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How Does Insulin Affect Ovulation

The Impact Of Sugar On Your Fertility

The Impact Of Sugar On Your Fertility

Without sugar as a hormone disrupter, you should feel well and hormonally balanced throughout your cycle, which will keep your libido on an even keel too. According to recent studies, couples need to have sex at least three times a week to conceive within a year. Nine out of ten women of child-bearing age report pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms, and while the causes are not completely established by scientists and researchers, the ratio levels of hormones progesterone to oestrogen play a part, as does stress and diet. The higher the sugar content of your diet, the more severe symptoms of PMS you'll have, according to a study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. 9 embarrassing period questions answered Up to 60% of women with PMS experience cravings for sweets and chocolates, increased appetite and headaches. But Dr Glenville believes your diet actually triggers these symptoms, and recommends trying to ditch sugar completely: "There are many women who have eliminated PMS symptoms simply by changing their diet. Of all the dietary changes you can make balancing sugar levels is the most important for PMS." Marilyn recommends eating little and often, including a bit of protein with each meal and snack, and avoiding refined sugar to keep blood insulin levels stable to prevent those cravings. Sugar is present in all alcohol except spirits and, says Dr Glenville, has a negative impact on the womb by contributing to inflammatory problems and interfering with the liver's ability to remove oestrogen: 'The womb needs optimum nutrition and hormone balance to function efficiently and have healthy cells." The NetDoctor newsletter delivers the latest healthy living news straight to your inbox. Make sure you never miss out by signing up here... Continue reading >>

Infertility In Women

Infertility In Women

Tweet Diabetes is associated with lower rates of fertility. There are a number of reasons which can play a part including, obesity, being underweight, having diabetic complications, having PCOS and having an autoimmune disease. With this said, many women with diabetes are able to conceive, particularly if diabetes is well controlled and a healthy body weight is maintained. Conditions The following conditions are associated with reduced fertility rates: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) Oligomenorrhea (irregular periods) Secondary amenorrhea (absent periods) Premature menopause (premature ovarian failure) Endometrial cancer (uterine cancer) Microvascular and cardiovascular complications Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) PCOS is a common condition in which a large number of cysts develop on the ovaries. Whilst this feature does not in itself pose a health risk, it can reduce fertility. Women with PCOS have higher than normal levels of testosterone (hyperandrogenism). PCOS can affect fertility by leading to irregular periods (oligomenorrhea) or absent periods (secondary amenorrhea). The condition can be treated through making lifestyle changes, while medications such as clomifene and metformin can help with improving the chances of conception. PCOS is particularly associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes that are taking high amounts of insulin daily may also be at risk of or suffer from PCOS. Oligomenorrhea and secondary amenorrhea Oligomenorrhea is the term for irregular periods that arrive at intervals of 35 days or more between each period. Secondary amenorrhea is said to occur if you have previously had a normal menstrual cycle but have stopped getting a periods for 6 months or longer. Both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are associate Continue reading >>

Why Sugar And Your Fertility Dont Mix

Why Sugar And Your Fertility Dont Mix

As the song goes, just a spoonful of sugar helps Well not when it comes to your fertility or your health for that matter. Studies have shown that excess sugar can suppress the immune system and repeated use of excess sugar can lead to a host of fertility problems, including hormone disruption, insulin resistance, PCOS, yeast infections, vitamin and mineral deficiency and the list goes on. Whether youre eating sugar dense carbohydrates like cookies and cakes or your favorite pasta or rice dish, that excess sugar may be affecting your ability to get pregnant. No, that doesnt mean you have to give up all carbohydrates, but there is an important correlation between sugar and infertility and if addressed with a fertility friendly diet can help put you back on track with your pregnancy goals. So, lets take a closer look at just how bad sugar is for your fertility and what you can do about it. I know youve heard it before; carbs are bad for you, no wait, carbs are good for you, no wait! So, which one is it? The truth is there are healthy carbohydrates and there are unhealthy carbohydrates. Healthy carbohydrates are what you get from plant-based foods, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans. These foods have a low glycemic effect on blood sugar levels as they are full of the fiber, allowing your body to absorb the nutrients slowly and avoid spikes in blood sugar levels. The bad carbohydrates are what you find in processed foods, including sugar, cereal, white bread (not whole grain bread), white rice, white flour pasta, snack foods, sodas or sugary drinks, and meat foods (chicken nuggets, sausage). These foods all pack a wallop when it comes to sending your blood sugar levels rising (high glycemic effect). Repeated blood sugar level spikes from eating them can st Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance And Infertility

