Achieving a healthy pregnancy naturally
This is a story of how I was able to support a client of mine in achieving a healthy pregnancy naturally through the functional medicine lens. She approached me after two miscarriages, a uterine fibroid surgery as well as hypothyroid diagnose. You may want to read her review here.
Seemingly unrelated health problems indeed played a role in this client’s interrupted pregnancies before our mutual work.
The functional medicine compels us to look at how our choices are not only informing our genetic activation but also our biochemistry. And this is particularly true of an endocrine function in the body. We can’t look at hormones separately. We need to understand what is driving the body to have a certain activation, a certain pattern of hormone status.
In preparation for this client’s Initial Comprehensive Health Assessment appointment I reviewed this client’s lab work and it was clear that she was suffering from some subclinical hypothyroidism for several years.
According to this study women with TSH greater than 2.5 mU/L in the first trimester have an increased risk of miscarriages compared with women with TSH 0.2-2.5 mU/L. The risk of miscarriages is increased in women with TSH 4.51-10 mU.L. Therefore, suboptimal or subclinical thyroid function may have an adverse pregnancy outcomes including an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, gestational hypertension, placental abruption, and postpartum hemorrhage as well as impaired neurological development in the offspring.
As I’ve mentioned, we can’t look at hormones separately. We need to understand an upstream drivers for that imbalance which precipitate a logical biochemical skewing downstream.
One of this client’s health concerns was also a diarrhea, which often was green in color. Diarrhea may be a symptom of many diseases. A growing body of evidence shows that imbalance of the gut microbiome increases susceptibility to various pathogens and causes many diseases, including diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), allergies, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Diarrhea is a clinical manifestation of barrier damage, leading to electrolyte loss and malabsorption. We need nutrients to run our biochemistry and we need building blocks/nutrients to provide growth for the fetus. So, at first seemingly unrelated digestive issue had a clear impact on this client’s interrupted pregnancy. During pregnancy, the maternal body undergoes dramatic physiological changes to support the growth of fetus-placenta.
An imbalance of the gut microbiome may adversely affect pregnancy outcome and lead to pregnancy complications, per this study. Microbiota influence the uptake of minerals relevant to the thyroid. Therefore, an imbalance in the gut microbiome and diarrhea can lead to thyroid dysfunction. I hope that now you can see the interconnectedness between how GI health can affect thyroid function and how both are affecting pregnancy.
Sporadic miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy. Research shows that environmental exposure, in particular to endocrine-disrupting chemicals have the potential to interfere with endogenous hormone action.
These effects can be deleterious, especially in early pregnancy which can lead to implications and miscarriages.
Epidemiological studies show that endocrine-disrupting chemicals effect prenatal growth, thyroid function, glucose metabolism and obesity, puberty, fertility and carcinogenesis.
As a functional medicine practitioner I have an affiliation with the Vibrant America wellness lab testing company. And after running a Comprehensive Food Sensitivity and Additive panel we were able to see that this client had high levels of BPA as well as other chemicals (you can see a screenshot of that test) to which her immune system was aggressively reacting to. This is another link as to why she had miscarriages. Her body was too busy fighting chemicals and defending itself. It didn’t feel safe to maintain pregnancy at that time.
BPA is an endocrine disrupters which is a potent estrogen mimicker. Research shows that endocrine-disrupting chemicals have estrogen potentiating effect and are also linked to fibroid pathogenesis. The female hormone estrogen is increasingly prevalent in our food and in our environments that affects both women, men and children. Exposure to BPA can have effects on the brain and prostate gland in developing fetuses and infants. It can also affect children’s behavior.
This client also suffered from numerous other symptoms such as:
- Dry skin
- Low energy, lethargy
- Hair loss
As a functional medicine practitioner I was able to help this client to get to the root causes of her imbalances and dysfunctions that were precipitating miscarriages in the past.
She got pregnant few weeks into my 3 months Functional Medicine program. 8 months later she posted a beautiful, heart-warming review.
Pregnancy is a miracle on its own!
I feel very blessed to have been part of this miracle.
Just yesterday my client sent me a picture of her beautiful baby and noted that she had a natural birth and perfectly fine breast milk supply. She thanked me for my hard work and said that their dream has come true.
My heart is filled with love and happiness for this family!
Please note that this was a very complex and rich case which had many more chains of interconnectedness that I did not lay out in this blog.
Functional medicine is evidence and science based. It assess and treats underlying causes of disease, using individually-tailored therapies. Functional medicine emphasis that a healthy GI tract is a critical foundation for health, thus many chronic complaints are linked to a compromised GI tract. As a result it helps to restore health and improve body’s normal function.
This client is a great example of how her dysfunctions, including 2 prior miscarriages and hypothyroidism were linked to her GI health.
As a certified functional medicine practitioner I can help you to find answers to your dis-ease dynamics and reverse them by getting to the root causes of imbalances. Don’t wait until your symptoms get severe enough to be diagnosable. Dis-ease or imbalance in the body (when sustained) precipitates disease. Start your health journey by scheduling a Comprehensive Health Assessment appointment via this link.
I work remotely all over the world helping people with autoimmune diseases, skin diseases (psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, vitiligo, acne, ichthyosis), gastrointestinal, SIBO, asthma/allergies, type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease, hormone, PCOS, thyroid, detoxification, hypertention, fertility issues.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Functional Medicine services are designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. Do not disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical or health-related advice from your healthcare professional.
I am not acting in the capacity of a doctor, licensed dietitian-nutritionist, therapist, or psychologist and will not diagnose, treat or cure any disease, condition or other physical or mental ailment of the human body.
Rather I serve as a mentor and guide who helps a client to reach her/his own health and wellness goals through implementing incremental, positive, healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes that help the client to live and thrive using simple methods.