Birth Control, NuvaRing, and Deception

| 31 Comments

NuvaRingThe recent news about the NuvaRing lawsuit is one of hundreds of lawsuits filed against big drug companies. Consumers and doctors call into question the safety of certain prescription drugs and the marketing practices of companies like Merc & Co..

Despite the risks, drug companies release drugs with inadequate testing. To ensure sales, the long list of side effects sits at the bottom of the insert. Rare and potentially fatal side effects are listed in fine print along with the milder ones. Doctors shrug them off as if they are as unlikely as getting struck by lightning, and consumers go along with their doctor’s complacency. But people are hurt every day from supposedly safe medications.

Side effects are real.

You may have heard that the risk of blood clotting is very low. Well, you may not have heard that the type of progestin used in birth control pills has changed over the years, and that the risk of blood clotting has gone up.

“While earlier iterations of progestin have shown only a slight increase in blood clot risk, recent studies have shown that newer forms of progestin—called third- and fourth-generation progestins, which were developed in the 1990s and 2000s—are associated with higher rates of blood clotting among women who take them compared to second-generation iterations of the hormone.” From Yahoo News

Hormonal contraceptives are dangerous.

Their efficacy and ease of use are desirable but they don’t come without side effects for every woman that takes them. Sometimes these side effects are fatal blood clots, sometimes they are infertility, weight gain, or depression, and sometimes they are a slight alteration of personality so that the women taking birth control chooses an incompatible mate. Side effects include a depletion of certain nutrients like zinc and Vitamin A.

But what are we supposed to do, get pregnant?

Birth control is a complicated issue on a planet of seven billion. Clearly, we’d be in trouble if every woman who is on birth control had a bunch of babies. According to Planned Parenthood, there are about 62 million women of childbearing age in the United States, about 30% of whom use some form of hormonal birth control. That means in this country alone we could have an additional 18.6 million more babies if we all got pregnant now. Spread that all over the world and continue this each year and, well, you see the problem.

Controlling pregnancy is important. Not only can the planet not accommodate many more billions of people but individuals don’t want babies popping up at the wrong time either.

Education is the answer.

Rather than paying the big drug companies who don’t give a damn about our health, we should be taking classes and reading books about natural contraceptive methods. We should be learning about our bodies and the ways they operate so that we can prevent pregnancies naturally. And we should be responsible in our decisions about when and with whom we have sex.

This isn’t impossible. Remember the sex ed classes that most of us had in elementary school? We could start there. We could teach our little girls to know their bodies, rather than to pop pill and ignore them.

It seems like a lot to ask – that people be responsible for their own bodies – and it probably is right now. It’s not our culture after all. But someday, hopefully, things will start to change and we will take our health into our own hands.

Author: Peggy the Primal Parent

The blog owner!

31 Comments

  1. Pingback: Birth Control, NuvaRing, and Deception | Paleo Digest

  2. I stopped taking the pill for years but am back on it now as I find it’s the only way to control my acne. It also makes my very heavy and painful periods much lighter and pain free. I know there has to be a bad side but to be honest I am willing to take the risks as the benefits for me outweigh them.

    • Hazel,

      I know what you mean. I think we’ve all been there. Thing is, while your acne is controlled through the use of a pill, you might be missing out on natural avenues that could beat your acne from within which, in the long run, could be really beneficial for your health. For example, inflammation usually plays a big role in acne, especially cystic acne. Inflammation is damaging on lots of levels, not just the skin. Also, acne sufferers usually have high androgens. Balancing hormones naturally can solve the problem. But as one who suffered from acne for many years myself, I know how you feel. It’s embarrassing and frustrating. You feel like you’d do anything to get rid of it.

      I wish you good health!

      • Any advice on balancing hormones naturally – I also suffer with depression (yes, I’m a mess!) and I know it is related to my menstrual cycle. Would love to ditch meds and go natural but having tried it before with little success I have resorted to the meds so the “easy option”.

        • I would also love tips on balancing hormones naturally.

