'If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” - Hippocrates
Nutrition is the study of how the body uses nutrients from food and the connection between diet and health or disease. There is a growing body of scientific evidence supporting how diet and nutrition can promote optimum health. Nutritional Therapy considers the role of how our diet and lifestyle, genetics, environmental toxins and stressors all play a role in our health and well-being. Combining a healthy diet and lifestyle can help you to reduce the risk of chronic disease and illness while promoting overall health and wellness. No matter where you are on your health journey, Nutritional Therapy can provide you with the tools and support needed to reach your health and wellness goals.
Good nutrition is vital for a healthy body and a healthy reproductive system in both men and women planning to conceive. It is advisable to have a healthy varied diet prior to conception as it can take three months for eggs to mature before ovulation and similarly three months for sperm to develop.
A study conducted by the University of Surrey showed that couples with a previous history of infertility who made changes to their diet and lifestyle had an 80 percent success rate. If you are planning a treatment cycle of IVF, ICSI or IUI, then it is important that you provide your body with the best nutrition possible to provide the correct raw materials to support both egg and sperm quality and boost your chances of success with treatment.
Nutritional and Lifestyle advice can assist in preparing the body for both natural and assisted conception through optimising reproductive health by:
How weight loss can improve conception and pregnancy outcomes
A 2014 study of overweight and obese women found that those who lost at least 10% of their starting weight had higher rates of conception (88% vs. 54%) and live birth (71% vs. 37%) than women who did not achieve this level of weight loss. A BMI within the 19-25 range is considered normal while a BMI in the 25-30 range is considered overweight. A BMI over 30 is considered obese.
A BMI in the obese range may lead to irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation problems. The additional fat increases oestrogen which can interfere with ovulation. Most people know that their ovaries produce oestrogen; however, a lot of people don’t know that adipose tissue (fat cells) also produces some oestrogen. When you’re at a healthy body weight, you have a higher probability of producing an appropriate amount of oestrogen, but when you’re overweight or obese, your adipose tissue produces more oestrogen than necessary—which can prevent regular ovulation.
Being overweight also increases your risk of insulin resistance which can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance causes the body to pump out more insulin and this can also have a negative impact on fertility as having a high level of insulin can cause metabolic disturbances that can affect ovulation.
Having a higher BMI also increases the probability of pregnancy-related complications. When it comes to pregnancy, excess weight can cause several complications. These include an increased risk for gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, more difficulty with vaginal deliveries, and even an increased rate of miscarriage. The exact mechanisms for increased miscarriage rates among obese and overweight women are not currently known, but endocrine problems like PCOS and insulin resistance might play a role.
Obesity can also affect male fertility and is associated with lower testosterone and impaired sperm quality.
There is some good news for any woman who is overweight or obese and trying without success to get pregnant. Data shows a weight loss as small as 5%-10% can improve pregnancy outcomes. Losing as little as 5% of body weight can result in a regular menstrual cycle, increase the frequency of ovulation and improve endocrine systems such as lowering fasting insulin levels. Nutritional Therapy is an effective therapy to help you lose weight and to sustain this weight loss.
HOW NUTRITIONAL THERAPY CAN ASSIST WITH WEIGHT LOSS
During a nutritional therapy consultation, we will look for the root causes that could be contributing to your excess weight. Obesity is not a single clinical disorder and many factors that interplay are genetics, environment, and lifestyle.
As we are all biochemically unique a personalised approach is the best approach in order to achieve the best results. Together we will go through a detailed medical history, to get a more detailed insight of what may be driving your weight gain. We will look at your life as a whole, your diet and lifestyle including any triggers, habits or patterns that may be affecting your weight, such as cravings for example. Weight loss is not just about calories and exercise; it is about hormonal balance, gut, and metabolic health. Nutrition and Lifestyle advice will be provided to support your well-being, while providing you with the one to one support, guidance and accountability that everyone benefits from when making lasting lifestyle changes.