Why Everyone who suffers from infertility needs to be tested for Celiac Disease

gluten free flours and typography


Infertility has become a widespread problem in America, affecting 7.3 million couples throughout the country. A diagnosis of infertility is made after six months to a year of unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant. Women who suffer repeated miscarriages and stillbirths are also considered infertile.

Nearly one-third of all pregnancy losses are the results of undiagnosed, treatable diseases. Researchers determine that women who struggle with infertility are 2.5 to 3.5 times more likely to have celiac disease than women of average fertility.

Men are not exempt from the impact of celiac disease on fertility. A study of 41 men who were recently diagnosed with celiac disease had low hormone levels that improved dramatically once they removed gluten from their diets for several months.

Celiac Disease is Stealthy and Often Misdiagnosed

Current estimates show that nearly 3 million Americans suffer from celiac disease, but 95% remain undiagnosed. Those who have typical celiac disease suffer from gastrointestinal disorders, like bulky stool and constipation. But those who have the atypical form of celiac, which is also known as the silent form, are much more common. In these cases, other organ systems are affected by gluten antibodies. The cases of silent celiac disease outnumber typical celiac eight to one.

The average person who has undiagnosed celiac disease will visit five or more doctors before finally getting a proper diagnosis. From the onset of symptoms, this person will live with undiagnosed gluten intolerance for five to 11 years.

Common antibody and endoscopy tests that are used to diagnose celiac disease aren’t always successful. Recent studies have shown that these conventional tests are actually ineffective in recognizing celiac disease in most patients.

Other tests may be more effective in determining the presence of the disease. An increased number of white blood cells in an otherwise normal intestinal lining is a sign of a potential disorder. Also, certain genetic markers are often carried by those who have celiac.

How Celiac Disease Affects Fertility

Everyone with celiac disease lacks nutrients because of poor absorption due to intestinal damage. There are a wide range of absorption issues that depend on a  number of factors. They all result in malnutrition, which can lead to weakened reproductive organs and an interruption of the pituitary gland’s hormone production.

Celiac Disease and Autoimmunity

Other autoimmune diseases occur 10 times more frequently in those who have celiac disease. This happens because antibodies mistake the body’s healthy tissue for gluten proteins. Normal cells are attacked and healthy organs are damaged, resulting in autoimmune disease.

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease and Miscarriage Risk

Celiac disease sufferers are three times more likely than the average person to have autoimmune thyroid disease. Those who have autoimmune thyroid disease have a significantly higher risk of miscarriage. Because antibodies that the body produces in order to fight gluten proteins can accidentally attack the thyroid gland, these autoimmune disorders tend to go hand in hand. Even those who have celiac disease and a normal thyroid have been found to be four times more likely to carry thyroid antibodies.

A Simple, Effective Prognosis and a Bright Future

Once they go on a gluten-free diet, women with celiac disease drastically lower their risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and lactation issues that are prevalent in those who go undiagnosed. Poor outcomes are changed for the better after a gluten-free diet is established.

Extensive research on celiac disease and infertility has been done over the past several decades, determining that celiac disease has adverse effects on pregnancy and fertility. Testing for gluten intolerance could prevent miscarriages, stillbirths, and costly fertility treatments.

If you are struggling with unexplained infertility, talk to your doctor about testing for celiac disease. A switch to a gluten-free diet may improve your health and result in a successful pregnancy.



Bast, Alice, Tom O’Bryan, and Elizabeth Bast. “Celiac Disease and Reproductive Health.” Practical Gastroenterology 5th ser. Oct (2009): 10-21. Print.



Cinnamon: A natural treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

Cinnamon may play a useful role in reducing symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This article will briefly outline the symptoms and causes of PCOS before taking a careful look at research examining the potential role of cinnamon in helping women with this condition.

What is PCOS?

PCOS is a common condition in women of reproductive age. Symptoms include ovarian cysts, elevated testosterone levels, irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, excess body hair, and difficulties maintaining a healthy weight. Around half of PCOS patients are obese, and most find losing weight to be challenging. Usually, a woman will be diagnosed with PCOS if she has two of the following three symptoms: ovarian cysts, irregular ovulation, and elevated levels of male hormones in her blood.

What causes PCOS?

There appears to be a genetic component which increases the likelihood of the hormone imbalances underlying this condition. Alongside testosterone, insulin is another hormone implicated in PCOS. Insulin is vital for maintaining blood sugar control, allowing blood glucose to cross into cells throughout the body to provide energy.

