Even when we do our best to eat clean and create a safe home environment, sometimes issues with immunity, fertility, and HPV remain. This is when we must look at how we can actively lower inflammation levels by avoiding food allergens as well as supporting our gut and liver.
Part 4 of Dr. Doni’s Series on HPV & Fertility
By now, you know from Part 3 of this series that eating organic, clean, whole foods and staying away from junk food as well as drinking enough fresh, filtered water is going to go a long way in helping you boost your immune system. You also know from Part 2 of this series that taking a look at your home environment to get rid of home toxins is vital for healing HPV and increasing fertility a well.
Sometimes, however, even when do our best to eat clean and create a safe home environment, issues with immunity can remain stagnant. Unfortunately, this can keep HPV active and keep you from getting pregnant.* In order to get on the road towards healing, sometimes we have to look at the foods we may be sensitive to and consider how we can actively support our gut health and liver.
Remove Reactive Foods to Lower Inflammation
Research shows that lower inflammation is key when it comes to boosting immunity and creating health on all levels. When we are eating foods that are not good for our unique body system, we are keeping inflammatory responses going, including pumping more inflammatory hormones into our systems such as cortisol and histamine.
So how do you know if a food is reactive to you and causing inflammation? Sometimes you can feel the effects right away. For instance, if you are allergic to peanuts and you eat some, you are going to have an anaphylactic response within minutes. Not fun!
There is another way that reactions to food may show themselves. It is through food “sensitivities.” To be sensitive to a food means that you are not digesting it well. Food sensitivities occur when the immune system responds to substances in the food (usually the proteins) with a delayed response antibody (IgA and/or IgG).
With food sensitivities, you may react later on to the food or your reaction may be so mild at first that you do not even notice it. Here are some of the signs of food sensitivity:
- joint pain
- brain fog
- sinus issues
- sore throat
- digestive upset (bloating, gas, cramping, heartburn, etc.)
- constipation or diarrhea
- bacterial or viral flare-ups (including HPV)
- menstrual irregularities and/or PMS
- asthma attack
- skin rash/hives
- heart palpitations
- hay fever
According to the National Institutes for Health, food sensitivities are on the rise. The number of people who have them today is four to five times as many people who have straight allergies.
There are interesting theories as to why this could be. Some studies connect it to increase viral loads. This means that, hypothetically, active viruses in your body may actually spur food sensitivities and vice versa! Other research points to increased histamine levels in addition to lessening amounts of key enzymes in the body which help break down histamine. And then there are all the studies on how Leaky Gut and imbalanced gut bacteria predispose us to food reactions too.
Whatever the mechanisms for food sensitivities, one this is for sure. All of them can be connected back to chronic stress. In fact, emotional stress, as well as stress from toxin exposure (especially pesticides), are known to decrease our ability to digest food. This can open up the pathways to Leaky Gut and lower immunity overall.
Be sure to check out Part 5 of this series when I will talk about things you can do to lower stress for HPV and fertility.
Are Food Sensitivities Connected to HPV? Can They Be a Sign of Fertility Issues? You Bet!
In a nutshell, if you are struggling with HPV and low fertility, you likely have food sensitivities too,
As I explained above, when you eat foods that you are sensitive to, your body is going to go into an inflammatory response. It does this as a protective mechanism. However, this response also diverts valuable immune system substances away from protection from the HPV virus. In addition, inflammation lowers ovary function, which makes dysplasia (abnormal cells on the cervix) and fertility issues more likely.
In order to practice eating clean to heal HPV and raise fertility, you want to stay away from the foods that are going to be most reactive for you. The most common food sensitivities are:
- egg whites
This is by no way a comprehensive list, and some of these foods may not even apply to you! The best way to determine your food sensitivities is to test them. You can do this at home. Working with my Leaky Gut Solutions Program is a great start and you can also get support by contacting my office.
