Recurrent Miscarriages

When a women loses a pregnancy, it can be devastating.  They want to know why, and want to prevent it from happening again.

Here are a few tests worth doing when miscarriage is a possibility.

1.  Celiac profile – there is a disproportionate number of women who have recurrent miscarriages with latent/undiagnosed celiac disease.  A gluten free diet may be all that’s needed.

2.  Anti thyroid peroxidase antibodies (anti-TPO) – autoimmune thyroid disease can be present without symptoms for years.  There is more to thyroid treatment than meds.

3.  DNA defragmentation of sperm – just because you’re getting pregnant, doesn’t mean that it isn’t him.

4.  MTHFR genetic testing – some people cannot methylate the folic acid that they take in.  Methyl folate is easy to find now.  Taking it ensures more will be appropriately absorbed.

5.  Overall immune testing – ANA, sperm antibodies, inflammatory markers.  Optimizing immune health and managing inflammation is important in prevention.

The naturopathic doctors at Rooted have experience in helping women with recurrent miscarriage.  They will also work with you once you are pregnant again, to help maintain the pregnancy.

Book a free ‘meet the doctor’ appointment to learn more.  Call 705-792-6717 or book online.

 

Why Oysters Might Not Be a Sexy Food

When people talk about the aphrodisiac foods, they talk about chocolate and oysters as the two biggest foods to get us in the mood. This may be the case, but you might want your man to avoid oysters and get him going in other ways.

Oysters are one of the foods that accumulates cadmium a toxic heavy metal, which is associated with increased immobile sperm. A study was published in the journal of Environmental Health in January 2011. They found that the presence of lead and cadmium in the reproductive tract of men was associated with increased percentage of immotile sperms. So, there was a correlation between high levels of heavy metals and men’s little swimmers that stopped swimming.

According to the World Health Organization, human exposure to cadmium occurs mainly from consuming contaminated foods, active and passive inhalation of tobacco smoke and inhalation by workers in the metal industry; mining, smelting, refining and fossil fuel combustion.

How can your man reduce his exposure to cadmium?

  • Limit or avoid oysters, scallops, mussels and crustaceans which accumulate cadmium
  • Quit smoking or avoid inhaling it around his friends. The tobacco plant accumulates cadmium in its leaves

Resources:

  1.  Environ Health. 2011 Jan 19;10(1):6. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-10-6. Relationships between heavy metal concentrations in three different body fluids and male reproductive parameters: a pilot study
  2. http://www.who.int/ipcs/features/cadmium.pdf

Fertility Soup with Lemony Pumpkin Seed Pesto

I asked my friend Ashleigh, a culinary nutritionist, to create a new yummy recipe for our fertility patients. Ok, it’s not a magic soup that one spoonful you will be miraculously pregnant, but it does have some good ingredients to help you on your journey. Ideally you use your own chicken broth you make from a chicken carcass. The Chinese believe that this helps increase your blood – which is very important in baby-making. The soup also includes pumpkin seeds which are a source of zinc, which is important for sperm development and hormonal health. We hope you enjoy it! 

Hi! I’m Ashleigh Grange, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and Culinary Nutritionist based outside Barrie. I specialize in helping people discover, use, cook with and enjoy everyday foods that happen to have extraordinary healing benefits.

My Fertility Soup with Lemony Pumpkin Seed Pesto recipe comes together quickly for a lunch or dinner that will help warm you up, feel satisfied, balance your blood sugar, and perhaps even leave you with a newfound appreciation for some lighter winter fare. A rich pumpkin and sunflower seed pesto with a bright lemony flavour tops it all off, livening up this easy twist on a not-so-classic creamy broccoli soup.

This recipe is also dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free and corn-free. To make this soup vegan, simply substitute the chicken stock for your favourite vegetable stock.

I hope you enjoy this delightful fertility soup on a sunny winter’s day!

Here’s the recipe in all its glory:

Fertility Soup with Lemony Pumpkin Seed Pesto

For the soup:

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (organic, virgin/unrefined)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (I use a microplane for this)
  • 1 ¾ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 4 cups of fresh broccoli, chopped into medium florets
  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock (from organic, preferably pastured chickens)
  • 3 cups almond or cashew milk (try my homemade almond milk tutorial using either almonds or cashews)
  • Season with sea salt (use less if using salted stock) and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For the pumpkin seed pesto:

