If you follow me on social media, you may already know that after my miscarriage, I was pretty adamant about seeking answers when it came to my health and diet after miscarriage.
I am well aware that a common cause of miscarriage is Fetal Chromosomal Abnormalities, which we can do nothing about.
However, I also knew that I had some existing “smoke alarms” when it came to my health that I never addressed before because they weren’t severe or disrupting my life much.
But when I lost my first baby, I immediately began to analyze what may have been going on with my health and hormones, and remembered those smoke alarms.
Those smoke alarms include cystic acne, tinea versicolor on my back (discoloration due to overactive yeast on the skin), and regular bloating.
Immediately I wondered if these could be linked to hormonal, gut health, or both.
Since the traditional healthcare system typically doesn’t test and insurance doesn’t cover until you have 3 miscarriages (which is baloney!), a friend recommended that I see a functional medicine doctor to do a full blood panel and hormone check.
What is Functional Medicine and How Does It Work?
A functional medicine doctor is a traditional doctor that got additional training in functional medicine, and the goal is to find the root cause rather than only treat symptoms. They describe themselves as scientists and physiologists.
What I like about functional medicine is that they are willing to treat when necessary (they’re not totally against Western medicine) but their goal is to identify the root cause and make natural changes (such as diet or lifestyle changes) to correct the problem going forward.
Anyway, I found one that came highly recommended in the Indy area, Dr. CJ Pabla, and set up an initial consultation.
Dr. Pabla explained their process to me, and I realized I wasn’t going to have an answer overnight but I also really appreciated how thorough it would be.
Basically, they asked a million questions to get a better understanding of my symptoms, then they’d put together a preliminary action plan (supplements, diet changes, etc.) based on those symptoms and what they think is going on, order a ton of blood work and genetic testing, analyze those results, and then make adjustments to the plan based on my physiology.
The Causes of Miscarriage
Dr. Pabla also mapped out the 11 causes of miscarriage on a diagram for me. I was blown away and I remember walking out of the office in tears, feeling understood and not at all crazy for wanting to dig into what may have gone wrong more.
I’ve included a graphic with the causes he listed below:
After answering a ton of questions, and after some initial blood work that showed I had a gluten allergy, Dr. Pabla put together a four page action plan that began with a summary of what he believed was going on. My diet after miscarriage was about to change entirely.
“You have a history of miscarriage and a few associated chronic issues that need to be addressed, such as IBS symptoms, headaches, chronic sinus issues, acne and Tinea Versicolor, mild fatigue, and mood swings.
Many of your above symptoms can be linked to gut dysbiosis. This is the loss in diversity of healthy bacteria and the overgrowth of pathogenic organisms such as Candida (yeast), viruses, parasites, and bad bacteria.
This process can result in an over-activation of the immune system, excessive histamine production and the release of toxins from your GI tract (Leaky Gut Syndrome) causing inhibition of many enzymatic pathways.
Over-activation of the immune system can result in release of cytokines (chemical messengers produced by white blood cells), which lead to further injury of vital cell structures and can also lead to autoimmune issues.
Much of our immune system is centered around our GI tract so chronic inflammation in your gut will over-activate your immune system leading to many symptoms and possible disease.
This could have been developed from inflammatory foods (gluten and dairy), environmental toxins (pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, plastics, and other phenolic compounds) or endogenous toxins (made by our own body such as cortisol, histamine, dopamine, etc.).
As mentioned above, I think you also have underlying food allergies that not only contributed to your gut dysbiosis but could have been one of the root causes of your acne, Tinea Versicolor, and sinus problems.
Inflammatory foods can be both food allergies and food intolerances/sensitivities. We will address each of these with your blood work.
This is phase 01 of your action plan. In this first phase, we will just eliminate bothersome foods. This will be the start of your diet after miscarriage changes. During the later phases, once we receive your test results back, we will suggest a long-term food plan and other lifestyle modifications.
The Action Plan
The action plan was extensive but the most crucial steps I’ve taken action on, beginning with the elimination diet. They are as follows:
- Remove Wheat/Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Refined White Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Alcohol
- Limit Eggs, Vinegar/Fermented Foods, and Caffeine (I drink decaf coffee only now)
- Consume Omega 3 fats, lean proteins, and minimal carbohydrates
- Drink 70 ounces of Water Every Day with fresh squeezed organic lemon juice in the morning (at least 30 minutes before consuming breakfast to detox the body)
- Take the PureGenomics Multivitamin once daily
- This has the methylated form of folic acid in case I have the MTHFR mutation, which is a genetic mutation that doesn’t break down folic acid properly. 400 mcg is necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
- Take Ultraflora Probiotics daily
- Buy Organic Meat and Produce Based on the Dirty Dozen / Clean 15 Chart (see below)
When shopping organic, you don’t need to buy anything labeled “organic” that falls under the Clean 15 list. Otherwise, you’re just paying for the label. On the flip side, you’ll want to make sure that you buy everything that is on the Dirty Dozen list organic.
(Image found on OrganicDieta.com)
Product Swaps I’ve Made
Dr. Pabla explained that when we are exposed to heavy metals in our water, or high levels of toxins in our environments and products, those toxins can create xenoestrogens in our bodies. These essentially mimic estrogen, which tells our body we have enough estrogen even if we do not, which affects hormone production.
This is my very basic explanation based on my understanding but all I know is that it’s definitely not good, especially for women pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
While I’m still in the process of changing everything in my diet after miscarriage, I’ve made a lot of progress toward a clean lifestyle.
So far, I’ve…
- Swapped out our dish soaps and hand soaps for Mrs. Meyers non-toxic soaps
- Opted for for chemical free shampoo, conditioner, and body wash options like Monat and Woman to Woman Naturals
- Switched to non-toxic deodorant – I’ve tried many and my absolute favorite is Primally Pure because I’ve found it works best and smells best
- Changed my skincare products to a medical grade, non-toxic line that my functional medicine doctor offers called Zo
- Laundry Detergent and Dishwasher Pods
And I’m still in the process of…
- Finding a non-toxic make-up line that I like (yes, I know Arbonne is an option, please don’t try to sell it to me)
- Getting my hubby on board with his products HAHA
- To be fair, he DID try a non-toxic mens deodorant for a short period of time
The Goal: Optimize My Health Going Forward
While we can speculate possible links, it’s not likely that we’ll ever know the exact cause of my miscarriage. However, we CAN optimize ] health going forward, and this has been Doctor Pabla’s goal from the beginning.
We’re still waiting on all of my test results to come back but getting this information and making these changes haven’t been easy but I’ve noticed how much better I’ve felt in just 4 weeks and now I’ve become such a champion of advocating for your own health, even if that means having to do something less traditional.
Don’t be afraid to seek answers and clarity if you feel like something is off or could be wrong.
To close, I want to share something my mom said when I started this journey because I think it was full of wisdom, and has helped me avoid obsessing over or worrying about what could happen based on the information I get.
And I believe that is hands down the truth.
Seek answers. Advocate for your health. But just keep in mind that God is bigger than anything you might find.