Using Natural Treatment Strategies Wisely for Endometriosis When Trying to Conceive

Studies have shown a delay from 3 to 11 years between the onset of symptoms and the final diagnosis of endometriosis, with an average of 9.28 years before receiving a proper diagnosis![1] A key contributor to this delay are not only those mentioned above, but the fact that symptoms of endometriosis overlap with other conditions leading to misdiagnosis. Women with endometriosis are 3.5 times more likely to receive a diagnosis of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Women are also 6x more likely to have diagnosed with PID (pelvic inflammatory disease).

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So What Are Your Chances of Getting Pregnant? 9 Things to Consider if you are Putting Fertility On the Back Burner

Preserving your fertility starts here.

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It's the Monthly Episode of My Uterus Strikes Back

Herbs that address the root cause of your painful periods can help to make your time of the month barely noticeable and less like a trip to yet another dreaded star wars movie. The best part is, because they work on the root cause typically you only have to take them for 3-6 cycles before they have a lasting effect.

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No Wonder It Feels Like My Ovaries are Trying to Kill Me

Have you ever stood up mid way through your cycle and felt like you were being pinched from the inside out by your ovaries? The pain is brief, but the struggle is real for all of about 5-15 minutes. I'd swear sometimes there is a small statured man in their trying to punch his way out.  

Middleschmertz- also know as pain mid cycle pain (named for the doctor who figured it out) can happen during ovulation. Some women will feel cramps or bloating for about a day during ovulation, others will simply notice a sharp one sided pain that is brief and fleeting indicating a high likelihood that ovulation just occurred. We used to think that ovulation happened in a quick burst, but recently a camera during a pelvic surgery in the UK caught the entire thing on camera and it lasted 15 minutes. Anyone that looks at these pictures will have an understanding of why they experience middleschmertz and that it's normal. P.S. This picture isn't graphic, however, I wouldn't open it up during a meal unless you are completely desensitized to the amazing feats of the human body. When I say feats, I mean wierdness. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7447942.stm

While brief pain mid cycle may be a normal part of how mother nature works, PMS that starts at ovulation and lasts for two weeks is not normal! If you experience bloating, mood changes, digestion changes, and abdominal discomfort for more than a couple of days leading up to your period, herbal medicine a few lifestyle tweaks could very easily give you your care free life back. Qi stagnation is most likely the culprit, and formula like Free and Easy Wanderer or ProSoothe II could bring relief as soon as 1-2 cycles. As always, consult your qualified herbalist before self prescribing anything!

Cheers to pain free days ahead!

Gesundheit!

Ahhh, fall is here. Even in steamy, swampy Florida you can feel the crispness in the air in the morning. It begins to intrude upon on all your senses. The taste of yummy pumpkin lattes, dry air hitting your skin, seeing leaves change, the smell of bon fires now and again, and the sounds of sickness, uggghh. That’s right, with the change of seasons we also welcome the science experiment that the town becomes as soon as school returns to session that last week in August. It’s as Florida, were a giant petri dish incubating all summer and then wham, everywhere you turn you can hear and see sick people out and about sneezing, sniffling, and hacking. What’s one to do? With the economy in throws, most people that are lucky enough to have a job aren’t about to call in sick for themselves or to keep their sick kid home from school and so the contagion begins.  Be diligent!!! Wash your hands more than normal. Try not to touch things when you are out and about if at all possible and certainly don’t touch your face or mouth after touching something unless you want a sick day of course.

So far this year the cold and flu’s that are going around seem to have an element of dryness with them as well as intense fatigue. There’s a burning in the throat as a warning sign 2-3 days prior to full blown illness. If you find yourself more tired than usual, try to rest. Make nourishing moistening soups like vegetable beef, tomato, and chicken and rice with lots of garlic. You can even freeze them in portion sizes so if you do fall victim to this season’s cold and flu you are able to easily feed yourself a nourishing meal without much effort. If you are already familiar with the netti pot you may want to increase your time together to stay ahead of the dryness. Simple saline will do, but a garlic wash is also helpful for the brave who are prone to instant sinus infections.

