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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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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.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Proud to Be Gluten Free

Ok, so I am spinning out of control! I can’t stop researching infertility and how it relates to celiacs disease. While doing my research I read a book my nutritionist gave me called “Dangerous Grains.” Here is some information that caught my eye.

List of Gluten Associated Medical Conditions:

• Anemia, folic acid deficiency and iron deficiency (along with elevated liver enzymes) – I have been anemic my whole life, I was just put on iron supplements and just received a blood test with high liver readings.

• Calcium Deficiency – on supplements

• Crohns Disease

• Diabetes

• Folic Acid Deficiency

• Food sensitivities to soy, milk – I have always been sensitive to diary

• Premature graying – not yet thank god

• Infertility in both women and men (50% reversal on gluten free diet) – Yeah! I am going to be part of that 50%. At last a statistic I want to be part of.

• Lactose intolerance (50% of celiac patients)

• Liver disease

• Malabsorption

• Menarche delayed - check

• Menopause (occurs 2-4 years earlier)

• Miscarriages

• Infertility & reduced time span of fertility - check

• Reduced pregnancy rate

• Rheumatoid arthritis – my grandmother has this

• Vitamin deficiencies



Here are a few acronyms to look for when looking at good labels.

Acronyms that might spell “hidden” gluten

Fu – dried wheat gluten

HPP – hydrolyzed plan protein

HVP – hydrolyzed vegetable protein

MSG- monosodium glutamate

TPP – textured plant protein

TVP – textured vegetable protein



Here are a few items that may contain gluten that surprised me.

Baking powder

Blue cheese

Mustard powder

Oats

Soy sauce

Wheat grass





For those of you out there who are experiencing fertility issues and/or have been diagnosed with POF, try taking gluten out of you diet. It is suggested in many of the books I have read to be one of the top things you can do to improve chances of conceiving. You don’t have to have full blown celiacs, some people just have difficulty digesting gluten which can cause you to become malnourished and then affect your fertility. Below are some common signs that you may have an issue digesting gluten. These are just some that I have experienced that were mentioned in the book.



Common Signs & symptoms of celiac disease

Constipation

Depression

Early menopause

Low iron

Kidney stones

Chronic fatigue – I still have this even though I am on a glutten free diet.

Amenorrea caused by nutrient deficiencies



Good news to all of you who have celiacs and are experiencing fertility problems. Maintaining a strict gluten free diet can reduce infertility effects. According to the article found at http://ezinearticles.com/?Celiac-Disease---Infertility--You-May-Have-it-and-Not-Know,-Find-Out-Why-Its-Important!&id=2281732 “It is noted that 'infertile' women often go onto delivering healthy babies, assisted by eating a strict gluten free diet. In Australia the typical method of resolving infertility issues is to see a naturopath, take lots of vitamins and then see an IVF specialist. The reality with this is that these methods are very costly and time consuming and if you have celiac disease and don't know it, it is likely that your chances of conceiving will not increase any. While none of this data proves that celiac disease causes infertility, it strongly suggests that people diagnosed as celiacs are likely to have more difficulty conceiving and they can massively improve their chances when observing a strict gluten free diet.” I am going to continue to do research to try and find some cases of women who have been diagnosed with POF that have healed their bodies and restored their fertility.



I have started to look up and make sure other products I used on a daily basis are gluten free. First on the list are my make up and my shampoo. Below is what I found from research other celiacs patients have posted.

A lot of the Pantene product's contain wheat protein's

Bare Escentuals: The Minerals line has some products that are gluten free, not the Bare Escentuals products.
All gluten free:
-Bare MInerals Foundation
-Bare Minerals Blushes
-Bare Minerals Eyeshadows, Glimpses, Glimmers
-Bare Minerasl Multi-Tasking Bisques
-Bare Minerals Buxom lip gloss.
-Bare Minerals Mascara

Almost all of MAC’s lip products are gluten free

http://www.carefreebeauty.us/face - this is a great gluten free brand that is like bare minerals

Well that is it for me today. I ate two tablespoons of flaxseeds with my juice this morning, my gluten free lunch at PF Changs and my dinner. My husband worked with me at the gym this evening on weight training. I am getting healthier and stronger by the day. I feel like Rocky in the first movie when he starts running and trying to make it all the way to the top of the steps. Don’t laugh but I kind of played the theme song in my head while I was working out. I feel great on my new supplements: my multi-vitamin is Super Nutrition Prenatal Blend Antioxidant Rich Multi-Vitamin (for post and prenatal women) the packaging suggests to take 6 a day but I am taking 4 a day right now. My PABA and L-Lysine are made by NOW. My tea which I drink three cups of each morning is made by Traditional Medicinals Organic Pregnancy Tea (their website states that only one of their products contain gluten and this tea is not the one with gluten so drink away). Last but not least the multi vitamin I bought for my husband is Rainbow Light Men’s One JustOnce Energy B Complex & Probiotic (on sale at vitamin cottage for 19.99 right now). Hope this helps.

Last but not least just wanted to remind everyone that if you are a celiacs patient and are going to incorporate flaxseeds and/or wheatgrass into your diets. Please check the labels. Certain brands can contain gluten so be sure to check the label on your flaxseed and ask the juicer about the wheat grass better safe then sorry. I will share some news about wine and the fact that most is completely gluten free tomorrow. I am so excited at this news, maybe I will have to start having my one drink a day now :0)

1 comment:

  1. There is another book to check out and blog that may also help you. The book is "The Gluten Effect". There is also a blog that wrote an article on this very topic. Here is the link to it http://glutendoctors.blogspot.com/2010/06/gluten-sensitivity-infertility.html
    Good luck.
    eric

    ReplyDelete

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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.