However, if the body is insulin resistant, this process breaks down and glucose does not reach the cells. The pancreas then produces an ever-increasing amount of insulin to compensate. This excess insulin triggers the ovaries to produce unusually high quantities of testosterone, resulting in irregular ovulation, infertility, and weight gain. A negative cycle begins: an excess of insulin results in weight gain, and excess weight triggers further insulin production. This may explain why PCOS patients find losing weight difficult.

How might cinnamon reduce the symptoms of PCOS?

Given that insulin resistance is a key cause of PCOS, treatment needs to address this problem. Cinnamon may be a natural way of lowering blood glucose levels and improving insulin sensitivity when ingested on a regular basis.

Wang et al. (2007) found a significant reduction in insulin resistance in women who took cinnamon every day for eight weeks compared to a placebo control group. A year later, Anderson (2008) concluded in a review of the literature that cinnamon has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity and blood glucose levels in individuals with a variety of disorders, including PCOS. More recent research (Kort et al., 2013) found improved menstrual regularity in women with PCOS after taking 1500mg of cinnamon each day for six months. This has positive implications for women trying to conceive naturally.

However, cinnamon’s role in improving insulin resistance is not proven. In a review of the literature,  Rafehi et al. (2012) conclude that the evidence for cinnamon’s role in treating insulin resistance is not yet a certainty,  and that a significant number of trials show no beneficial effect . In addition, future research in this area needs to be of higher quality than that carried out to date (Rafehi et al., 2012).


More research into the effects of cinnamon on PCOS is needed, and therefore the decision to try cinnamon supplements needs to be made by a woman and her physician following careful consideration of the existing evidence. Regular cinnamon supplementation of around 2g per day may have a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity. Patients must always consult a licensed physician before trying any new treatments and should not change their existing treatment without appropriate medical supervision.

Do you or someone you love suffer from PCOS? In June 2017 Helene Elizabeth Wellness Center is going to launch the first ever subscription box service! For more info visit:


The Nine Warning Signs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

PCOS (2)


Polycystic ovary syndrome (or PCOS) involves abnormal hormone levels that can cause many small cysts to appear on the ovaries, and it is thought that 5-10% of women suffer from this condition. If you experience two or more of the following signs of PCOS, make an appointment with your doctor.

1) Irregular periods:
The unusual balance of hormones experienced by women with PCOS often leads to an intermittent failure to produce and/or release eggs. You may have extremely long menstrual cycles (lasting around six weeks), or may only have a period once or twice a year.

2) Acne:
Approximately 70% of women with PCOS struggle with acne, ranging from regular but mild breakouts to frequent and painful cysts. Hormone therapy can sometimes help to reduce the severity of this symptom.

3) Absent periods:
Some women with PCOS have no periods at all. If you are diagnosed with PCOS or another condition that causes absent period, you may have to take a contraceptive pill in order to make sure that you shed your womb lining (in order to help prevent endometrial cancer).

4) Unwanted body hair:
Around 70% of PCOS sufferers also find that have excess body hair on the lips, chin, lower abdomen or breasts. Hormone therapy can also make a difference to this symptom, though shaving and bleaching is sufficient in some cases.

 5) Fertility problems:
Some women only discover that they have PCOS when they try to get pregnant and find that it is more difficult than they expected. PCOS causes less frequent ovulation, so eggs are less often available to fertilize. Luckily, there are effective treatments available to stimulate the ovaries and aid in conception.

6) Weight problems:
Women with PCOS often gain unwanted weight because they are commonly resistant to insulin. If you are resistant to insulin, your body will use sugar abnormally and end up storing it as fat.

7) Acanthosis nigrans:
This symptom involves a ‘velvety thickening’ and unusual pigmentation of skin around the groin, armpits, hands and arms. Acanthosis nigrans is a rarer symptom of PCOS.

8) Thinning hair:
Some women with PCOS develop thinning scalp hair that looks similar to male pattern baldness. Some gels and creams may help with this symptom.

9) High blood pressure:
It is common for PCOS sufferers to develop high blood pressure at a young age. Exercise and diet can sometimes control this symptom, but some women with PCOS will have to start taking medications.