Insulin Resistance And Infertility

It is well known that insulin resistance is the basis of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which is a major cause of infertility, but insulin resistance affects other infertility conditions as well. Many infertility doctors are aware of this. I had one, non PCOS, client whose fertility doctor prescribed Metformin, a diabetes drug that improves insulin sensitivity, but failed to suggest to her that she had blood sugar problems (at a stage in her life where she might be able to make changes to avoid diabetes.) Doctors routinely suggest weight loss for infertility which is also known to correct insulin resistance. But drugs are not the first resource for insulin resistance. Diet is. In this piece we will discuss insulin resistance, inflammation and how it affects fertility. First of all, when you eat sugar- and by sugar I mean not only refined sugar, but starches like bread (even whole grain), pasta, and potatoes and even sweet fruit. All of these cause blood sugar to significantly rise, which causes an insulin spike. In a person with normal metabolism, the elevated blood glucose level causes beta (β) cells in the Islets of Langerhans located in the pancreas to release insulin into the blood. Insulin ferries sugar into the cells under normal conditions and when the sugar is delivered, is broken down. The beta cells then sense the lower blood glucose and stop producing insulin. The cells in our bodies are surrounded by a membrane made up by fats and watersolube compounds called the phospholipid bilayer. The overdose of Omega 6 fats compared to Omega 3 fats makes that layer stiff. In the bilayer are receptors and gates which require minerals in the form of enzymes to ferry in nutrients like sugar, neurotransmitters and even sperm into an egg. Our diets are bereft of most m Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance And Fertility: Part 2

Insulin Resistance And Fertility: Part 2

Home > Fertility > Insulin Resistance and Fertility: Part 2 Part 2: of Insulin Resistance and Fertility Originally published by Dr. Fiona McCulloch in Naturopathic Currents in September 2013, you can read the original article here . This article has been broken down into a four part series, links to the other parts of this series are listed below: Part 2: How does Insulin Resistance (IR) affect Fertility? The most well known insulin resistant condition that affects fertility is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a condition that has many variations. It includes characteristics such as irregular ovulation or menstrual cycles, androgenic/male hormone related signs such as hirsutism (excessive hair growth), acne or male pattern hair loss, abdominal obesity. Some women with PCOS have multiple small follicles (cysts) from eggs that never developed fully in the ovary. There might also be blood markers for insulin resistance, hormonal abnormalities like increased LH to FSH ratio, high estrogen, and/or high androgens such as free testosterone. There are several variants of PCOS that contain different combinations of the aforementioned signs and symptoms. In PCOS, high insulin levels cause the follicles in the ovary to produce male hormones. These male hormones (androgens) slow down the development of the follicles and can even stop ovulation altogether. High amounts of insulin also cause fat cells to convert testosterone into estrogen, a process known as aromatization. High estrogen levels increase the pituitary glands secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH), which results in even more testosterone release from the ovary. Truly a vicious cycle. High estrogen also suppresses follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), causing the eggs to develop poorly. Insulin resistance causes Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance And Fertility In Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Insulin Resistance And Fertility In Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Insulin resistance and fertility in polycystic ovary syndrome. *Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Endocrinology Department ,, Romania **Elias Hospital, Bucharest, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department, Romania Correspondence to:Simona Fica M.D., University Emergency Hospital Elias, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department Marasesti 17, Bucharest 011461, Romania Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer This is an openaccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use,distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) represents a common endocrinopathy, with anovulation and hyperandrogenism as cardinal symptoms. In recent years it has been recognized that insulin resistance is an intrinsec feature of the disorder and plays a central role in pathogenesis. PCOS is associated with important reproductive morbidity as shown by high prevalence of anovulatory infertility, spontaneous abortion, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. The association of insulin resistance with this reproductive pathology has been well documented. Due to major implication of insulin resistance in PCOS pathogenesis, insulin reduction strategies were studied as a possible treatment for infertility in PCOS patients. Weight loss, even modest was proved to be a simple and efficient method to improve reproductive parameters in PCOS patients and should be recommended to all overweight and obese patients with infertility. Metformin was showed to induce ovulation, at least in a subset of patients with PCOS, but there are not unequivocal proves c Continue reading >>

