of saturated fat and alcohol and this can lead to liver and kidney problems, such as kidney disease and cirrhosis (a life-threatening condition where the cells of the liver die).

A diet too high in sugar can lead to too much glucose (a form of sugar carried in the bloodstream) circulating in your body. Too much glucose in the blood indicates development of blood sugar problems such as diabetes mellitus. Its symptoms are thirst, frequent need to urinate due to excess glucose, problems with vision, fatigue and recurrent infections.

If your diet is poor this can compromise your immune system and make you more susceptible to colds, flu and poor health. We need a steady and balanced intake of essential vitamins and minerals to keep our immune systems working properly, to provide protection from infections and disease. 


Excerpted from:
You Are What You Eat: The Plan that Will Change Your Life
by Gillian McKeith, Ph.D.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

SLEEP DOES HELP INFERTILITY AND HORMONES

Fertility Over 40 - Pregnancy Over 40 Helped With Sleep

I've read much research about how getting enough sleep can help regulate hormones and reduce stress.   There is a natural cycle of light and dark which helps to regulate your circadian rhythms,
To me, there's nothing more satisfying than waking up refreshed after sleeping through the night. I've had a hard time sleeping since I was a child, but I've found a number of things that help. Here is a site that gives some great tips for a good night's sleep:



A relaxed body is essential for a sound sleep. This may sound like we're contradicting what we just said about our minds keeping us awake, but it's no contradiction. Eastern sciences (such as yoga) have known for thousands of years that the mind and body are connected (actually they're not just connected, they're one, but the idea that they're connected is sufficient for our purposes here.) So if the mind is not relaxed, the body is not relaxed. Conversely, the body has to be relaxed for the mind to be relaxed. It's a package deal.

SEE ALSO: STRESS, INFERTILITY AND MISCARRIAGE (getpregnantover40.com)

So how do you relax your body? We've already mentioned milk, herbal teas, exercise, and avoiding caffeine. But there are techniques you can do directly with your body. Toe Wiggling is one of them.

Lie on your back (where you should be in the first place) and wiggle your toes up and down 12 times, wiggling the toes of both feet at the same time. This will relax your entire body, inside and out.

How does it work? According to the science of Reflexology -- which has been around in other cultures for thousands of years -- your feet are a kind of master control panel for the rest of your body. "Meridians" in the body -- which are those channels of energy treated by acupuncture -- end up in the feet. So the ends of those meridians in your feet connect with every organ and every part of your entire body.

When you wiggle your toes, you are stimulating -- and thus relaxing -- your entire body. (Incidentally, this is a good place to mention that you can be energized and relaxed at the same time. It's a matter of the quality of that energy. If it flows freely and smoothly, you will be relaxed. If the energy flow in your body is restricted or blocked, you will be tense. And toe wiggling helps to bring about a relaxing, free-flowing energy.)

Note: This same exercise is also great first thing in the morning before getting out of bed in order to energize the body.

  from: (www.well.com)

Monday, October 19, 2015

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE, HAVING A BABY OVER 40

It's been a whirlwind of emotions over the last week.  My father in law has suffered from Alzheimers for the 5-8 years, but was recently diagnosed with GI cancer.  He lost his battle a few days ago and our family has been dealing with not only his death, but the flood of emotions and reflection that comes when dealing with the loss of a loved one.  No matter how much you prepare for a death, it always seems to be a surprise when it happens.  It's hard not to look at your own mortaility when you see someone move to the other side.  I do believe in an afterlife which certainly does help the process. 

SEE ALSO: SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR INFERTILITY (getpregnantover40.com)

I am no stranger to death.  I lost my own father in my early 20's and most of my grandparents died when I was a child.   When I was trying to conceive, I went through 6 horrible miscarriages and I began to associate getting pregnant with what I thought was the inevitable loss of my baby.  You deal with a lot of thoughts of death and even to this day, I worry unnecessarily about something happening to my daughter.  You just can't go through that much trauma without some long-term consequences. 

Reflecting on my father-in-law's life, you see how our time here is just a "blink of an eye" (in the words of Deepok Chopra).  Time marches on and you really do need to make the most of it.  If you are struggling with infertility, I know there is a temptation to put your life on hold while you focus every ounce of energy on getting pregnant.  During the years I was trying to conceive, I tried to focus my attention on things I enjoyed.  I did quite a bit of decorative painting in my house and my sister's house and I gathered quite a bit of information on my family tree and my husband's family tree.  Wow, did that information come in handy after my father-in-law passed away.  We went back through his family tree for his memorial service.  Not only did I gather information about the family tree, I also wrote to distant relatives to gather as many pictures to put names with faces.  My daughter loves looking at those pictures and I'm glad I made the effort since many relatives have since died.