If at least two of the above symptoms sound familiar to you, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss being tested for PCOS. Investigations into PCOS will usually involve some blood tests and a painless ultrasound, and once you have a diagnosis you will receive advice on drug treatments and lifestyle changes that may help to alleviate the worst of your symptoms.

About PCOS



Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is common. It can cause period problems, abridged fertility, acne and extra hair growth. Numerous women with PCOS are also overweight. Potential actions to combat being overweight includes weight loss (if you are overweight) and lifestyle fluctuations in adding to treating the separate symptoms. There are some long-term health problems which are likely in women with PCOS, so a healthy lifestyle is mostly important to minimize the occurrence of these problems.

The ovaries are a duo of glands that lie on any side of the womb (uterus). Every ovary is about the size of a huge marble. The ovaries make eggs and numerous hormones. Hormones are chemicals that are made in one portion of the body, pass through the flow and influence other parts of the body.

Ovulation usually happens once a month when you release an egg into a Fallopian tube. The tube takes the egg hooked on the womb. Before an ovum is free at ovulation, it grows within a slight bump of the ovary, called a follicle. Each month some follicles start to grow but generally just one fully matures and goes on to ovulate.

The main hormones that are complete in the ovaries are oestrogen and progesterone – they are the foremost female hormones. These hormones help with the growth of breasts and are the key controllers of the menstrual cycle. The ovaries also typically make minor amounts of male hormones (androgens) for instance testosterone.

PCOS is common. It is hard to know precisely how common, as figures differ contingent on the definitions used and the countries studied. However, several of the researched women were healthy, ovulated generally and did not have high levels of male chemicals (hormones).

It is considered that about 1 in 10 women has PCOS – that means they have polycystic ovaries, an elevated level of male hormone, reduced ovulation. Nevertheless, these statistics may be advanced.

Being overheavy or obese is not the fundamental cause of PCOS. Though, if you are overweight or obese, extra fat can make insulin confrontation poorer. This may then cause the level of insulin to increase even more. High levels of insulin can donate to further weight gain creating a ‘vicious cycle’. Losing weight, although it seems difficult, can support break this cycle.

What are the symptoms and difficulties of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

Period difficulties arise in about 7 in 10 women with PCOS. You may have uneven or light periods or no periods.

Fertility problems – essentially a woman has to ovulate to turn out to be pregnant. She may not ovulate each month. Approximately women with PCOS do not ovulate. PCOS is one of the greatest common reasons of not being able to get pregnant (infertility).

Symptoms typically start in the late teens or later 20s. Not all symptoms arise in all females with PCOS. For instance, some women with PCOS have some extra hair growth but have standard periods and fertility.

Symptoms can differ from insignificant to severe ones. For instance, slight unwanted hair is normal, and it can be problematic to say when it develops abnormally in women with mild PCOS. Another risky thing is when women with plain PCOS can have noticeable hair growth, infertility, and obesity. Symptoms may similarly change over the years. For example, acne may develop less of a problem in central age but hair growth may become supplementary obvious.

So, tests may be directed to clarify the analysis and to rule out other hormone circumstances.

An ultrasound X-ray of the ovaries may be recommended. An ultrasound X-ray is a painless test that uses wide-ranging waves to make images of assemblies in the body. The scan can perceive the characteristic arrival of PCOS with the numerous small cysts (follicles) in slightly distended ovaries.

Likewise, you may be advised to have an annual screening test for diabetes or reduced glucose tolerance (pre-diabetes). A steady check for other circulatory risk factors such as blood heaviness and blood cholesterol may be recommended to perceive any irregularities as early as possible. Accurately when and how repeatedly the checks are done be subject to on your age, your weight and other issues. Afterward the age of 40, these tests are typically suggested every three years.

Losing weight benefits to decrease the high insulin level that arises in PCOS. This has a knock-on result of plummeting the male chemical (hormone) called testosterone. This then recovers the coincidental of you ovulating, which advances any period difficulties and fertility, and may likewise benefit to decrease hair growth and acne. The enlarged risks of long-term difficulties such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., are also abridged.

Bringing up the normal weight can be hard. A mixture of eating less and working out more is greatest. Information from a dietician, and benefit and support from a training nurse may upsurge your chance of losing weight. Even a reasonable amount of weight loss can benefit.

