I hear this a fair bit:
"I didn't want to take hormones so I chose the coil instead."
There are two types of coils: the copper and the hormone coil. I'm just going to touch on the hormone coil, a.k.a. the Mirena.
It's a very effective type of birth control and you may have very specific reasons for choosing the hormone coil, e.g. heavy menstrual bleeding, painful periods. As a nutritionist - I'm not here to judge your reasons. I just want you to know how to support yourself nutritionally.
Depending on your unique biochemical make-up, the Hormone Coil can impact your body in the following ways:
- HORMONE IMBALANCE, i.e. ESTROGEN DOMINANCE:
By releasing "levonorgestrel" into the body (a synthetic form of progesterone), the coil actually depresses your natural production of progesterone. In turn, this causes a situation of ESTROGEN DOMINANCE.
Side effects of estrogen dominance to be mindful of: ovarian cysts, back pain, headache/migraine, nervousness, dizziness, nausea, bloating, breast tenderness.
2. WEAKENED DIGESTIVE FIRE & IMMUNITY DUE TO ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
Excess estrogen also raises copper levels. If copper levels are allowed to reach levels which are toxic in the body, then zinc will be depleted. Zinc deficiency will impact your digestive fire and your immunity.
Progesterone is also used by the body to increase levels of glutathione - a powerful antioxidant. So lower levels of progesterone mean less will be available to produce this antioxidant, so crucial for many immunity issues, including cardiovascular health.
3. INCREASED DIFFICULTY IN COPING WITH STRESS & FEELINGS OF DEPRESSION
Progesterone is synthesised in the central nervous system and affects nerve functioning, and therefore mood and behaviour. If any emotional stress is being experienced, progesterone is used by the body to activate the receptor sites for one of our most calming neurotransmitters: GABA. So, the less progesterone, the few active receptors sites for GABA and the less you're able to benefit from this calming neurotransmitter.
AND IF YOU'RE ON THE COIL & EATING A DIET HIGH IN SUGAR....
This will be very hard on your liver who is already working extra time to detoxify your body of excess estrogen build-up. This is could lead to a myriad of nutritional deficiencies and problems with blood sugar regulation.
How can you support yourself nutritionally if on the hormonal coil?
LOVE YOUR LIVER by:
- eating a diet high in vegetables, like bitter leafy greens that help your liver secrete bile;
- eating lots of well-cooked cruciferous vegetables which are high in sulphur - a powerful antioxidant;
- take a zinc supplement along with your warm lemon water in the morning to stimulate your digestive fire;
- EXERCISE: this is a great way to rid your body of those inflammatory excess estrogens.
- Drink at least 2L of water daily.
Birth control is not just about managing our fertility and menstrual cycles.
Informed decisions = empowered women = healthier women = healthier daughters.
Thrive Nutrition Practice is founded by holistic nutritionist, Cristina Tahoces, DHN.