5 Things Women Who Take the Birth Control Pill Should Be Doing NOW.

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TRUTH: If you are currently taking the birth control pill, then you are most likely deficient in crucial vitamins and minerals.

What doctors don’t often tell their patients before putting them on the pill is that it:

  • Creates an imbalance in gut bacteria and causes leaky gut syndrome
  • Depletes nutrients (because they can’t be absorbed due to leaky gut)
  • Disrupts the microbiome
  • Creates chronic inflammation because of the high estrogen dose
  • Decreases fertility
  • Is linked to depression

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty pissed that doctors don’t disclose this information before writing the prescription. Especially when they are prescribing the birth control pill for preventable things like irregular periods and acne. In these cases, the doctor is doing the patient a huge disservice by not delving deeper and running labs to find out what the underlying hormonal imbalance is that is causing the issues in the first place.

Prescribing the birth control pill is just plain lazy.

(For those of you trying to prevent pregnancy and you are wondering what your other options are, please CLICK HERE.)

Okay, so what if you’re on the pill and you don’t plan on quitting any time soon? Well, this is your right entirely and seeing as my main goal is to help support you on your journey, I have a few tips for you.

In addition to taking birth control pill, you should start doing these five things:

1. Take a multivitamin.

Because the birth control causes leaky gut, your body is not absorbing all the nutrients from your food. This is why it is crucial to take a daily multivitamin. I can not emphasize enough how important this is.

And babes, please splurge on this one. Don’t buy the $10 bottle at CVS, this will just give you $10 urine. Instead, opt for Green Vibrance ( I like this one because it also has your probiotics-winning!), or Garden of Life.

2. Take Vitamin D3 : Vitamin D is crucial for hormonal and metabolic function,  yet around 80% of people are deficient in it. In addition to taking a Vitamin D supplement, make sure to get at least 10 minutes of direct sun exposure a day as this helps activate your supplement.

3. Take B12 with Folate- B12 can protect against dementia, increase immune function, maintain nerves, and regenerate cells. It’s necessary for maintaining methylation reactions that repair DNA and prevent cancer. It’s hard to get enough B12 from our diet, and if you are vegan or vegetarian it’s even more difficult. It’s even MORE difficult if you are on the birth control pill, as your body can’t absorb nutrients efficiently due to leaky guy.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is no joke. It can cause extreme fatigue that can disrupt your daily life, and make it hard to function. Tasks that seem easy can appear daunting when suffering from fatigue.

4. Eat at least 2-3 servings of fermented foods daily. Your body depends on your gut to remove excess hormones, that’s why it’s vital to keep your microbiome healthy. Sadly, the birth control pill has been shown to disrupt gut flora and create an environment that allows for an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast. Eating fermented foods will help keep your microbiome balanced. However, if fermented foods are upsetting you, look into getting tested for SIBO.

5. Take a probiotic. Taking a high grade probiotic is your insurance ticket that makes sure beneficial strands of bacteria are being introduced to your gut daily. For optimum health you should maintain an 85-to-15 percent ratio of good bacteria to bad. Once the bad bacteria rises above 15 percent, the immune system begins to slow down and sets off a chain reaction that promotes disease, digestion problems, and interferes with nutrient absorption.

Alright ladies, good luck! And remember, your diet is the most powerful tool you have to keep you vibrant and healthy. So continue to incorporate a variety of vegetables and quality fats into your diet always!

xxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

10 Signs Your Hormones Are Out of Control

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Your hormones can either work for you, or against you. When they are balanced you feel content and grounded, but when they are out of whack, you feel completely out of sync and out of control.

Your hormones control your mood, your health, and your fertility, so it’s crucial to get them to their optimal levels.

If your PMS or perimenopause symptoms are getting in the way of your relationships and interfering with your ability to enjoy life, then your hormones need some love.

10 Signs Your Hormones Are Out of Control Quiz:

1. Your mood is pretty much unpredictable. You experience waves of anxiety, irritability, crying, or anger.

2. You “need” a glass of wine to go to sleep, or to get through the end of your day.

3. You have no energy when you wake up in the mornings. It would be impossible to do anything without having your coffee first.  Coffee is pretty much required for you to lift your head off the pillow.

