Training our Trainers: A Workshop with Dr. Stuart McGill
Training our Trainers: A Workshop with Dr. Stuart McGill

Training our Trainers: A Workshop...

This past Saturday, Dr. McGill ran a very special and exclusive Training the Back...

Training our Trainers: A Workshop with Dr. Stuart McGill

Lifestyle

Training our Trainers: A Workshop with Dr. Stuart McGill

This past Saturday, Dr. McGill ran a very special and exclusive Training the Back Pained Client: From Pain to Performance workshop with our trainers. This one day course, with a combination of lectures, workshops, and McGill’s signature “no nonsense” approach, was designed to teach our trainers the best way to help our Members who suffer from back pain.

Haven't Set Your Resolutions Yet? There's Still Time...
Haven't Set Your Resolutions Yet? There's Still Time...

Haven't Set Your Resolutions Yet?...

This is the year I'm going to stick to my New Year's Resolution! Does that...

Haven't Set Your Resolutions Yet? There's Still Time...

Lifestyle

Haven't Set Your Resolutions Yet? There's Still Time...

This is the year I'm going to stick to my New Year's Resolution! Does that sound familiar? Do you set new goals every year (maybe even reusing the same goals you set last year) only to see January come and go with the same old habits still in place? Don't get discouraged. You are definitely not alone - in fact - you're probably part of the majority!

Celebrating the Adelaide's Community with Winville
Celebrating the Adelaide's Community with Winville

Celebrating the Adelaide's...

When Winville first came to the Adelaide Club, he was driven by a desire to focus on...

Celebrating the Adelaide's Community with Winville

Lifestyle

Celebrating the Adelaide's Community with Winville

When Winville first came to the Adelaide Club, he was driven by a desire to focus on his personal fitness, quickly joining the Club’s running group – which he’s been a member of ever since. And his reasons for remaining a member today? They don’t deviate from that original desire much; he’s now focused on staying in shape and maintaining his active lifestyle.

Setting Your New Year's Resolutions
Setting Your New Year's Resolutions

Setting Your New Year's Resolutions

I’ve spent the last month asking my clients and class participants if they are...

Setting Your New Year's Resolutions

Lifestyle

Setting Your New Year's Resolutions

I’ve spent the last month asking my clients and class participants if they are making New Year’s resolutions and I was surprised to hear that most aren’t. When I probed to find out why, the most common answer was “They don’t work.  I always fail so why bother?”

A Little Cup of Holiday Cheer
A Little Cup of Holiday Cheer

A Little Cup of Holiday Cheer

Celebrate the holidays in style - with a little Holiday Cheer! These reminders can help...

A Little Cup of Holiday Cheer

Lifestyle

A Little Cup of Holiday Cheer

Celebrate the holidays in style - with a little Holiday Cheer! These reminders can help you to stay healthy throughout the holidays, even when temptation comes knocking.

Meet Rob: 50 Years Old & Running a Marathon a Month
Meet Rob: 50 Years Old & Running a Marathon a Month

Meet Rob: 50 Years Old & Running a...

Rob has always loved to set goals; every year on his birthday he sets a new goal for...

Meet Rob: 50 Years Old & Running a Marathon a Month

Lifestyle

Meet Rob: 50 Years Old & Running a Marathon a Month

Rob has always loved to set goals; every year on his birthday he sets a new goal for himself and he’s a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. 10 years ago, when he turned 40, Rob entered into a 50-mile race in Haliburton. This race was meant to be a great way to spend his time and would encourage him to continue to exercise as if he were younger – but, little did he know, that was only the beginning.

5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays
5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

I've been thinking a lot about...

...the "Most Wonderful Time of the...

5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

I've been thinking a lot about...

...the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year..."?!?

It can be the most wonderful time of the year, but, it can also be more hectic, stressful, tough, and lonely for many. So, here are a few, unfinished, imperfect, tinsel covered lifelines I'd like to extend to you. I hope you find a few of them helpful. 

What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...
What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...

What we can Learn from Charlie...

Do you remember Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree? Turns out we can learn a lot about...

What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...

Lifestyle

What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...

Do you remember Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree? Turns out we can learn a lot about core activation and stabilization of the lower back from that very cartoon. 

Feeling Stressed?
Feeling Stressed?

Feeling Stressed?

It's the most wonderful time of the year...but isn't it also the most...

Feeling Stressed?

Lifestyle

Feeling Stressed?

It's the most wonderful time of the year...but isn't it also the most stressful? And with stress comes aches and pains, heart disease, and depression. Take a step back, before your stress becomes too much to handle, and learn a bit more about your stress and how it can best be managed.

How Can I Burn Fat?
How Can I Burn Fat?

How Can I Burn Fat?

When I teach classes, I often get asked: "how can I burn fat?" or "will...

How Can I Burn Fat?

