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Diabetes, infertility and nutrition

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Infertility is heartbreaking; there’s no other way to say it. Heartbreaking. If this is a challenge for you, whether you are single or partnered, the difficulty and disappointment inherent in this situation is nothing short of earth-shattering.

Many, many women today are dealing with pre-diabetic, diabetic and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). They all seem to be tied together. And many women are, thankfully, learning that the infertility, diabetes and taking charge of their health and lives is intrinsically tied to nutrition.

It starts before conception.

It can be difficult, when you’re already challenged with a blood-sugar disorder to make and take that additional time to optimize your health. When you add a fertility challenge to the mix, and you want the most natural, least invasive solutions – the best place to start is with your diet. Some diabetes risks can be lowered with simple dietary changes and a healthier glucose level can be attained in as little, sometimes, as 90 days.

Most diabetics are already wrapped up with a nutritionist and new ideas for diabetic nutrition are presented to us in a nearly constant flow. In fact, diabetes has become so prevalent within our society that some view it as less serious than it is. The fact is in the U.S. diabetes can be considered an epidemic. Nearly SEVEN MILLION people don’t even know they have diabetes and nearly EIGHTY MILLION are challenged with pre-diabetic conditions. Sounds pretty serious to me.

Along with this explosion of diabetes and come gestational diabetes – diabetes found during pregnancy. Health care professionals are finding nearly 20% of pregnancies are affected and of those, approximately 50% of these women run the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes within an estimated 15 years or so.

Whether it’s an infertility issue or a pregnancy issue, diabetes is nothing to muck around with. You need to get healthy, even it if it with a specific goal in mind – to get pregnant!

Higher blood sugar levels along with an increase of diagnosed insulin resistance can affect the body’s ability to regulate ovulation and menstrual cycles. In addition, unstable glucose levels can increase the chances of early miscarriage significantly. Essentially, unregulated glucose levels can end a pregnancy before the woman even knows she is pregnant, because the egg will not effectively implant. Hormone levels are also negatively impacted by wonky glucose levels.

Well, all of that certainly is “doom and gloom”, isn’t it? There is hope, however…

First of all, YOU have control over this. You already know that lowering and stabilizing your blood sugars will improve your chances of conception as well as lowering the risks to yourself and your baby. What you really need to realize is that this is totally possible,

Some key tips for stabilizing your glucose levels are:

  • Reducing your body weight by a minimum of 10%
  • Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes daily
  • Lower the fats in your diet – eat lean meat and fish and low-fat dairy products
  • Fresh and seasonal fruits and veggies – preferably local and preferably organic
  • Reduce or eliminate processed carbohydrates - Choose whole grains
  • Reduce or eliminate refined sugars and sweets – Consider using Yacon syrup, which is not processed by the body as a sugar.
  • Reduce your stress levels.
  • Get plenty of good-quality sleep.
  • And, for Pete’s sake, STOP SMOKING!

The period of time prior to a woman conceiving is when the big dietary and nutritional changes should be made. Optimize your health and create a friendly environment for fertility and growing a baby. There is HARD science behind the fact that preconceptive health care is as important as prenatal healthcare. These are small changes carrying far-ranging effects, not just for conception and fertility, but for your entire life!

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