Thursday, August 11, 2005

L-arginine and implantation

L-arginine, an amino acid supplement might help aid implantation as well as development of the egg and follicle.

"It was concluded that oral L-arginine supplementation in poor responder patients may improve ovarian response, endometrial receptivity and pregnancy rate."
From: Adjuvant L-arginine treatment for in-vitro fertilization in poor responder patients

"Little or none of the cationic amino acids in eggs (i.e., lysine, arginine, and histidine) are lost in exchange for methionine, whereas these amino acids are greatly depleted by methionine in blastocysts...Whereas these data relating transport activity with the essential amino acid content of early embryos are not extensive, they seem adequate to support the conclusion that essential amino acids improve development largely because they are transported into preimplantation embryos"
from: L-tryptophan and Pregnancy, under the subheading "Essential Amino Acids Beneficial to Development"

Monday, August 08, 2005

Low Iron Stores!

I knew there was something wrong with me. I just got my last test result, my ferritin level, which measures one's iron stores, was 10. The scale is 10-282 so I'm at the bottom of normal. Actually a gynecologist a couple years ago had me taking extra iron to get up around 30, so I've got a ways to go still.

I think the extra iron in my diet has helped to get my red blood cell count and hemeglobin back up to normal, largely drawing from my iron stores, or at the expense of them. I need to keep taking more iron to boost my stores.

Doctors don't often test for ferritin but its a good test for women, especially if you have heavy menstrual bleeding or have lost a lot of blood for other reasons.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Athletically Induced Amenorrhea/ Female Athlete Triad

A woman posted to an online group about her high school aged daughter having amenorrhea and low estrogen. The gynecologist wanted to put the girl on birth control pills to boost her estrogen. Since I had already come across references to this condition during my searches I went out looking for more links so that she and her daughter could see there were other ways to treat this condition that did not include hormones.

The female athlete triad is three conditions that show up together in women athletes who overexert themselves: osteoporosis, amenorrhea and disordered eating.

Here are some links to learn more about what they know about this condition:


Amenorrhea in Adolescent Athletes

Female Athlete Triad

Female athletes face risks in overtraining

Menstrual Disturbances in Female Athletes

Poor diet, excess exercise can mean weak bones, heart trouble for young women

The Opponent: the Female Athlete Triad

From a quick scan it sounds like the issue is dietary and that increasing calcium and D intake (don't forget about magnesium, and likely zinc as well) might help improve hormone production/balance.

Do a google search on the terms "athletically induced amenorrhea" or "ballet amenorrhea" (lots of ballet dancers have this problem), also "female athlete triad" and you will find more info.

You also might be interested in this article from a traditional chinese medicine standpoint:

Restoring the Flow -- TCM and Amenorrhea