        • I have similar problems, so I can offer some advice. Feel free to ignore, of course:
          Have you tried inositol? It’s one of the B vitamins (but not essential, except apparently for some of us it is!) It works for reducing testosterone (which could be contributing to your acne) and it also works for depression! You can look up the articles on pubmed, there are a bunch! They are mostly for treating PCOS, as well as a few mental disorders: depression, panic attacks, bipolar . . I think there’s some newer stuff about cancer too. Anyways, it’s natural, it balances hormones, improves mood, and no side effects.

          Note: they use pretty high doses in the studies, but you honestly probably don’t need that much. I think up to 4 g should be enough. Maybe start at 1 g? You can get it through food as well, but supplement is easier because you can control dose and you may not want/be unable to eat the foods daily (oranges, cantaloupe, beans, grapefruit). Also, the amount in foods may not be enough to cure you at this point. I needed more, personally.

          However, I still think of this as a band-aid solution while you look for the real culprit. For depression + acne -> it’s the gut most likely. Look up Maes on depression. Emily Deans has written about some of his studies. Still, recovery from gut problems is long, so inositol could be a good alternative to birth control for hormone balancing if you want a somewhat quicker fix.
          For heavy period, what worked for me was getting my iron levels up (paradoxically, since you’d think my body would try to lose less blood if I already had low iron) and vitamin B1. For B1, if you don’t eat pork or deer on a daily basis, you’re probably not getting enough: it’s extremely NOT ubiquitous in most foods. I just use a supplement to help. Look for the bioavailable types, NOT thiamine hydrochloride. I think the good ones have phosphate. There’s also the one diabetics use: subulthiamine (sp?). You can just wiki thiamine, and they have a list of different types, then read up on them.

          Other than that, I control my acne short-term by not eating a huge list of histamine-containing food. I think I got the idea from this site actually. I was restricting fruits and fermented foods, and realized what they all had in common was they were considered high in histamine or histamine-releasers. I think the ultimate problem at the bottom of this is H. pylori infection causing SIBO, so I’m getting tested. You can test for yourself if you have H. pylori by eating cranberries. If you pubmed cranberries and H. pylori, you’ll find that they’ve been used as a treatment, but the effects stop when you discontinue eating them. So if your acne lessens with cranberries, that would be a major sign (though, you need to check this for a while to be able to use it as actual evidence. I tested this for 6 months). That’s what I’m using as justification when I speak with my doctor about getting tested.

  3. Peggy, thanks for the article. I have been doing a lot of research on this after going paleo about 2 years ago. My husband and I have been married for about a year and a half, and I got the Mirena before we got married. I chose this because I read that supposedly it is very low dose progesterone to begin with and is centralized in the uterus (not running rampant through your bloodstream). I’ve read some horror stories (there are horror stories for everything it seems) but I have had seemingly no noticeable side effects. Diet, exercise, sleep, stress levels are phenomenal. I actually don’t have periods anymore really (a little spotting maybe) so overall I can’t really complain. I looked into Fertility Awareness and am interested in it, but for right now, this seems to be working great. I guess I’m just curious if you still think something like the Mirena isn’t worth the beneficial effects because it’s still doing something bad under the surface. Any feedback/comments you have are really appreciated! Thanks!

    • Meaghan,

      I think it would be really interesting to see a study done on the effects of hormonal birth control on women who eat a really healthy Paleo diet! It’s quite possible that the effects are not as bad as they might otherwise be if the liver is in good shape, if blood sugar is even, if the body is in good balance to begin with. But, as it is, I don’t know. I know a lot of researchers and authors who would say, yes, you are doing damage behind the scenes. I hate to say it, but if you’re willing to take it, then only time will tell… :)

  4. Great post, Peggy! I took the pill for way too long. But, the last several years, I’ve used the book, “Taking Charge of your Fertility”, which you cover in your natural contraceptive methods post. After reading this book, I felt saddened about the fact that we don’t take the time to teach girls and women about their own bodies. Instead, we rely on taking a pill and pretty much checking out!

    • If not the changes that take place in a woman’s body, the lack of understanding of our own bodies is sad and scary. I agree. It is sad that girls don’t even know themselves anymore. I certainly didn’t when I was younger and it was fantastic to learn that our bodies’ rhythms makes sense! I am looking forward to empowering my girls when they’re older.

