Strengthening Your Pancreas

Keeping your pancreas healthy and your blood sugar levels stable will help stabilize your hormones when you are trying to get pregnant. When our blood sugar levels are high, we suffer spikes that weaken the adrenal glands. Sugar frazzles the hormones and leaves our endocrine system exhausted. When we consume sugar, it drives our insulin levels high, and then drops them dramatically low, leaving our bodies with a down-right hormonal mess. When our sugar levels drop, our adrenals release both cortisol and adrenaline in an attempt to restore our sugar levels back to an even kneel, leading to hormonal imbalance.

The reason these sugar spikes impact our fertility is that progesterone, which is the main hormone required for ovulation, and cortisol compete for the same receptor binding sites in the body. Cortisol, however, will always win this showdown, and if the battle continues, it will disrupt the entire endocrine system, which in turn, disrupts all the sex hormones, including oestrogen, progesterone, and the androgens DHEA.

To keep your hormones in tip-top shape, reduce your sugar intake. High sugar levels can also cause miscarriage and cause congenital defects in a fetus.

Here are some ways to keep your pancreas healthy and your blood sugar levels stable:

• Eat foods that nourish your pancreas, such as blueberries, sunflower seeds, almonds, cherries, broccoli, garlic, red grapes, spinach, sweet potatoes. Prepare these foods ahead of time and carry them with you so you can have healthy food readily available wherever you go.

• Try to eat something healthy every three hours.

• Eat lots of spinach, which is high in magnesium and is known to help prevent type 2 diabetes.

• Avocados are also high in magnesium.

• Walnuts, which are high in monounsaturated fat, helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

• Get at least eight hours of sleep.

• Almonds can lessen the subsequent rise in blood sugar. Avoid sugar, soda and artificial sweeteners.

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Strengthening the Pineal Gland

The pineal gland controls circadian rhythms in the body, as well as melatonin and pinoline.

Melatonin is a hormone that plays a key role in fertility, because it controls the timing and release of various reproductive hormones. The pineal gland manufactures melatonin, which in Chinese medicine is linked to healthy liver energy, which is important to reproductive health. Having adequate amounts of melatonin in your body has been shown to improve pregnancy rates. Because we live in a light-saturated culture due to TVs, cell phones, computer screens, and street lights, we are often robbed of the melatonin we need for a restful night’s sleep, and sleep disturbances are a recipe for hormonal imbalance.

Fluoride is the number one enemy of a healthy pineal gland. Coffee, alcohol and tobacco also hurt this gland. The mineral boron, found in beets and dried plums, can help remove fluoride from the human body.

To strengthen the pineal gland:

• Apple cider vinegar

• Oregano

• Garlic

• Melatonin

• Sunlight is food for the pineal gland

• Chlorophyll-rich superfoods, like spirulina, chlorella, detoxify the pineal gland

• Natural food sources of iodine, such as seaweed

• Watermelon

• Coconut oil

• Spinach

• Asparagus

• Broccoli

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Strengthening Your Pituitary Gland

The pituitary gland is sometimes called the master gland of the body, because all the other endocrine glands depend on its secretion for stimulation. It is a tiny gland located at the base of the brain and is sometimes referred to as the thermostat of the body because it controls the other hormone secreting glands. High protein foods help the pituitary gland to release its hormones, because the building blocks of proteins are amino acids.

Emotionally, problems with the pituitary gland can come from not respecting your inner wisdom and/or pretending to be someone your not.

Here are some ways to strengthen your pituitary gland:

• Bee pollen

• Spirulina

• Magnesium

• Potassium

• Dandelion

• Omega-3 oil

• Chia seeds

• Manganese is important to a healthy pituitary gland. Foods that contain manganese include citrus fruits, green leaves, and egg yokes.

• Walk at least 20 minutes a day in sunlight. This will encourage the pituitary gland to produce helpful levels of ovary-stimulating hormones. You also might want to consider a Vitamin D supplement.

• L-Arginine is an amino acid that promotes the section of HGH.

• Fenugreek stimulates the release of HGH while giving your energy levels a kick.

• Get more sleep

• In traditional Chinese medicine, the pituitary gland is part of bonding with others, sharing words and ideals. Think about and journal about this aspect of your life, and what you may need to address emotionally.

• Include meat and protein in your diet.

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Strengthening Your Spleen and Digestive System

The spleen is an important organ involved in the hormonal cycle and is responsible for certain types of progesterone production. It also governs many of the energetic processes in the body. Balancing your digestive system and spleen can help you achieve the right balance of floras in your system.

The spleen also impacts the thyroid hormone and progesterone production. Some link menstrual difficulties to a spleen imbalance.

Some ways to balance these systems include:

• In Chinese medicine, the emotion associated with the Spleen system is worry. It is important for spleen health to learn to say no without reason or excuse and make a concerted effort to take care of yourself each day.

• Consider digestive enzymes, with hydrochloric acid, available at health food stores.

• Consider probiotics to increase the ‘good gut bacteria.’

