The Gut Health and Fertility Connection - Sue Ritchie

The Gut Health and Fertility Connection

The Gut Health and Fertility Connection

I am sure you will have noticed the increasing coverage, information and articles concerning gut health appearing in the media over the last couple of years. But you may be wondering why it has become such front page news and what is all the fuss about?

Well, all the research is showing that the state of our gut health is the number one factor that will determine whether we stay healthy or go to disease. In fact, it is the fundamental factor that underpins not only our physical health, but also our mental health and well being. It will also be having an effect on your fertility.

Poor gut health today is something that is affecting millions of people today. There is a bit of an epidemic going on.

Why is Poor Gut Health such a Big Problem Today?

One of the biggest factors creating poor gut health is the changes in our diet compared to what our grandparents would have eaten. Our typical Western diet that is high in refined carbohydrates (these are products made from white flour – bread, pasta etc), high in sugar, with a lack of fibre. But also the increased consumption of processed foods and ready meals are not helping either. “Low fat” options don’t help either as food manufacturers add sugar to maintain taste.

This type of diet is also making our bodies too acid and this prevents our bodies from functioning optimally. Then when you add in antibiotics, oral contraceptives, alcohol plus our busy stressful lives.  It all has a significant negative impact on our gut and our overall health.

How does Gut Health Impact your Fertility?

Firstly, your gut does far more than just digest, absorb, and excrete food.  Your gut influences the health of every system in your body. It’s responsible for the proper function of your immune system, your emotions – how you think and feel, how you synthesise and excrete hormones. All this influences your fertility too. When your gut health isn’t in a good place, it has a huge effect on other systems in your body.

A healthy gut ensures your body is assimilating crucial nutrients for reproductive health. Your body can’t use what it doesn’t absorb!

Poor gut health and digestion is a common cause for nutrient deficiencies, mineral imbalances, and inflammation. Poor digestion can also impact your hormone levels. Your absorption of fat is especially important for reproductive health. Essential fatty acids form the building blocks for hormone production and support the development of a normal inflammatory response in the body.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Gut Microbiome affects health and wellbeing

One of the key problems with poor gut health is Leaky Gut Syndrome. When you have a leaky gut it doesn’t matter how healthy your diet is, your body will just not be able to make use of the nutrients because they cannot be absorbed properly. Having a leaky gut will also create inflammation in the body.

Also, poor digestion can decrease the body’s ability to get rid of harmful xenoestrogens or excess estrogen that can affect fertility.

It can also depress your thyroid function, a known fertility blocker.

So if you’ve been struggling with getting pregnant, it is essential to understand and fix your gut health.
However, this is not just important for a woman, it is equally important for a man as his gut health will have an impact on the health of his sperm and fertility. This is why I include rebalancing your gut and your gut microbiome as an integral part of my OptiMum Fertility Formula programme.

What are the Signs of Poor Gut Health?

These are the key signs that show you have a problem with your gut health.  So if you are experiencing any of these, it will be important to go through a process to rebalance your gut microbiome. You don’t need to be experiencing digestive problems, such as bloating or wind, to have a gut health issue. Any of the below symptoms will be an indication that your gut health is not in the best place right now.

• Problems focusing and concentrating, brain fog, memory problems
• Digestive problems/bloating/wind
• Athletes foot/fungal nail infections
• Cravings for sugar and carbohydrates
• Irritability, mood swings, anxiety or depression
• Feeling tired all the time/suffering from chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia
• Auto immune diseases such as Hashimoto’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, MS, ME, Vitiligo
• Skin problems such as eczema, hives, rashes
• Vaginal infections, thrush, recurrent cystitis, rectal or vaginal itching
• Seasonal allergies, such as hay fever or itchy ears

If you are suffering from one of more of these, then that is a sign that your gut health is not currently in a great place and it will be impacting your ability to conceive. Also, if you are overweight and have just not been able to shift those pounds then gut health may be the root of the problem. Again your weight in itself can have an impact on your fertility. However, you don’t have to have a weight issue to have poor gut health symptoms.

Steps you can take to Heal Your Gut

1. It is important to go through a specific protocol that has the following steps:

• Remove the factors that negatively impact your gut and may be contributing to your symptoms. Detox process.
• Replace missing nutrients, digestive enzymes etc.
• Re-populate your gut with good bacteria with probiotics and feed your body the right foods.
• Repair your leaky gut with organic natural supplements and foods that heal your gut.

In order to effectively transform your gut health it is important to go through all of these stages in the process with a practitioner. I am afraid that just taking probiotics will not solve the problem.

2. Ensure that you try to not take or at least limit your consumption of gut-damaging medications such as NSAIDs. These are painkillers such as Ibuprofen and aspirin, as well as antibiotics. Both medications disturb gut health and can lead to dysbiosis, gastritis, and ulcers to name a few. Only take them when absolutely necessary and recommended by your doctor.

3. Manage your stress levels. Stress has a huge impact on the health of your gut. Try meditating on a daily basis.

I know there is a lot here to take in here. But this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the gut-fertility connection. If there is one thing to take away from this, it’s that gut health highly influences our reproductive potential. If you are struggling to conceive this would be a good place to start.

To discuss your gut health and your fertility further you can book a Complimentary Fertility Focus Session here

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