4. You have uncontrollable weight gain, and nothing you do can get the pounds off.

5. You are experiencing hair loss.

6. Your memory is failing you. Why did you walk into the room in the first place? What was it you were even saying?

7. Brain fog and difficulty concentrating is starting to get in the way of your daily life.

8. You have painful periods. Without an Advil and/or a heating pad you can’t function. You might even have to take off work the first day of your cycle.

9. You have irregular periods or no periods at all.

10. Your patience runs thin (or you have none at all!) the week or two before your period.

Did any of these sound familiar? If you answered yes to two or more of these, then your hormones definitely need some love.

And you’re not alone. I know what it’s like because I’ve been there.

For years my hormones were out of control, but then one day I received the results of a very important test. The explanation for how I was feeling had been found! And what I discovered was that my hormones were far from balanced.

My hormones were out of control.

Chances are you’ve met with a conventional doctor, and they told you your options were limited to birth control pills, anti-depressants, or anti-anxiety medicine.

But I’m here to tell you there are other options!

I know because today my hormones are balanced, without the use of birth control or mood medications.

And I also know because I now help women do the very same in my practice with my 2- Step Protocol:

  1. Investigate- We will test your hormone levels to see exactly what is going on.
  2. Get to the root – We will install therapies such as lifestyle adjustments, targeted supplements, and tailored food plans to get to the underlying cause and bring relief.

If your hormones are running the show, and you’d like to get back in control, then I encourage you to schedule your consultation with me today.

Hormonal balance is achievable.

Health Coach Jenna

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A Hormone Balancing Tea For Painful or Irregular Periods

A painful period is your body’s way of telling you something is off. If you are missing work or school because of a painful cycle, then something is wrong. Ideally, your period would sneak up on you with ninja stealth. No cramping, no bloating, no breast tenderness, no extreme fatigue. Your cycle would come every 21-35 days, and it would last 3-7 days.

If this doesn’t sound like your story, don’t panic. By implementing certain foods and supplements, as well as making certain lifestyle adjustments, you can and will get there.

Many women today are experiencing issues with abnormal periods because of something called Post Pill Syndrome. This takes place typically 4-6 months after quitting the birth control pill and symptoms include:

  • Menstrual irregularities including loss of menstruation, heavy menstruation, painful periods, and short cycles (less than 24 days).
  • Hormonal changes like infertility, hypothyroidism, hair loss, breast tenderness, acne, and adrenal dysfunction.
  • Migraines and headaches.
  • Changes in body composition like breast size, weight gain, or difficulty losing weight.
  • Mood disorders including anxiety and depression.
  • Digestive symptoms including bowel changes, digestive upset, gas, or bloating.
  • Inflammation and other immune imbalances.

But it is possible to balance your hormones. One way you can start balancing them today is by drinking this hormonal balancing tea. I personally found success with it when I discontinued the pill 10 years ago.

If you are currently suffering from any of the above symptoms, I encourage you to schedule your consultation with me today so we can get to the root of the problem. You shouldn’t have to suffer. Hormonal balance is achievable.

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

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6 Alternatives to the Birth Control Pill

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When I was 23, after having been on the birth control pill since the age of 14 (prescribed for ovarian cysts), I had had enough of the horrible side effects of the pill. So I quit. And guess what? I didn’t have a period for three months, I had terrible acne, and I was experiencing mood swings.

After three months of having no period (amenorrhea) I visited the doctor and asked him for help. So what was his answer?

“Take the birth control pill”.

This was my first “aha” holistic moment, ladies. It’s where it all began. To me it sounded counterproductive to get back on the pill after just quitting it three months prior.  I knew I wanted my body to have a healthy period on its own.

So I went to an herb bar (I know so heady right?) because back then I didn’t know anything about health coaches, holistic doctors or healers. But I had heard of this herb bar in Austin from a friend. So I talked to a very lovely woman at the counter and she prescribed a tonic (click here for a simple version you can make at home). Well guess what? After one month of drinking this tonic I had my first pill- free period in ten years! It was oh so empowering!

So What Are My Other Options?!

Okay, so after reading my previous article about the serious side effects associated with the birth control pill, you are probably starting to think that the pill is not the best thing for your body. But what other methods of birth control can you use?

