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Monday, July 1, 2013

Calcium and PCOS

Just six weeks ago I married the man of my dreams, on a rainy, yet magical day. Simply the best day of my life, so far! My husband and I have been together since we were kids, and he willingly entered this marriage knowing that we may never have kids of our own. This unfortunately is not a personal choice, but rather the hand I have been dealt with in my stack of genes I was given.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 6.7 million women are infertile or unable to carry to full term. My mom, back in the late 70's and 80's was one of these women, however back then they did not have a name for it. My mom had too many miscarriages including a stillborn, but she somehow managed to have three healthy children.  The question for me is, am I strong enough to go through what my mother went through to manage to have three children? Is the heartache and disappointment worth it? Sadly enough when I have mentioned this fear to other women, the response I get is, "Everyone has a miscarriage, it is no big deal these days." Wow... this where we really are today? In a world where our technological advances have surpassed what we could previously have imagined...

Thankfully, my husband and I are in no rush to have little ones running around (sorry Lauren ;), however we do know that eventually we do want kids. Since being diagnosed with PCOS, I have begun experimenting with many holistic treatments, supplements, and alterations in my diet. Most of all, I have had to become extremely in tune with what my body wants and needs. Today, I am putting the puzzle pieces together and constantly making changes... I will find out how to cure my PCOS by getting down to the root cause, and I will share all the information I have with as many people as possible, because I can't stop thinking about how sad it is that in 2013, miscarriages "happen to everyone".

When I became vegan, I read many books and articles that claimed that I do not need Calcium supplements, and rather the white beans and collard greens I eat, will provide sufficient amounts. So, I finished off my supplements, and stopped taking calcium. Around the same time, I greatly decreased my protein intake, and increased my carbohydrate (much being gluten) intake. A few months later I gained weight, and suddenly had acne, and no period... (Giving up gluten was a different story).

This past March, I was home from work on Spring Break, and catching up on an episode of The Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Oz briefly mentioned the importance of taking Calcium (with magnesium) to not only build strong bones, but enable hormone secretion and help you lose weight. As I researched this a little more, I did indeed find that there is a connection between calcium and PCOS... could perhaps my lack of calcium have caused my infertility?
Calcium Magnesium by Bluebonnet

Around the same time, I had a major sugar was my birthday and my bridal shower month- and as a good hubs-to-be, he bought me gluten free, vegan cupcakes from my favorite bakery, Papa Ganache. During this binge, and by binge I don't necessarily mean I housed a dozen cupcakes, but I ate enough to cause my brain to crave the sugar ever day and cause fluctuations in my mood. My homeopath suggested I begin taking Chromium supplements which aid in managing blood sugar and insulin resistance...
Pretty delicious looking....

Two days later, I got my period... first time in 4 months. Oh, and a major plus, I quickly lost that 5lbs I have been working very hard to loose. Could it be that the Chromium supplements and reintroducing Calcium have caused my symptoms of PCOS to dissipate?

So, here is where the experimentation occurs... I ran out of my Calcium supplements and forgot to purchase more (with the wedding and all!).  The following month, no period, and the weight returned.

I recently reordered my Calcium supplements, and am hoping for the best. Let me remind you that I do not eat dairy, and although I eat buckets of leafy green vegetables, I do not believe that MY body was getting enough calcium that it needed. Your body is your temple, and you must listen to what your body needs. We are all different, and one size does not necessarily fit all. If you are like me, a healthy-as-can-be, young girl, who has been diagnosed with a disease, whether it be PCOS or any other disease, you need to really listen to your body and figure out what is that YOUR body needs. I was having tingles in my limbs for years-- a sign of low calcium, and a sign that my doctors overlooked. Could it be that the tingling, lack of period, acne, and weight gain were not just signs that my ovaries were loaded with cysts, but the cause of all of this was low calcium?

With something to think about...
Stress less, love often, and listen to your body <3