Acupuncture for Infertility, Pregnancy, and Labor Induction

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Acupuncture is a very important part of our practice here at Coldstream Health. We see many patients with various ailments; it’s exciting for us to give them relief and results with this wonderful type of treatment. We see a lot of women for infertility, during pregnancy, and to induce labor.

Infertility

Acupuncture for infertility can be treated with various methods. At your first visit we will discuss your health history, and do an examination. This will help us determine the right treatment for you! We work with women during many different phases of fertility treatments. Sometimes, we are the first stop on a patient’s fertility journey, or maybe we work along with patients already going through IVF, IUI, or who are taking medications like clomid. Either way, we have some great treatment options for you! This is an area Dr. Lindsey really enjoys working in, she can also recommend supplements, diet, and detox options for you.

 Pregnancy

Common things we treat during pregnancy include nausea, low back pain, and headaches. Unfortunately, during pregnancy these types of things tend to affect women and can make pregnancy very uncomfortable! Acupuncture is a safe treatment for women during pregnancy. It may take 4-8 visits to help relieve the symptoms, but after that you would only need to come in when you have a “flare up.”

 Labor Induction

When moms get around 36 weeks they tend to become more uncomfortable and ready for that squishy baby to be here! We totally understand (we have all been there), and are here to help. We prefer to wait until you are 38 weeks or have a note from you midwife/OB stating you can begin to induce labor. For this treatment, we recommend coming in every day, or every other day if possible. You will have needles in your feet, ankles, low back, hands, and on your head. We will also use something called “electrical stimulation” on the points in your back; this does not hurt, but gives the needles a little extra boost to get things moving. We can’t always guarantee this will do the trick and get baby to come, but we have had good success with it in the past.

 Are you pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant? Call our office if you are interested in acupuncture and we can help you on your journey!

The Problem With Folic Acid

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What is folic acid?

We hear it all the time when trying to conceive or during pregnancy: the importance of folic acid. Your doctor prescribes vitamins containing this, baby books talk about it, but what exactly is folic acid?

Folic acid is an oxidized synthetic compound of the vitamin Folate (B9). Humans did not ingest folic acid until the 1940’s when it was synthesized due to the overwhelming research that it prevented neural tube defects. Folic acid was then put in supplements and pushed by EVERYONE to take before and during pregnancy, it is even fortified in foods. 

There is research showing high levels of un-metabolized folic acid have been found in the blood, as well as a higher instance of colon cancer with the use of folic acid. Many of our foods are fortified with folic acid, including flour, cereals, and granola bars. Basically anything that is packaged has the possibility of being fortified with folic acid.

A better choice: Folate

Folate is a water-soluble vitamin B9 and that is found naturally in foods such as asparagus, avocados, brussels sprout, and leafy greens (spinach and lettuce).  We really should be eating plenty of folate, or take a methyl folate supplement instead of taking a folic acid supplement. Our bodies were made to digest folate and not the synthetic form (folic acid).

 What does folate do and how is it important during pre-conception and pregnancy?

Folate prevents neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are serious problems that can arise in utero with the spinal cord, such as spina bifida and even the brain (anencephaly).  These neural tube defects occur during the first 28 days of gestation that is why getting enough folate before you even become pregnant is very important. 

MTHFR and folic acid

When someone eats folic acid, our body uses the enzyme called MTHFR to make 5-methylenetetrahydrofolate. This is vital for different processes of the body such as: building cells, vital to serotonin and melatonin processes, converts homocysteine to methionine, and so much more! It is an INCREDIBLY important enzyme in the body.

When someone has a genetic mutation, such as with the MTHFR gene, they are unable to turn folic acid into a useable form to support the above processes! It can build up in your body and make you feel unwell. Many times patients with MTHFR mutation have anxiety, depression, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, digestive issues, etc. It is estimated that 40% of the world’s population has the MTHFR gene mutation, myself included. There are different types of the mutation, homozygous, heterozygous, and compound heterozygous. Each form can affect the amount of folic acid you can turn into the useable form (5-methylenetetrahydrofolate).

You can get tested for MTHFR, I highly recommend this if you are trying to conceive.  There are many options for testing, but the easiest and most affordable is 23 and me, and ancestry DNA. Once you have your raw data from the test, you can input the information into nutrahacker, nutrahacker will tell you which genetic mutations you have.

In Summary

Avoiding folic acid is good idea for anyone; even if you don’t have the MTHFR mutation as there is evidence our bodies do not synthesize folic acid well.

Making good choices on vitamins is key, they should contain methylated forms of B vitamins such as methyl folate and hydroxyl B12.

Add more leafy greens into your diet to get the best type of B9 (folate).

There are many physicians out there learning more and more about the MTHFR mutation. If you are interested in learning more about it, I recommend asking around your community to find a family doctor, chiropractor, or naturopath who is familiar with it and can guide you on your journey to wellness and being free of folic acid!

Supplement brands I like:

Well Labs

Seeking Health

Smarty Pants

Ortho Molecular

References:

https://kellybroganmd.com/folate-perfect-together/

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/439234#section=Top

https://chriskresser.com/folate-vs-folic-acid/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17617936

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18038944

https://drwillcole.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-gene-mutation-that-affects-40-of-the-world/