Listed below are the safest and best alternatives to the oral contraceptives. And I realize they all have their pros and their cons, so just weigh them out to see which one suits you best.

 1. Fertility Awareness Method: 99.4% effective

The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) requires you to track your menstrual cycle and abstain from unprotected sex during the time you can get pregnant. On average there are 8-10 days a female can get pregnant. There are many apps that you can download to track your cycle. I use Kindara. You can even get a Daysy thermometer that does all the work for you! All you have to do is take your temperature first thing in the morning. Even if you don’t choose this method, it’s a good idea to use an app like this to track your periods. Please note that if you have irregular periods or your period is outside of the 36 day range, then this method is not for you. That said, women with irregular cycles should still chart their cycles because it will provide invaluable insight into the root of the problem. Also note, if your period tracker app doesn’t ask for your temperature, then it is not FAM but the Rhythm Method. The Rhythm Method is often confused with FAM, but RM is not a reliable birth control method.

2. Condoms: 98% effective

Oh gosh, really? Yes. Really, really. Give them a chance. Plus, if you are using the Fertility Awareness Method, you’ll only have to use them 8-10 days per month. The condom is the most effective of the barrier methods, and because it is the only method that prevents against STDs, it really is the best option for single ladies.

3. Withdrawal: 96% effective

There is no sperm in pre-ejaculatory fluid, but your partner must make sure he urinates prior to sex to get rid of any sperm from previous ejaculations.

4. Diaphragms: 94% effective

These are like condoms for girls that sit up in the cervix. But unlike a condom they can be put a few hours before sex. You must go to ta doctor to get fitted for one, and they last up to two years.

5. Today Sponge: 91% effective

These can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy. It can be inserted 24 hours ahead of sex so that give you lots of flexibility. The sponge is inserted with spermicide and is placed like a cap over your cervix.

6. Copper IUD:

If you are uncomfortable with the above barrier methods, are unable to consistently chart your cycle to use FAM, or are not responsible or reliable with your birth control methods, then your next best option is the copper IUD. It doesn’t contain hormones, which is excellent because it means you will still ovulate. It’s also great for ladies looking for something more permanent as it lasts for ten years. The copper IUD is inserted into your cervix, and stops the sperm from making it way to your uterus. However it does require insertion and removal by a doctor (which can be painful) and can cause heavy periods.

Okay ladies. You now have homework to do. Reflect on these alternatives, and if you have a partner, I encourage you to include them in on the conversation to find out which one suits your lifestyle as a couple best. If you’d like support during this transition, sign up for a consultation with me today.

And remember, if you decide to stick with the birth control pill that is entirely your right. No one is judging you. This is your decision to make. I encourage you to listen to your intuition for guidance.

Xxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

9 Reasons to Avoid Using the Birth Control Pill

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Have you ever visited your gynecologist with complaints such as ovarian cysts, painful periods, or PMS? And did he or she tell you to “start taking the birth control pill?”.

I bet they did.

Now raise your hand if you did just that, and perhaps, yes, some of the symptoms went away, only to result in losing your libido, getting depression, experiencing digestion problems, weight gain, or perhaps just an overall vibe of not feeling like yourself?

Well, you’re not alone.

“Just take the birth control pill.” It’s the easy solution and it’s just plain lazy.

What these doctors don’t want to acknowledge is the root of your problem stems from an imbalance of your hormones in the first place. But they’d rather just tell you to take the pill because:

A) Investigating your imbalance requires much more work for the doctor and you (well in the long run it’s less work for you to get to the root of the problem, as we’ll learn later the pill comes with a host of problems).

B) The doctor knows that to get to the filling of this peanut butter cup mystery requires the patient make a diet and lifestyle change, which I get it, is hard in most cases. Especially in today’s world of the “just give me a pill that cures everything” mentality. So they just opt to write a prescription.

C) Perhaps they genuinely don’t know better and believe it is the best option for you (you’ll frequently find this with older generation doctors).

So why would they give it to me if it doesn’t work?

I’m not saying the pill doesn’t work to prevent against pregnancy. It has a 99.9% effective rate. So there is that.

But what about all the other hormonal problems that seem to be cured by taking the birth control, like PCOS, irregular periods, hormonal imbalances, painful periods, etc?