  5. Thank you so much for this post!! I can’t reiterate enough how cautious women, especially young women, whom the big drug companies are targeting, need to be before putting anything as dangerous as something that alters your hormones into your body for an extended period of time. I had my son in 2008 and went on Mirena immediately after his birth (six week check up). I was not interested in having more children at the time and they advertise a great case for Mirena–keep it for five years and take it out when you feel like having children again; your period will dwindle to basically nothing and you can have as much sex as you want with next to no risk of pregnancy. I recieved the manufacturer’s pamphlet of “information” before they inserted the Mirena but it states comically basic information in hindsight. It stated there was risk for changes in your period, headaches, mood changes, and more seriously, uterine implatation and ectopic pregnancy. Now, five years later and many negative public outcries and legal issues, the Mirena website is interestingly, much more thorough and informative. Had I been given the same information as a young girl (19) that trusted her doctor, I would have never allowed that to be put into my body. Now, after spending four years blindly suffering from daily headaches, extreme, relationship altering mood swings, excessive weight gain, low libido, fatigue, hirustism and depression (I finally made the connection between Mirena and my symptoms after being introduced to the paleo diet and the importance of hormone/insulin regulation by my sister), I opted to have it removed. I come to find out that it was partially expelled and had implanted itself in the walls of my cervix. I was very lucky to avoid invasive surgery after a very painful and uncomfortable two hours at the gynocologist to remove it. It has been a year since it has been removed and I am still battling symptoms, most notably hirustism (not extreme, but enough to be self concious about it), depression and a scarily sluggish metabolism that makes losing the weight next to impossible. (I eat a mostly paleo diet and exercise regularly). Before the Mirena, I never had trouble with my weight and could even get away with eating a fairly standard American diet. Today that is not the case (which I am okay with, since I know the way I eat now is much better for my health anyway, but it proves to be frustrating as I eat healthier now than before the Mirena and can’t seem to lose the weight). On top of it, I have had unprotected sex with my monogamous partner of eight years since the mirena was removed and have yet to get pregnant. I am only 25 and in otherwise good health. I am not “trying” for pregnancy but I would not be opposed to it at this time either, and I would like to have more children in the future. This scares me. What if the Mirena somehow caused permanent infertility? I deeply regret getting the Mirena and refuse to be on hormonal birth control ever again. I wish I knew then what I know now about the importance of hormones. Sadly, no doctors inform their patients of the risk of altering your hormones and chemically preventing a natural, healthy cycle that our bodies were meant to go through. I urge every young girl I meet (and i have a lot that happen to confide in me about this kind of stuff) to think twice about getting Mirena or any other type of chemical birth control. It’s not worth it. I want to save every woman I know from the hell it put me (and many others, I’ve since learned) through. Be informed, listen to your intuition and take care of your body the way nature intended, ladies!

    • Kristen,

      Thank you for sharing your story! This is just the kind of thing we’re worried about with hormonal birth control. I took the pill for about 6 or 7 months, over a decade ago and it was terrible – similar to your experience. I was already infertile due to PCOS. Thankfully, my fertility returned with the Paleo diet. Hopefully yours does too!

  6. This is a really important topic. I used all kinds of the pill for years – they kept putting me on stronger and stronger ones, because I had mid-cycle bleeding right from the start. I spent years thinking I wasn’t taking it “perfectly” enough. Then I used the nuva-ring for a few years, and I got way less bleeding. I finally stopped with the hormones after I went paleo because I really felt like they were messing with my mood and libido.

    However, I’m still at a point in life where getting pregnant would really mess up a lot of plans. I had a copper IUD put in about two years ago, and quite honestly I really hate it. I have spotting and cramping for a week surrounding ovulation, and before and after my period. I have definitely noticed a significant correlation between my stress level and the misbehavior of my uterus – I’m a teacher, and interestingly it behaves like a perfect angel on summer vacation. (I even thought I was pregnant one August because I went six weeks with not a spot!) Also, I find that sugar consumption seems to set it off. However, my period has actually gotten a lot more regular and predictable since I transitioned off of hormones, so I hope it means that the overall hormonal environment is settling down ok.