Eat to Heal Your Gut and Lower Inflammation
Eating to heal the gut is super important for anyone and is especially important if you are working towards boosting your fertility. This is because, for many people with high viral loads, immune system issues, and hormone imbalances, there is often a link to gut imbalance as well.
Science is beginning to discover a direct link between HPV and many kinds of autoimmune conditions. For example, HPV was connected to the autoimmune condition Erosive oral lichen planus (OLP) by researchers at the French Ministries of Health and Research. Other studies have linked HPV to multiple sclerosis (MS), pemphigus vulgaris (PV), epidermolysis bullosa aquisita (EBA), mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP), and lupus. There are also some connections that are being made between HPV vaccines and the development of autoimmune conditions.
Be sure to check out Part 6 of this series where I will talk more about the autoimmune-HPV connection. This is a significant connection to make since, if you have HPV and you are not yet on a healing path, then there is a good chance that you may be dealing with autoimmunity as well.
But how does this link to the gut? Well, pretty much all people who struggle with autoimmunity have issues with Leaky Gut and imbalanced gut bacteria too. When bad gut bacteria grow rampantly, they end up causing Leaky Gut (just for clarification, when I talk about ”eating to heal your gut,” I am specifically talking about healing Leaky Gut in particular).
How can you heal Leaky Gut? It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. Fortunately, there are proven modalities that work. Removing reactionary foods, like the ones I mentioned above, is a must-do first step. The next step is to add in nutrients and herbs that can promote healing, especially in the intestines. The supplement L-Glutamine can do this directly as can DGL (deglycyrrhinated licorice).
Organic bone broth is another Leaky Gut elixir that has actually been used for centuries. Bone broth is a gut-healing, immune-boosting substance for several reasons, according to many experts. You can learn more about bone broth HERE. Also, try my proprietary blend designed specifically to help heal Leaky Gut.
TIP: These substances are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to healing Leaky Gut. The paradox is that the more severe the Leaky Gut, the more important it is to start simple. With time and diligence, you’ll be able to add in more support.
Don’t Forget About Your Liver!
Of course, when you practice clean eating, you are eating to strengthen and support all of your organs. We can see why healing the gut would be so important. After all, most of our immune system cells reside there. But why would we want to specifically point out the liver as well?
Think about it: What is the one organ that bears most of the brunt in terms of all the toxins that need to be released from the body?
That’s right, it is your liver, and I don’t think any organ works as hard! Technically, the liver is responsible for both phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification, including playing a major role in methylation.
Likewise, if you have been carrying a higher toxic load (and this is the case with most people with HPV and fertility issues), have the MTHFR genetic mutation, have been eating a SAD (Standard American Diet) for a while, have imbalanced gut bacteria, are taking medication, and/or are under a lot of stress, then your liver may be taxed, tired, and feeling sluggish. A taxed liver can make you feel taxed too as well, as fatigued, drained, brain foggy, and plain out of energy.
All this indicates that it may be time to give your liver a little love. You can do this first and foremost by helping with the detox process on your end. You can assist with Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification by:
- Cutting down on the stuff that requires your liver to put more energy into processing it, such as alcohol and toxic foods (such as non-organic produce and processed foods),
- Avoiding refined sugar (which can help stabilize your blood sugar levels),
- Eating smaller meals in regular intervals during your “eating window,”
- Drinking at least half your weight in ounces of fresh, filtered water every day,
- Making sure you are getting electrolytes, by incorporating substances like sea salt or electrolyte powder into your water,
- Keeping your bowels moving on a daily basis (if you need support on this point, which many people do, be sure to drink plenty of water. You can also increase your fiber intake, increase exercise, take magnesium citrate or oxide, and/or apply topical castor oil on your belly).
- Establishing a daily self-care routine to lower stress and oxygenate your body, including meditation, journaling, deep breathing, and exercise/stretching.