Get Healthy, Get Pregnant: The Fertility Diet

Get Healthy, Get Pregnant: The Fertility Diet

Answers to important questions about which foods are most, and least, fertility-friendly. Hopeful news for some of the more than 6 million women in the United States who suffer from infertility: A recent large study found that unlike other factors that you cannot control—such as age and genetics—eating certain foods and avoiding others is something you can do yourself, without medical intervention. For eight years, the Harvard study followed 17,544 married nurses without any history of infertility as they tried to become or became pregnant. The research found that by changing five or more aspects of their diet (and exercise) habits, women with irregular or absent ovulation, which is responsible for 18 to 30 percent of infertility cases, reduced their risk of infertility by 80 percent. One of the study's authors is Walter Willett, M.D., a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health whose research is clearly outlined in The Fertility Diet (McGraw-Hill; co-written with Jorge Chavarro, M.D.). Here, Willett answers important questions about which foods are most—and least—fertility-friendly. Fit Pregnancy: How much does the modern American diet have to do with rising infertility rates? Walter Willett, M.D.: Probably quite a bit. Americans' high consumption of sugary sodas and fruit drinks, starches, red meat and trans fats is a big factor. The sad reality is that even in our study of nurses, fewer than 5 percent of the women had an optimal diet. FP: Why do you recommend eating complex, or "slow," carbohydrates to enhance fertility? WW: Your body digests bad carbs (like cookies, cakes, no-fiber breakfast cereals, sugary drinks, chips, white bread and white rice) quickly, and turns them into blood sugar. To drive down the blood-sugar s Continue reading >>

Infertility & Insulin Resistance Explained By A Fertility Nutritionist

Infertility & Insulin Resistance Explained By A Fertility Nutritionist

Here’s more information – with today’s focus on PCOS and insulin resistance. It’s such an important connection and one that is often overlooked. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it can be the connection that makes all the difference. Carolyn Gundell, MS, RMACT Nutritionist, explains the risk factors and how they correlate to your fertility. No one is better qualified than Ms. Gundell to explain it. What a relief that she is also able to explain it in such an understandable way. ~Lisa Rosenthal Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine condition causing infertility in women. PCOS is characterized by elevated androgens, ovulatory and cardio-metabolic dysfunction, insulin resistance, and weight gain. Why should women and partners be concerned with risk for diabetes during the preconception period? Researchers have found that women and men with elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance are at greater risk for fertility challenges. Changes in reproductive function and hormones can occur with higher hemoglobin A1c (blood sugar) levels and may cause longer time to pregnancy or higher chance of miscarriage. In early pregnancy, uncontrolled or undetected diabetes raises the risk for birth defects. Is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) associated with diabetes risk? Yes. Individuals with polycystic ovarian syndrome are often challenged with insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar from the bloodstream into cells to use as energy. When cells do not respond to the rising blood sugar, the level of insulin increases as the pancreas produces more and more insulin-a condition known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that the body becomes desensitized to insulin and loses the ability to regulate blood sugar and Continue reading >>

Treatment Of Insulin Resistance

Treatment Of Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a disorder (often inherited) whereby higher than normal insulin levels are needed to maintain normal blood sugars. It is not known what causes insulin resistance, but it may be inherited and influenced by other factors. Many people with insulin resistance have a family history of Type II (adult-onset) diabetes or other symptoms of insulin resistance. Patients who are at their ideal body weight can have insulin resistance, but the condition is most commonly found in overweight patients. Men and women can have insulin resistance, but women have more symptoms because high insulin levels can cause the ovaries to work poorly. The most common symptoms of insulin resistance and ovulation dysfunction (often called PCOS) include absent or irregular periods with or without infertility, acne, male-type hair growth, and weight gain. Insulin resistance is also associated with cholesterol problems, so a lipid profile is recommended (after 12 hours of fasting). Insulin resistance causes elevated fasting insulin levels (the easiest way) or elevated insulin levels after drinking glucola (which well order if you pass the fasting insulin test). Well also measure your blood sugar (glucose) levels. The glucose levels will determine if youve already developed Type II diabetes, in which case well refer you to a medical endocrinologist for diabetes management. 1. Current first line therapy for insulin resistance is a combination of diet, exercise, gradual weight loss (if you are overweight), and an insulin sensitizing medicine such as Glucophage 2. Glucophage, an insulin sensitizer, is begun at a low dose (500mg per day) and increased weekly until you attain around 850mg twice a day OR the medicine gives you unacceptable abdominal crampiness, in which case you take the h Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance And How It Affects Fertility