  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, preferably raw and organic (not roasted/salted)
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds, preferably raw and organic (not roasted/salted)
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach, packed
  • ¼ cup omega-3 oil (such as hemp seed, Udo’s oil or Vega Antioxidant Omega Oil Blend)
  • Zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Season with sea salt to taste
  1. Get all of your ingredients ready.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the coconut oil and sweat the onions over low-medium heat, stirring regularly, until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the minced garlic and ginger and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chickpeas, broccoli and chicken stock. Increase heat to medium. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until broccoli is bright green and just barely tender.
  4. While the soup cooks, make the pumpkin seed pesto. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are blended to form a thick paste. I prefer a slightly chunky pesto but you can blend until smooth if you prefer. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water if the ingredients aren’t blending smoothly.
  5. Test the broccoli for doneness and if tender, remove the soup from the heat.
  6. Add the almond or cashew milk. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth and creamy. If you don’t have an immersion blender, just add your soup to a blender in small batches, puree it and return it to the cooking pot. Please make sure you have a blender that can properly vent itself (such as a Vitamix) in order to do this safely.
  7. Do this until all of the soup has been pureed or feel free to leave some of the soup chunky for a different texture. You can heat this over very low heat for a few minutes if it’s not as warm as you would like.
  8. Serve the soup with a dollop of the pumpkin seed pesto on top. Enjoy!

Fertility Soup - Image 2 crop

Would you like to discover more recipes like this?

If you liked this recipe, you might like some of the others featured on my website, in my healthy cooking workshops, or in my monthly e-zine.

My monthly e-zine showcases some of the month’s best recipes, healthy discussion, and free resources, tips and tricks to make your cooking adventures a little easier. You can learn more about it here (and get a free e-cookbook with some of my favourite breakfast recipes at the same time!).

You can also visit my blog or check out a list of my upcoming cooking workshops and other events. I am also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Ashleigh Grange, RHN-final -emailsig

Rooted has a new PCOS tea blend

There are many different hormonal imbalances involved in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome  (PCOS).  As such, different herbal blends work for different types of PCOS patients.

Dr. Whitney and Dr. Kerri show off their new PCOS tea at the Bridal Show.

Dr. Whitney and Dr. Kerri show off their new PCOS tea at the Bridal Show.

Our tea blend is geared to those women with high androgens (high testosterone and high DHEA) which is what often causes the acne and hair growth.

Spearmint tea helps lower the DHEA, the total testosterone and free testosterone.

Green tea helps to increase the sex hormone-binding globulin which helps to mop up the extra testosterone.  Green tea has also been linked to a two-fold increase in fertility.

The studies to reduce the hormones were done over two months so don’t expect to drink just one cup every once in a while to see the changes.  Two cups per day is required for this therapeutic effect.

That said, it’s a tasty tea that can be enjoyed by anybody anytime.

PCOS blend is available at Simply Tea and Chocolate downtown Barrie and at Rooted Naturopathic Clinic

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What you need to know about testing women’s hormones

When a woman goes to the doctor and says “I think my hormones are all messed up” she may be given a requisition to test her hormones.  When she’s told that her hormones are fine and brings the results to us, we often ask her to do them again.  Here’s why:

  1. The day of your cycle has everything to do with when you go to the lab.  Hormones vary with your cycle and they peak at different times.
  • Day 3 is when you test estrogen
  • Day 21 (or 7 days before your expected period) is when you test progesterone
  • This means that you need two requisitions
  1. TSH (thyroid hormone) can be tested at any time during your cycle.  If it is a repeat test, go at the same time of day as you went last time as the hormone can vary during the day.
  2. FSH (follicular stimulating hormone) should also be tested on Day3.
  3. Androgens, like testosterone and DHEA are tested to determine if PCOS is an issue.  DHEA and Testosterone can be tested at any point in your cycle.  We want to see free testosterone though as bound testosterone isn’t actively causing symptoms.

Infertility – When should I worry?

Infertility: When do I become concerned?  When should I see an ND about infertility?

The best time to see an ND is for pre-conception care about 3 months before you want to start trying.  We can ensure that your hormones are balanced and that you are healthy.  Doing a detox before you start trying poses no risk to your future baby while waiting until after you’ve started trying may not be safe.

If you are in your late 20’s or 30’s then seeing an ND before you start trying is ideal as fertility does decrease with age.

What if we have already started trying?

If you have already started trying to conceive, don’t worry.  The current definition for infertility is:

  • If you are under 35 years old, you are considered infertile if you have been having regular unprotected sex for 1 year without falling pregnant
  • If you are over 35 years old, you are considered infertile if you have been having regular unprotected sex for 6 months without falling pregnant

These are the points where your MD may refer you to a fertility clinic or offer up some medical intervention like clomid or metformin.

To see an ND you do not need a referral.  There are also some fertility clinics that do not require a referral either.

We suggest that you see an ND if:

  • you have a history of irregular periods
  • you have a history of difficult periods (cramps, PMS, etc)
  • your fertility is a concern for you (even if no one has given you medical reasons for it)
  • you have PCOS
  • the male partner has a history of cycling or chemical exposure

Since many of the natural treatments were researched over the course of 2-4 months, we suggest that you give the treatments at least 4 months.

What if we are doing IUI’s or IVF?  Can you still help?

We sure can.  Our doctors are trained natural fertility treatments for men and women.  One of the therapies we use is acupuncture and the research supporting acupuncture during IVF is good.  We can help support the medical treatments that you are currently undergoing.