I am so excited to feature Donielle, author of the website and the new book, Naturally Knocked Up on Delicious Obsessions today! You may remember that I got the opportunity to review Donielle’s book a couple months ago and loved it. You can read my review of Naturally Knocked Up here. I HIGHLY recommend her book to any woman who are planning on becoming pregnant in the future. I am excited that Donielle is sharing some information on fertility and pregnancy as they relate to thyroid disorders, since that is an area that is affecting my life right now. One of the main reasons that I decided to become so proactive about my health in 2012 is because hubby and I want to start a family, but I know my health is not where it should be for a healthy pregnancy and birth. I am currently on a health journey to get my Hashimoto’s Disease under control and you can read my full health journey here. Without further adieu, please give Donielle a warm welcome! P.S. Don’t forget to stop back by tomorrow morning (Friday) to learn how you can get access to some AMAZING freebies from Donielle!
Fertility, Pregnancy, and the Thyroid
by Donielle Baker, Naturally Knocked Up
I’m not an expert on thyroid disorders, but I’ve spent full days of my life reading books on healing them naturally. Why you ask? Well, I’ve known that thyroid disorders cause infertility and can even be connected to pregnancy loss for a long time now. And last month I had tests done that show my thyroid needs a bit of help; I’m hypothyroid by functional diagnostic standards.
And I’d like to reverse that, thank you very much!
Problems with the thyroid can stem from many different causes. Sometimes it’s a stressful event (mine seemed to begin after a miscarriage), sometimes it’s diet lacking in nutrients, and other times it’s due to food sensitivities. And this of course is just a short list of causes, we could go on for quite some time.
The thyroid is involved in almost every bodily process, so when it begins to have problems, many things can go wrong. And one of them is the production of the correct hormones needed for fertility and pregnancy. It seems in many cases that even a mostly whole foods, traditional foods diet, like the one my family and I eat, have not been enough to fix it once it’s damaged.
So how do you heal your thyroid?
Each person is going to find different aspects of their health that they need to work on, but there are many common links in healing protocols.
1. Find a holistic doctor that can help you order the labs that you’ll need
It’s important to find a doctor that knows what to look for and can also help you order the correct labs. Commonly, doctors only look at TSH numbers (thyroid stimulating hormone). Instead, you need to look at a full thyroid panel and test for antibodies as well (if you test positive for antibodies, it means it’s Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease). They also need to look at the functional range, not a pathological range, meaning that most conventional doctors only see something wrong when you’re really sick. But if you’re within a functional range, you’re really healthy, so there’s a big difference there.
They may test for common vitamin deficiencies, like vitamin D and B12, and also help you figure out if you have food sensitivities that are causing malabsorption and inflammation. These things are important to know and without much of this knowledge, you’re just stabbing in the dark when trying to heal your body.
A good holistic doctor is worth his/her weight in gold.
2. Healing begins in the gut
That old saying from Hippocrates keeps coming back at me “All disease begins in the gut.” While I’ve had my fair share of antibiotics over the last 6 years (due to being given them at both my children’s birth, and then again later as I developed mastitis due to the compromised immune system from the antibiotics…), I’ve always thought my digestive system was spot on. I mean, I didn’t have chronic constipation or diarrhea. Everything seemed good to go.
Except it wasn’t. And I’m low in some very important vitamins!
So the healing for any disease, thyroid disease included, needs to begin in the digestive system. This can take place by following a mostly grain-free diet and adding in a lot of fermented foods and bone broths. And of course, eliminating any foods you’re sensitive to as they will continue to irritate the gut lining. Sometimes specific healing diets, like GAPS or SCD, are really helpful, and other times they still include foods that you may be sensitive to. So if you’re following a specific diet and not feeling a lot better as you progress through the different phases, look at having a food sensitivities test done (IgG testing or nutritional response testing can be quite accurate).
3. Having a Baby
So can you, and should you, get pregnant when you have a thyroid disease?
It’s tricky, this whole getting pregnant thing. And I think it really all depends on the healing you’ve done and your current lab tests.
Someone with slightly low numbers like myself is (I’m hoping anyways) going to heal more quickly than someone who has been suffering from hypo (or hyper) thyroidism for some time; the longer it goes unmanaged, the more damage is done. And for a person dealing with Hashimoto’s, the autoimmune disease needs to be corrected first, meaning antibodies don’t show (or are very low) on a lab test and thyroid levels are near functional range.
And medications don’t necessarily seem to be the save all either. After reading the book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests are Normal”, by Datis Kharrazian, it seems that thyroid medications can cause the labs to look good while you still deal with not only symptoms, but the problems that come from thyroid disease. So even if you are taking thyroid medication, you may want to take a closer look at how your body is functioning before trying to conceive.
So yes, it very much looks like a healthy pregnancy is possible with the correct care beforehand. Yay for good news! Sometimes we just need to remember not to put the cart before the horse, and be patient as our bodies heal. This could take six months to a year, and a bit longer for extreme cases.
Donielle Baker is the founder and author of the Naturally Knocked up website. She has written a book, also titled Naturally Knocked Up, in a quest to help women acheive health and wellness and go on to have healthy, happy pregnancies, births, and babies. Her passion for “increasing the odds of conception through natural living and nourishing foods” has helped countless women. You can find Donielle on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Make sure you come back by tomorrow, because we will be announcing some awesome freebies that Donielle will be giving away for those who purchase here new book! Details to be posted tomorrow morning!
If you want to purchase a copy of Donielle’s new book, Naturally Knocked Up, you can do so through Vintage Remedies or Amazon. If you purchase, hang on to that receipt and come back tomorrow morning to find out about all of the awesome freebies!