Updated: Sep 1
Are you experiencing any of the below symptoms and taking birth control?
Taking birth control comes with its own risks just like any other medication. Birth control is known to cause blood clots, strokes, and high blood pressure and any one whom is overweight, above the age of 40 and smokes is at increased risk. However, it is not really discussed how "the pill" can affect other aspects of your health such as increasing your risk of depression, anxiety, mood swings, muscle loss and increase in body weight.
There are many reasons for taking birth control. Some women are placed on birth control to normalize their menstrual cycles, fibroids, PCOS, endometriosis and, of course, to prevent pregnancy. The pill itself is just a band aid for the aforementioned symptoms. It does not treat the cause of the endometriosis, fibroids, PCOS, etc it just stops our body from producing its own estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and the symptoms go away. But this is not without causing problems elsewhere.
Birth control pills are synthetic hormones. Most often produced from equine or horse urine. Birth control pills are known as endocrine disruptors and they deplete our bodies of B-vitamins essential for cellular health and turning our food into energy, neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine which can lead to depression and anxiety, and selenium and zinc which are required for normal thyroid function. They increase inflammation in the body, cortisol levels (stress) which can affect insulin and glucose metabolism making it difficult to burn fat for fuel, and they disrupt the microbiome leading to dysbiosis (less good and more harmful bacteria in the intestines). When the microbiome gets disrupted this can lead to "leaky gut" and more inflammation in the body as well as symptoms of bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and autoimmune disease such as hashimoto's thyroiditis, and skin conditions like psoriasis and rosacea.
Leaky gut can further lead to a depletion of our B-vitamins, folic acid, zinc and selenium. Deficiencies in these vitamins and minerals contribute to a weakened immune system.
Estrogen comes in three forms in the body: Estradial which protects your heart, brain and bones, and gives us our female sex characteristics. Estrone is the primary estrogen made after menopause and is made in the adrenals and adipose (fat) tissue even after our ovaries stop producing it (menopause). Estriol is primary located in the vaginal tissue and is elevated during pregnancy.
Progesterone is our "valium" hormone. A deficiency in progesterone can lead to feelings of anxiety and insomnia. Progesterone acts as diuretic preventing that second half of your cycle bloat and it also improves libido.
Testosterone is our muscle, memory and libido hormone. It is important for females as well as males. Testosterone strengthens our muscles, bones, ligaments and joints. It gives us a sense of confidence and improves sexual arousal for women as well as men.
Choosing the right form of birth control can be a daunting task. We understand that an unwanted pregnancy can lead to distress in one's life. If you are taking the pill it is important to have your hormone levels checked to make sure they are being metabolized safely in your body. There are ways to supplement your body naturally, while taking the pill, without compromising the effectiveness of the pill.
Whatever your reason for taking birth control, the practitioners as Wave on Wave Health are ready to discuss any issues you are having and work with you to give your body the support it needs!