Fertility Tip Friday - In honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month

 

 

I am extremely empathetic to those women with endometriosis as I used to suffer from pelvic pain, heavy menstrual flow, and at times vomiting and constipation dating back to the age of 12. Although I haven’t been diagnosed with the disease, I’m pretty sure the rupture of my appendix when I was in 3rd grade paved the way for my discomfort around my menstrual cycle.

 

For those reading this and are unsure of what endometriosis is exactly, according to Mayo Clinic, “it is often a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus – the endometrium – grows outside your uterus. Often times it spreads to the fallopian tubes, ovaries and the ligaments that hold the organs in place which may cause trouble when trying to conceive and cause pain.

 

Many women do not realize that they have it until they are trying to conceive. As it’s hard to diagnose without laparoscopic surgery  which I’ve done and it’s not the greatest experience as you can imagine, but can help clean up scar tissue temporarily which can relieve discomfort and offer a window to try to conceive, but it’s likely to come back if the root cause isn’t found.

 

Also, I believe because so many women are suffering from pelvic pain and PMS symptoms it’s become seen as a cliché to have these symptoms so they are brushed off as normal.

 

The symptoms of endometriosis are typically associated with the menstrual cycle and unique to each woman and may include: Pain during sex, extreme cramps that don’t go away with anti-inflammatories or that impede daily life, bowel and urinary disorders, periods that last longer than seven days, heavy cycle (changing pad or tampon every hour) and nauseas or vomiting. YUCK!

 

Good news! There are ways to decrease symptoms in a non-invasive way FIRST!

 

  • Be mindful. Start to track your symptoms daily: mood, stress levels, diet and exercise to see if there’s a pattern to your pain.
  • Try an elimination diet. Certain foods many be triggering inflammation in your body.  See my co-worker Mia Zarlengo, MS, RDN recommendations here
  • Balancing your hormones. High levels of estrogen is connected to endometriosis. Studies show when estrogen is dominant over progesterone, or progesterone is too low, it can set a woman up for pelvic pain.
  • Seek out a pelvic physical therapist or massage therapist specializing in fertility. Listen to my interview series to learn more about my experience with a pelvic physical therapist Dana Sackar here

 

Do you have or think you have endometriosis and are trying to conceive? Do you want support to help guide you to the root cause of your pain and heal your body?

 

Reach out for a complementary 20 minutes consultation now!

 

Be well,

Diana 

 

 


Fertility Tip Friday! Tips for Boosting Testosterone

 

 

This week’s tip is for the men out there trying to get more healthy and fertile. Typically, the fertility path begins with all the focus on the woman’s health and zero talk about the other 50% of the equation, which in my opinion is inefficient. For example, it wasn’t until I got to the reproductive endocrinologist stage in my fertility journey that my husband was addressed, crazy! Which is why I would like to share a few tips I’ve learn from Dr. Susie Gronski for the guys out there who would like to be sure they are doing their role in creating a healthy baby!

 

Here’s a couple tips to naturally boost your testosterone gentlemen:

 

  1. Establish or maintain a health weight. I’m sure you hear about all the benefits of keeping this in check: improves cardiovascular health and vitality, positively impacts sexual health and function and keeps testosterone levels in check. Excess belly fat can lead to excess estrogen which is said to lower testosterone.
  2. Eat testosterone boosting Diet: crowding out fast food, process food, starchy carbohydrates and sugars with lots of veggies, high quality protein, and healthy fats;
  3. Regular exercise. She recommends high intensity interval training and I would recommend yoga (of course) which tackles the stress, anxiety as well as the exercise component.

 

Need help getting started or wanting to learn more natural boosting tips? Reach out to me here! I’d love to help you get healthier!

Be well,

Diana


Too Smart for Our Own Good?

 
Winter in Chicago is great for hibernating, restoring, and replenishing the body, mind, and spirit after a hot (sorta) summer and fall, but by the time February comes, I’m done with it all and ready to blossom out again! Which is exactly when my husband and I can fortunately leave town and visit one of our favorite countries: Jamaica.

 

If you haven’t visited I strongly suggest it in the Wintertime; less hot and humid. It’s lush and green with colorful vibrant blooming flowers; it’s what I would describe as alive and fertile. I would describe the people just the same – in fact, so welcoming often you’ll here “welcome home” with a big warm smile. One of my favorite signs I came across this trip was “Jamaica makes the world shake”. I can attest as every where you go there’s Reggae music playing and people dancing and/or singing a bit throughout their day – even if they’re doing a job that seems less than desirable.

 

I’m sure you’re thinking, of course they’re nice you’re in the resort area and they are paid to be that way; but the truth is we’ve been to Jamaica 5 times (they call you Jamericans after a couple stays) and gone to a few different areas, including where locals live and hang out and it’s the same! Big warm welcoming smile each time.

 

I don’t know about you, but each time I take a leave I get more clarity about my needs and wants and the world around me. On this visit, I was reminded of my mantras for this year, “Be the Change You Seek” and “Happy, Healthy and Whole”. Which got me thinking, how can Jamaicans be so damn happy, healthy, and whole – when it “appears” they struggle with the basic necessities in certain areas – clean water, sturdy homes, clean clothes, access to vitamins/minerals, doctors, dentists, work long hours, not working at all, lacking variations of healthful foods, certain areas a ton of marijuana smoking, and away from family and friends often.

 

As someone who struggles to conceive a child, I’ve made it my mission to help others get more fertile and am always curious about all things fertility, I decided I would research a bit about Jamaica’s fertility. I was curious to see if their fertility was being jeopardized by their lifestyles. As it turns out, they too have a decline in their fertility, but not primarily being tied to lifestyle issues.