    Kristen makes a valuable point that women should be more familiar with their own bodies, and try to listen as they communicate with us. However, I teach 8th grade science, and one of our units is “genetics and reproduction.” Yes, I have the dubious honor of teaching about penises and vaginas to thirteen-year-olds. I can see them start to jump to conclusions, when I show the female cycle. “Oooh, so, if I just don’t have sex around those days then I won’t get pregnant!” They are not yet mature enough to be responsibly using NFP, but they’re sure enough having sex, so I really try to make a big deal of how easy it is to get pregnant and to be sure to use birth control. I think that a young woman who is still in school, even a senior in high school, is not yet mature enough to responsibly use NFP – you have to be ready to have a baby, just in case.

    That’s why I still have my stupid IUD – when most of our plans are in place we’ll make the switch to NFP. In the mean time, I try to take good care of myself, and I hope that having the copper IUD rather than the hormones (even though it sure sucks) is having a less negative impact on the function of my body as a whole.

  7. Completely agree. Just another topic (along with nutrition, exercise, etc.) where people aren’t being given a fair chance of becoming informed.

    I am a believer in natural conception. Briefly – my experience: I took the pill for about 10 years (16 through 26). Felt great – no problems – occasional mid-cycle spotting which mostly coincided with changes in diet/exercise regiment. Read about natural conception (probably via this blog, to start), and decided it was worth giving it a shot. I also knew I was at a time in my life where I could “risk” getting pregnant. Went off the pill, and although most sources said it would take a while to become regular, I was regular – to the day – the first month. I have had near-perfect cycles (28 days give or take maybe 2 days max) since then with light periods, no cramping, minimal PMS, and so on. The thing is, although I feel great off the pill, I felt fine on the pill. I was kind of hoping I would experience some sort of change, whether that be weight loss (I am already pretty lean), improved mood, or whatever, but can’t say I really noticed anything different. So – in conclusion – works great – but no major changes observed for me. I AM excited to hopefully get pregnant first try when we are ready. Then I will definitely be a believer!

  8. Funny – I just saw an article about how we need more young people to have kids or we won’t be able to sustain our population and fund all our terribly-planned entitlements. Maybe it would be good if all of us young women had kids…

  9. LOL, maybe the real solution is for healthy primal parents to have more healthy primal kids so there is a strong force to counter the degradation of Americans on the Standard American Diet!

    That doesn’t solve the entitlements issue, unfortunately…

  10. Peggy-

    Thanks for bringing up this very important topic!

    It’s unfortunate that as a society we feel as if we can completely ignore and suppress our womanly gift that is the ability to bear children without consequences. Anytime we disrupt the normal bodily functions we are bound to have problems. What is even more unfortunate is the fact that we teach our daughters the same thing, to ignore and pop a pill when we should be teaching them about ovulation and fertility tracking.

    As a young teen when I began having sex with very first boyfriend, I used the fertility awareness method for a few months (and was very diligent and responsible about it unlike most teens would be) but then was given false information by a mandatory sex ed course at school which drilled into our heads that basal body temperature and cervical mucus charting was a “myth made up by hippies” and we were guarenteed to get pregnant if we used it.

    So in fear of unplanned pregnancy off I ran to my very supportive mother to take me to the GYN for the pill. She was strongly against the idea because of the health risks, but I got on YAZ anyway and for six months I was worry free. It took care of my acne (but not the underlying cause of the acne obviously) but after that I became very depressed and it effected my relationship with everyone around me. I was a completely different person, and when I looked at the fine print and discovered it was a side effect, I immediately went off of it. (Mom was right, what do ya know?)

    I will never use hormonal BC ever again now that I know the terrible bodily destruction it can cause.

    I sort of understand that the reason FAM/NFP isn’t taught about in school is because teens sometimes aren’t as responsible as they need to be using it, but maybe they would be if taught well enough and it was more common. No one would want their fifteen year old to come home pregnant and unprepared to care for a child, but we also don’t want our daughters to be damaged by hormonal birth control, so where should the line be drawn? teens will have sex, it’s human nature just as much as it is for us adults.

    I would love to hear more of your thoughts about this issue Peggy, thanks again for the food for thought in this article.

