Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fertility Diet and Hormonal Health

We would like to welcome two members to our Advisory Board. Dr. Kate Fox, DC, and her associate Dr. Jennifer Walker, DC, both chiropractic doctors at the Los Gatos Wellness Center, where they work alongside two naturopathic doctors. Because their main focus is on women's hormonal health (seeing many women trying to conceive in their clinic) and they've received rigorous training in clinical nutrition, they are perfectly suited to our Advisory Board. They graciously offer their knowledge, expertise and time to help us better accommodate readers' questions.

In today's blog, Dr. Kate Fox, DC, answers a reader's question on diet and hormonal health--and the amazing effects of a good diet. Thank you, Dr. Fox!

How does the fertility diet impact overall hormonal health. Do individuals who maintain this diet after giving birth experience less PMS?  Do they have fewer thyroid issues? Does it affect cortisol levels? As my daughter eats this diet along with us, I also wonder what effect it may have on her long-term hormonal health.

ANSWER by Dr. Fox
You asked some thoughtful questions and I definitely agree with Cindy that the answers are yes, yes and yes. The diet Cindy outlines in her book [which involves cutting out processed sugar, trans fat, overly processed foods, wheat and dairy, and keeping or adding in all organic foods with plenty of vegetables, lean protein, “good” carbs, healthy fats, and so on ] is a great way to positively impact your hormonal health. It is a diet that is not only great for fertility but provides a great basis for eating for the entire family. 

Your daughter will benefit from less processed foods and less foods that negatively impact her female hormones. This may lead to better focus and engagement in school, less illnesses, generally a better mood/behavior at all ages, less PMS/acne and a smoother puberty. This type of diet is also often used in prevention and treatment of female health disorders such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts and fibroids, so your daughter is also ahead of so many women who wait until they have a dysfunction in their hormonal health to eat healthy.

Your entire family will have less burden on their liver, immune system and digestive tract as well.  This should in turn allow your body to spend more time defending itself against disease, rejuvenating and keeping energy up as well as just being able to do daily processes more efficiently. This puts less stress on the thyroid and adrenal glands so they will be able to better make and regulate thyroid hormone and cortisol. Some of the things this affects are your sleep wake cycle, ability to adapt to stress, immune system, allergies and weight.  Diet is a daily medicine that can play a huge role in hormonal health.  It is important to note that not all hormonal dysfunction can be treated by diet alone. Sometimes testing and/or further treatment is needed to get to optimal health.  Diet is then needed to maintain that health.

I am always happy to see people taking such an active role in their health.

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