Helping a couple have a successful pregnancy – case study part 3

Another month later, on our second consultation, PT reported feeling much better and that many of her problems had cleared up. She reported her IBS had gone, and she had no cramps or diarrhoea. She also had lost about half a stone, dropped a dress size and her energy levels were much better. She reported that her fertility consultant had put her on heparin and progesterone and she was going to attempt a further course of IVF. PT indicated she had been following the suggestions made to her and was eating a lot of vegetables and had cut coffee out.

PT had successfully controlled her blood sugar and insulin levels, so now I wanted to focus on the bowels and liver. About 60% of the immune system is located around the bowels and by cleaning up the bowels I felt that we could lessen the demand on her immune system and reduce the NK cell count. I suggested that we work though what Jeffrey Bland calls the 4 R’s – remove, replace, reinoculate and repair.

PT had successfully removed the offending foods from her diet and we had replaced HCL and digestive enzymes in her stomach. The next step was to initiate a dose of probiotics to rebalance the gut micro flora which I believe was out of balance due to taking antibiotics and to take a small dose of glutamine to help heal the gut lining.

The next piece of advice was centred on supporting the liver not only detoxify some of the drugs PT took, but also to improve oestrogen metabolism. PT was advised to eat more onions, leeks, garlic and broccoli in evening meals and to get more seeds and berries into her snacks. Finally I suggested that PT take BioCare adult multi vitamin and mineral.

After 3 months of following my nutrition plan PT attempted another course of IVF that lead to a successful pregnancy and the birth of baby Maya at 35 weeks. Both mother and baby are well.

PT says it best…
“I believe the success is totally down to the time and effort Steve invested in my problems and the plan he created. I would recommend a consult for anyone planning motherhood!”

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Helping a couple have a successful pregnancy – case study part 2

I suggested going wheat and dairy free and that PT swapped the oatibix and yoghurt at breakfast for eggs, homemade muesli and soymilk, fish, nuts and berries. These types of breakfasts have a good serving of protein and healthy fats that will help stabilise blood sugar but also provide essential nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. I suggested having a mid morning and mid afternoon snack of nuts, fruits, seeds or hummus with crudités to further control blood sugar and control insulin. My final nutrition advice for the initial session was to switch to “free from” bread for her sandwiches at lunch and to include more fish such as mackerel and sardines in her sandwiches.

To work on digestion I suggested PT do the HCL test, this is a functional medicine test that is explained in my book “The little book of nutrition tips” that will be released soon. Mechanical digestion begins in the mouth, but the real work starts in the stomach where the parietal cells of the stomach release HCL. HCL is essential for protein breakdown, mineral absorption, the release of digestive enzymes and bile and for killing parasites and bacteria. Both the immune system and the liver require the breakdown products of protein – amino acids to function properly, and establishing HCL levels was fundamental to my strategy of boosting the immune system and improving the metabolism of oestrogen through the liver. I suggested that PT continue with her Sanatogen Mum to be multi vitamin, as she needed the folic acid and B12 that the drug metformin depletes, but I would want to change this for a better brand in the following sessions.

I spoke with PT over the phone 2 weeks later and she had successfully cut out wheat and dairy and had “radically changed her eating habits” with good results, she also reported sleeping better. However she raised a concern about her homocysteine levels because of the metformin depleting B12 and folic acid. I assured her that eating meat and fish and by including more green leafy vegetables as well as taking her multi vitamin she would be getting adequate B12 and folic acid.

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High protein low carb diets rule….

This is from Dr Briffa’s blog today

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Helping a couple have a successful pregnancy – case study part 1

PT, a 34 year old sales director, decided to consult with me following 14 miscarriages and poor outcomes with IVF over the past 7 years. PT and her husband MT did have a son in 2003, born prematurely who sadly passed away at 24 weeks. PT was also diagnosed with PCOS for which she was taking metformin; hypothyroid for which she was taking thyroxin, endometriosis and complained of IBS.

PT was under the care of a fertility consultant and was diagnosed with a condition where she had elevated natural killer cells that would attack the developing foetus, she also had heightened immune activity in her endometrium which made it difficult for implantation to take place. PT had undergone 6 laparoscopy operations to clear out her endometriosis and de-bride and clean her womb following unsuccessful pregnancies.

