My Story

Hi there, welcome to my blog. Yes I am a drama queen and yes I have been deemed “infertile” by a few of the medical experts in the great State of Colorado but that hasn’t made me give up my quest to have children quite yet. My husband and I have been on the emotional roller coaster of infertility since March of 2009 when I stopped taking birth control after being on it for ten straight years. I have been keeping a journal since the start of this process and thought I would share it with all of the other incredible women out there who may be going through the same thing or similar thing that I am. At age 28, I have been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (POF). With no history of fertility problems on either side of my family and normal periods before going on the pill, I was left to accept that I have this condition and that there is no medical explanation for it. Since receiving this diagnosis from a fertility specialist in May 2009, I decided I simply wasn’t going to accept that I wasn’t going to have children with my own eggs. I jumped into the world of Eastern Medicine, worked with an Endocrinologist and even went on a fertility diet trying to get my ovaries to start functioning normally. The conclusion I have come to is this…..having Celiac Disease (Gluten/Flour intolerance) and continuing to eat flour throughout most of my childhood and part of adulthood caused my body to produce anti-bodies that have now started attacking the organs/glands in my body. After a visit to an endocrinologist in December 2009, it was determined that I have ovarian antibodies which are essentially antibodies produced by my body that only attack the endocrine system. No doctor has actually confirmed my self diagnosis that the Gluten Intolerance caused this but Celiac Disease is an auto immune disorder and any auto immune disorder can cause your body to attack itself. I am currently waiting to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist to see what the next steps for me will be. I have read that doctors can try and stimulate the Pituitary Gland to get your Endocrine System running again or that you can be given steroids to help restore ovary function. I am hoping to receive one of these treatments in the near future but only time will tell. In the past 10 months, I have watched many of my close friends become pregnant while I remain a sad statistic. This blog contains my thoughts as I struggle through the process of figuring out what in the world is going on with my body and how I continue to try to stay upbeat and positive about my fertility and enjoy my life. I hope that my blog can help others would love to hear from other women going through the same thing, inspiring stories or anyone who just needs encouragement. I know and understand how difficult every day can be once you have received the POF or infertile diagnosis and want you all to know that I am here for you. Please note that some of you may feel I am sharing to much information (TMI) and for that I am sorry. If you want to read my blog…you get all the details. You never know what will be helpful to someone else right? God bless everyone and I wish you luck on your fertility adventures:0) Remember mind over matter!

My intent is to raise awareness of the issues. Please do not rely on this or any other article when making decisions that will affect you and your health. These are things I have decided to try after much research.
I am sorry I have to even ask, but this research stuff is starting to get expensive. I am just asking for $1.00 donation for posts you feel have helped you. I will use all donations to help fund my research and doctors appointments and of course report back to you. Baby dust to all of you and dont worry we will all find a way to have children.

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Today on Economically Organic:
Save the carrot shaving from your juicer and make carrot cake or carrot muffins yummy! You can also save them to put in a salad.

Infertile – a horrible word used to make women who are already feeling bad about themselves want to jump into a pool of chocolate fudge and eat their sorrows away only to realize that not only can they not get pregnant but now they don’t fit in their clothes. A word so easily tossed around by doctors that they don’t even realize they are saying it and a word that you never under any circumstances should google unless you want your brain to explode.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Feel the Hormone Revolution!

Over the weekend, I spent the day with my mother who had a brilliant idea! She took me to the library to find books on nutrition and fertility. She too has been doing research on nutrition and celiacs and decided that instead of buying the books it would be better to check them out from a library. The woman is a genius! We spent almost two hours looking through the books and making our selections. The books can be kept for 3 weeks and the DVD’s and magazine 1 week. I walked out of there with over 10 books about nutrition, hormones and auto-immune disease. You would think I might feel overwhelmed knowing I have that much reading to do but I figured with most of the books, I would just be looking in the sections that pertained to me and my issues (health issues all other issues can wait for another time). I checked out books with titles like “It’s my ovaries stupid,” and “Auto-immune Disease & Women.” The book I started with is called “Hormone Revolution.” I started it on Saturday and have decided I will be reading the entire book (so much for just looking in certain sections, blew that out of the water with the first book). It is written by a Dr. who has dedicated her life to researching women and the effects hormones have on their bodies and lifestyles. In her lifetime, her menstrual cycle has stopped twice. Each time this happened she evaluated what her body needed and was able to bring back her monthly menses and is currently still having a regular monthly period in her sixties. I figure if she can do it at 60 then I can bring my cycle back at age 29. Along with the monthly cycle, she doesn’t even look close to be in her sixties and her hair is still naturally the same dark brown she was born with (no grays). She wrote the book to help women restore a healthy hormone balance in their bodies naturally but she has recommendations for hair, nails, skin and diet as well so that women who read her book can feel beautiful inside and out. I am about halfway through and don’t worry I am taking good notes. I will be sure to share my findings as soon as I am done. The only frustrating part of the book is that it asks you to confirm if you are low on estrogen or progesterone. I don’t know which one I am because at the time of my last blood test, I was told I was producing enough of each to not have to go on hormone replacement so I guess I am low on both?? Anyway, I decided to record the recommendations on restoring both hormones and incorporate those mentioned under both categories into my daily routine. I know that a high FSH means that there is not enough estrogen production in the ovaries so I am definitely keeping that in mind.

