I remain in a bit of a lull as I await the end of the course of Prednisone I’m on right now to calm my immune system’s reaction to the 6 pregnancies we’ve celebrated and then lost from March 2013 to May 2014 (the May one ended in early June but who’s counting?).
In the meantime, I have:
- been working out with some increased regularity, which feels great;
- not suffered allergic reactions to foods and pollens and all sorts of other stuff I could not even identify (I was reacting to anything and everything);
- stopped all diminished ovarian reserve, fertility and recurrent pregnancy loss supplements except Royal Jelly, Vitamin D3, a prenatal (I use Platinum because of its lower iron content and the fact it’s easily absorbed as it’s a liquid in a massive gel cap – the massive gel cap is not so great but I can get it down so all is well), fish oil (I use NutraSea liquid and capsules kind of interchangeably but prefer the liquid when not travelling) and B-Complex (if this list sounds long to you, you should have seen the arm’s length list of stuff I took before!);
- started a new blog inspired by the Blog Hop questions I answered – it’s about writing and art of sorts and not about seconday infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss or anything related per se;
- been waffling endlessly about consulting a reproductive immunologist (I’ve settled on Dr. Braverman in Long Island) and if so, when and to what extent;
- “camped” in our back yard with the Miracle Toddler (we haven’t made it through a night in the tent yet but that will happen);
- joined the LP on the Whole 30 diet in late June and July (this was the LP’s idea, who is a now-recovering sugar, simple carbohydrate and dairy addict; I said I would take part to support him but I have not cut out soy entirely and I was already on an anti-inflammation diet so the only thing I had to eliminate was the gluten-free grain products);
- discovered some interesting research about probiotics and immune system health that I did not previously know or appreciate, thanks to an online DE IVF friend.
I figured that the last bullet warranted some sharing of information for anyone reading this who may also have or wonder if you have immune-related fertility and/or recurrent pregnancy loss issues. Here are some online resources I’ve discovered on the subject and a short synopsis of each:
This interesting study involved mice who got sexy and attractive while on probiotics, displaying the “reproductive fitness” of much younger mice (as well as more luxurious fur). The abstract boasts that “[f]emale animals displayed probiotic-induced hyperacidity coinciding with shinier hair, a feature that also aligns with fertility in human females.” We may not get our take home babies, but we could look fabulous!
This Norwegian study indicates that women who consumed probiotics were less likely than their non-probiotic-consuming counterparts to develop pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia has been linked to immune function in pregnancy. I also noted with interest the suggestion that “[p]robiotics have been suggested to modify placental trophoblast inflammation [and] systemic inflammation”, as well as blood pressure (all three are relevant for pre-eclampsia, the first two are of particular interest to me as I wonder whether inflammation is part of what has brought on some of our early losses in the past 18 months. This article also talked about IgE levels being modified by probiotic consumption, which also keenly piqued my interest given that is the one diagnosis I’ve actually gotten that confirms my suspicions about an immune system gone wild.
This is a full-length 2007 article from the Journal of Nutrition that reviews a number of research findings that suggest to me that, at least in 2007, the answers are inconclusive but we know gut flora can affect host immunity. The article concludes by saying that “the analysis of the impact of probiotics on the host immune system has entered a new and fascinating phase of research and that this effort is likely to offer novel and useful means to modulate host immunity for protection from, or treatment of, a wide variety of human and animal disorders.”
I was unable to get the full text of this article online but the Abstract indicates, among other things, that “Yogurt could inhibit the growth of intestinal carcinoma through increased activity of IgA, T cells, and macrophages.” Note: test subjects were non-human animals.
There are plenty more articles out there for anyone who is interested.
I will be back to update after I get my blood test results, which I expect will either be on Friday of this week or Monday of next week. Until then, I’ll keep trudging along on my “break” from it all.