How much of an impact can diet really have on fertility? The answer is - a lot!
This is an issue that comes up frequently in my visits: we have all these great herbs and nutrients that we’d like kids to take, but they only come in a pill form. Or, there are liquid or chewable forms of the things that they need, but they taste terrible. Or they have to take a capsule medication for a sickness, and because they've never learned how to swallow a pill, it turns into a meltdown and half of their medication ends up on the floor.
Sound familiar? Many kids feel frightened that they’ll choke or that a pill will get stuck in their throat. Others may not be afraid of swallowing pills - they've just never learned how. Either way, swallowing pills is a skill, and it can be taught and built on over time.
Here are a few tried and true methods to help your little ones learn how to be comfortable with taking pills.
Many people worry that having a sibling with Down Syndrome will be tough for their other kids. They may fear that having a little brother or sister with Down Syndrome will be stressful for their other kids, or that their other children will resent the extra care and attention a child with Down Syndrome may need. In fact, this concern is so prevalent that it’s one of the main things that affects how many parents make the decision to keep or terminate a pregnancy where trisomy 21 is detected.
But how do siblings of kids with Down Syndrome actually feel? When asked, are brothers and sisters of a child with Down Syndrome affected negatively by their sibling…or positively?
You may have had this experience: You or your partner go in to see your reproductive specialist for an ultrasound. During the visit, your provider does an ultrasound to count antral follicles and may also do a blood test to look for something called AMH. Between the antral follicle count and the AMH level, your doctor gets an idea (which they may or may not share with you!) about the state of your “ovarian reserve.”
So what is ovarian reserve? What are AMH and your antral follicle count, and what affect can these have on your fertility?
There are many different factors that go into achieving a healthy pregnancy. Hormone balance, immune health, and genetics all play a role. But one of the biggest factors at play for many people is the strength and health of the eggs, often referred to as “egg quality.”
In IVF this is especially important - technologies such as ICSI can allow doctors to select the healthiest looking sperm out of millions, but in most IVF cycles there are only around 3-20 eggs retrieved at a time, so the health of each individual egg can have a huge impact on the number of embryos and your chances of achieving that “BFP.”
So it’s another bad flu year! The flu that’s going around this year, H3N2, is especially dangerous, and has already resulted in thousands of hospitalizations.
You may be wondering how to protect yourself and your family from this potent virus. While traditional therapies such as ginger tea and warming soups are certainly beneficial, one remarkable herb, sambucus nigra, also known as black elderberry, has been shown to both prevent and decrease the severity of the flu. Read on to find out more!
What is Vitamin K - and why do babies need it?
When we get bumps and scrapes, blood vessels break open and they bleed. The main way our bodies have to stop all that bleeding is by making a blood clot, which is a sticky web of fibers and blood cells that can patch and plug up any holes. Vitamin K is a nutrient that the body needs to produce the sticky fibers that hold a blood clot together. Without enough vitamin K, the body can’t make a good plug - so even a small injury can bleed a dangerous amount.
All babies are born with low vitamin K because vitamin K has a hard time crossing the placenta. It also can be hard to get vitamin K through breast milk, so babies who are breastfed without any vitamin K supplementation often remain low in vitamin K till they start eating solid foods.
Low vitamin K causes bleeding in around 1% of babies who don’t get vitamin K supplementation. Vitamin K deficient bleeding (also called VKDB) can cause internal bleeding in the intestines, or worse, in the brain. In addition, the first few weeks of life aren’t the only time a baby is at risk for VKDB - a small fraction of babies can have what’s called late-onset VKDB, as much as six months after they are born.
Before we go on, because the above is a terrifying thought, I just want to say that it is VERY EASY to supplement a newborn’s vitamin K levels, with or without a vitamin K injection. Read on to find out more.
Often parents of children with Down syndrome are told that their child has a genetic condition and that there is nothing that they can do to change or improve their health, other than surgeries to repair any congenital defects and medications to affect mood or focus. They are then encouraged to accept their fate and sent out the door!
The reality is that there are many things that doctors can do to improve the lifelong health of children and adults with Down syndrome. Holistic medicine has unique advantage in improving these kids’ lives because so many of their greatest health challenges can be met through diet, nutrient support, herbs, and homeopathy. These amazing therapies can help decrease oxidative stress, prevent cancer, increase mental function, extend the lifespan, and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Allergy Season Has Arrived.
As many of you (unfortunately) know, allergy season is in full swing! Sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, cough, and the dreaded sinus infection... no doubt, allergies are the worst!
Here are some simple things you can do at home to take the edge off your allergies this year (or banish them all together).
