Yes its that time of year again when all the offers and retail are uber hell bent on selling stuff to parents to equip them for school/nursery/ college etc. However like the new year and Christmas it’s a time of year that makes many who are on a difficult fertility journey sad. Another reminder that you are years behind on this happy moment of taking a photo of your little one against the door in their new school uniform and another time where you can’t get involved with all your friends who are now pushed into a whole new routine and change of life.
When it comes to food it’s a time I normally become a ranting nutritionist (don’t get me started on Halloween and Christmas) as it is a time where ‘ packed lunches’ become king, and a hoard of vile candies, chocolates, flapjack like concoctions, waxed small processed cheeses and flabby white bread ham sandwiches are thrown at you, which will leave anyone nutrient deficient let alone a child!( I know some of you make healthier choices, but sadly its hard with retailers making it oh so easy to eat crap!)
My point is, that the deficiencies start as early as preteens. I’m seeing so many ladies now who were overweight and showing signs of hormonal dysregulation at as young as 10 when we went through a detailed consultation.
I see fertility issues as a deficiency in most cases, where there isn’t enough ‘raw ingredients’ to make good hormones, or at worse too many high processed carbohydrates that have caused the hormonal issues, and I can almost pinpoint when it started to happen. With teens this can present when the body starts to show dysregulation with acne, painful periods, putting on weight and having mood swings. Which contrary to popular belief aren’t a normal part of life when your hormones start to show their face! Like menopause hormones need at least 10 years to regulate when they start, so that means if a girl starts her period at 12 it won’t be until 22 that she is really normalising and coming out the other side! This is exactly the same for menopause. Sadly in the medicalised and ‘ fix it’ society we live in we see things like heavy periods, acne and pain as something to ‘ turn off’ rather than look at the root cause and this( ie poor diet and environmental stressors) So many of the ladies I support are put on the hormonal contraceptive pill to ‘ regulate the period’ Newsflash – the pill doesn’t ‘Regulate’ your period, it mimics pregnancy hormones, and invariably puts your body to sleep in terms of hormones. Many are even unaware that the ‘ bleed’ they have isn’t actually a period, its is a withrwawal from the hormone bleed! When many of these ladies start to think about babies that is when they come off the pill and find they have oestrogen dominance and the same issue comes back again they had at 16!
PCOS is the number 1 cause of infertility now. This is something new I’m seeing in the last 4 years. Prior to that it wasn’t top of the list. There is a genetic predisposition to PCOS, but as the saying goes ‘ genetics loads the gun and the environment pulls the trigger’ ie it may be in the family but you can exacerbate this by the choices you make food wise and stress also makes this worse.
Its not all doom and gloom though, as this can be fixed. I see this time of year always as a new beginning. You may not have a child right now, but why not start to look at September as the start of your new term or semester? Add in some changes to your diet and seek out someone who can guide you. I really don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t a nutritionist, as the food isles and marketing behind food is so relentless. This makes it nigh on impossible to make these ‘ healthy choices’ yourself. Worse still its made even more impossible to attain by the rise of the ‘ Green smoothie goddesses’ on places like Instagram! With correct guidance and support your body might just be back on the right tracks for Christmas!