    -Blanca

    • I think there is a huge danger in teaching natural methods like basal body temp etc to school kids as the only form of contraception. Methods like this are more for people in long term relationships, marriages etc. Not for school boy crushes and puppy love. Kids are irresponsible – they always have been and always will be! They should def be taught these methods and made aware of them but condoms have to be the method pushed the most. They are nearly 100% effective when used properly AND they protect from STIs – something natural methods do not do!

    • Blanca,

      Teach them about their bodies then so they know when they are likely to get pregnant and give them condoms. If they can’t stop to put a condom on when they know they are likely to get pregnant, then I’d say they are facing some pretty serious emotional challenges. And that is where a good support system is probably their best line of help.

  11. Peggy,

    I have a couple questions for you if you have time to share! I found your (awesome) site a few months ago when I started paleo in January. I’m 25 and started trying to get pregnant 2 years ago. I was diagnosed with PCOS and hypothyroidism and knew we had a long road ahead to get pregnant. I started off on the typical fertility treatments route, but when those failed I stared researching…..my research lead me to cut out gluten a year ago, which then led to paleo. I also read about low progesterone levels in women with PCOS, so I supplement with natural progesterone cream (from progesteronetherapy.com, a website with a wealth of information which encouraged me to eat paleo!) and am able to have regular cycles using that…..but still no ovulation. I wanted to ask if you’ve read about the benefits of progesterone, and if you have, what are your thoughts?

    Also, how long did it take before your fertility returned? I know I’m on the right track, but the healing process takes a long time due to all the years of poor diet, and I’m worried I will never conceive. I’d like to be a healthy age and we’d also like at least 2 kids. I have regular bleeding but the last I ovulated was August 2012. Grrrr. Meanwhile, all my friends in their 20’s, who eat the worst standard American diet and have been on birth control pills for years, go off the pill and get pregnant that same month! Do they not have any negative health affects?

    Thanks again for the time you dedicate to helping others!

    -Eva

    • Eva,

      I have quite a bit about progesterone over the years and have even used it myself. I used it years and years ago, before discovering some of the dietary issues contributing to my PCOS. But back then, adding the progesterone just didn’t help.

      Blanca has a point, that when we start messing with our body’s natural rhythms, when we tell a woman to stop doing the thing that makes it a woman, we should expect side effects. Your friends who manage to get pregnant face their own issues that you probably don’t know about.

      You should be thinking about doing what is healthiest for you and for your future child. Next week we are offering a bundle of fertility ebooks. I think you may find some peace in reading about it.

  12. I wholeheartedly agree. I was on the pill for years and it had a terrible affect on my body, including weight gain, depression, hair thinning, mood swings, and increased migraines. Also, my libido was nonexistent (True for many of my friends on bc too, our common joke about how it REALLY prevents pregnancy, you just don’t want to have sex anymore!) I wish someone had told me about those risks or even drawn the connection sooner. I think young girls would listen about NFP is it were the only option to not have a child that didn’t cause scary things to happen to your body. As for, “teens will have sex”, well, I know it would be an uphill battle, but young women (and all women) need to know that choosing not to have sex actually empowers them in a relationship. Everyone looks down on abstinence, but the girls I know who have practiced it were more respected and cherished by their partners (not to mention having more self-respect). When us girls talk about this, those who refuse to hold out seem to me to pretend that having irresponsible sex is their “right”, but even so, when pressed will acknowledge that this has never won them the attention of a good man.

    I know abstinence is an unpopular recommendation, and I swear I’m not some old fuddy-duddy. I have practiced it when it was hard to do so, because I learned the hard way how abstinence actually benefits the woman :)

    Also, I remember my grandfather getting exasperated about hearing my friend and I complain about this once when we were in college. She said “good grief, when I was young, all the young men were overseas fighting in the war, and we didn’t sit around and complain, I had the best times of my life with my sorority sisters! All of those girls had to wait until their late 20’s, early 30’s to even MEET a man, and rarely were any of them sleeping with a man that they weren’t at least already engaged to!” She was right. Young women (and men) act today like it is impossible to be abstinent for any length of time, but for ages, people having sex outside of a commitment was the very rare exception.