A recent study by the Southern Poverty Law Center estimated that over 50% of children in the US feel anxiety and fear since Trump’s election. This number is significantly higher in Muslim children, children of color, and children in immigrant families.
The election and recent behavior of the Trump administration have many of us experiencing a great deal of stress, so much that many psychiatrists have already started using the term “Post-Trump Stress Disorder” to explain the huge influx of clients seeking election-related mental health support since November 2nd.
The stress, grief, and anxiety relating to Trump’s election is not only being felt by adults - it is also having a dramatic and unique impact on kids.
Recently I had a parent ask me about a supplement called phosphatidylserine (sometimes abbreviated as PS). She wanted to know if it might be beneficial for her child’s brain function. So what is this stuff, and can it really help kids with ADD/ADHD, autism, and learning disorders?
What is Pertussis (aka Whooping Cough)?
Pertussis is also known as whooping cough. It is caused by a bacteria called Bordetella pertussis, a tiny bacteria that is spread by airborne droplets (from coughing and sneezing).
In the beginning the illness looks like a common cold, with a fever, sneezing, runny nose, and a normal sounding cough. After 1-2 weeks, most of the symptoms resolve but the cough sticks around and just gets worse. Many kids will develop what are called “paroxysms” of coughing, meaning they will have bad coughing fits where they will cough several times in a row, followed by a gasp for breath (the “whoop” in whooping cough).
Kids may cough so much they throw up, give themselves nosebleeds, or break blood vessels in their eyes (a generally harmless condition called subconjunctival hemorrhage).
Considering the Pro's and Cons
There are lots of things to think about when deciding whether to use a known donor or to purchase sperm from a sperm bank. Cost, convenience, future family dynamics, legality, and medical history and health are all factors to consider.
This subject is often one of the first things that must be figured out by LGBTQ couples and single people trying to conceive, but straight couples may also be faced with a decision about where to get donor sperm, if the male partner is struggling with infertility.
Anxiety can have many forms - in some kids it mostly shows up as anxious thoughts, worrying, or nightmares. For other kids, anxiety may show up in purely physical form, without any anxious thoughts. Instead, these kids might have issues like stomach aches, headaches, ticks and twitches, or even rashes and hives.
Once you recognize the signs of anxiety in your child, you can start to help them and teach them how to help themselves, when anxiety strikes.
Just in case you missed my last post, What is PCOS... and How Can it Affect Fertility? Here is a quick recap of why polycystic ovarian syndrome prevents ovulation:
It all starts with follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). FHS helps the eggs mature and follicles grow till one is mature enough to be released in ovulation. Luteinizing hormone, on the other hand, is what triggers the release of the egg once it’s ready to go.
In people who don’t have PCOS, the ratio of luteinizing hormone (LH) to follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is around 1:1. In PCOS, LH to FSH ratio is closer to 3:1. When that happens, follicles try to mature, but then the relatively high level of LH interrupts them in the middle of their growth and they never end up getting big enough to be released.
PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in the US. But don't lose hope! For most people PCOS is totally treatable. Read on to find out more...
PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It’s an inheritable genetic variation in which the ovaries produce high levels of androgens: mainly DHEA-S, and testosterone. In addition, Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) ratios are often out of balance in people with PCOS.
High testosterone often leads to facial hair growth, high sex drive, thinning hair, and acne, while the LH to FSH ratio can often interrupt ovulation (more on that in a minute) and cause irregular menstrual cycles and cysts in the ovaries.
Pagophagia is a fancy medical term that simply means “ice eating.” Lots and lots of people find that they end up craving ice during pregnancy, and may get into the habit of chewing on ice all day long. What causes this bizarre craving?
The truth is that we don’t know exactly why so many people crave ice during pregnancy, but many people develop pagophagia when they become deficient in iron. And, as you may already know, iron deficiency anemia is very common in pregnancy (up to 25% of people become anemic at some point in their pregnancy).
All you need is a head of cauliflower and two tablespoons of coconut oil.
Dr Eli Silver
23650 Woodward Ave Ste 104
Pleasant Ridge, MI 48069
Appointments by Videochat
Dr Silver is available for telemedicine (videochat) appointments for people outside of the Detroit area. If you are interested in setting up an appointment via videochat, just call 248-397-4664.
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About Dr Silver
Dr Silver is a board certified Naturopathic Doctor & Classical Homeopath in the Detroit metro area.
This blog is intended for educational purposes only.
Information expressed herein does not constitute medical advice and in no way should be used as a substitute for the advice and attention of a qualified medical practitioner.