You know us, we love to keep it light. We’d much rather be writing about matcha or mushrooms, but today we have to get the word out about the Pill. Even if you’re not taking the birth control pill, chances are your partner, daughter, sister, or several people close to you are. We’ve realized that many of our clients and friends are unaware of exactly what they’re putting in their bodies every day, for years or decades.
All synthetic hormones come with serious side effects and risk (whether the Pill, patches, rings or HRT). So, we hate to be the Pill police but we have to explain some things.
Our top 5 concerns with the Pill:
It impacts nutrient absorption: Birth control pills deplete your body of vitamin C and B’s. They also affect the absorption of minerals such as magnesium, selenium and zinc. Each of these nutrients have vital functions. B vitamins, for example, play a key role in mood and mood disorders, heart health and healthy pregnancies. So, your risk of depression, stroke or heart attack may increase with years spent on the birth control pill.It can f*ck up fertility! One of the things we see most often among our 30-somethings trying to get pregnant is what is called “Post Pill Syndrome”. This is when your cycle is nowhere to be found after discontinuing the Pill. You should not expect that you will come off the Pill and 1,2,3 baby.
It can mess up your microbiome: When clients take antibiotics, we suggest a probiotic concurrently. The Pill can also affect your gut flora… and you are on it for years at a time. Because of this, it can cause chronic microbiome disfunction – from bloating to increasing the likelihood of Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis if you are at risk. Changes to your GI flora can also impact mood and food cravings.
Oh yeah, it’s carcinogenic: In 2005, the UN’s cancer research organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified synthetic hormone pills as “carcinogenic”, saying it increases risk for liver, breast, and cervical cancer. We’re not OK with doctors minimizing risk like this: “For the breast, there is evidence for a very small increase in risk, but it’s transient and goes away as soon as the pill is stopped. And these are used at a time of life when breast cancer rates are very, very low anyway”. Any increased risk is legit.
Bye-bye sex drive: the Pill decreases your testosterone, which can directly impact your sex drive via sex hormone globulin. It can even cause a shrunken clitoris! Wouldn’t you rather know this even if it’s horrifying?
*We know there are many different reasons to go on the pill, and it is your right to decide what’s best for you. We support whatever you choose, we just want it to be an informed decision.
Start a dialogue with your doctors
We encourage you to start a dialog with your doctor(s). And expect pushback, you may hear things like “the newer pills are such a low dose.” We’ve had many clients who switched doctors over this. We’re not suggesting doing that, but your “village” should be on a similar page as you.
What we suggest
OK, we don’t need any babies named after Foodtrainers.
If you’re considering going off the Pill, we’re here to help you with supplements and food suggestions to ease the transition. If you’re taking the Pill for symptoms like acne or mood, you’ll need to address the underlying causes in a more integrative manner.
While there is nothing totally perfect out there, there are other methods of birth control. The Daysy and non-hormonal IUDs are two options.
And if you choose to stay on the pill, we’re not judging! But make sure you’re supplementing the nutrients we mentioned. And we’re happy to help you with Pill protocol in a Foodtraining session.
As always, wishing you well! And we will return to our regularly scheduled, delicious programming with our upcoming Thanksgiving survival pack.