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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.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tip Top Fertility Shape

What is an autoimmune disorder that can cause skin blisters and affects 1 in every 133 Americans? If you guessed Celiacs Disease give yourself a pat on the back. The past few days I have been doing a lot of reading on Celiacs and how to improve your immune system. I know that I have been diagnosing the cause of why my reproductive system shut down but here is the latest and greatest. After looking through old test results from last year, visiting a few Celiacs web pages and re-reading “Making Babies”, I know believe that my Celiacs and the birth control pill were both responsible for my current situation. I also believe that I had more organs approaching shut down mode and am lucky that I received my diagnosis when I did and choose to finally take my allergy seriously and make the diet change. Having read just about every book on naturally healing your body, I am positive that my body will be back to monthly visits from Aunt Flo and feeling better in no time. On the websites I have been looking through, Celiacs is said to be caused by an environmental trigger…..hmmm could this be the fungus that Ann, my kinesiologist, was talking about? One of the other things I read about was that Celiacs can cause skin blisters known as dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). DH is an associated disorder of Celiacs and looks like a skin rash. I glanced at the picture of an example and realized that the small, read itchy bumps/blisters are what I had on my face for two years before taking Gluten out of my diet and life completely. Around fall in 2006 they just started showing up. Having had no skin problems for quite some time, I was horrified at the skin change. Naturally, I would first try to squeeze and get rid of them thinking they were pimples but started to notice that they didn’t go away and that they really itched. Eventually in December 2006 I went to the dermatologist and was put on some medication and some cream. Most of it cleared up but I noticed that at any given time, I had at least one still on my face. I also noticed that I seemed to have flare ups of more then one on my face around each holiday. Up until a few days ago, I thought it was just the stress of the holidays that brought on the lucky visit to my face but now I realize that I must have been eating and cooking with gluten around each holiday and that is why they would show up. I am proud to say that I no longer have any on my face which is just proof that they were associated with my Celiacs. Here is a picture of what Dh can look like. Please don’t be afraid, this is a really bad case but one of the only pictures I could find. This one was found on http://www.csaceliacs.org/celiac_defined.php.


I have been wanting to re-read “Making Babies” for awhile so that I could be sure I was doing everything I could for my body and to see what nutritional changes I needed my husband to make. After finishing the book for a second time, I have our supplement list locked and ready to go to Vitamin Cottage after my visit with Cheri this evening. I have so much I want to share today but first I wanted to share a great story (well I think it’s great, and this is my blog). A few days ago, my family and I attended a professional baseball game which I fully expected to have to sit through sipping water and eating peanuts the only veagan and glutten free food typically served at baseball parks. As my husband and I were quickly trying to find our section, we walked by a Gluten Free booth and we both just stopped dead in our tracks, looked at each other and smiled. We found our seats and just about every five minutes my husband would ask me if I was ready to go get something to eat. Finally at the end of the 4th inning, I was ready to get my food and we walked over to the Gluten Free booth. I was surprised to see there was a really long line. As I got closer to the front, one of the other customers pointed out that they had brownie samples. I grabbed one and to my surprise, they were really yummy! The customer smiled and said “isn’t it nice to be able to eat something like this at a baseball game?” I nodded and then the chef started talking to me about my choices. I ordered a chicken sandwich on a bun, a cookie and a beer. The stand had all organic condiments so I was able to put the chipotle mayo and ketchup on my sandwich without having to think twice about it. Food on a bun was something I had given up a long time ago, especially when I wasn’t at home. The experience of sitting at a baseball game eating a sandwich and drinking a beer (my first one in over a year) was so great. My husband said it felt good to be married to someone who could drink beer again.

