This week, we’re talking reproduction. I welcome biomedical scientist Martin Mayer back to discuss why infertility is on the rise, along with a very interesting case study of a woman with a peculiar long term reproductive ‘region’ illness. The thing that will strike you hopefully too here, is that the problem isn’t a difficult one to articulate. The solution isn’t either. That’s the scary part. Why is this sort of thing not front page news? This post is not in any way designed to offend or accuse anyone of not doing the right things to get pregnant – it couldn’t be further from the truth. It is designed to bring awareness that we are living in a time of imbalance between what our bodies are designed for and what our bodies are subjected to. We go into great detail with this topic over at our Preconception Ninja Course. Check it out if you’re keen for some support falling pregnant and supporting the balance of your hormones.
For now… I’ll let Martin take over.
“In principle, nature wants to reproduce any species successfully. If we go through genetic information contained in the DNA of any living being we will find the most conserved and protected part of the DNA is all about successful reproduction.
If an organism cannot reproduce anymore then this means something major is wrong. In other words, if a species cannot fulfil nature’s most urgent command to “reproduce!” then this has to be taken seriously. The decline in fertility in the Western World is well known, just Google “infertility in the western world” and you will find over 2 million references.
IVF is a booming business after all. This is not to say that it doesn’t bring a lot of joy to people who have succeeded through it but we MUST ask ourselves: What is the reason why many women (and men) cannot reproduce anymore at a normal rate?
Something must have changed. Is it the internal human biology or psychology, or are external factors responsible? The answer is that external factors have of course changed dramatically, causing our internal biology to change.
As I said before, it requires a great amount of effort to stop the single most important drive in nature to reproduce. So what it means is that the external factors must be significant, and the time interval we are exposed to them must be long enough to cause such a profound change in reproductive abilities.
Some external factors of change over the last 20 years-100 years are:
- The thousands of manmade chemicals added to our food and personal care
- Non-ionizing radiation ( we are living in the age of millions of frequencies everywhere any time),
- Reduced oxygen levels in the air and buildings
- Man-made food and highly processed food instead of man grown food (or woman!),
- Synthetic vitamin pills and pharmaceuticals
- Crazy hyper -activity levels and then crazy under-activity levels
- Hormones everywhere in the food chain and waterways
- Stimulation anytime and everywhere so that it is a job on its own to manage the flood of stimulation and information coming from all these wonderful technical inventions.
The human body is an ancient construction; the digestive system produces certain enzymes to break down food based on food our ancestors used to eat for thousands of years.
A modern human has fairly much the same type of enzymes our ancestors used to have, but the type of food we eat today is vastly different compared to our paleolithic ancestors – or even compared to 200 years ago.
If we eat food, which is foreign to our digestive tract, then we have by definition a problem: We will not be able to digest it normally. We will have residues which the body tries to get rid off by either expelling or converting it into fat-soluble chemicals and will store them in our adipose tissues.
The same with exposure to abnormal overstimulation of the nervous system. Our body is not designed for it and nerves or neurotransmitters have not changed for thousands of years.
So basically it is important to understand that our body is a very old construction – not much changed at all over thousands of years. It will not change like that just because our mind thinks or feels that it would be good to put it into this or that environment, and it SHOULD be happy!
If we see fertility in this context it starts to make some sense why we humans have the epidemic of infertility in the western world. Fertility is just one of the systems in our bodies under fire in the current crazy modern world and all our western habits.
I would like to share a recent case study highlighting in very practical terms how diet and environmental toxins and fertility connect together:
A 36-year-old lady presented in our clinic with “incurable vaginal bleeding” which she had had for 20 years. She explained that she did all tests under the sun, she spent thousands of dollars seeing all sorts of doctors, gynecologists and several naturopaths, acupuncturist and so on.
Noone cold stop her bleeding for good.
She said that she had a healthy lifestyle and was eating good food.
She was distressed and did not know anymore what to do.
I investigated her hormones, ALL hormones, her CYP450 enzymes, (The CYP 450 enzymes are a small BUT EXTREMELY IMPORTANT group of detoxifying enzymes found in the liver, brain and several other organs. Some are neurotransmitters as well and are greatly responsible for the cross-communication between dopamine and serotonin in the pituitary gland (brain); I also ran a very comprehensive blood clotting factor study on ALL von Willebrand factors, a COMPLETE thyroid test ( not paid through Medicare) including all antibodies and all the usual quantitative and qualitative hematology parameters.
A note from Alexx: Don’t panic that you might not understand all of these tests Martin’s talking about. Basically, by having a private lab, he can test very specific data he wants to look at to find answers to things, where a standard medicare blood test won’t provide the level of detail.
What I found then was quite surprising for the patient:
She had a genetic inability to detoxify the normal way. She had a genetically deleted enzyme and another key enzyme only half functioning, which regulates the Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal axis (HPA axis). She had elevated thyroid antibodies together with borderline low TSH (subclinical Graves disease) and last but not least three times higher Oestradiol than normal (!). Her blood clotting factor came back as normal, and the rest of hematology looked normal as well.
I translated all that by saying to her: “You will have to be extremely careful with your diet starting from today.
Any known and unknown toxin you eat, drink, spray on your skin or inhale, is not properly disposed off through your body. If you do not observe this rule your HPA axis will not function normally and because of that the nervous system, thyroid, hormone and immune system will not be normal either.”