Herbal medicines can be of great benefit to nip a cold in the bud before it becomes full blown.  ACF, by buried treasure available at Art of Acupuncture and  most health food stores is my secret weapon when I find myself treating the sneezing masses. The trick to it is to double the frequency of dosage and to continue taking 24-48 hours past feeling well to ensure the pathogen has truly left your terrain.  They also make a pediatric version without white willow bark (natural aspirin) incase of fever. Gan Mao Ling is another favorite if you happen to know a Chinese herbalist. You can take it at bottle dosage preventatively or double the frequency if you suspect you are in-fact fighting something. Again take it a day or two past feeing better. I never get on a plane without a dose of Gan Mao Ling just to make sure I don’t ruin my vacation. As always, if you are a current patient of ours and you suspect your sick, call us and leave a message with your symptoms and we will set out custom herbs for you to stay ahead of the plague, no appointment necessary. Don’t forget to follow the golden rule of illness. For every day that you have a fever please stay home for 24 hours. The person next to you on the bus or in the grocery store that you might infect may not handle the cold or flu as easily as you!

What is PCOS? And how did my ovary end up with a pearl necklace??

Polycystic ovarian syndrome or as it is currently referred to as PCOS is not as pretty as it appears on your ultrasound.  At first glance it looks like your ovaries have adorned themselves in your mother's pearls. Tiny cysts strung close together, suspended from your ovaries in a sea of abdominal fluid are not this season's new fashion accessory, but none the less this diagnosis is certainly on the rise. It used to be thought that only women who were obese and displayed amenorrhea (no menstrual periods) were the only ones that harbored these troublesome cysts, but that is no longer the case.  More and more I am seeing women turn up in my clinic who are not overweight (in fact some are underweight), who do not display secondary sexual characteristics (hair in the wrong place), and who have had some periods or even have normal menstrual cycles with a diagnosis of PCOS.  Many of these women have no idea that they have PCOS until they try to conceive without success and go looking for answers, until one of the cysts bursts sending them to the hospital thinking their appendix is rupturing, or they start noticing they are sprouting hair in the wrong places. Possible Causes and Solutions

  • Imbalances in hormones-Avoid commercially-raised, non-organic meats such as beef, chicken, and pork and commercial dairy products including milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream – Use only organic products that do not contain bovine growth hormone to avoid adding to the existing hormonal imbalance.
  • Insulin resistance- cut back on carbs! Excess blood insulin is thought to confuse all the receptors in your body, with the exception of your ovaries. They accept the extra insulin further disrupting the hormonal imbalance causing more pearls (immature, unreleased eggs that form a cyst). Losing 5-10% of your body weight if overweight can rebalance your hormones, cut your risk for diabetes, and re-stimulate your thyroid to work properly. Remember, alcohol turns into carbohydrate (sugar). 20 min of exercise ( a brisk walk) after your largest meal helps to lower insulin levels in the blood stream.

Additional tips to avoid Xenoestrogens (hormonal disruptors)

  •  Do not heat food or water with plastic in the microwave. Do not drink hot liquids in foam styrofoam cups or receptacles.
  • Avoid plastic water bottles all together! Not only is the plastic turning your water in to a hormonal disruptor, but its destroying the environment for your unborn children!
  • Do NOT use dryer sheets or fabric softener.
  • Do not use anything on the skin with parabens or phenoxyethanol in them. This includes shampoo, soap, makeup, hand lotion, body lotion, and toothpaste. Oral substances are 90% filtered by the liver. Skin-absorbed substances are 100% absorbed by the body, thus, a skin dose is 10 times an oral dose. Personally I love Nardo's Naturals.
  • Avoid coffee. Avoid decaf coffee. No caffeine. No colas. Caffeine increases estradiol levels by 70%!
  • No sunflower oil, no safflower oil, no cottonseed oil, no canola oil. (Guess that leaves olive oil).
  •  Avoid weak estrogens such as soy and ground flax seed.
  •  Many sunscreens are estrogenic. Use a hat and long sleeved shirt, or better yet, actually get some Vit D3 through good judgement of how long you should be outside and enjoy the sunshine!
  • Use cosmetics with minerals or grapefruit seed extract as a preservative.

Diet and exercise are key to getting control over this imbalance.  Herbal formulas prescribed to your specific presentation of the syndrome can drastically speed up the recovery and prevent reoccurrence. Herbs are especially helpful when birth control or insulin lowering pharmaceuticals such as metformin (current western treatment)  are not appropriate or desired. It is completely possible to fall pregnant with PCOS and to deliver a healthy baby or two (higher occurrence of multiples) with the diagnosis of PCOS. It is, however, important to know that there is a higher risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy with a diagnosis of PCOS and you should be monitored accordingly. Contact the clinic if you have additional questions or wish to schedule an online or personal herbal consolation.