Starting today, Monday, August 2, 2010, I will be sticking to my diet and starting tomorrow my hubby will be starting his supplements and eating fertility friendly foods while at work. For all of you women out there who make the lunches and/or the dinners. You have complete control over what is going not only into your own mouth but also your husband’s. If you read “Making Babies” you will see that your husband’s diet and lifestyle also need to be in check in order for you to get pregnant. Both of you need to lower the alcohol intake to one per day and even lower if you can (“even low levels of alcohol can cut fertility by as much as half, and alcohol is one of the most common factors affecting fertility in men”). “Making Babies” states that women shouldn’t have more then one small glass of wine or beer a day and men should have no more then two small glasses or one mixed drink. You both need to take a multi-vitamin and for those of you diagnosed with POF, you need to find one with a bunch of anti-oxidants in it. The book also suggests that both the man and woman take folic acid. For a woman, Folic Acid “lowers the risk of ovulatory infertility and also helps mature the egg before ovulation and helps the ovary respond to FSH”. In Men, “it improves sperm count, quality and function. Can increase their sperm count by 74%.” Other things the book suggests are to make sure that you are drinking plenty of water. If you are dehydrated, your cervical mucus will be affected. Adding flax/flaxseed to your daily diet is also very good for fertility (two teaspoons everyday, do not cook it because like veggies it looses most of its nutritional value that way). “Flaxseeds are powerful packages for balancing hormones and boosting fertility. I put flaxseeds in my smoothies in the morning, sprinkle them on my salad at lunch and sometimes put them on my dinner. They don’t have much taste but are packed with nutrition and are considered to be a fertility superfood. The book also mentions Para-aminobenzoic Acid (PABA). PABA “ has been proven to correct certain aspects of autoimmune conditions that can affect fertility.” As soon as I read this, I put PABA on my grocery list. This could help me heal the damage from my Celiacs :0) “Making Babies” is full of great advice for lifestyle and nutritional changes in order to get your fertility in tip top shape. After an appointment with Cheri last night, I had a great list to take to the local vitamin cottage. I love my appointments with her. My colonics go pretty well, I get to meditate and relax on the mignun bead and I am always curious to see what results I get from my foot baths but she always has great advice for me and last week was a shoulder for me to lean on after receiving my high FSH results. Last night during my foot bath, we chatted about all of the things I had read about in “Making Babies” which all seemed to correlate with the changes she had already asked me to make. For example, drinking one gallon of water a day. I am not there yet but not only does water have healing properties but I have recently learned it also helps with cervical mucus. Another thing we talked about is flaxseeds. She had already asked me to start taking flaxseeds with my meals to improve digestion and then I read that they are a fertility superfood. These are just two examples that connected my treatment with Cheri to the information I have read. This makes me feel great because I feel like I am on the right track. Cheri also suggested I take Lyzine (3-5,000 mg a day for 6 months). Lyzine helps with the liver and by looking at the results of my food bath and the fact that I was on a medication for 10 years straight, my liver could use some help. We also talked about nettles tea. Nettles tea is a good supply of Iron and according to “Making Babies,” Iron “plays a key role in DNA replication and in the maturing of the egg in advance of ovulation”. Cheri told me I could find Nettles tea at any of the natural grocers. For my husband, she also suggested Food for life bread. This bread is supposed to be jammed packed with nutrients. Feeling relaxed and that I had just received a series of great cleansing treatments, I was on my way to Vitamin College. I will say I received the best help ever when I got there. The young man that helped me knew his fertility stuff and got my in and out in less then 20 minutes. He helped me find a men’s once daily vitamin for the hubby (with folic acid), 1000 mg lyzine supplements, a great prenatal antioxidant vitamin and a PABA supplement. Next we went to look for the nettles tea and instead of handing me the plain nettles tea (not much taste), he suggested I use the pregnancy tea that also had nettles in it. He explained that the tea was jammed packed with things women needed to get pregnant and then maintain a pregnancy. I left vitamin cottage thanking God for showing me that there was still such a thing as customer service and started my trek home. I woke up this morning, made my juice with flaxseeds and took my antioxidant vitamin. I will take my lyzine and PABA at lunch. I packed my husband breakfast and lunch with fruits and veggies and included his daily vitamin. We are on our way to getting in tip top fertility shape! I will share the brands of my supplements and tea tomorrow….I forgot to write them down last night. :0) While at the store, I picked up a gluten free magazine and read some pretty exciting stuff which I will also share tomorrow. We will also start exploring healing properties of foods you eat everyday….get excited!

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.