Lifestyle

How Can I Burn Fat?

When I teach classes, I often get asked: "how can I burn fat?" or "will doing this class help me lose my belly?" Because these are some of the most frequently asked questions I get from our Members, I thought it was time to explore fat burning more in depth.

The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab
The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab

The TAC's Newest Addition: The...

After months of planning and construction, we are excited to announce that the Toronto...

The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab

Lifestyle

The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab

After months of planning and construction, we are excited to announce that the Toronto Athletic Club’s Strength Lab, the Club’s newest space, is now open to Members. But before you step into the space, let us answer some of the questions we’ve already heard from Members!

A Night of Promise
A Night of Promise

A Night of Promise

As we celebrate World Diabetes Day, we wanted to highlight the great work that the...

A Night of Promise

Lifestyle

A Night of Promise

As we celebrate World Diabetes Day, we wanted to highlight the great work that the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is doing and explain why we're so proud to support the JDRF and  their continued mission to better the lives of those living with type 1 diabetes.

A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40
A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40

A Celebration 40 Years in the...

Over the past 40 years, the Adelaide Club has seen many changes. From the Club’s...

A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40

Lifestyle

A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40

Over the past 40 years, the Adelaide Club has seen many changes. From the Club’s overall look and feel to the offerings, nothing is as it once was, and yet, at the very core, it remains the same. Take a moment to look back on the past incredible 40 years as the Club readies to celebrate it's 40th Anniversary this week.

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss
5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk...

I've been thinking a lot about...weight loss. I don't want to think about it in...

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss

I've been thinking a lot about...weight loss. I don't want to think about it in January. I want to think about, and talk about, it NOW. Read on to find 5 truths about weight loss you may not know. PLUS an incredibly scrumptious Quinoa Sundae recipe!

From the Corporate Office to NBA Court
From the Corporate Office to NBA Court

From the Corporate Office to NBA...

Massage therapy has significant positive effects in improving overall health and...

From the Corporate Office to NBA Court

Lifestyle

From the Corporate Office to NBA Court

Massage therapy has significant positive effects in improving overall health and wellness of athletes and individuals alike. Regular massage therapy improves circulation, which promotes healing - as it brings rich blood supply to damaged, stiff, and tense muscles.

First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection
First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection

First Stop on Your Tour through the...

When you think of Toronto, what do you think of? Are there iconic landmarks,...

First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection

Lifestyle

First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection

When you think of Toronto, what do you think of? Are there iconic landmarks, unforgettable moments, and unmistakable monuments that immediately jump out to you? The team at the Adelaide Club believes there absolutely are! So, they've created their Toronto Collection to highlight their favourite images that best represent the city they call home.

Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight
Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight

Cheryl's Transformation: Member...

Cheryl realized she was ready to make a change in her life. She started with her diet...

Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight

Lifestyle

Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight

Cheryl realized she was ready to make a change in her life. She started with her diet and then knew it was time to add fitness back into the plan. After training with Mike for 6 months, Cheryl has lost an additional 34 lbs and has seen an 11% reduction in her body fat! 

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful
5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time...

I’ve been thinking a lot about…

… being grateful. I...

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful

I’ve been thinking a lot about…

… being grateful. I know. Pretty clich√© this time of year. But gratitude is such a powerful, positive emotion, I just couldn’t help myself.

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate
7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy...

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season – a season when we tend to eat...

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate

Lifestyle

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season – a season when we tend to eat excessively. I mean, who can blame us? But, this year is going to be different, and here’s why…we’ve got the top SEVEN tips to help you with portion control that will, ultimately, help to stave off the holiday bulge.

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?
Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for those suffering from...

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Lifestyle

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for those suffering from many joint and tendon disorders. Everyone with soft tissue injuries can benefit from shockwave therapy.

Case Study: The Complexity of Infertility

Case Study: The Complexity of Infertility
Posted: Sep 27, 2016

HISTORY
Anna is a 35-year-old legal assistant. She presented in our initial visit with complaints of difficulty conceiving. She had been trying for more almost a year, diligently tracking her ovulation cycles with no success. Her family doctor eventually diagnosed her with infertility and referred her on to a fertility clinic. Blood work was performed there and determined a low follicle count, commonly seen with women in her age range and is reflected by the anti-mullerian hormone (AMH, a marker of the size of the remaining egg supply or “ovarian reserve). They proposed a treatment plan of in vitro fertilization (IVF), which included a preparatory phase requiring hormone injections to increase the number of maturing eggs prior to harvesting and fertilizing, as well as continuous hormones throughout the protocol to increase chances of implantation. Having had several of her friends try this path with mixed results and complaints of side effects from the hormones, coupled with the anxiety Anna had about the invasivenes of the procedures, she sought other potential treatments which led her to our initial visit.