I went into my typical Monday appointment with Cheri with a whole list of supplements I wanted to pick her brain on. After reading only half of Hormone Revolution I had millions of questions and needed someone else’s opinion. I asked her opinion on all kinds of things I had read about and after talking with her, I have decided to not incorporate anymore supplements into my diet at this time (don’t worry I will still share them with you and keep them in my arsenal for later use just in case). Cheri has seen people try all sorts of things to heal her body and swears that the people who have had the most success, heal by cleansing and eating a healthy diet. She said that if I give it a chance, my body will balance itself and that if I fill myself full of supplements, I would not allow my body the chance to work things out. We discussed what I was currently taking and decided that it all sounded like things I could continue to take as they are supplements that are for overall health. So for now it is my prenatal multi-vitamin, royal jelly, PABA, MACA and my organic pregnancy tea (with nettles). I will also continue to add my liquid probiotics, SunWarrior Super Greens and Protein to my juice each morning. I am going to try and incorporate all other suggestions from “Hormone Revolution” through the foods the author suggests. Superfoods such as MACA, Flaxseeds and Oil oil are just a few. I figure if it’s good for me and it’s food, can’t hurt right?? More natural then taking it in pill form. As I read through my massive stack of books from the library, I will make changes with my diet to be sure my body and my immune system (yes I know they are not separate) can get the top notch treatment. I never thought I would be this excited to read and type up book reports but I find myself anticipating the weekend to get here so that I can continue my research!!!

I received an anonymous comment on this blog yesterday regarding the book “The Gluten Effect.” Thank you for this tip, I plan on reading it and the article attached to the link you sent me. While searching for “The Gluten Effect” from a search engine. I also found a great blog called The Gluten Free Frenzee. I haven’t been able to read much of it but what I read seemed very helpful and had a bunch of tips for restoring your immune system such as taking probiotics every day.

Here is the link to the article linking celiac to fertility issues.

Since reading this article, I have been doing research all week on celiacs and fertility. It turns out that doctors now believe that celiacs is a leading cause of unexplained infertility. Makes sense, an auto immune disease that turns the body against itself… I would think that could cause damage to not only your fertility. It’s just that the reproductive system isn’t a necessary function to survive so it is one of the first to go. During my search, I read all sorts of blogs from women on gluten free diets. Most had fertility restored after an “extended amount of time”. That wasn’t good enough, I had to know how long an “extended amount of time” was. It seems that it takes 9-12 months of a strict gluten free diet for most women. I thought I was gluten free and being pretty smart about the way I ate but I was sadly mistaken. When I was going to eat at Mexican resteraunts, I was ordering shrimp or veggie fajitas thinking that had to be safe and gluten free. It turns out most places use a seasoning while grilling that has gluten in it. I was pretty upset to learn that because we go to eat Mexican at least twice a week! Something else I hadn’t really thought about until recently is the chips at all restaurants. Most of them, even if they are made from corn tortillas, are not gluten free. They are fried in the oil that everything else is fried in which contaminates them. I have started taking my own chips when I know we are going out to dinner. I also realized that I was cross contaminating my own food at home. I make my husband’s lunch everyday before I make my juice. Until recently, I wasn’t wiping off the counter in-between making his sandwiches and slicing my fruit. I now wipe off the counter and wash my hands before even getting my fruit out of the fridge. I have also started making his lunch on a different part of the counter then the part I use to slice and juice.

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Reading Materials/Other Items That Have Helped Me

  • Inconceivable
  • Making Babies by Sami S. David, MD & Jill Blakeway, LAc
  • pre-seed Fertility-friendly Intimate Moisturizer
  • restoring fertility - yoga for optimal fertility dvd - you can feel it working!
  • Taking Charge for Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH
  • The Infertility Cure by Randin Lewis, Ph. D.