PCOS Review Newsletter #142
2) Is Your Future Daughter at Risk?
Are you trying to conceive? Or maybe you're already pregnant? Do you ever wonder whether your future daughter will have the same PCOS and fertility issues that you have?
A steady trickle of research is coming out to strongly suggest that what's going in your womb while you are pregnant will likely have a huge effect on your future daughter. It will affect her in terms of developing PCOS and other disorders in adult life such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, gland and organ disruption, reproductive problems, and fatty liver disease.
This is an interesting but complex topic that is beyond the scope of this newsletter. Suffice it to say there is some number of factors that will affect the genetic expression of your unborn daughter. To say it another way, the fetal environment will greatly affect the genetic "fetal programming" that occurs as your baby is developing.
You can think of this abnormal fetal programming as computer software that has been infected by viruses. The software will still run, but it does unexpected and unwanted things.
Some researchers are suggesting that the main causes of the abnormal fetal programming may be some combination of excess male hormones (androgens), excess estrogens, and/or stress. When your developing baby is exposed to these things, she or he is put at future risk. And, as you may know, women with PCOS can have all three of three problems.
To a great extent, the fate of your children depends on you while you are pregnant.
OK, what do we do now? I don't have any simple answers. I can only offer some general guidelines.
1) Make huge improvements in the quality of your diet by eating whole, organic foods. Avoid soft drinks, sweeteners (except stevia), have adequate protein, eat five or more servings of vegetables daily, have some nuts and seeds, and try to eat some fish (or take fish oil). Minimize packaged, processed or refined foods. If you need more dietary guidance,read this ebook.
2) Get more exercise. Be physically active every day of your life.
3) Do whatever it takes to remove sources of chronic stress. Learn how to relax and quiet your mind.
4) Take selected high-quality nutritional supplements, such as those listed in our PCOS online supplements store.
5) Minimize your exposure to environmental chemical hormone disrupters. Find some books on this subject. Do what you can to avoid contact with environmental chemicals, especially those which act as hormone mimics inside your body.
Nicoletto SF et al, In the womb's shadow. The theory of prenatal programming as the fetal origin of various adult diseases is increasingly supported by a wealth of evidence, EMBO Rep. 2011 Jan;12(1):30-4.
Kirsten Hogg et al, The In Utero Programming Effect of Increased Maternal Androgens and a Direct Fetal Intervention on Liver and Metabolic Function in Adult Sheep, PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e24877. Epub 2011 Sep 14.
Abbott DH et al, Contributions of androgen and estrogen to fetal programming of ovarian dysfunction, Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2006 Apr 10;4:17.
3) Are You Concerned about the Future?
I'm an advocate of living in the "present moment". However, we also need to keep an eye on future events, so that we can make changes if needed.
Management of PCOS does not occur in a vacuum. It occurs in the context of daily living and daily experiences.
Your environment and how you experience it will directly impact your hormone balance. At both a cellular level and psychological level, we are in constant interaction with our environment.
An example is the production of unhealthy stress hormones as a result of stressful reactions to external things that happen. Unresolved chronic stress is one of the most undesirable things that can happen to your health. It is proven to make PCOS worse.
Some of the external stressors are beyond your control. For example, it's no secret that the USA, Europe and some other regions are have serious economic difficulties.
It appears the majority of economists expect stagnant or very low growth in the global economy for the next 3-6 years. Some are expecting deflation (falling prices) while others are expecting inflation (rising prices). Either way, your standard of living may diminish. Meanwhile, the percentage of the US population that is employed continues to decline.
Global events are going to affect you in one way or another. No one really knows what is going to happen. Many are predicting an extended period of economic volatility and uncertainty.
Volatility and uncertainly is very stressful. And chronic stress is quite bad for PCOS.
Consider what you can do to prepare yourself and minimize the stress of the current and future economic environment. Some ideas:
1) Make sure your financial house is in good order. If you have investments, review them with a trusted advisor. Start a household budget and track your expenses.
2) Increase your value in the marketplace by increasing your skills. People with valuable skills can always find a job. Many economists predict that unskilled people will have a more difficult time in coming years. Do some research on what skills you should develop and get started!
3) Consider ways to supplement your income. For example, could your start your own side business?
4) Take time to think. Thoughtful action is more effective than unconscious reactions. Your ability to thoughtfully examine your situation will pay big dividends. Don't evade any problem. Examine it and solve it.
5) Find out what your strengths are. Write down what you like to do or are good at. If you do what you enjoy and it's in alignment with your strengths, you will be successful and your self-esteem will skyrocket.
6) Be clear about your personal life purpose. Knowing your purpose allows you to stay focused and make the right decisions.
7) Be a life-long learner. Life is a constant learning experience. The more you know and understand, the better you can take good care of yourself and your family.
8) Live a life of integrity. You earn self-esteem by how you live your live. Self-esteem is the foundation of happiness -- and a great way to keep stress at bay.
"That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach." -- Aldous Huxley
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