Insulin Resistance And How It Affects Fertility

For a moment, let’s imagine your hormonal system as an intricate series of scales. In order for everything to remain in balance, each of those hormones needs to maintain a level existence – never falling outside a pre-determined ideal. When just one of those hormones increases or decreases below that ideal, each arm of the scale tips in reaction – the entire system falling out of balance. Hormone Balancing Act? Insulin is one of the hormones vital to that scale system, produced in the pancreas and working to help the body process glucose into energy. With time, and a variety of medical conditions, the body can become resistant to insulin. When that happens, the pancreas works to overcompensate – striving to produce enough insulin to continue converting that glucose as necessary. Unfortunately, that influx of insulin throws the entire scale system off, even as blood sugar levels begin to skyrocket. The excess insulin eventually leads to an increase in testosterone levels as the body strives to right itself, and the resulting testosterone can inhibit fertility and completely halt ovulation. There are several other hormones that are equally impacted when insulin levels rise. Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormones (LH) cease being emitted at optimal levels, and follicular development is hindered as a result. Estrogen and progesterone fall equally out of balance. When ovulation does occur, egg quality is frequently low, further inhibiting the possibility of conception. Insulin resistance is often witnessed in women dealing with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This condition also typically leads to irregular or absent periods, increased facial hair growth, excessive weight gain, and the appearance of multiple small cysts on the ovaries. Women Continue reading >>

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome And Insulin Resistance

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome And Insulin Resistance

Introduction Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine abnormality in reproductive aged women affecting approximately 5-10% of this population. (NEJM 1995;333:853) The classic triad of this syndrome consists of chronic anovulation, hirsutism, and obesity. PCOS was first discovered by Stein and Leventhal (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1935;29:181) and its management has confused clinicians ever since. The exciting news recently involves understanding the contribution of insulin resistance to the etiology and treatment of PCOS. This newsletter will review the endocrinopathy and medical consequences of PCOS as well as examine the current understanding of insulin resistance and the use of insulin sensitizing agents. PCOS PCOS involves a ‘vicious cycle’ of hormonal imbalance that may begin with a hypersensitivity of the pituitary to GnRH. The pituitary responds with an increase in LH secretion resulting in increased ovarian androgen production by the ovarian thecal cells. This tonic elevation in LH has also been implicated in the well documented, but not well understood increased risk of miscarriage in PCOS patients. The ovarian ‘androgen excess’ of androstenedione and testosterone has several effects: a) inhibiting follicle development and estradiol production; b) increasing the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) thereby stimulating excess terminal hair production (hirsutism) and c) increasing peripheral conversion of estradiol to estrone by aromatase. Estrone, although a weaker estrogen, in large amounts has the ability to act on target tissues with similar efficacy as estradiol. Consequently, FSH production is inhibited thereby further preventing follicle development and ovulation. Additionally, estrone proliferates the endometrium unopposed and i Continue reading >>

Nutrition & Fertility

Nutrition & Fertility

You are not terribly overweight, you exercise - but not to excess, you dont have any known medical problemswhat you eat couldnt possibly affect your fertility that much, right? Wrong! What you eat, in combination with your personal metabolism, can have a profound affect on your fertility. One of the most common reasons that a young woman does not ovulate is because of her diet. Ovulation is the process by which an egg becomes available for fertilization in the female. It is a very complex and delicate process. Many things can interrupt ovulation such as stress, travel over time zones, severe illness, some medications, aging, heavy substance abuse, etc. Hormonal changes can alter the complex process of ovulation. Most women are familiar with hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosteroneall of which are important in ovulation. There is another very important hormone that often gets no respect from patientsand even many doctors. That hormone is insulin. Insulins most familiar purpose involves regulating blood sugar. The loss of insulin, as in Type I Diabetes (juvenile onset), can result in dangerously high blood sugar levels and is fatal if left untreated. Insulin is necessary for human life. Like so many things in life, however too much of a good thing is not a good thing. High insulin levels are usually the result of a carbohydrate-dominant diet. With the industrial revolution, our ability to have as much pure white starch and sugar as we crave has had a serious fallout on the health of Americans. Our pancreas readily sends out insulin to handle the onslaught of 21st century sugar, yet insulin has many other effects on the human body. Insulin is a potent growth hormone. High levels of this hormone sends signals to the body to store fat, especially in the bell Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance: A Cause For Not Ovulating