The top foods for someone with PCOS to eat are going to be those which are gradually engrossed keeping blood sugar levels stable. These are said to have a little glycemic index (low GI). It becomes necessary to avoid white bread, pasta and rice, and selecting whole meal replacements. Potatoes and sugary foods and drinks are likewise best dodged. Greatest fruit, vegetables, pulses and wholegrain foods are both healthy and have a low-slung GI.

Those women who have no periods, or have rare periods, do not want any action for this. Though, your danger of developing cancer of the womb (uterus) may be enlarged if you have no periods for an extended time. Steady periods will stop this conceivable enlarged risk to the uterus.

Some women with PCOS are recommended to take the contraceptive pill as it causes unvarying withdrawal bleeds like periods. If this is not appropriate, an additional choice is to take a progestogen hormone such as medroxyprogesterone for some days every single month. This will cause regular bleed like a period. Occasionally, an intrauterine system which issues small quantities of progesterone into the womb, stopping a build-up of the lining, can be used. If none of these approaches is convenient, your doctor may recommend a regular ultrasound X-ray of your uterus to perceive any difficulties early.


Spiritual Wellness



The spiritual dimension of wellness involves seeking meaning and purpose in human existence. It includes the development of a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces that exist in the universe.

as you begin to develop the spiritual wellness dimension of your life, taking the Wellness path, spiritually, you’ll start asking the question, who am I and what is meaningful in my life. You’ll observe the scenery along the path, the world around you with appreciation and wonderment. You’ll ask many questions about the scenery, the world, as well as your everyday experiences, and learn to value that which cannot be completely understood. Growing spiritually, you’ll try to find peaceful harmony between internal personal feelings and emotions and the rough and rugged stretches of your path.

While traveling the path, you may experience many feelings of doubt, despair, fear, disappointment and dislocation as well as feelings of pleasure, joy, happiness and discovery-these are all important experiences and components of the terrain, your value system. You’ll know you’re becoming spiritually well when your actions become more consistent with your beliefs and values.

On this excursion, you’ll continually think about and integrate your experiences and beliefs with the experiences and beliefs of those around you. With this valuable spiritual wellness information, you’ll be able to engage in the formulation of your world view, and your system of values and goals.

  • As you travel the wellness path, you’ll begin to believe that – spiritually.
  • It’s better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant.
  • It’s better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.

Steps to Encourage Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual wellness is the process of getting in touch with your spiritual core. It is a dedication that is unique for each individual. This process can vary from attending church to practicing meditation, or both. It is the process of looking within to become more in touch with the spiritual dimensions of your life.

Explore your spiritual core — Ask yourself the big questions: Who am I? Why did I come here? Why do humans/the world exist? Why is there evil? What happens after death.

Be quiet — Spend time alone and meditate regularly. Meditation is the process of being fully here, with all concentration focused on the now. By living in the present and letting go of the past and not worrying about the future, we can achieve the inner peace that we strive for while practicing meditation. There are many forms of meditation; find out which one is right for you.

Be inquisitive and curious — An attitude of active searching increases your options and your potential for spiritual centering. Don’t shut doors before you check out what’s behind them.

Be receptive to grief and pain — Pain is a deepener. Allow yourself to feel the pain fully, then ask what it’s trying to teach you.

Be and Do — Spirituality is about more than reading; it’s about “doing” and being fully in the present moment in everything you do.

Witness the choices you make in each moment — Bring them into consciousness; ask yourself what the consequences of a choice are and if the choice will bring fulfillment and happiness. Listen with the heart and be guided by messages of comfort and discomfort. If there is comfort, go for it! If there is discomfort, pause and reevaluate.

 Practice acceptance — See that life right now is as it “should be.” Do not struggle against the universe by struggling against the moment. Take responsibility for your life without blaming anyone, including yourself. See what the situation can teach you and how you can share this teaching with others.

Practice detachment — Allow yourself and those around you the freedom to be who they are. Recognize uncertainty as an essential aspect of life. See that solutions come out of problems, confusion, and chaos, and that uncertainty is the path to freedom.

Be playful — Spirituality is in music, art, dance, laughter, singing, and all of life.

Look for deeper meanings — If you notice that certain themes keep coming up over and over in your life, rather than feeling like you have no control over the situation, ask for the deeper meaning of the pattern to come to you. See the gift in your greatest troubles/problems/challenges. The Chinese word for catastrophe is the same as their word for opportunity.

Take “seven breath” breaks — Stop periodically throughout the day, close your eyes, and take seven deep, slow belly breaths (breathe in to the count of seven, breathe out to the count of seven, seven times). Then, open your eyes and see your new world.

