TTC Diary Notes – Out of Control in the 2 Week Wait

The first test, was a New but not improved Confirm. I had put a lot of faith in the old Confirm, when I tested positive with it during our first month trying. The new Confirm had rumored problematic and I caught wind of it before I bought the 2 pack for myself. My own first experience with it proved it to be difficult to read. After that I cleaned the shelves of the old tests and avoiding using the second new Confirm test. Yesterday, it finally served its purpose and fed my overwhelming desire with disappointment, and despair, like water over a fire.

I thought I would drown in anguish, but left behind in the empty space of a test window was the faint trace of nothing. If I were to be pregnant, there should be a faint line, instead there seemed to be a clear space that revealed the absence of a line, a negative image. I was confused. It was a line, but it was a line of nothingness. Did the test verify pregnancy or simply symbol NO pregnancy, in a very LOUD way….it was difficult to tell the difference. I reached for the second hpt test…a different brand, and also a test that had been pushed aside month after month, in favour of something better.

I decided that I would use the second and last test that I had in the house. It was an Equate test that my sister-in-law had given me. As soon as I realized that the test she was giving me was an Equate test, I failed to believe in its ability to predict a pregnancy for me. I had read that it was unreliable and not very sensitive and that it had an evaporation line that could easily be misread as a Positive if the test were to be read beyond the allotted timeframe suggested on the packaging. I took the gift from her figuring that maybe I could use the test as a second verification of a pregnancy previously determined by a more sensitive test. I never intended to use it like this, but I never intended to feel so desperate to know. This feeling catches me off guard, and I feel powerless to stop it.

Tylenol, Ibuprofen and ASPIRIN® May be Unsafe in Pregnancy

New information about the use of mild pain relievers during pregnancy indicates that they may increase the risk of reproductive problems in male babies.

For years, women have been advised that the use of mild pain relievers, such as acetominophen (Tylenol) was safe during pregnancy. However, new research published in the November 8th issue of Human Reproduction shows that over-the-counter pain relievers may increase the risk of reproductive problems in male babies.

Researchers Find Tylenol, Ibuprofen and ASPIRIN® Unsafe

Researchers from Copenhagen led by Dr. Henrik Leffers, have found that the use of pain relievers during pregnancy may no longer be as safe as previously thought. The study’s finding have proven that even small amounts of these pain relievers taken at critical times during pregnancy increase a male infant’s risk of having undescended testicles at birth, also known as cryptorchidism.

Typically just one testicle is affected in most cases of crytorchidism and corrects itself within the first several months of life. Male infants can have mild forms of crytorchidism if the testicle is found high in the scrotum. However, in some cases, cryptorchidism is more severe where one or both testicles are much higher in the abdomen. Cryptorchidism can result in long-term reproductive health problems for the adult male, including poor sperm quality and an increased risk in testicular cancer.

Combination of Pain Relievers During Pregnancy or Dosage Taken During Second Trimester Increases Risks

The study discovered that combining any of the pain relievers including ASPIRIN®, acetominophen and ibuprofen increased the baby’s risk of developing cryptorchidism by seven times over women who did not take pain relievers. Findings also showed that a single dose of any of the above over-the-counter pain relievers during the mother’s second trimester of pregnancy (week 13-28) doubled the baby’s risk of cryptorchidism.

As it turns out, taking more than one pain reliever at the same time during the second trimester of pregnancy was particularly risky. Findings showed that mothers who took any combination of two pain relievers at once increased their male child’s risk of having undescended testicles by 16 times.

Male Reproductive Problems on the Rise

As a result of this new research, scientists speculate that the use of Tylenol, ibuprofen and/or ASPIRIN® could be one of the factors in causing the increase in male reproductive problems over the last several decades. Statistics show that there is a 68% increase of crytorchidism in male infants at three months of age since the 1950s.

Before taking any pain relievers during pregnancy, expectant mothers should consult with their care providers to be sure it is safe to do so.

Review of The Sugar Solution: Get Blood Sugar Under Control Naturally

Not everyone who has high blood sugar has diabetes, but they may be overweight, lethargic or depressed.

When people follow The Sugar Solution’s advice, they will lose weight, gain energy and reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes, heart disease or cancer.

Supplements and Herbs for Better Blood Sugar

One of the natural blood sugar control remedies includes dandelion. Who knew? Dandelions aren’t bad in tea or salad. Many other interesting and unusual herbal remedies are expanded upon in The Sugar Solution (Sari Harrar with Julia VanTine, Rodale Inc., ISBN-10 1579549128). Exercise and a total lifestyle and diet change are still encouraged, because there is not one miracle cure.