The reason the pill appears to be“working” for these problems is because it is pumping your body with synthetic hormones. Your body actually STOPS making its own hormones, ladies! So you are completely reliant on the pill. Yes, this “balances” your hormones, but in a false sense. When you stop taking the pill, all these problems will still be there in full force.

Let’s talk infertility, one of the biggest problems associated with the birth control pill.

Because your body does not make its own hormones while on the pill explains why many women today experience infertility for a year or two when trying to conceive. Many clients come to me after a year of not being able to conceive, frustrated that it’s taking so long. What many of them have in common is that they stopped taking birth control literally the month before they started trying.

[Have you recently quit hormonal birth control? If so, the check out my 20-Day Hormone Reset Detox Program]

It doesn’t work that way, amigas.

Yes, some women are blessed and can get pregnant on the first try, but for some it’s much more difficult. And this is because the body has been on vacation while the pill took over and pumped out synthetic hormones for years, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it’s expected to get back to work after spending years on the beach sipping pina coladas! The body says “hell no take me back to Hawaii!”.

Good news is the body will eventually come around, but it takes time. You have to court it first with nourishing foods, exercise, supplements, and sometimes, in last case scenarios, bio identical hormones (and that makes for a whole other article).

9 Cons of the Hormonal Birth Control Pill:

  1. It damages your chance of conceiving in the future– studies have shown that women who were on the pill are twice as likely to have trouble conceiving, and even more so if they were on it for a long period of time. (1) Post-pill infertility
    affects many women today. Women getting off the pill have to learn how to make their own hormones again, and it could take months or even years to start learning again.
  2. It’s robbing your body of nutrients– Birth control pills destroy your ability to metabolize nutrients, so you are robbed of precious vitamins and minerals that are crucial to your health, resulting in fatigue, migraines, and much more. (2)
  3. Causes depression and anxiety– Because of reason number two, your body is susceptible to depression and anxiety.
  4. Lactose intolerant or vegan? All hormonal birth control contains milk, so not good if you are lactose intolerant or vegan.
  5. It’s bad for your gut health– The birth control pill destroys your gut health resulting in weight gain or loss, stomach cramps, IBS, bloating, and all other types of digestive disorders.
  6. It makes you pick the wrong mate– Since your body isn’t making its own hormones while you’re on the pill, you are choosing a mate based off your synthetic hormones. Some researchers are blaming this for the high divorce rate (3).
  7. It lowers your sex drive– Birth control lowers your testosterone, which lowers you libido. What’s the point of being on the pill to prevent against pregnancy if you aren’t having sex?
  8. Increases your risk of blood clots, heart disease, and strokes– This one is not really hidden, you can find this on all of the pamphlets. (4)
  9. It masks hormonal imbalance– Sure your hormonal imbalance will appear to “go away” with the pill because you are being pumped steadily with synthetic hormones, but when you get off, all those problems will be right their waiting for you – and most likely amplified. You can’t run away from your hormones, gals.

So now that you know the risks of taking the hormonal birth control pill, it’s probably time to explore your other options.

—–> Click HERE for 6 Alternatives to the Birth Control Pill <———–

And ladies, if you continue taking your birth control, don’t feel bad. I want you to know I’m not judging you. We all have to do what we need to do, and if having a baby is not something that is presently appropriate for you, now or ever, and you don’t think that you are able to commit to another plan, then by all means please do what is right for you. My hope for you is that you are informed and have explored all of your options before making up your mind.

If you are currently taking a form of hormonal birth control and wish to explore your other options, contact me today for a health consultation.

Xxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Sources:

  1. Oakeshott, Isabel. Pill Could Harm Future Fertility. January 30, 2004. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ health/article-207039/Pill-harm-future-fertility.html (accessed April 9, 2013).
  2. Bennett, Jane, and Alexandra Pope. The Pill: Are Your Sure It’s for You? Allen & Unwin, 2008. Deroo, Bonnie, and Kenneth S. Korach. “Estrogen Receptors and Human Disease.” The Journal of Clinical Investigation 116, no. 3 (2006): 561-570.
  3. Kluger, Jeffrey. Why We Love. January 16, 2008. http://www.time.com/time/health/ article/0,8599,1704355-1,00.html.
  4. Yasmin Pamphlet. n.d.