I’m always grateful for a chance to speak about one of the topics I am most passionate about – Maternal Mental Health. In this interview, Derek Fage and Julie Beun talk with me about Perinatal Mood Disorder, more commonly refered to as Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Mood Disorder – and the need for greater awareness. …View full post
Perinatal Mood Disorder We’ve all heard of Postpartum Depression by now but I really wondered, do we know what it really entails? I am one of those women who fell through the cracks because I didn’t know about Perinatal OCD or Anxiety. It is one of the reasons I started Hormone Soup – to create …View full post
I’m very lucky to have had a Q&A with Dr. Fiona McCulloch, ND about the relationship between Autoimmune Disorders and Hormones. She specializes in integrative women’s health & fertility at the White Lotus Clinic in Toronto. What are the Overall Characteristics of an Autoimmune Disorder? An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system attacks “self” …View full post
How times have changed. When I was pregnant, books like the quintessential “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” was my pregnancy go-to bible. I also relied heavily on advice from girlfriends with children. As good as all that was, there wasn’t one place I could go to for advice, information and to chronicle my journey. …View full post
Check out my Rogers Ottawa Daytime interview:
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Depression - 93%The good news is almost everyone recognizes Depression! Thanks to so many awareness campaigns by organizations and bloggers and the medical community! The job's not done though - we still have 7% of people who didn't get it.
Anxiety - 83%This number was pretty high as well - higher than I had thought it would be actually - 83% of women know that anxiety can be associated with pregnancy and the postpartum period. But it still leaves room for improvement - almost 20% of women didn't know. I was one of those women who had no clue. Panic Disorder also falls under Anxiety - some women develop debilitating panic.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - 25%The crack widens with OCD and I am not one bit surprised. I think when we think of OCD we tend to think of the Howard Hughes germaphobe. That's not the type of OCD we're talking about here - women can experience many different types of intrusive thoughts and/or visions and they usually involve harm coming to the baby in some way. The thoughts can involve everything from someone else harming the baby, the mother harming her own baby, disturbing sexual thoughts about the baby, accidents happening to the baby. As you can see, it's no wonder women aren't talking about it - it's terrifying when it happens. And, furthermore, it's scary to admit this kind of stuff. But we absolutely need more awareness here. New research is showing Postpartum OCD affects 1 in 10 new moms! Let's get this number up and start talking about it.
Bipolar Disorder - 22%I'm sure this one doesn't surprise many of you - it's still confusing in the medical community as well I would say. Researchers are trying to figure out myriad issues here, such as women who have depression "convert" to bipolar disorder with pregnancy, confusion diagnosing women with either bipolar or depression, the link between bipolar disorder and psychosis.
Psychosis - 30%This is disturbing to me - even though Postpartum Psychosis is considered "rare" effecting approximately 1 or 2 per 1,000 babies being born, it is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical attention. We definitely have work to do here.
Maternal Mental Health involves everyoneI really believe we can help each other as women - because the woman who is in the throes of one of these disorders may not know herself or be able to figure out what's going on - she may need your insight. Know the symptoms in case it happens to 15 - 20% of the women you know.
* The percentage of women who recognized the disorder as part of the spectrum of mood disorders associated with pregnancy/postpartum.
|About Sonya:I am striving to make a change - women's health is my passion and that is why I felt compelled to start blogging at Hormone Soup and more recently start an online healthcare platform that will provide women with the real tools they need to help them take the driver's seat in their own healthcare. My long time vision for women's health is being realized and we have some amazing things going on over at Open Source Health - I've gathered an amazing team of people that are also passionate about women's health and experts in their field - I think you'll be impressed. Head on over and see what's going on.|
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What are the Overall Characteristics of an Autoimmune Disorder?An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system attacks "self" tissues in the body. Normally, our immune systems are key defenders against pathogens like bacteria and viruses. Unfortunately when these same mechanisms turn against our own tissues, things can begin to go very wrong with our health. Autoimmunity can result in a variety of symptoms, depending on which particular tissue is being targeted by the immune system. For example, in autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimoto's disease, the immune system targets the person's own thyroid gland. This results in lower thyroid function over time and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
How Are Hormones and Autoimmune Condition Interrelated?
