Things in the fertility world are always changing. Which is why I like to take a fertility course every few months to make sure I am up on all the latest information for my patients.
I recently took a course offered by Katie Altneu, an acupuncturist in Colorado. Katie is someone I have always admired as she has a booming practice, unbelievable knowledge and understanding of a woman’s body/fertility. She has a great success rate with helping families to conceive. Katie’s program is the Becoming Mama program and she provides an abundance amount of information that every woman should know including: dietary plans/recommendations, supplements, points for acupressure and more.
While I’m not going to give away all the information offered, I did want to mention something major that I learned from her class:
The standard American diet has our blood sugar all over the place. Sugary breakfast, sweets after meals, sugary drinks and excessive carbohydrates have our blood sugar going from too high to too low very quickly. When we eat something sweet our pancreas secretes insulin to help bring the sugar levels down and keep us close to our baseline. This in turn has the potential to bring glucose (sugar) levels too low, especially if we go long periods of time without eating or don’t eat enough at the next meal. Over time low blood sugar will force your adrenals to help out. In doing this your adrenals secrete cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone. This can make you feel stressed and irritated. When your adrenals are put to work in this manner it easily taxes them which weakens your reproductive hormones and creates a hormonal imbalance. This is especially noticeable in women with PCOS. Aside from the pill, many women are put on metformin- a drug for diabetics- to help regulate their blood sugar, which in turn will regulate their hormones.
So how do you regulate your glucose? It’s important to have some glucose as you need a baseline for your brain to function properly. It’s not difficult to regulate your blood sugar although it does take some thought. Most people think giving up sugar and carbs is the best way. While this is a good step there are other things you can do as well that will be even more effective.
First, please don’t give up all carbs. Carbohydrates are very important for female health and can be found in things like broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, bell peppers. It’s important to have some carbohydrates, but I recommend keeping them on the lower side. I don’t love giving an exact number since each person is different and what their body needs can be different for each patient.
The most important thing I’ve learned to regulate blood sugar is how frequently to eat. To keep blood sugar stable you should be eating within the first hour of waking up in the morning and every 3 hours following that until bed time. Ideally, these meals should consist of protein, which helps secrete sugars in a slower rate in the body. Green tea is also great to drink throughout the day as it also helps to release sugar into the blood stream at a slower rate.
I highly recommend learning more about blood sugar and fertility from Katie in her Becoming Mama course. It is open to everyone and gives great dietary advice, acupressure points and ways to track your cycle. It even has information for male fertility. Click here to find out more!