On initial consultation the things that stood out to me were the previously mentioned PCOS and endometriosis, and a number of symptoms related to the bowels such as bloating, cramping, flatulence, constipation and diarrhoea. There were other things that stood out including poor energy levels, the use of caffeine as a stimulant, symptoms of PMS and previous multiple uses of antibiotics.

A dietary analysis highlighted an over reliance on oats, dairy and wheat for nutrition, however she had consciously made some good nutrition choices such as reducing red meat and increasing fish as well as eating berries and vegetables. A typical breakfast was oatibix, berries and yoghurt, lunch was usually a sandwich and occasionally crisps and dinner would include pasta, poultry, fish and some vegetables. There were often no snacks or they consisted of an oat bar. PT did consciously try to drink 4-5 glasses of water a day and drank several cups of tea.

It was clear from this initial consultation that there was a problem with PT’s hormone balance, PCOS is a condition where insulin is poorly controlled, the low thyroid speaks for itself and the endometriosis and PMS suggested out of balance oestrogen and poor oestrogen metabolism. There was also a big problem with the bowels causing immune dysfunction, I believed the over reliance on oats, wheat and dairy and the multiple exposures to antibiotics had created food intolerances and dysbiosis.

My plan to help PT was to balance her blood sugar to control insulin, heal and repair the gut, improve oestrogen metabolism and boost the immune system.

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Control the fat storage hormone insulin

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Non toxic food prep…

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Check your cosmetics agianst this database  

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Great post from mercola about toxicity

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8 pillars to optimal health – supplements

Unfortunately the idea of a well balanced diet providing all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals or fibre that you will need each day to be healthy is a myth. How many people really eat a well balanced diet anyway? What is a well balanced diet? If you asked 20 people you would get 20 different answers.

Simply read the book Eat, Drink and be Healthy by Walter Willet from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is the lead researcher on 3 of the biggest epidemiological studies of all time that have followed over 150,000 people for the last 20 to 30 years looking at what they eat and what diseases they suffer from. In the middle of this epidemic of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other illnesses Mr. Willet suggests the dietary recommendations from governing bodies are not supported by what has been seen in these large long-term studies. He goes on to suggest that we should all be taking a multi vitamin and mineral supplement.

In 2005, the independent Food Commission’s Food Magazine reported that fruits and vegetables were 20% lower in mineral content in 1980 compared to 1930. More specifically it suggested vegetables contained 24% less magnesium, 46% less calcium, 27% less iron and 59% less zinc. Additionally in 2006 the Food Commission reported 47% less iron, 10% less magnesium and 60% less copper when comparing mineral content of meat from the 1930s to food tables published by the Government in 2002. There was also 25% less magnesium, 90% less copper and 15% less calcium in dairy products.

Volume 5 of The National Diet and Nutrition Survey conducted by the Department of Health in 2004 reported the average daily intake of vitamins and minerals for adults in the UK. Over the years these reports have demonstrated the proportion of men and women with low intakes of vitamins and minerals from food sources. Dietary analysis demonstrated there were low intakes of vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium, copper, iodine and iron.

The debate as to whether organic food is more nutrient dense than non-organic food continues, some research suggests there is a difference in nutrient density between the two, other research suggests there is not. Organic food is becoming more popular, however the majority of people still buy conventionally farmed foods. The Organic Farming, Food Quality and Human Health Report published in 2001 funded by the Soil Association identified there was a long term decline in trace minerals content of fruit and vegetables and that there were many studies demonstrating a greater nutrient content of organic food compared to non-organic, many studies that were inconclusive but few if any that demonstrated non-organic foods were more nutrient dense that organic.

Clearly there is a huge demand for vitamins and minerals in our daily lives today because
1. We do not get enough of these in our food
2. We live in a very toxic world

Do not be fooled by the conventional wisdom that you can get all you need from your diet – you do not. Clearly eat healthy nutritious food as your first port of call – taking supplements whilst eating junk food is pointless. However, follow the advice of respected Harvard researcher Walter Willet and take a daily multi vitamin and mineral supplement. What I would add to Mr Willet’s recommendations is to add some omega 3 containing fish oil and extra plant nutrients in the form of super greens / super reds type drinks to this basic stack for optimum health.

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