    Lastly, I would like to add that Im a social worker and work with teens with all kinds of problems everyday, and most of them seem to believe that the only way to “catch” a man is TO have sex with them, and then are surprised when it doesn’t get them what they want, his respect and long-term attention. We are doing a great disservice to our young women to contribute to the culture of irresponsible and uncommitted sex. I’ll get off my soapbox now :)

  13. Hi Peggy, I was going to post this comment on one of your digestion posts, but I thought odds were better that you’d see it on a more recent blog.

    I am hoping you would give me some advice. I’ve suffered for as long as I can remember (I’m in my mid-20s now) with horrible constipation, and to a somewhat lesser extent, awful bloating.

    I’m also a boxer who’s hoping to compete in the future, but I’m having trouble with my body composition (I’m 5′ 5″ and about 120lbs… maybe 25-30% body fat… belly fat is problem area.)

    I ate Zone for about 4 years in my teens. It didn’t help at all, but I believed in the theory so I kept with it. Then I did raw vegan for about 4 years (worked pretty well… at first… but I lost muscle and had low energy.) Then I did basically raw fruitarian (occasional other raw vegan foods and raw fish) for about three years. I way over used senna and cascara sagrada, but I had normal bowels and a non-distended belly for the first time in my life!!!

    I started to get worse so I gave up and ate mostly white rice, olive oil, veggies, and fruit for about a year. And felt awful. Gained fat and no muscle. Horrible constipation and bloating as bad as they’d ever been… but I’d basically given up.

    Then I decided I couldn’t live like that…and got into the idea of primal/paleo. For the last year I’ve been having fruit, kombucha, water kefir, raw fish/shellfish, raw egg yolks, raw meat, raw veggies, and bone broth. I keep playing around with ratios to try to remedy my issues (constipation/bloating, and bodyfat%/building muscle.) I’ve made improvements in body comp but not as much as I should have (I work out 2-5x/week, with is a little weight lifting and a little cardio but mostly HIIT-type martial arts stuff.) For the constipation, I’ve been doing big doses of magnesium citrate (and I up until last week cascara sagrada and triphala every day… but I quit. Gonna see how that works.)

    My macros have been about 10-15% fat, 25% protein, with the rest being carbs from fruit, kombucha, coconut water, and sometimes honey. I have between 1600-2,000 calories per day. I’ve tried eating higher fat, but fat seems to make me gain fat. As for the constipation: if I ONLY eat fruit my bowels are pretty decent. However if I eat anything else, I plug right up. I’m thinking that I have an issue with fiber (I’ve been perusing the Fiber Menace site) but that I can handle it if there’s no protein/fat to slow it down. I remember the times I’ve tried to take psyillium and it blocked me up so bad I thought I’d burst.

    I had a colonoscopy a couple months ago, and the doctor told me that my colon was very very twisty, and that is why I am always constipated. He said it was congenital, but who knows. I feel so horrible most of the time. And it makes me so upset that even though I’m doing “all the right things” (no gluten, dairy, grains, legumes, etc.and taking probiotics) I can’t rely on feeling well.

    Do you think I should try eating zero(or nearly zero) fiber? I’m thinking of fasting during the day, and then having fresh-pressed fruit juice after my workout, and then eating a meal of meat/bone broth (with salt and maybe pepper) an hour or two later.

    Sorry for writing a book here. I’m just desperate. I’ve been reading your blog for ages, but never commented before. Reading your story gives me hope that I might “heal” myself one day.

    -A.

  14. Hi Peggy, I was going to post this comment on one of your digestion posts, but I thought odds were better that you’d see it on a more recent blog.

    I am hoping you would give me some advice. I’ve suffered for as long as I can remember (I’m in my mid-20s now) with horrible constipation, and to a somewhat lesser extent, awful bloating.

    I’m also a boxer who’s hoping to compete in the future, but I’m having trouble with my body composition (I’m 5′ 5″ and about 120lbs… maybe 25-30% body fat… belly fat is problem area.)

