The past week my focus has been on 'healing through supplementation'. My end game was a decidedly simple one; sort out the right mix of supplements for my body and its current needs, and take them regularly. Optimise myself. I kept it simple this week because we were in the middle of moving house, so I knew I wouldn't be able to commit to anything too major (I'm writing this from a small box fort in our new place - more on that soon!).
It was no mean feat. I did the research, purchased the supplements, and took them at the same time every day. It was as easy as it sounds, and moving forward, it will be very easy to maintain. I feel great about what I'm taking and I'm confident in their long term benefits for my overall health. Once again, for the record, all have been cleared with my treating GP. I intend to review them in 3 months and adjust as needed.
This is my new daily supplement regime.
I primarily take fish oil because of its linked benefits on mental health and concentration. In the fall out from recent events, I could really use a little support on that front. It is also said to aid with memory and staying on task for extended periods of time, which I rely on a lot for my day job. I enjoy the benefits it gives my skin and hair, and I've read countless studies touting its benefit for healthy heart function. When I do eventually fall pregnant again, it has a host of benefits for a developing foetus' cognitive and motor development.
I began taking turmeric the week before last as a gentle pain killer and inflammatory. I was on a steady stream of heavy prescription painkillers over the course of two weeks for a case of dry socket from my tooth extraction (painful!) and the ongoing cramps associated with the passing of the pregnancy, which was a shock to my system and made me feel ill. As soon as the pain became bearable, I switched over to a triple strength turmeric supplement a few times a day to keep the inflammation at bay as my body finished healing both wounds. I've kept as part of my supplement regime in the hopes it may be helping with the inflammation in my gums and knee joints.
Ethical Nutrients Pre-Pregnancy Support
This one is pretty straight forward. In a few months we'll try to conceive again, and my GP has told me its best to start taking a pre-natal vitamin as soon as you can before doing so. Folic acid reserves are important for trying to prevent neural tube defects in foetal development. Its also a good general mutli-vitamin for every day functioning.
Previous to my last pregnancy, I took a course of 'Elevit' and Reece took a course of 'Menevit'. I've since read some questionable things about the quality of that supplement, and decided to steer clear of it this round. I've also found this supplement has done away with my need to take an additional iron supplement, as it contains just the right amount of iron that my body needs.
I chose to incorporate this supplement after I finished reading It Starts With The Egg (highly recommended for anyone who is reproductively challenged, doing IVF, or suffers from endometriosis or PCOS). I take it in an effort to optimise my egg health. The short version of the story is that our eggs are subject to oxidation and degeneration at any age. All women release a number of dud eggs, not just older women. The rate of duds simply increases with age . The unfortunate few who have these dud eggs fertilised will experience miscarriage as these eggs are not chromosomally viable. Hence why miscarriage is so prevalent, and why many women who experience it often go on to have healthy babies with no further issue - they simply release a healthy egg next cycle. CoQ10 is a powerful anti-oxidant that assists mitochondrial ATP synthesis, which is responsible for creating cellular energy; thus in turn, creating eggs that are chromosomally viable. You up your odds of conceiving well if you can increase the quality of eggs you are releasing, and coQ10 supplements play a significant role in this process.
This was another recommendation from 'It Starts with The Egg'. It is not recommended that you take over 300 mg of Vitamin E per day (and I don't) - however some studies have shown in may increase egg health. My pre-natal vitamin does not contain any amount of vitamin E, so I supplement my regime with capsules. Plus, its awesome for your heart , hair & skin!
I'm trying my hardest to get this from the sun. I make an effort to spend at least 10 minutes, uncovered in direct sunlight every day, usually by eating my lunch at work out on the grass with a big hat on, or sun baking very briefly on the weekends. However, on overcast or really busy work days, this sometimes doesn't happen; which is why I keep a quality Vitamin d3 supplement on hand to top up my reserves. If I haven't found the sun that day, I pop a pill. Easy! I do it for two reasons; I don't want to catch every bug and flu that goes around the office (I've had enough time off this month!) and vitamin D helps boost immunity. I also do it to boost my mental health (and notice the biggest change here on days when I get real sunlight! It really works to flick a switch).
I probably spelt that wrong. I take this for gut health, pure and simple. I have a sensitive stomach (which is also being investigated from a medical point of view) - but I find that taking one of these capsules each night after dinner and before bed seems to even things out for me into the next day. I do think a healthy gut is important. Because I have an overall vague goal of 'reduce inflammation' , I'm aiming to settle this down as much as possible to operate at an optimal level.
AS A SIDE NOTE.... I have managed also this week to chase up the last few remaining to-do items from medical week. I had my pap smear (piece of cake! Ladies, go book yours in!) - I'll have my colonoscopy next Monday (fun!) and I have had my blood drawn to screen my thyroid etc as a pre-pregnancy pre-caution. I'm calling both medical week and supplement week, a huge success!
This week I'm healing through sweat. My aim is to get up and move ever single day this week, in one way or another..... and to get to know my pelvic floor. I'm considering it an absolute baptism of fire as my re-introduction to regular work outs. Stay tuned!
Disclaimer: This is not a medical blog. I am not a medical professional. This is not medical advice. This is simply a recount of my own experience and an exploration of what is working for me right now on a physical and emotional level. Every woman and every experience is different. This is anecdotal. Please see your doctor before trying any of it, just as I did.