What Does The Gut Have To Do With Infertility? Everything!
I was hanging out with a friend and they accused me of being able to bring every topic back to gut health. At first I was a little startled. Do I really do that? But then, in thinking about it, I realized it's very possible because I absolutely love health and the gateway to health, is the GUT. I realized I can geek out a little bit on all things that have to do with the gut and get technical and detailed, which is a little much for most people, so I wanted to bring it a little closer to home and talk about the gut in relation to fertility
A few facts for you- babies get their DNA from their parents but according to epigenetics, how the DNA is expressed, aka how the genes are read, is determined by the environment, specifically by bacteria, toxins, infection, and the presence or lack of certain nutrients. And ALL of these are determined by the health of the gut. Further, the ability of the body to create healthy gametes (the egg and sperm) and for these to replicate is influenced by bacteria, toxins, infection and presence or lack of certain nutrients in the gut. So put simply, the health of your gut is central to getting pregnant.
The ability to get pregnant comes down to the man and woman's health, and specifically the woman's hormones, which are directly affected by her gut health because that’s where the nutrients to nourish the body and produce hormones are absorbed and bacteria, which send messages to the brain and cause or relieve stress, are housed.
Let me give some specific examples.
- Your gut is where vitamin D receptors are housed. Low vitamin D is the number one factor associated with failure of in vitro fertilization and is highly associated with infertility.
- Gluten intolerance reduces fertility rates. Especially, long standing, unexplained infertility is connected to gluten intolerance. There are many stories of women who for years could not get pregnant going off gluten for a few months and getting pregnant. There are studies on celiac and infertility, but simply a sensitivity to gluten can also be a root of infertility.
- Long standing gut infection, for example a parasite or bacteria or fungal infection, drains your adrenal glands by requiring continual production of cortisol to lower the inflammation. Like leaving the lights on in your car, it may not be much, but it is enough to drain your supply of the building blocks of other hormones and cause hormonal imbalance.
- Good health and digestion is very connected to continual rise and fall of blood glucose and thus insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is the most prevalent cause of infertility in US. A healthy gut is a key to the mystery of PCOS.
So you may not be interested in the gut but it is the gateway to health in your body. I urge you to find out what is going on in your gut: if you have had any hormonal issues or infertility issues or blood sugar issues or just wants to be healthy for your future and your children's future. For more detailed understanding of the gut see my blogs: Gut Health Preconception and Epigenetic's Rewriting Your Genetic Code. The best test for assessing your gut is the GI map. For information on the test and how it might benefit you schedule a free consultation with me.
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