Healthy Eating for Lower Blood Sugar

Wondering what types of tea and spices lower blood sugar levels? It’s included in chapter 15 (“Eating the Sugar Solution Way”). If anyone’s wondering where to begin at the grocery store, there’s a handy detailed grocery list of staples to assist with cooking healthier.

Chapter 27 puts it all together with a “Sugar Solution 30 Day Lifestyle Makeover”.It includes a menu plan, tips on lowering stress and information on how to burn calories. A nutritionist who specializes in blood sugar control designed it, helping to ensure the plan will be effective for lowering blood sugar.

At the end there are “100-Plus Mouth Watering Recipes”. Many of the recipes are familiar comfort foods that taste similar, but have lower fat and sugar. Meat loaf, blueberry muffins, brownies and fried chicken are some of the familiar recipe examples. Also included are exotic Greek, Indian, Mexican and Italian recipes.

Exercise for Better Blood Sugar

In order for people to improve their health, they have to get moving. There’s a quiz that helps pinpoint the best type of exercise to match individual personalities, motivations and lifestyles.

Chapter 21 details four walking routines that will improve the health of beginners or experienced walkers. Included are sensible tips for finding comfortable walking shoes. A pedometer is mentioned as an easy way to count steps and motivate people to walk more.

Stress and Blood Sugar

Stress takes its toll on people’s bodies and affects blood sugar levels. Good advice includes get rest; find new hobbies, volunteer or go for counseling. Also included is the suggestion to take a course on stress management.

Type 2 Diabetes in Children

There’s interesting information and statistics in The Sugar Solution that explains why type 2 diabetes is increasing in children. The bottom line is that bad eating habits and inactivity leads to obesity. This sort of lifestyle increases the risk of diabetes in everyone. Prevention is discussed and encouraged to make a good example for children, and improve the whole family’s health.

  • The Sugar Solution is arranged into four parts as well as chapters for easy subject reference. Sari Harrar is an experienced senior health news editor for Prevention magazine and is knowledgeable about the importance of controlling blood sugar.

Sari Harrar and Julia VanTine backs up their well organized information with medical research, a menu plan and detailed exercise programs. This book would benefit anyone interested in improving their health and not just those at risk for diabetes.

Reasons to Try A Vegetarian Diet: Vegetarian Food is Healthy and Eco Friendly

Many people develop an interest in the vegetarian diet once they taste delicious vegetarian recipes and realize they don’t notice that it’s meatless. Contrary to what many meat lovers assume, vegetarian food encompasses a vast scope of cuisines and natural ingredients that are accessible, affordable, and easy to cook. But the food is only one aspect of the vegetarian lifestyle. The reasons why people choose to become vegetarian are often similar to their reasons for going green in other aspects of life.

Compassion for Animals

Vegetarians save animals by reducing the market demand for meat supply. The list of cruelties animals suffer, especially in factory farms, is extensive. Today, many animals live brief lives in cramped, windowless confinement. Many don’t raise families, build homes, eat a diet of grass or do anything that’s natural to their species.

Redirecting Food to the Poor

Millions of pounds of grain are exported every year from third world countries to feed livestock in the west. For instance, it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat. If people in the United States reduced meat consumption by 10%, 12,000,000 tons of grain would be free to feed 60,000,000 people.

Large Scale Meat Consumption is not Environmentally Sustainable

As reported by the United Nations, the meat industry is the biggest cause of global warming, producing 40% more greenhouse-gas emissions than all of the cars, trucks, and planes in the world. Since 1960, 25% of the forests in Central American have been destroyed for cattle grazing. And while water supply decreases around the globe, it still takes 2500 gallons of water to produce 1 lb of meat.

Improve Heath and Reduce Risk of Disease

According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians are significantly less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, cancer or high blood pressure. Meat is full of toxins produced by stress, hormones, and pesticide residue from the grain animals eat.

On the other hand, vegetarians consume the nutrients they need from plant proteins, fibers, and minerals without the saturated fat and cholesterol in meat. Unlike fad diets that make people feel tired, vegetarians feel energetic and light because the energy in protein has a higher conversion rate. The vegetarian diet not only takes weight off, but it keeps it off. Vegetarians are one-third as likely as meat eaters to be obese, vegans are one-tenth as likely.

A Vegetarian Diet Can Be Flexible

The key to making a healthy diet last is flexibility and not feeling deprived. Going vegetarian doesn’t have to be an overnight, or an all or nothing effort. In fact, many people first choose to eat vegetarian once a week and go from there. Others choose to only eliminate red meat from their diet.

Vegetarian Food is Delicious and Satisfying

There are thousands of vegetarian food recipes available on vegetarian food websites and vegetarian cookbooks, as well as food guides. Many beginner vegetarians are surprised to find that they don’t feel hungry. The market for meat and dairy-free products is growing and many of the products currently available are tasty. The common argument the vegetarians don’t eat sufficient amounts of protein is often posed by meat eaters who consume too much protein. Vegetarians are no different from ordinary people; they eat when they’re hungry.