Remember, you only have one life, you need to live every day as if it is your last.  Trying to conceive is just one piece of your life right now...be sure to make every day worthwhile with no regrets.

My father in law holding my daughter as a newborn



Saturday, October 17, 2015

YES, STRESS IS RELATED TO INFERTILITY

Stress: The Most Overlooked Factor In Our Control When It Comes To Our Fertility?

Reduce stress if you want to get pregnant. I'm not telling you anything you haven't already heard right?

It's been written and rewritten to the point that everyone just says, "I do yoga, I deep breathe, now why aren't I pregnant?!" When I was first trying to conceive, I had what I now call a “corporate pressure cooker” job. I worked up to 10-12 hours per day, I was continually feeling a time pressure trying to meet deadlines, I battled rush hour
traffic, I gulped my not-so-healthy lunch between meetings...
read the full article here (getpregnantover40.com)

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

SECONDARY INFERTILITY: REASONS EXPLAINED

Secondary infertility is a common problem and I hear from women all the time who have had one child but can't get pregnant with their second. Not only are these women frustrated because they can't get pregnant, but they find little support because women who are experiencing primary infertility feel they should be happy that they at least have one child. Here is an article that explains some reasons why women may experience secondary infertility:

SEE ALSO: PREGNANCY OVER 40 (getpregnantover40.com)
 
There can be medical causes of SI, says West. "The thyroid is always something we check. Birth can put the thyroid out of kilter." Anwen, a woman in her 40s, tried for five years to have a second child. "I had my daughter when I was 30," she says, "which, at the time, seemed very early. I was the first among all our friends to have a baby." She decided to try for a second when her daughter was three. "But a year went by and nothing happened. I went to the GP and he told me not to worry. 'If you've already given birth, there won't be a problem,' he said. But my daughter turned five and I still wasn't pregnant." Eventually, Anwen persuaded her GP to refer her to a fertility consultant who, after some simple investigations, informed her she had polycystic ovarian syndrome. "He said I'd probably had
it all my life and that my daughter was an amazing one-off. I had no idea that anything was wrong." She was given a prescription for the fertility drug Clomid; two months later, she conceived her son.

from: 
www.guardian.co.uk

Friday, October 02, 2015

HERBS THAT MAY HURT FERTILITY

Pregnancy and Fertility Over 40 With Herbs

Much has been written about how herbs can help fertility for both men and women. However, not all herbs are helpful, and some can hurt. 
Some herbs like St. Johns Wort, Echinacea, and Gingko Biloba may actually hurt fertility. One of the reasons I didn't go the "herbal route" (aside from some herbal teas) when trying to conceive is just because herbs are "natural", it doesn't always mean they're safe. I have a friend who wound up in the ER with an irregular heartbeat after taking herbs (this wasn't someone trying to conceive) - but it just goes to show you that you have to be careful.

 Read more about both side of the issue: 

 SEE ALSO: HERBS FOR FERTILITY AND PREGNANCY (getpregnantover40.com)

"some herbal remedies may also be expected to interfere with normal reproductive function. This expectation prompted researchers at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, Calif., to explore the effects of four popular herbs on eggs and sperm. Their findings were published in the current issue of Fertility and Sterility, the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Three of the herbs, St. John's wort, Echinacea purpura and Ginkgo biloba, had ill effects on either eggs or sperm or both. The damage, the researchers said, included a reduced ability of sperm to penetrate an egg, changes to the genetic material in sperm, poor sperm viability and, in the case of St. John's wort, mutation of the tumor suppressor gene, BRCA1, a change that can increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in women who inherit the mutated gene.
Of the herbs tested, only saw palmetto, which is commonly taken by men to relieve the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, did not damage eggs or sperm in the doses tested. But even saw palmetto reduced the viability of sperm that were exposed to the herbal preparation for seven days.
The journal's editor, Dr. Alan H. DeCherney, said, ''This is a very important study that could provide important information to patients suffering from infertility.'' He added, ''The growing popularity of these herbal products means we must examine all their possible effects.''

from: nytimes.com

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