Insulin Resistance: A Cause For Not Ovulating

There are many reasons why a woman may not ovulate. Some women are resistant to the hormone insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps keep blood sugar under control. Insulin is part of a complex system that keeps the blood sugar low. It is estimated that 25% to 50% of overweight adults have insulin resistance. If blood sugar, also known as blood glucose levels, become too high, then a person is said to have diabetes. There are two main causes for diabetes: failure to make insulin (Type 1 Diabetes) and becoming resistant to the effects of insulin (Type 2 Diabetes). In women, there are two common conditions that may result in insulin resistance: PCOS , also known as polycystic ovary syndrome , and obesity . Some women with PCOS are also obese. This can intensify the symptoms of PCOS. Women may also be obese and have insulin resistance without having PCOS. Women with PCOS or obesity or both problems will commonly have problems with ovulation. Common signs that a woman may not be ovulating involve disruption of the normal pattern her menstrual cycles. Women who do not ovulate will often note absence of their periods, infrequent periods or irregular periods. Rarely, a woman with regular monthly periods may not be ovulating. Diagnosis of insulin resistance Diagnosis of insulin resistance can sometimes be challenging. This is due to wide variations in the levels of the hormones needed to assess for insulin resistance. When insulin resistance occurs, the body needs a higher level of insulin to keep the blood glucose under control. Therefore, high insulin levels are frequently seen in this condition. Other possible signs of insulin resistance include: Blood tests High triglyceride levels A low glucose to insulin ratio High leptin levels Low adiponectin le Continue reading >>

Role Insulin Plays In Conception

Role Insulin Plays In Conception

Many women are shocked to learn that insulin and blood sugar levels can play a role in conception. However, its true so if you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic then you will want to talk with your general practitioner before you start trying to conceive. Women who have problems with their blood sugar should not be too concerned, however, as long as they maintain their blood sugar throughout the pregnancy. This will lead to a healthy pregnancy and healthy babies. This is goes for women with PCOS, too, who may find it difficult to conceive. Its not impossible for women with PCOS to conceive, however it may be more challenging. Keep in mind, though, that women who are not diabetic and who do not have an insulin related illness may still find it difficult to conceive if they do not keep their blood sugar levels regulated. Women struggling with conception who dont appear to have a problem should keep that in mind. Blood sugar levels rise in individuals when they eat carbohydrates and insulin is produced to change the sugar into energy. Eating foods high on the Glycemic Index stresses the body and can lead to insulin resistance. However, eating foods low on the Glycemic Index allows the body to release insulin gradually and this is not as stressful for the body. Those who eat many foods high in carbohydrates will find their hormonal balance is off and this can affect their chance of becoming pregnant. If you are overweight then you are more likely to become insulin resistant as well as develop type-2 diabetes. That doesnt make it impossible to get pregnant; however, it can make the process more difficult. Those who have family members with diabetes should also take more control of their diet as their risk is increased. Any woman who focuses on her diet and eating mini meals Continue reading >>

Hyperinsulinemia & Insulin Resistance

Hyperinsulinemia & Insulin Resistance

The diagnosis of insulin resistance implies a patient has a disorder in tissues related to an impaired ability to respond to the action of insulin. This leads to a situation where the pancreas produces extra insulin in an effort to overcome the resistance to insulin. This elevation in insulin is known as hyperinsulinemia, or high blood insulin. Insulin resistance is not the same as diabetes although it is considered an early form of diabetes. The main difference in the two disorders is that the person with insulin resistance is capable of producing excessive amounts of insulin to maintain blood glucose, whereas the diabetic patient can no longer produce adequate levels of insulin to control blood sugar. Insulin resistance can come about through more than one mechanism. Receptor defects and obesity appear to be independent risk factors that may appear alone or in combination. There appears to be a genetic link so a family history of adult onset diabetes is a risk factor. Hyperinsulinemia can also occur in situations where the body is overproducing insulin but the tissues aren’t technically resistant to the effects of insulin. This occurs most commonly in the setting of excessive sugar intake. Insulin is a hormone which causes changes in different cells throughout the body. Excessive hormones can cause changes in the appearance of individuals. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Syndrome X are labels to describe a common appearance among patients with high insulin levels and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the most likely the underlying metabolic abnormality in PCOS and metabolic syndrome X. There is a lack of unanimous consensus about appropriate testing and diagnosis which often confuses patients and doctors. Many tests focus on tissue resistance to insulin rather Continue reading >>

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