• Avoid sodas and instead drink lots of water instead. Lack of water is sometimes the cause of poor digestion.

• Chew your food slowly

• Include ground flaxseeds in your diet.

• Increase fiber in your diet, with foods like apples, figs, prunes and dates.

• Acupuncture has been reported to encourage healthy digestion.

• Avoid sugar, white flour products, raw cold foods, soy and dairy products.

• Try to walk each day. Exercise helps move the spleen energy.

• Eliminate possible food allergens.

• Boost friendly bacteria in your body.

• Massage your stomach to help reduce stress and aid digestion.

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Strengthening Your Thyroid

Undiagnosed thyroid problems can sometimes be the root cause of infertility or recurrent miscarriages. To start, visit your primary care physician and ask to have your thyroid tested to find out the amount of the thyroid hormone your thyroid is secreting. Request a thyroid stimulating hormone test (TSH) with the full panel of thyroid levels, including thyroid antibodies and thyroxine. Ask for the numerical result for the TSH level. Some doctors believe that if a woman has a TSH level higher than 2.0. It may indicate that she will have problems getting pregnant.

If you have an underactive thyroid, it means your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain hormones. Low levels of thyroid hormones can interfere with the release of eggs from your ovaries.

Treating hypothyroidism can be an important part of healing infertility. Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, and hyperthyroidism, known as over-active thyroid, are sometimes pinpointed as the cause of infertility. That’s because the hypothalamus and pituitary glands can sometimes sense an underactive thyroid gland and try to kick things back to normal by increasing the levels of hormones in the body. Low levels of the thyroid hormone can interfere with ovulation, which impairs fertility. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause imbalances which impact your ovaries. The ovaries are very sensitive to changes in thyroid levels and even seemingly small declines in thyroid levels can adversely impact ovarian function. Some symptoms of a thyroid dysfunction include cold hands and feet, weight gain and depression.

Along with being treated by a doctor who specializes in thyroid problems, here are some other things you can do to help your thyroid condition:

• Eat foods high in vitamin A, such as yellow vegetables and dark green vegetables.

• Foods that contain iodine nurture the thyroid, such as kelp and seaweed. Seaweed can be added to soups, salads or just eaten plain. Other foods rich in iodine include: asparagus, bananas, carrots, garlic, onions, spinach, and tomatoes.

• Coconut oil is known to be an excellent for boosting thyroid function.

• Foods rich in zinc nourish the thyroid, such as oatmeal, chicken, and spinach.

• Raisins are rich in copper, which help the body produce thyroid hormones.

• Soy should not be eaten at this time, because soy can interfere with thyroid hormones.

• The amino acid Tyrosine, found in beef and chicken, and helps support the thyroid.

• Beet tops, leafy greens, and parsley are helpful.

• Dark green leafy vegetables that are rich in minerals also boost the thyroid.

• Foods to avoid include cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, canola oil, soy, peanuts, cabbage and kale, which have goitrogens that are high in sulfur have been known to impede thyroid gland function. A note of caution here, however, those with an overactive thyroid may find these foods helpful. It is recommended you meet with a physician or nutritionist to discuss which foods are best for you, depending on your thyroid condition.

• Avoid caffeine and excessive amounts of alcohol.

• Keep your blood sugar levels steady, as fluctuating blood sugar levels can negatively impact the thyroid.

• Avoid artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame.

• Include a good quality sea salt or Celtic salt in your diet, instead of white table salt.

• For an underactive thyroid, consider foods like sea kelp, chicken, dates, molasses, and parsley.

• Do not drink coffee and reduce your intake of sugar as much as you can.

• Alternative therapies that may help the thyroid include acupuncture and lymph drainage massage, where the thyroid and lymphatic system are massaged so as to loosen any blocks.

• Avoid drinking out of plastic and soda cans. Instead, drink only out of glass, stainless steel or BPA free plastic bottles.

• Include lots of natural fats in your diet, such as olive oil, flax seeds and avocados.

Vitamin and mineral supplements considered to help thyroid function include:

• B-complex

• Vitamin C

• Omega 3s that are found in fish, flaxseed and walnuts, which are the building blocks for the hormones that control immune function and cell growth.

• A multi-mineral formula in liquid form, since minerals are key to glandular health.

• Calcium/magnesium are also known to help the metabolic process.

• High-quality natural thyroid supplements (note: you may want to seek the advice of a well-trained nutritionist on what type of supplements are appropriate for those who are trying to get pregnant, and what dosage is appropriate once you are pregnant.)

• You might want to consider a glutathione supplement or include more foods that contain glutathione, such as asparagus, broccoli, peaches, spinach, garlic and grapefruit.

• Pay attention to food allergies or sensitivies.

• Reduce gluten in your diet or if you can, go entirely gluten free.

• Take a probiotic because a healthy thyroid functions depend on a sufficient supply of healthy gut bacteria.

• Pay attention to adrenal burn-out or fatigue, because there is a connection between the thyroid and adrenal glands. Think of the thyroid and adrenals as Frick and Frack—if you have a problem with hypothyroidism, you are probably suffering with some level of adrenal fatigue or burn-out also.