Fertility cases are always interesting, as conventional investigations can be minimal. Given there are no other significant abnormalities, such as a blocked fallopian tube, male infertility, history of polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids, endometriosis, and reproductive hormone imbalance, the AMH value becomes the target of treatment. With increasing female age, the size of their pool of egg supply decreases and AMH levels also decrease. Once this low level is found, IVF tends to be the
standard treatment protocol.

Although IVF has given a safe and successful opportunity to individuals that have otherwise been unable to conceive, and is more successful than other forms of assisted reproductive technology, IVF success rates are still low (just over 25% of IVF cycles result in live birth), are expensive, and there may be associated side effects such as a higher chance of ectopic pregnancy, prematurity of birth and low birth weight, and takes an emotional/psychological toll.

Many other factors beyond those listed above can play into an infertility diagnosis and as a result, treatment options expand. Infertility is highly complex, also being effected by hormones such as cortisol (a stress hormone) and thyroid hormone (responsible for metabolism), history of hormonal birth control use, nutritional deficiencies (such as iron, folic acid, b vitamins),  inflammation, circulation, oxidative stress and egg quality, and uterine lining thickness and implantation ability. With this in mind, treatment options from a naturopathic perspective can expand into helping an individual’s body optimize its roles in fertility through diet and lifestyle, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, nutraceutical supplementation, and herbal supplementation.

OBJECTIVE FINDINGS
In Anna’s assessment, several other factors were found. She shared that she had been on the birth control pill (BCP) for thirteen years up until trying to conceive. Once discontinuing the BCP, her period returned regularly but was heavy and extremely painful for the first three days in her upper abdomen, and would have associated loose stools. Premenstrual symptoms (PMS) also developed including bloating, moodiness, and decreased libido. She also began experiencing yeast infections tied to her menstrual cycle.

She also shared that her gastrointestinal health was poor, suffering from heartburn once a week, stabbing pain in the stomach twice a week that could last up to two hours, and increased bowel urgency. Associated symptoms included low energy and weakness. A CT scan and colonoscopy was performed in the past by her family doctor and gastroenterologist and she was diagnosed with colitis. Treatment was done by antibiotics which worsened symptoms.

Both menstrual and gastrointestinal complaints were aggravated by stress. She described herself as an anxious person with a demanding job, coupled with the pressure of conceiving; stress was a major part of her life.

TREATMENT
After taking a full history, blood work was performed and found that she had low iron and thyroid stimulating hormone (indicating hypothyroidism). Researchers have found that women that have low iron have a higher risk of ovulatory infertility (an inability to produce healthy eggs), and that abnormal thyroid function is associated with an increased rate of infertility, miscarriage, and adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. Anna returned to her family doctor and was prescribed Synthroid to treat her low thyroid function, and low iron was treated through supplementation.

Anna’s gastrointestinal complaints were concurrently addressed by a gentle detox of initiating a clean diet consisting of low inflammatory ingredients and whole foods, while avoiding any known food sensitivities she had. This was supported with probiotics to help restore healthy bacterial flora of the digestive tract.

She also experienced PMS symptoms which are indicative of suboptimal regulation and production its reproductive hormones, especially progesterone. This is very common with women that have been on BCP long term (longer than 3 years), as it becomes dependant on the pill to regulate its hormones. Other factors such as poor thyroid function and stress can also pull the regulation of hormones out of balance.

Once her body adjusted to a cleaner diet and her digestive complaints resolved, herbal supplementation of Chaste Tree was used to help the body restore its ability to regulate and produce its reproductive hormones. Additional supplementation of the herb Tribulus was used to help boost vitality and support production and maturation of eggs prior to ovulation which was especially important as her AMH levels were low.

L-Arginine was used in conjunction to increase blood circulation to the reproductive organs to optimize egg production and maturation, uterine lining development for implantation, and nutrients to the fetus for healthy development. CoQ10 was also used as it helps to produce energy in our cells and is a strong antioxidant that helps to preserve egg quality.

We monitored this treatment plan for 3 months while taking a break from trying to conceive. PMS and digestive symptoms resolved, energy and mood improved, and she experienced no yeast infections.

She then began trying to conceive again with the addition of acupuncture around ovulation. In two months she was pregnant. She has now the mother of a healthy baby.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Infertility is a reminder that the body is highly complex, intelligent, and unique. As Naturopathic Doctors, each case is individualized and by gaining a thorough understanding of each patient’s overall health, a protocol can be developed to support the body and promote fertility, whether you are seeking an alternative to IVF or for collaborative support during IVF. The benefits of treatment don’t end when you conceive either. Symptoms of discomfort during pregnancy can also be treated such as constipation, morning sickness, emotional changes, yeast infections, and back pain, and care for mom and baby can continue once the baby is born.

 

Case Study by Cristina Allen, ND of Adelaide Health Clinic

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