- Promoting glutathione production (which happens in your liver) by taking N-acetylcysteine (NAC),
- Supporting your liver health through key supplements like milk thistle, choline, and B vitamins. I also recommend this product for overall support with detoxification and fat metabolism.
TIP: Often less is more when it comes to helping your liver. It can be tempting to jump into an intense liver cleanse. However, I find that these kinds of cleanses often do more harm than good. A better strategy, in my opinion, is to start with the liver-healing suggestions above and do them on a daily basis. As your systems become more balanced, you can add a more intense cleanse, which should be done with the oversight of a practitioner trained in safe and effective detoxification.
Enzymes are super important because they are the substances that help break down food and convert it into energy sources the body can utilize. This is no small feat!
The pancreas makes digestive enzymes and secretes them into the small intestine. Like the liver, it is another multi-tasking organ that works tirelessly for us and often gets overburdened. If the system is overloaded by stress, toxins, an imbalance of gut bacteria, sluggish methylation, a large amount of food in the belly (caused by overeating), or other issues, then enzyme production and utilization are likely to be sluggish as well.
The healing journey is all about creating the right environment for your body to heal itself. Oftentimes, what that means is that you will want to create as little stress and as much support for gentle healing as possible. Taking key pancreatic enzymes as a supplement with meals to ensure adequate digestion while you are healing your cervix, healing Leaky Gut, and supporting fertility is a wise choice.
TIP: Taking pancreatic enzymes with every meal can really help so make sure they are high quality and the right kind for you. I suggest this product for most people.
Lower Stress and Lower Inflammation While You Eat
Finally, it is important to consider your stress levels when you are wanting to lower inflammation and supporting liver function. Take steps to shift your body from stress mode to “rest and digest” mode when you eat. This will help you get the most nutrients out of your food. Plus your digestive system and liver will be less overwhelmed and more likely to do their job effectively.
Did you know that you can actually eat in a way that will help you feel calmer, lower inflammation, and give your adrenals some recovery time as well? Lowering caffeine and cutting back on sugar are two ways to do this.
Eating to lower stress is not just about what you take away from the diet, however. It is also about what you choose to add in. Here are some more tips:
- Make time for meals. Set aside work and other activities and focus on eating mindfully,
- Chew well. Digestion of food actually starts in your mouth. Chewing allows enzymes to start working. One trick is to put your fork/spoon down between bites. This allows you to enjoy the taste and texture of your food, and to focus on chewing and swallowing,
- Take deep breaths before you eat. This stimulates your vagus nerve, which turns on the parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) part of the nervous system,
- Eat just until you are not hungry. It takes at least 20 minutes to feel full. This means that “fullness” is often an inaccurate guide to whether you have had enough or not. Instead, notice the quantity of food that feels best for your body in terms of digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Learn More with the HPV Masterclass and the 21-Day Stress Reset Program
Be sure to check out Part 5 of the HPV & Fertility series to discover the real connection between stress and health. I will focus on simple things you can do NOW to lower stress, lower HPV, and increase fertility!
In addition, for an in-depth look at how you can structure your eating habits and your life to be the best you can be, be sure to check out my 21-day Stress Reset Program. It contains step-by-step guidance, a menu plan, products I recommend, and even an option for one-on-one counseling with me.
Finally, be sure to sign up for my HPV masterclass, “What Your Doctor May Not Be Telling You About HPV,” to learn more. This information-packed online class will help you to understand your pap results and will present a unique and effective way to address HPV using my proven protocols.
Remember, you can go from having to deal with HPV and fertility issues to making your dreams of a healthy life and family come true. And you don’t have to do it alone. I can show you how!
27th April 2021
IMPORTANT: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please keep in mind that it’s NOT the time to emphasize detoxification because it can be harmful to baby. Eating healthy, avoiding food allergens, and supporting healthy digestion are generally okay. It’s best to meet with your naturopathic practitioner to modify your approach during pregnancy and breastfeeding.