Records showed the most fertile point in their history thus far was in the 1960’s with 6 children per woman to 2.1 in 2017. USA’s most fertile point was in the 1950’s and was 3.7 per woman to 1.01 currently (2018).

 


What was interesting to me was their decline was seemingly a purposeful choice versus the USA’s decline rate of fertility is mostly due to lifestyle choices (what we consume, what we don’t consume, exercise [or lack thereof exercise], career choices, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.).


In the 1970’s, Jamaica’s government launched a nationwide campaign “Two is Better Than Too Many” to try to help the community from continuing to have more children than they can manage to take care of monetarily – trying to avoid further poverty in the communities.


According to a 2016 article in The Jamaican Observer … “increased or improved participation of women in the labour force, increased educational attainment of women, these are just some of the factors that contribute to women delaying having children and also reducing the number of children they have." Which is also a reason the USA’s fertility has declined. Basically, more women working on their education and careers before deciding to have children, if at all. Also, over the last year the government has recommended to holding off getting pregnant due to the Zika virus.


As you can probably relate, I love my life and my lifestyle choices currently, but they haven’t always been great. Nevertheless, those choices got me to where I am now and that’s a pretty great place so I wouldn’t change them.

 


BUT, seeing and reading about how Jamaicans live their lives, I can’t help but think, are we too smart for our own good? Could having too much at our fingertips be a bad thing for our fertility? Too much information? Too many options? Could going back to the simpler ways of living be our ticket back to fertility?

 

I think in some ways it may help us be more happy, healthy and whole!  

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

Reach out to learn more about my mission www.dianazic.com

 

Be well,
Diana


Three Ways to Boost Your Sex Drive...just in time for Valentine’s Day!

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Needing a little help in the sex department? It’s common for most of us (especially while trying to conceive) at some point in our lives to be less than in the “mood for nude” and often embarrassed to talk about it. So, what can do you that doesn’t involve medication to bring your “sexy back”? 1. Get more rest! Rest is essential for maintaining a healthy libido. If you’re chronically sleep deprived your body will likely have no interest in sex. Make the bedroom your sanctuary with comfortable bedding, dim lights, essential oils, whatever makes you feel relaxed and at ease. NO electronics! 2. Reduce stress. Stress kills the libido all on level of ourselves - physically, emotionally and psychologically. Trying some mindfulness techniques like meditation, yoga (legs-up-the-wall pose is one of my favorite (http://bit.ly/Legsupthewallpose)), or journaling. Self-pleasure can re-energize your libido and bring connection and confidence back to yourself. Also, a reminder of you what you desire, so you can share with your partner :) 3. Aphrodisiac Foods. There are many foods said to increase the libido because of their antioxidants and phytonutrients including: Dark Chocolate, Oysters, Figs, Pomegranates (according to IIN, it improves sex drive and mood in both women and men by raising testosterone. Also, can have positive impact on sperm quality!) and Almond and other tree nuts assuming you’re not allergic. While trying to conceive it can be EXTREMELY difficult and frustrating to keep your sex life alive and healthy! Feel free to reach out to me for more tips like these and other ways to get you and your partner in the healthiest state while trying to conceive! Be well, Diana xoxo

Talking about Fertility.

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Fertility Tip Friday! January is Thyroid Awareness Month

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In honor of Thyroid Awareness Month, I thought I would offer some information I’ve learned in my training about thyroid health as well as provide a helpful article from a trusted source on why you should solve thyroid problems before conceiving, not only for your health but the health of your future baby.

 

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck above the collarbones. Your doctor likely has checked it with their hands from time to time to see if your thyroid is swollen. It’s main jobs are to regulate heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. BUT, when the thyroid is not functioning properly it will impact nearly every other organ in the body because there are receptor sites for thyroid hormones on every single cell in the body.

 

If these hormones are out of balance it can influence other functions in the body including: weight (loss or gain), fertility, menstruation, skin tone, energy levels, memory, and digestion. Yikes!

 

Below are some symptoms of hypothyroidism (under active), subclinical hypothyroidism (elevated TSH, but thyroid hormone levels are normal) and hyperthyroidism (over active).*

 

Hypothyroidism:
• Fatigue
• Weight gain
• Sensitivity to cold
• Brain fog
• Thinning or straw-like hair
• Memory problems
• Dry skin
• Constipation
• Irregular or heavy periods.

 

Subclinical Hypothyroidism:

• Feeling tired or sluggish – despite getting enough sleep
• Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
• Low mood or depression
• Cognitive issues
• Cold intolerance
• Constipation
• Hair loss
• Weak or brittle nails
• Dry skin.

 

Hyperthyroidism:

• Rapid heart rate
• Weight loss
• Increased appetite
• Bulging eyes
• Nervousness or anxiety
• Irregular menstruation and infertility.

 

Check out the article to understand more about the function of the thyroid, importance of a healthy thyroid for you and your baby, and some natural tips to help if you’ve been diagnosed with any of the above listed conditions.

 

Feeling overwhelmed and need support implementing dietary and lifestyle choices that will help restore balance in your body before conceiving? Or just not sure where to start?

 

Reach out to me here for your 20 minute complimentary consultant!

 

Be well,

Diana

 

*Please keep in mind there are many signs and symptoms associated with thyroid dysfunctions and you should talk with your doctor to discuss getting it checked out rather than self diagnosing.

 

 

 

 

 


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