From Pre-Pre to Pre   1 comment

I am now switching from pre-pre-pregnancy mode, to pre-pregnancy mode. “Pre-pre-pregnancy” was what I called the period of time when we hadn’t started trying yet, but were getting ready for pregnancy. I made a number of changes to diet and lifestyle during this time, and there were some minor other things like buying a house :-). Originally I figured this phase would last 6-months, since my husband promised me that we could start trying at the beginning of 2010. But with the sloooooooow progress that comes with buying a short sale, at the beginning of the year we were still waiting to hear from the bank. I was not at all comfortable getting pregnant while experiencing the psychological stress that comes with being unsure of our current (previous) living situation and being unsure if and when our offer on the house would be accepted, combined with the stress of being completely swamped at work and slightly out of my comfort range.

Most of my efforts in the pre-pre phase were devoted to getting my hormone levels under control. My previous naturopath theorized that I had leaky gut and my body was reabsorbing too much estrogen. The indicators for leaky gut were hormonal (cyclical) acne and a variety of food allergies. He prescribed some dietary changes, but I couldn’t commit to the more drastic dietary changes (completely eliminating white bread and pasta), and the homeopathic remedies were insufficient. The tests that my new naturopath prescribed included a month-long hormone test, which found that my estrogen is off the charts high while my DHEA (precursor) is within normal range. That would be consistent with the theory that my body isn’t making extra estrogen, it’s absorbing it.

Even before seeing the new naturopath I tried using my hormonal acne as a gauge for getting my hormones in check. My strategy was five-fold:

  1. Decrease (added) sugar consumption to the recommended 5 tsp/day. This took all of two weeks of keeping track of my sugar consumption to realize that most days I wasn’t consuming more than 2 tsp of added sugars.
  2. Eliminate (to 95%) meat and dairy that are not rBST-free (synthetic growth hormone). We were already essentially hormone-free at home, with organic milk and yogurt, mostly organic or hormone-free cheese, and only hormone-free meat. What made this step big is that I included food eaten outside of the house (restaurants, etc.). I’ve been able to keep this one up pretty well over the last year, but I have gotten a little bit more lax on cheese and the occasional run to Coldstone Creamery. I’m hoping that the bacteria that make the cheese will have metabolized more of the residual rBST. It is absolutely painful not being able to order beef or lamb in most restaurants, though.
  3. Overcome my cracker addiction. I used to eat so many boxes of crackers at work and at home, and most of them were made from white flour. But with the cold turkey approach, I got over that. First at work, and then at home. It was hard, but a year later I am quite happy. Even when I was really stressed right after we closed on the house I didn’t relapse into the comfort of crackers. I am so very proud of myself.
  4. Increase my fruit and vegetable consumption. This went along with overcoming the cracker addiction since I replaced snacking on crackers with snacking of fresh vegetables. Needless to say our grocery store budget went down and our farmer’s market budget went up.
  5. Go to sleep between 11 and 11:30. My understanding is that the liver regenerates at around midnight, so this strategy was on the theory that I wanted a really well-functioning liver to remove excess hormones.

My new naturopath added a couple of supplements to go beyond what dietary changes can do. Glutamine powder in my smoothies should help the walls of my digestive tract to heal, thus preventing leaky gut. Another supplement supports metabolism of hormones. She wanted me to take that one for two full months since it takes a couple of months for hormone levels to adjust, but that two month mark will be right after I expect to ovulate next. Hopefully it’ll be good enough.


Posted October 2, 2010 by mayakey in food, health, pre-pregnancy

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One response to “From Pre-Pre to Pre

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  1. Congrats on the decision!
    My husband and I have decided to start trying in january and I am currently getting everything in order to be ready for January. So right now I’m in the pre-prepregnancy stage soon to be pre-pregnancy 🙂

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