Welcome to the Thrival Nutrition Podcast with me as your host, Lahana Vigliano, the owner of Thrival Nutrition and a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist. We’re on episode 141 talking about birth control and lessening the negative effects of it, if you decide to stay on birth control.
First before getting into things you can do to help lessen the effect of birth control, I want you to question about why you are on birth control. As a nutritionist and someone who is more “crunchy” and natural, I believe that there are better natural ways of birth control that won’t harm your hormones and your health.
Because let’s be real, no matter what you do to lessen the negative effects of birth control – it’s still a synthetic hormone in your body and will naturally increase your risk of cancers, strokes, and other health issues. I will always advocate for something more natural when you aren’t facing death.
You might be on birth control because you want to stop a pregnancy from happening. While I won’t go into detail about natural birth control methods in this episode, I just want you to feel empowered that THERE ARE EFFECTIVE natural birth control options out there and which one works for you might be different for someone else. I will highly encourage you to look and research into those, but if you find that the pill is something you want to choose, we’ll get to what you can do in this episode to lessen the effects of the pill.
If you’re on birth control because your doctor put you on it because you had rough periods/PMS or to “balance your hormones”, I want to encourage you that birth control is not the answer. Taking birth control for this reason is simply masking the symptoms of an underlying hormone problem. You are delying the inevitable when you get off your birth control. Symptoms will come right back and the problem will still be there. I want to encourage you that you don’t have to suffer from a painful period or PMS or have this imbalance the rest of your life. I’ve personally seen painful PMS be gone with clients who focus in on diet, stress, exercise, sleep, and living a healthy lifestyle.
Granted, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes a personalized approach for what is going on with you to be effective in balancing and supporting your body. (Which is why I am here!) Shameless plug, but if that is you, I would love to work with you to support your body with food and herbs to get your body back in balance. Book your free 15 minute phone call to see how I can help you. I’m here to be completely real and raw with you.
Okay, so getting that out of the way. Let’s talk about lessening the negative effects of birth control if you do find that this is the route you want to take.
Birth control is a total robber of your folate, magnesium, other B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and zinc! This lowers your immune system, your energy, and honestly, almost every other thing in your body. These are NUTRIENTS that are needed for our body to function in every way.
The best way to try to avoid major nutrient depletions are to have a nutrient-dense diet (of course, this will be my answer for everything!), which means to have half to three quarters of your plate filled with veggies! Also, taking a good quality multivitamin on top of that. Another shameless plug will be that I recommend our Thrival Nutrition Daily Multivitamin on Amazon! (This will be back in stock at the end of November/early December – I wish I had more control over the process, but with the holidays it can set some things back!) Total bioavailable nutrients and at levels that can help decrease nutrient depletion that birth control will rob.
Because some of those nutrients I mentioned are depleted, like Vitamin C + E (which are antioxidants too!), you can betcha that other antioxidants in your body are decreasing as well! Antioxidants are our body’s bodyguards from free radicals. Free radicals job is so seek and destroy cells + DNA – increasing our risk for cancers and other chronic diseases.
Supplementing with extra antioxidants can help reduce the risk of negative effects that come from the birth control pill. Here I go again saying – STARTING WITH A NUTRIENT DENSE diet first! If you need help with this and need a little more hand holding than me telling you, girl I understand! Book your free phone call!
Some antioxidant supplements that I love are:
- Liposomal Vitamin C (I would take this on top of taking my multivitamin)
- Liposomal Glutathione
Love Your Liver
Our liver takes a hit from all the “pollution” in the world – from diet, environment, medications, you name it. This is why I recommend to do what you can to help love and support your liver because let’s be real….there are things that we don’t have control over and we need to be functioning optimally for when we come into contact with those things. The liver is our biggest detoxification organ.
Hormones are detoxed through the liver and into the GI tract (which we will talk about next!). If your liver is feeling pretty burdened, guess what? Your hormones are just building up further creating a hormone storm when they are trying to be detoxed and eliminated from the body. I wrote a whole blog post on supporting the liver over on another post. And I also talked about it with Nicole Fennell, RD from Chews Food Wisely on the podcast!
A couple of tidbits from those are to eat tons of cruciferous vegetables. I’m talking eat 1-2 servings PER meal. Incorporate them into your diet – breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Yes, you can/should have veggies in the morning – think smoothie if you can’t handle the thought of it in your eggs or breakfast. Cruciferous vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, bok choy, collards, and other green leafy vegetables.
Some supplements that I love to further help support your liver are..
And don’t forget to eat those high quality proteins – like grass-fed beef, pasture raised chicken, wild caught fish for those amino acids and healthy fats. Add some avocados and coconut oil in there while you’re at it!
Love Your Gut
Birth control, unfortunately, destroys your microbiome. The hormones in birth control can contribute to opening up your intestinal lining and cause inflammation all up in your gut! Dr. Khalili did a study on the connection between birth control and colitis + Crohn’s.
It can really throw a wrench in your balanced gut bacteria. Remember, we want balance. We’ll always have bad bacteria and good bacteria, but we can’t allow the bad bacteria to outweigh the good bacteria.
You guys know that I’m constantly talking about gut health and how it relates to practically EVERYTHING. Some ways that you can love your gut is eating a nutrient dense diet (again I’m a repeating myself, but I will until I die!), drinking/eating bone broth, eating fermented foods, and taking some gut-loving supplements:
I actually offer my gut protocol that I use for my clients on my website – this is without any additional support – just the protocol in case you are looking to support your gut on a more therapeutic level. You can get it over on my website!