What are the Top 3 Things a Woman with an Autoimmune Condition Can do to Improve her Hormone Health?
ABOUT DR. FIONA MCCULLOCH,ND Dr. Fiona is a Toronto based, licensed board-certified Naturopathic Doctor with a special interest in naturopathic fertility, women’s health and hormonal health. Her research includes the areas of autoimmune infertility and luteal phase defect. She works with the White Lotus Clinic and is currently working on her first book that tackles the subject of healing PCOS naturally. She writes a blog on wellness here.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hormonesoup.com/relationship-autoimmune-disorders-hormones/
BIO Wendy, aka AppHipMom, loves her 2 kids and her iPhone, not necessarily always in that order. She is an app obsessed mom who loves everything tech and is (unfortunately) old enough to remember the brick Motorola cell phone and the Commodore computer. If you have tweens, be sure to check out Wendy’s other site, Tweenhood.ca, an online magazine for parents with kid’s ages 8-12.
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BLOGS THAT TALK ABOUT POSTPARTUM-MOOD DISORDER
RESOURCES AND SUPPORT
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- Chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and can go unfiltered into the blood stream.
- Skin around your vaginal wall in thin and very permeable, so it matters what you put next to it.
- Companies are not required to disclose the ingredients in their products because they are considered “medical” devices.
- Tampons are made with a combination of synthetic rayon and cotton. Cotton ‘sounds’ great, but consider this: cotton is one of the most pesticide sprayed crops in the world. The white and fresh look of cotton is actually quite deceiving!
- The whitening of pads and tampons is often done by chlorine. The use of chlorine leads to the creation of dioxins “which are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer”. [Source: World Health Organization] Dioxins accumulate in the body and are known hormone disruptors.
- Rayon, the product used in tampons, is a derivative from wood pulp. Some people believe that this may irritate the sensitive skin in the vaginal area with small abrasions and cause our bodies to be even more vulnerable to the concentration of chemicals.
- Many pads and tampons are scented. Synthetic fragrances cause hormone disruption which is linked to sperm damage, cancer, thyroid disease, reproductive toxicity and obesity.
- Use Cloth pads: Companies like Lunapads offer non-toxic and environmentally friendly alternatives.
- Menstrual Cups, such as the Diva Cup or Lunette are growing traction. I did a quick survey of friends and a surprising number of them use the cups regularly and swear by them!
- Menstrual Sponges such as the Sea Pearls Sea Sponge
- Organic cotton disposable tampons and pads such as 7th Generation or Natracare Products
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"Yet even when researchers study diseases that are more prevalent in women — anxiety, depression, thyroid disease and multiple sclerosis among them — they often rely on male animals." Dr. ZuckerThe NIH recently announced that researchers have to start using female rats - which will come into play starting in October. This New York Times article sums it up pretty nicely. Here are some highlights: "Contrary to the conventional wisdom in laboratories, there is far more variability among males than among females on a number of traits and behaviors, Dr. Zucker has found. Yet even when researchers study diseases that are more prevalent in women — anxiety, depression, thyroid disease and multiple sclerosis among them — they often rely on male animals, according to another analysis led by Dr. Zucker, who has written extensively on gender bias in scientific research." Considering that thyroid disease affects women 8x more often than men, and that thyroid itself is a hormone that has an immediate and direct affect on our sex hormones, its alarming to think that the female cycle not be considered! I know my thyroid and my estrogen are definitely in an intimate relationship. And yet knowing that, researchers don't want to use female rats to study thyroid because of the interference - the cost and complexity goes up when researchers have to control for the hormonal fluctuation. The good news, however, is that change is on the way - it's about time!
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