• Include seaweed in your diet.

• Avoid radiation.

• Do a heavy metal cleanse, as heavy metal exposure is sometimes linked to thyroid problems. In addition to a heavy metal cleanse, begin eating or juicing garlic and cilantro, and include such as taking Milk Thistle, turmeric and chlorella in your diet.

• Eat more foods that contain selenium, such as salmon, sunflower seeds, onions and brazil nuts.

• Stress and emotional traumas, such as a job loss or marital problems, can weaken thyroid function. Explore creative ways to reduce stress, such as joining a chorus, deep breath, take gentle walks in a beautiful area, or take a painting or drawing class.

• The thyroid gland is located in the throat, the center of our communication with the world. Holistic practitioners often view low thyroid function as a result of a blocked throat chakra, a result of feeling like you can’t speak your piece. Learn new and creative ways to find your voice, such as singing, writing, and creating art. Stop ‘swallowing’ your feelings and speak your truth. Create an expression center in your home, where you create posters, collages, and scrapbooks to say what you want to say and let your deepest feelings be known.

• Avoid drinking tap water.

• Do not use non-stick cookware.

• Stop the use of perfume, especially spraying it in the neck area.

• Eat foods that contain tyrosine, an amino acid the body needs to manufacture thyroid hormones, such as avocados, almonds, bananas, pumpkin seeds and lentils.

• Include more sea vegetables in your diet, such as kelp and kelp granules to sprinkle over your salads.

• Stay outside in the sunshine at least 20 minutes a day.

• Evening primrose oil is rich in amino acids which nourish the thyroid gland.

• Consider taking the herbs nettle and bladder wrack.

• Discontinue using deodorants and body lotions that contain parabens, chlorates and pesticides.

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Strengthening Your Ovaries

The ovaries rely on fat for fertility and hormonal balance. Vitamins A and E found in foods such as olive oil and avocados support reproductive health. The antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, especially those with a deep orange color, are known to strengthen the ovaries. These include sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, oranges, orange bell peppers. Vitamin B6 is also important to ovarian health. If you are deficient in B6, your body may produce more estrogen than you need, which disrupts the normal menstrual cycles and prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs on a consistent basis. Foods rich in Vitamin B6 include avocado, spinach, broccoli, beans, and potatoes.

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Strengthening Your Vagina

A healthy vagina produces healthy cervical mucus. Healthy bacteria in the vagina can enhance fertility, while an acidic or unhealthy vagina can be a barrier to fertility. Some medications, illnesses, excessive douching, severe emotional stress, or clothing that holds in body heat and moisture, can upset the balance of a healthy vagina. You want to help make your vagina a welcoming environment.

Here are some ways to promote a healthy vagina:

• Eat yogurt, which has lactobacillus acidophilus, or “good bacteria.” Avoid sugary yogurt.

* Wear cotton underwear for good air flow. This prevents the development of damp conditions that promote yeast and unhealthy bacteria. Underwear made from synthetic fabrics, silk, lace and other materials doesn’t breath as freely.

• Do not use douches or feminine sprays. They wash out healthy bacteria that helps your vagina stay clean and infection-free. Avoid scented creams, scented pads, scented tampons and wipes.

• Check to see if you have bacterial vaginosis, which is an overgrowth of bacteria inside your vagina and should be treated.

• Check to see if you have any vaginal abnormalities that can impact fertility, such as fusion of the labia or imperforate hymen.
• It is important not to ignore yeast infections and vaginal infections, such as vulvovaginitis, at this time.

• Sexually transmitted diseases, such as Chlamydia and gonorrohea, need to be treated.
• When you wash your vagina, use hot water rather than strong soaps. If you choose to use soaps, make sure you thoroughly rinse with warm water so no trace of soap is left behind. Using harsh soaps can lead to infection, and irritation.
• Eat garlic. It has properties that kill yeast.
• Do not use lubricants of any kind.
• Aim to make your vagina less acidic and more sperm friendly. Ideally, keep your pH range at 6.5 to 7.5. If your body is acidic, your cervical mucus will also be acidic, creating a hostile environment for sperm.
• Avoid vegetable oil.
• Avoid saliva.
• Avoid glycerin.
• Minimize your intake of sugar, alcohol and white flour products.
• The gut flora, or bacteria in your gut, colonize your vagina. Eat sufficient probiotics or yogurt with bifidus and acidophilus cultures to maintain healthy levels.
• L-Arginine increase production of mucus during ovulation.
• Calcium makes the pH of the cervical mucus less acidic and more sperm friendly.
• Grapeseed extract protects the sperm and makes the cervical mucus sperm friendly.
• Vitamin C increases the amount of water in your cervical mucus, helping you produce more mucus.
• Avoid foods that make your blood acidic, such as processed foods, red meat and hydrogenated oils.
• Evening Primrose Oil helps increase fertile cervical mucus production.
• Red clover and Siberian ginseng also help support vaginal health.

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