Ask one hundred vegetarians why they’re vegetarian and expect to get one hundred different answers in return. The key to exploring a new diet is to focus on expanding the variety of options the diet includes, and reason behind trying a vegetarian diet in the first place.

Preventing Heart Disease Through Dietary Changes

Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the United States, taking over 600,000 lives in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, many of the factors influencing its risk are controllable. Lifestyle changes such as cholesterol and blood pressure can lessen the risk of developing this killer disease.

Lowering Cholesterol

High cholesterol poses a risk due to the development of hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis. The build-up of plaque on the inner linings of blood vessels reduces the space through which blood must flow. The result is an increase of pressure within arteries or hypertension.

Another risk exists regarding clots. Clots can break off from the blood vessels and impede blood flow. This is the process which causes a heart attack. Blood flow to the heart is restricted, causing damage that often is life threatening.

 Reducing saturated fat in the diet can reduce the risk by limiting the ingredients needed to produce plague. These insoluble fats contribute to fat build-up, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Trans fat poses an equally great risk by increasing the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. They also lower HDL, or good cholesterol, which provides a natural means of controlling cholesterol.

Reducing Insulin Resistance

Diabetes is one health risk of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of health conditions, which, taken as a whole, increase your risk of heart disease. Insulin resistance is a pre-cursor to diabetes. Insulin resistance can be controlled by maintaining a healthy weight. Other effects show the relationship between diet and disease prevention.

Certain foods such as cinnamon can help control insulin resistance. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that consuming cinnamon helped participants maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Eating low glycemic foods such as nuts and lean proteins can have a similar effect.

Weight Control

Heart disease risk can be controlled by maintaining a normal weight, explains the American Heart Association. Weighing less puts less pressure on the heart and the cardiovascular system. Simply, less weight is less work for the heart. It’s simply a matter of physics; it takes more force to move a greater weight than a lesser weight.

Staying within the recommended caloric intake can provide a means for maintaining weight once at a healthy body mass index (BMI). For example, an active woman aged 31 to 50 should consume 2,200 calories per day for weight maintenance, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

While heart disease takes more lives than other conditions, its risk factors can be controlled through simple diet changes. While genetic risks cannot be controlled, a good diet and healthy weight maintenance are obtainable by most healthy individuals.

Reasons to Adopt a Vegetarian Diet

According to a poll conducted by the Vegetarian Resource Center, approximately six to eight million adults in the United States have adopted a vegetarian diet, meaning they never eat meat, poultry or fish/seafood (though there are several different types of vegetarian diets, some of which allow for occasional exceptions to the meatless rule). The question commonly asked is, “Why?” What compels an individual to make such a significant restriction to the typical Western diet? The reasons to become a vegetarian are numerous and vary among individuals.

Ethical Reasons for the Vegetarian Diet

There are many people who have moral objections to eating animals. They refrain because they object to the conditions in which farm animals are bred and raised, the way in which they are slaughtered, or they simply oppose the overall concept of using living creatures as food sources. These vegetarians will often also refrain from purchasing items made from animal products including wool, leather and fur.

Health Reasons for the Vegetarian Diet

Some vegetarians believe meat is an unhealthy food choice for the human body. It takes longer to digest and, with the abundance of hormones in the modern meat supply, it often contaminates the body with synthetic, unhealthy chemicals.

According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians have lower rates of death from heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer compared to meat-eaters. Additionally, those who enjoy a vegetarian diet are less likely to be obese.

Environmental Reasons for the Vegetarian Diet

According to a report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental problems worldwide, contributing on a “massive scale” to air and water pollution (from animal waste, antibiotics and hormones, fertilizers and pesticides). Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and over 8 percent of global human water use (mostly for irrigation of feed crops). The expansion of the livestock sector is also a major contributor to deforestation.

Religious Reasons for the Vegetarian Diet

Several religions, including Hinduism, recommend vegetarian diets for devout followers. Followers of various other religions, including Buddhism and Judaism, may view vegetarianism as an ideal but not a moral obligation. The underlying reasons are typically centered on the ethical intentions of non-violence and purity.

Cultural Reasons for the Vegetarian Diet

Some cultures are more accepting and encouraging of the vegetarian diet than others and it is therefore more common. Local cuisine tends to be largely meatless. In India, for example, about 40 percent of the population is vegetarian. According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, about 8.5 percent of the population of Israel enjoys a meatless diet. But throughout the European Union, most countries range from two to four percent of the population, according to the European Vegetarian Union.