The Importance Of Digestion For Fertility

Most often than not when trying to get pregnant and not succeeding our attention goes straight to our womb and our ovaries, why aren’t they working? what’s wrong with me? why can’t I get pregnant?

If you are taking all the right supplements and you have been given the unexplained infertility diagnosis which is usually given if you have been trying for over a year without success then we need to look a bit deeper than the obvious places.

If you have a sluggish digestive system the chances are your body will be holding on to a lot of toxins in the liver which puts your digestive system under stress and can prevent you from absorbing vital nutrients.

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What can I do to nurture my digestive system?

Eat more foods containing fibre to enable your body to detox and release toxins and excess hormones, which we are exposed to every day such as xenoestrogens from plastics and pollution which actually mimic natural estrogen and can cause hormone imbalances, not something you want when trying to conceive.

Take a probiotic and a prebiotic which can help to build a healthy gut flora, and prevent leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins are able to “leak” through the intestinal wall and this can prevent you from absorbing vital nutrients, which you will need for your baby to develop in the womb.

Drink lots of fresh filtered water to keep your cells hydrated and to help shift those toxins through your system so they don’t stick around too long in your digestive tract, you could also try adding a squeeze of lemon juice to your water which will help your liver detox.

Eat fresh vegetables, salads, and fruit, preferably organic to keep that digestive system healthy, remove processed foods and refined sugars from your diet and cut down on carbs such as white rice, white pasta, and potatoes and replace with a wholegrain variety which is better to keep your blood sugar levels balanced,

Check to see if you have a lactose or gluten intolerance as this can also affect gut permeability and could be causing inflammation in your body if you have an intolerance which can also raise your natural killer cells, so if you have been able to get pregnant but have had miscarriages, try giving up gluten and dairy for 3 months.

Get a blood test to make sure you are not low in any vitamins or minerals, vitamin D is very important for fertility and often gets over-looked, most of us in the northern hemisphere have some kind of vitamin d deficiency especially during the winter months. Check your thyroid function too as this is often a cause of imbalanced hormones and unexplained infertility and it could be solved very easily just by taking an iodine supplement. Check first to see if you need to.

Try adding lots of fresh herbs to your salads or smoothies, coriander is one of the best herbs to help your liver detox and actually you will be surprised by how good it tastes in a smoothie alongside apples, celery and ginger which are also great detox buddies.

 

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So don’t rush to the IVF clinic just yet, if you have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, the chances are it could be down to your digestion.

Stress can also affect digestion so try not to get anxious about not being able to conceive as soon as you would like, try nurturing your whole self and especially be kind to your stomach, eat things that are natural and full of goodness and if you have previously had a diet full of processed foods, refined sugars and carbs maybe try doing a detox for a few months, check yourself for candida and clean up your system, and the chances are you will most likely be in with a good chance of conceiving naturally.

If after 3 months of clean living and changing your diet, it still hasn’t worked for you and you want to go down the IVF route then at least you will know that you have made the best possible conditions for your eggs to nourish and grow and the chance for a better outcome and successful pregnancy.  Good luck. x

 

Could Your Gut Health Be Affecting Your Sleep?

There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep, that feeling of satisfaction when you wake in the morning feeling refreshed, body and mind alert, ready to take on the day.

Realistically, how often do you wake up feeling like you’ve had a great night’s sleep? Apparently as many as 16 million UK adults* are suffering from sleepless nights.

Many studies are being done to understand the connection between our gut and our brain health. Our gut microbiome is the complex community of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. Gut microbes are key to many aspects of human health including our immune system, digestion, hormones, mood, neurotransmitters, skin health, weight, pain perception, and energy levels.

So if you’ve been having trouble sleeping, embracing a gut-friendly diet and lifestyle will put you on the right path to protecting your overall health.

Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Cut out processed foods, preservatives, and refined sugar from your diet, Most highly processed foods are loaded with artificial chemicals, including artificial flavours, textures, colours, and preservatives which are harmful to the digestive tract and bad bacteria will feed on the sugar.
  • Eat whole foods, preferably organic if you can. My rule is to be strict on some items such as berries and soft fruits without hard skin as they will be more likely to absorb more pesticides. Try eating more fermented foods too such as kimchi, kefir and raw apple cider vinegar which are natural probiotics.
  • Exercise also improves gut health so take up some regular activities such as walking, swimming, tennis or barre to get your body moving.
  • Supplement with a combination of probiotics and prebiotics which can improve the friendly flora in your microbiome. Probiotics are healthy bacteria and Prebiotics are the food that feeds the healthy bacteria. It’s quite difficult to get enough prebiotics through diet alone so try adding a prebiotic powder to your smoothies.

Once you have nurtured your gut health and you start sleeping soundly through the night, you will find that your whole body feels more balanced and supported.

This blog post I wrote for Myza.co.uk, A marketplace dedicated to all things sleep related.

Zoe K – We+People