She started to take the usual non-toxic diet advice, only this time very, very seriously. She had absolutely zero alcohol ( she had been having 1 glass per night for many years) made her own soups and food to take to work, no coffee or soft drinks at all, no spray tan, no sun cream, no deodorants or perfumes, watched her sleep time to have at least 8 hours uninterrupted sleep, and implemented all the other many things we advised right down to every detail.
She understood why she had to be so drastic, was highly motivated and was very keen to change her disease.
After 2 weeks she emailed and was all over the moon, she was sooo happy, her bleeding stopped and she still could not get her head around why she recovered so fast after all these years! She also excited that her long term dermatitis had healed and she had dropped substantial weight in such a short time.
Once you have the very detailed results of your blood, you can really help people find answers they’ve struggled to find for so long.”
So, WOW. Amazing case study thank you Martin and a wonderfully frank and logic observation that is a new favourite truth bomb for me:
Our ancient bodies are being subjected to too many foreign things in
our modern world construct, and they don’t like it!
I was devastated to hear on a recent trip to Mauritius to visit my family from there, that about 50% of couples were having trouble conceiving. I was also devastated to hear Mauritius used the most pesticides in the world per capita – beautiful tropical Island being poisoned! I was devastated the other day on a highway in NSW to see IVF billboards. I’m not against IVF, that’s not why I was devastated. It was more that if an IVF business can afford the astronomical fees of outdoor advertising usually reserved for mega brands and government messages, then they sure must have a lot of customers, which means we sure do have a MASSIVE fertility problem.
I have a deleted enzyme and one half functioning and as I live a very low tox life these days, I don’t have many issues on the day to day front. HOWEVER, when I am in a public bathroom with strong smelling airfresheners and cleaning agents, I get hayfever and brain fog for a couple of days. Clearly, my body simply doesn’t know what to make of it. I cringe at the thought of my 6 years in the cosmetics industry and all the perfumes. My body literally started saying ENOUGH with constant migraines, raging PCOS, ballooning weight and hayfever. At the time however, I didn’t have any knowledge to put the two together. Getting the answers and having that data was hard to hear, but yet so very resassuring.
I have so many friends for whom getting pregnant was a big challenge. Hopefully this can serve someone across the interwebs who is looking for answers. Even if fertility isnt an issue for you here, the message behind this is for everyone. We must pull back into like with nature – for both our sakes and for our planet’s sake.
Funny how the solution always seems to be that, isn’t it?
Martin Mayer, Bachelor Biomedical Science
Martin joined Concept Holistic Health in 1997 as a Biomedical Scientist. His particular clinical interests lie in molecular biology including DNA biomarkers, pharmacogenetics, very early disease and cancer detection and environmental toxicology. He is at the leading-edge of science in many of these areas, being able to offer testing not available elsewhere in Australia.
Martin puts science into the holistic context, interprets pathology reports into understandable language and brings pathology alive to everyone.
Martin’s scientific analysis complements Concept’s naturopathic solutions, providing an advanced, unique and effective approach to health and wellbeing. He is extremely thrilled to be adding a medi credit option to allow people to afford the more expensive tests he runs with payment installements, to allow people to invest in this incredibly detailed information about their unique body.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT INTENDED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY SUCH SYMPTOMS, PLEASE SEE YOUR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER.
What’s my relationship with Concept? Christine Schwedhelm is my naturopath of 10 years, with nearly 30 years experience and I really like the scientific and concrete evidence approach to healing, before throwing a bunch of pills, albeit natural ones, at the problem. Being a nerd, I take comfort in knowing that, while the testing side of things isn’t ‘free’ because it’s a private lab, at least we know exactly what to treat, given so many symptoms can overlap across various problems. Don’t think of it as an expense, but rather an investment when it comes to the blood tests.
I’ve particularly loved the psychotherapy / counselling element during the time of quitting smoking nearly 10 years ago now, or learning relaxation, or going through a hard time as a new mum. Anyway, Martin and I got chatting as they didn’t have a blog, about providing some free information and investigative pieces here, and I said, of course, yes! I take a nominal fee to cover my couple of hours editing and preparing the post for publishing and am really thrilled to bring this new dimension to the blog to life.
I really appreciated reading this article – I believe infertility is an epidemic and it’s something that I suffer from. I eat very healthily and try to stay away from all chemicals and preservatives in food… But obviously that is half the battle. I’m not sure how to make productive steps forward when almost everything we use on a day to day basis has some kind of chemical in it, from beauty products, to cleaning products, to our water supply, even certain fabrics and furnishings are releasing harmful chemicals. I would love to see a post of how to detox your life-style – I’ve got the food part down, but it’s the other part I’m struggling with.
Have you checked out all the low tox tips articles on the blog. Scroll over the ‘low tox living’ tab to the subcategories and you’ll find them there. I’m doing a ‘what make up / skin care’ I use post next week too! xx
Great article Alexx and Martin. I share your pain, Isabella – I’m in the same boat, have modified my diet, the chemicals in everything that I can think of, to what I drink – Absolutely no alcohol or caffeine, only purified water and herbal teas….. I don’t know what else to do. Myself and my partner have had so many tests done and yet no answers or solid solutions for the ‘why’ it’s not actually happening yet. So very frustrating.
Hi Gabriela, It can take a few years for the body to heal. If you’re in Sydney and can invest in biochemistry tests that Martin performs, it’s truly eye opening… Organic Acid test etc. Expensive but so worth it. Just a thought x