Updated: Dec 11, 2019
In the fertility world, especially social media there's a name for everything, BFN, BFP, MFI and it can get really daunting. [Head explosion emoji] Good thing for acronyms because that is what got me through studying for the MCAT's and truthfully, lots of memorizing. Because sharing is caring, here's a great >>CHEATSHEET<<
However, when it comes to our health, how come we can't have a checklist? There's SO MANY "news" out there about what to eat, what to think, and what to do that it gets overwhelming, especially when I know I've tried at least 5 of the things listed (i.e. meditation, yoga, etc). Not like these things are not important, but the truth is this question pops up "Is it right for me?" Nothing is really one size fits all, and wellness checks depends on the person but there is a general list how we can check if we're on the right track.
Here's a way to qualitatively check your immune system to see if it's working appropriately for you: Compare yourself at different times versus comparing yourself to others (i.e. sick less often/length of time, improved sleep, improved emotional state/mood)1
Are you getting sick often/ How long does it take you to recover after getting sick?
Do you have allergies?
Do you have trouble falling/staying asleep throughout the night?
Does it take you more than 10 minutes to recover after a 30-60 min exercise?
Do you have skin issues (i.e. eczema, rashes, itchiness, etc)?
What is your energy like throughout the day, does it drag or do you feel lethargic?
If you answered 'Yes' to any of the above, your immune system may not be working as well as it can to help you adapt to your environment. You ever hear when people mention that stress is related to not only mentally but physically - these questions pinpoint how it can alter our state. When our bodies are focused on responding to our environment, it can let the guard down for other functions in body leaving us vulnerable and stressed out more than we thought.
Now, what happens is when you experience that stress your blood chemistry changes. YES - changes every 120 days. It's insane! Even more insane is that if we do the same things (i.e. eat, do, and think) it stays consistent. That is the definition of insanity, and I'm here to shed light on that so you can TAKE CHARGE and be aware. [Your blood tests only been telling you when you have a condition not helping you be WELL]
When the symptoms/signs show - it's past the "prevention" state
The most useful thing is to check what your baseline is so you can compare/contrast your progress before you're pregnant, during, and after. These are the only fertility tests you'll need to gauge on your fertility health:
1. Hemoglobin (Hb) A1c
2. Vitamin D, 25-Hyroxy
3. Thyroid Profile with TSH (includes TSH, T3, T4, Free T4)
4. Thyroid Antibodies
These are only the preliminary tests as blood tests are only a sample for the time it was taken. Fortunately for us, our bodies can fluctuate and harmonize to make us survive and even thrive when we understand the ingredients and the best state to be in to absorb those nutrients.
What it all means...
1. Hemoglobin (Hb) A1c (aka THE SUGAR DETECTOR) assesses our blood in evidence of blood glucose levels in the average of 3-4 months at a time. It's often used as a monitoring for diabetes, but it can be more useful than that as a window inside our diet and environment for the past 3-4 months. An increase in this number is also prevalent in individuals who meet the criteria for a certain type of PCOS.
Functional range: 4.8-5.6%
2. Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy is actually a hormone that is produced by the cells in our body. In order to get more we must get it through dietary means. Another way to get it is by the cells in the body that converts a cholesterol derivative into vitamin D by the use of sunlight. "Unfortunately, use of a sunscreen with SPF as low as 15 reduces the rate of vitamin D production by 99.9%" 2345
Functional range: 50-65 ng/ml
" Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin of humans (and other vertebrates) after exposure to ultraviolet B light (uVB). Vitamin D3 only becomes biologically active after two conversions; one in the liver (primarily) and then in the kidney to in its biologically active hormone form which is also known as calcitriol. Calcitriol or biologically active vitamin D is often considered the most potent steroid hormone in human physiology. " 6
Convert Iodide to Iodine to create T4 for bodily functions
Basic functions in the body such as: salivary gland, ovaries, part of the eye, prostate, breast, brain, all immune system, and uterus.
Effected by stress levels and many other varying factors (i.e. can change in the afternoon)
If thyroid function is low, difficult to balance blood sugar and/or lose weight
TSH: 1.0 - 2.0 microU/mL
TPO (Ab): 0 - 34 IU/mL
Thyroglobulin Antibody: 0-0.9 IU/mL
Inquire for T3 or T4
4. Cortisol (hydrocortisone) is essential for bodily functions. It regulates between the adrenal glands, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland in charge of our endocrine system function. Not only that, this hormone is more than released during stressful times, it's has a variety of functions like:
control blood sugar levels
help reduce inflammation
assist with memory formulation
supports developing fetus during pregnancy
However, in times of too much stress, it can have detrimental effects including chronic pain.
Functional range: Dependent on time of day blood test taken
5. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. It's the counterpart to cortisol and has a variety of functions as well. Insulin is sensitive to environmental responses like exercise and stress. The purpose of insulin is the storage of fats but can also drive inflammation and oxidation stress to the body. Optimal numbers are best as insulin tends to be the first to spike followed by blood sugar. Therefore, testing for this is a preliminary marker of what's going on with the body immediately along with comparing with the HbA1c.
Functional range: <5.0 ulU/ml
Now that you've got what it means to have your body functioning optimally rather than just "out of the disease state" it's time to take some action!
WHY NOT measure directly on how our eggs are doing?
Great question! Why do we not stop checking the weather? Simply because it changes just like how our bodies can change. If it's hot, we don't continuing wearing a jacket and sweats outside just like how our body can change when our environment change.
Don't worry, there's a way to correct them and improve from today on. Have questions specifically for you? Simply drop us a message and we can guide you to the right avenue to get your question answered.
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1. Alcantara, J., Ohm, J., & Kunz, D. (2009). The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 5(5), 290-295.
2. Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrare HA, et al. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab.2011 Jul; 96(7):1911-1930. Erratum: 2011 Dec; 96(12):3908. PubMed 21646368
3. Souberbielle JC, Body JJ, Lappe JM, et al. Vitamin D and musculoskeletal health, cardiovascular disease, autoimmunity and cancer: Recommendations for clinical practice. Autoimmune Rev.2010 Sep; 9(11):709-715. PubMed 20601202
4. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington DC: The National Academies Press; 2011.
5. Endres DB, Rude RK. Mineral and bone metabolism. In: Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, eds.Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders;1999:1395-1457.