Lingering Pathogens

They are exactly as the name suggests – pathogens which linger in the body for long periods of time. They lay dormant until you go through a period of stress or poor health. Your body is unable to ‘hide’ the pathogen anymore and you can experience a variety of symptoms.

Shingles is a great example. The obvious symptoms of chicken pox disappear as a child but the virus usually moves deeper into the body. As an adult when you go through a stressful event or medical treatment like chemotherapy, you can then see shingles appear. This is the lingering pathogen that has lay dormant for years before being expressed.

You may have a lingering pathogen if you have previously suffered from chicken pox, Epstein Barr virus, glandular fever, chronic fatigue, chronic bacterial or fungal infections, allergies, food intolerances, autoimmune diseases or if you have been exposed to malaria. If the pathogen is not removed initially, you will notice recurring symptoms as in ‘echos’ of the original symptoms. These may include; shingles, recurrent tonsilitis, swollen glands, frequent cold and flu symptoms without it progressing further, chronic fever, constantly feeling hot and cold but not having a fever, frequent loss of appetite, headaches, skin rashes, abnormal swelling, abnormal sweating, fatigue.

Something I often hear from someone with a lingering pathogen is that “I haven’t felt well since…” You usually remember a time where your health changed. Often, nothing will come up in blood tests, except maybe a positive immune response to certain viruses.

What can you do about it? Firstly, you need to keep your body as healthy as possible to avoid the symptoms being expressed, however, this alone doesn’t remove the pathogen. You will need some specific herbs which work to push the pathogen out of the body. These herbs work on the liver and the stomach to move the pathogen out through your skin or your digestive system. It can take months to achieve this, but absolutely worth it! You will feel back to your normal self.

Resistance 2

Aging and Environmental Factors Affect Embryo Growth

Recently, a comprehensive article was published in the respected journal, Fertility and Sterility detailing the effects of aging and environmental factors on egg, sperm and embryo growth and development. When you look at the statistics of IVF, the numbers aren’t great. Out of all eggs that are retrieved, only 7% of those will result in a full term delivery. So as you can imagine, there is a lot of research looking into how that number can be improved….not surprisingly many of the points relate to ways of being healthier in general but there was some interesting new findings. The article was technical and a bit tedious so I have done the hard work for you and summarised the important points below.

Aging and the Environment for Egg, Sperm and Embryo Health

  • positive environmental factors include; androgen supplementation (testosterone), healthy diet, exercise, nutritional supplements and pyschological interventions
  • negative environment factors include; aging, reduced androgens, oxidative stress, obesity, smoking, alcohol, oxidative stress
  • CoQ10 – antioxidant found to be very important for cellular energy and energy for cell division, reducing CoQ10 was associated with a reduction in the number of follicles, the recommended daily dosage is 600mg per day for at least 2 months prior to IVF
  • Androgen (eg, testosterone) – adrenal DHEA and testosterone decline with age and are associated with reduced number of follicles, increased cell death and reduced egg competence
  • Antioxidants – reduced antioxidants reduce embryo quality, affects sperm DNA fragmentation and it’s recommended for all men over the age of 40 years old to be supplementing, vitamin C is the most cost effective antioxidant, increase pomegranate, berries, chocolate, espresso, fruits and vegetables, turmeric, cumin, ginger and oregano
  • Obesity – associated with high level of oxidative stress in follicular fluid, moderate exercise was associated with 3 fold increase in clinical pregnancy, weight loss is recommended as well as supplementation of omega 3 and antioxidants
  • Smoking – for the female smoker it can reduce IVF success by half and increase miscarriage rate by one fourth, a similar trend was found even with donor eggs so there is a uterine effect as well as ovarian, for the male partner smoking is associated with reduction in IVF success, results in severe oxidative stress, recommended to high does antioxidants and quit smoking 3-6 months before considering IVF
  • Alcohol – reduces IVF success and increases miscarriage rates, suggested to avoid throughout IVF cycle
  • Caffeine – conflicting research, advise to limit consumption
  • AGEs (advanced glycation end product) – toxic end products from high glucose diets and ingestion of food at high temperatures, suggested to boil, microwave or poach food to cook to avoid
  • BPA (bisphenol A) – a chemical found in plastic containers, canned food linings and credit card receipts, high levels found to show lower implantation rates, also associated with miscarriage and reduced sperm quality
  • Exercise – moderate exercise recommended, found to improve egg and sperm function and IVF outcomes, also reduces oxidative stress, vigorous exercise can however reduce IVF success although not in obese women, men cycle more than 5 hours per week was found to reduce semen quality, proposing increased heat as the reason
  • Diet – recommendations include less red meat, less saturated fats, more seafood, more fruit and vegetables – similar to a Mediterranean diet
  • Omega 3 fatty acids – exist in large quantities in sperm membranes, early research shows it improves IVF outcomes, suggested to supplement with 1800 mg per day for 6 months to increase total sperm, motility and morphology
  • Stress – stress of infertility has been compared to having a diagnosis of HIV, depression and anxiety are negative factors for pregnancy outcomes, negative life events 12 months before IVF cycle predicted failure and reduced number of eggs retrieved, suggested that stress shifts blood flow to the heart, brain and muscles and away from non essential organs like ovaries and uterus, decreases in anxiety were associated with the greatest improvement in pregnancy rates, suggested treatments included cognitive behavioural therapy and mind body sessions to work on relaxation, stress management, lifestyle recommendations and group support, also to deal with cycle failures

These are all factors you can include in your IVF cycle to maximise your pregnancy outcomes. Acupuncture works well to improve blood flow and reduce your stress response to improve your pregnancy outcome. I cannot stress the importance of a healthy diet and good quality supplements in really improving your cellular energy. Science can only take you so far. Never feel like there is nothing else you can do to improve your chances of having a family through natural fertility or IVF.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like further clarification about any of these points.

Paige :-)