    I ate Zone for about 4 years in my teens. It didn’t help at all, but I believed in the theory so I kept with it. Then I did raw vegan for about 4 years (worked pretty well… at first… but I lost muscle and had low energy.) Then I did basically raw fruitarian (occasional other raw vegan foods and raw fish) for about three years. I way over used senna and cascara sagrada, but I had normal bowels and a non-distended belly for the first time in my life!!!

    I started to get worse so I gave up and ate mostly white rice, olive oil, veggies, and fruit for about a year. And felt awful. Gained fat and no muscle. Horrible constipation and bloating as bad as they’d ever been… but I’d basically given up.

    Then I decided I couldn’t live like that…and got into the idea of primal/paleo. For the last year I’ve been having fruit, kombucha, water kefir, raw fish/shellfish, raw egg yolks, raw meat, raw veggies, and bone broth. I keep playing around with ratios to try to remedy my issues (constipation/bloating, and bodyfat%/building muscle.) I’ve made improvements in body comp but not as much as I should have (I work out 2-5x/week, with is a little weight lifting and a little cardio but mostly HIIT-type martial arts stuff.) For the constipation, I’ve been doing big doses of magnesium citrate (and I up until last week cascara sagrada and triphala every day… but I quit. Gonna see how that works.)

    My macros have been about 10-15% fat, 25% protein, with the rest being carbs from fruit, kombucha, coconut water, and sometimes honey. I have between 1600-2,000 calories per day. I’ve tried eating higher fat, but fat seems to make me gain fat. As for the constipation: if I ONLY eat fruit my bowels are pretty decent. However if I eat anything else, I plug right up. I’m thinking that I have an issue with fiber (I’ve been perusing the Fiber Menace site) but that I can handle it if there’s no protein/fat to slow it down. I remember the times I’ve tried to take psyillium and it blocked me up so bad I thought I’d burst.

    I had a colonoscopy a couple months ago, and the doctor told me that my colon was very very twisty, and that is why I am always constipated. He said it was congenital, but who knows. I feel so horrible most of the time. And it makes me so upset that even though I’m doing “all the right things” (no gluten, dairy, grains, legumes, etc.and taking probiotics) I can’t rely on feeling well.

    Do you think I should try eating zero(or nearly zero) fiber? I’m thinking of fasting during the day, and then having fresh-pressed fruit juice after my workout, and then eating a meal of meat/bone broth (with salt and maybe pepper) an hour or two later.

    Sorry for writing a book here. I’m just desperate. I’ve been reading your blog for ages, but never commented before. Reading your story gives me hope that I might “heal” myself one day.

    • Analucia,

      Hi there, I’m glad you finally left a comment!

      It sounds like you have tried a lot of avenues and have given them all a good shot. I’m just going to assume that you’re not cheating every weekend or evening with some foods not on your list. ;) I believe that the reason you have some extra fat, especially around your belly, is that your carbs are all coming from fructose. Now, I’m not trying to say you have FM (although you might) but that fructose is metabolized differently than glucose and can cause metabolic issues. And since your diet is so high carb, that is a lot of fructose!

      I would recommend eliminating fructose for a while and giving starch a try instead. I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all to lower your veggies too. (I’m not a proponent of a high veg diet. Although, I think veggie juices are a nice addition in today’s world.)

      In all of my own experimenting, I tried fruit diets and raw diets and all that. I also found that I could tolerate fruits if I ate no fat and only a little raw protein with them. So, I’m totally with you on how bizarre your digestion seems.

      Personally – and many others I have spoken with over the years – I have taken digestive enzymes and probiotics and all kinds of other supplements to no avail. Eliminating the problem is the only thing I have found to work. Now, boosting nutrition is also important. You can eliminate all the problem foods but if, for example, you don’t eat iron, you’re still going to be fatigued.

      If you feel that fat makes you gain fat, it may just be that you are adding in butter (?) and you are intolerant to dairy. Or maybe you are increasing fat but still eating fructose.

  15. Great post! I’d like to share a Nuvaring Facts & Figures infographic – this infographic provides information about this device from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) as well as AdverseEvents.com, a website that monitors adverse events reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information is provided solely for educational purposes.

    Read more: http://www.settlementhelpers.com/drug-claims/nuvaring/nuvaring-infographic/#ixzz2ZJg6ANFo