Spiritual Wellness Assessment

The spiritual dimension of wellness involves seeking meaning and purpose in one’s life.


Read each statement carefully and respond honestly by using the following scoring:

Almost always = 2 points            Sometimes/occasionally = 1 point           Very seldom = 0 points

_____  1.   I feel comfortable and at ease with my spiritual life.

_____  2.  There is a direct relationship between my personal values and daily actions.

_____  3.  When I get depressed or frustrated, my spiritual beliefs and values give me direction.

_____  4.  Prayer, meditation, and/or quiet personal reflection is/are important in my life.

_____  5.  Life is meaningful for me, and I feel a purpose in life.

_____  6.  I am able to speak comfortably about my personal values and beliefs.

_____  7.  I am consistently striving to grow spiritually and I see it as a lifelong process.

_____  8.  I am tolerant of and try to learn about others’ beliefs and values.

_____  9.  I have a strong sense of life optimism and use my thoughts and attitudes in life-affirming ways.

_____ 10. I appreciate the natural forces that exist in the universe.

_______ Total for Spiritual Wellness Dimension

Score: 15 to 20 Points –  Excellent strength in this dimension.

Score:  9 to 14 Points – There is room for improvement.  Look again at the items in which you scored 1 or 0.  What changes can you make to improve your score?

Score:  0 to 8 Points – This dimension needs a lot of work.  Look again at  this dimension and challenge yourself to begin making small steps toward growth here.  Remember:  The goal is balanced wellness.

Finding Peace in Our Chaotic World


It’s hard to find your inner peace with the loud and busy city life surrounding you. The first step to enhancing your peace you need to find a balance in your life. To be balanced is to understand each element and how to apply them to your everyday routine. Once you are balanced you will have less stress, feel motivated and your heart and mind will not be contradicting each other.

“However, that is the way life is,” you may say. Difficulties, disturbances and aggravations can’t be evaded, and neither can the needs of individuals who live with or rely on upon us. Life is amazing, it gets your juices flowing and every day is a new adventure.

Everyday life is loaded with anxiety: Ringing telephones, crying youngsters, congested roads, swarmed stores, breaking down innovation, over-booked weekends and nighttime – sounds, commitments, interruptions and vitality barrage us always. It influences our bodies and additionally our psyches, mind-sets and feelings. We don’t need to suffocate in the mayhem, however. A couple of basic methods will help you discover smooth in the eye of the tempest.

How do you even find your balance? 

The components in life that require the most adjusting can be classified into two classifications: external and internal. Generally, individuals concentrate on one more than the other.

Case in point, you may observe that you concentrate on outer things, similar to work, connections, and exercises and that you don’t give your heart and mind the same amount of attention.

Then again, you may observe that you invest so much energy being self-absorbed that you at times pass up a major opportunity to experience just living.

Other individuals may be genuinely adjusted between the two however may need to offset some particular components inside of every classification; so I made this little blueprint to help us better comprehend the useful segments on both.

Internal Balance 

Internal balance consists of your heart, mind and personal health.

Mind: Challenge yourself on a daily basis. Set goals and stick to them.

Heart: Give as much love and kindness as you can.

Personal Health: Take care of yourself. Eat well, get fresh air, take a walk and enjoy the sunshine.

External Balance

External balance consists of your work life, family life and social life.

Work: Instead of seeing the bigger picture, go get it!

Family: Create healthy boundaries for alone time on top of taking care of your responsibilities.

Social: Create time to do something you love.

If you feel pulled by your heart and mind and can’t seem to find peace or make decisions easily these steps will help you achieve that.

1. Acknowledge

2. Examine

3. Set Goals

4. Plan, plan & plan

5. Reflect on your day

6. Prepare

7. Empower and speak positive

Finding peace in our hectic world is not an unachievable goal as you may have thought. It will take some time to recreate your natural habits and replace them with empowering and healthy ones. With these tips you’ll be able to find peace and reflect on your life regardless of where you live.

These steps can be done in no particular order. Take each step the way that works best for you. At the end of each day you have to understand that you’re the only one in control of your life. You are in the drivers seat and you control your destiny. Finding peace is in your head. If you want to have a peaceful life you must tell yourself you want it. Wash away all the negative images and thoughts and let the beauty of peace flood your soul.