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Unexplained Infertility Finally Explained?
A blog by VB, April 10, 2015
Five years, six doctors and thousands of dollars later my infertility was still unexplained.
After a fourth failed IUI I realized I needed to become my own advocate. My life changed after research led me to Dr. Dian Ginsberg at Women's Specialty Healthcare. During my visit I shared a history of food allergies, sinus infections, and rashes since childhood. I told about years of antibiotic use, acne, heavy periods, fibroids, PMS, low energy, anxiety and infertility.
Rather than dismissing my symptoms as having nothing to do with my infertility, Dr. Ginsberg explained how each inflammatory condition was an immune response and connected to one another. This was refreshing!
A series of tests uncovered immune deficiencies and very low tissue levels of reproductive hormones and hypocortisolism. This condition (originally known as adrenal fatigue) means my brain was turning down the hormones of my adrenal glands as it was tired of being over stressed.
My C-Reactive Protein level was also elevated. CRP is produced in the liver and released into the bloodstream as an immune response to inflammation. The normal range for CRP is 0.0 - 3.0 mg/L. My result, an alarming 12.14 mg/L! I’ll never forget hearing the doctor say, “I believe this is why you haven’t been able to get pregnant.” I was chronically, systemically inflamed and I had no idea. This hidden inflammation was slowly robbing my body of energy. There was no surplus energy for reproduction and it now made perfect sense that my body would protect itself.
My liver was unable to efficiently flush out toxins, low cortisol levels led to hormonal imbalances and my pancreas became insulin resistant. So why was I so inflamed?
As the refreshing doctor would educate me - it all starts in the gut.
A properly functioning immune system begins with a healthy gut. A diet of processed sugar, grains and oils can cause the intestines to become permeable, allowing undigested food and toxins to leak into the blood stream prompting an immune response – inflammation. This “leaky gut” cycle was wreaking havoc on my endocrine system which contributed to my infertility.
I was determined to heal my body and continued to educate myself on anti-inflammatory foods and endocrine disruptors. I replaced most of the foods in my pantry and refrigerator and three weeks after implementing the dietary changes I felt different. I had more energy, my skin cleared, my hair and nails were less brittle and PMS was gone. Talk about the healing power of food!
If you are living with the pain of unexplained infertility I encourage you to take an active role in your health and work with your health providers to uncover the root causes. Don’t give up! If needed, seek a second opinion or find a functional medicine or holistic practitioner.
I finally feel a sense of empowerment and know in time my body will continue to heal and restore balance. I have faith in my body that once it is ready I will be able to conceive.