Have you grabbed your copy of the Hormone Happy Handbook? Be sure to get your FREE download here to find out how to balance hormones and feel comfortable in your own skin, especially after being on the Pill (or even if you are still on it).
Before we begin, I want to fully acknowledge that birth control pills offered a level of freedom for women at a time when nothing like it had ever been possible before, and I spent eleven years taking them myself. That said, I don’t believe that there is enough education about the potentially life-changing negative impacts this drug has on our bodies and we are going to discuss some of those side effects. The Pill may still be the right choice for you, and that’s totally fine, there is no judgement here. My intended goal is to educate more thoroughly on this drug.
IT’S A PHARMACEUTICAL DRUG
The birth control pill is produced by large pharmaceutical companies, which is something that can be easy to forget when it just becomes that little pill you pop in your mouth every single day, whatever your reasoning for taking it may be.
With some estimates as high as 60 – 70% of women taking the Pill at some point in their lifetime these days, it has become so common that any stigma sometimes associated with pharmaceutical drugs seems to dissipate, and we hardly even think of it as medication anymore so much as a simple habit that is part of our daily routine, like brushing teeth or checking email.
When it comes to oral contraceptives, there are all different types and dosages available to find what works for us to reduce the various negative side effects that can occur from taking them, including everything from acne, weight gain, blood clots, enormous mood swings and more (all side effects of birth control pills).
My question to you is this: does the Pill actually make you healthier?
That’s usually the goal of taking pharma drugs, no? We take them out of a need to improve a serious health issue, such as mental health disorders, a major infection, or life-saving surgeries. I always prefer to look at the more natural approaches first, but there are absolutely times when these types of medications are required and necessary.
However, the Pill is a different case. While oral contraceptives can offer a great deal of personal freedom in regards to your private life with your partner(s) and a range of other health issues, it may come at a significant cost to your well-being that is a very high price to pay. Far too high, in my personal opinion, particularly when there seems to be a distinct lack of education given to most women when considering the Pill as an option.
Sometimes it is recommended to take oral contraceptives to alleviate PMS symptoms. The irony is that the Pill usually just masks symptoms and compounds hormonal problems, often making the original issues worse over time, though that may not be realized until going off of the Pill. In my case, that was eleven long years later, which completely wreaked havoc on my hormonal health.
Moreover, the birth control pill does not address the root problem or make us healthier. Instead, it often hides bigger issues and symptoms that will always be there until dealt with to a full and complete extent. These issues, left to compound, have a major effect on our health and can take a huge amount of time, effort and energy on our part to even begin to rebalance the hormones and alleviate these difficulties.
TOP 4 DANGERS OF BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
- Cancer Risks
- Usage of the Pill, especially long-term, leaves you with higher risks of breast, endometrial and cervical cancers due to the higher levels of estrogen in the body
- Moods and Mental Health
- Major mood swings, mental fogginess, anxiety and depression are all associated with hormonal birth control pills. Women who have experienced mental health issues prior to birth control pill usage may be at greater risk to magnify already existing issues.
- Gut Health
- The Pill destroys beneficial bacteria in the gut which can negatively impact your digestion, immune system and lead to yeast overgrowth (in both the gut, and can extend to include yeast infections)
- Nutrient Deficiencies
- The body can be significantly depleted of important nutrients such as folate, B-vitamins (particularly B6 and B12), vitamins C, magnesium, selenium and zinc.
Taking birth control pills these days has become so mainstream that we often don’t pay attention to the potential side effects the same way for other drugs that we consider to be more significant. These are some of the most significant dangers that can change your body.
You might be wondering why nutrient deficiencies made the list and how they can be so problematic to your health. I wanted to address them individually to give the full picture.
NUTRIENTS AND THEIR IMPORTANCE
Why are these nutrients even so important to the body, anyway? What’s the big deal?
Let’s discuss what some of these nutrients do for us, and what can happen when they are depleted.
- Helps to prevent birth defects, forms red blood cells and creates DNA
- Deficiency can cause anemia, poor digestion and bloating, mood swings, low energy and immune function
- Found in dark leafy greens, beans, lentils, broccoli, beets and asparagus
- Look for folate as opposed to folic acid if supplementing for better absorption
- Supports immune system, wound healing, and helps the body produce collagen supporting skin, bones and teeth, and aids absorption of iron.
- We always associate Vitamin C with citrus fruits, but many other foods actually have equal or higher content. Try kale, red or green peppers, guava, kiwi, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.
- Antioxidant which aids the body in fight against disease and free radicals that damage healthy cells, helps to balance hormones and PMS, increases energy, endurance and muscle strength.
- Nuts and seeds, avocado, mango, broccoli, sweet potatoes, squash
- Helps body produce melatonin to regulate sleep, which is why hormones can be so out of whack when sleep is off and vice versa.
- Crucial to the mood as is an important part of producing serotonin and norepinephrine, supports metabolism, nervous system.
- Quality protein sources such as grass fed beef, wild fish, organic turkey and chicken, beans, sunflower and sesame seeds, blackstrap molasses
- Vital nutrient for energy, will be exhausted all the time if deficient
- Fosters a healthy gut and proper digestion, red blood cell production, mood and nervous system
- Found in animal proteins, must supplement if consuming a strictly plant based diet.
- Important to nutrient absorption and digestion, immune system, wound healing, metabolism, difficulty concentrating, PMS and hormonal issues
- Found in umpkin seeds, lamb, beans, cashews, cocoa, and dark leafy greens.
- Helps reduce cravings (although anytime hormones are out of whack of ANY reason, cravings are likely to increase)
- PMS and hormonal issues, fertility, digestive issues including with pooping, muscle growth and repair,
- Found in dark chocolate, beans, almonds, Swiss chard, avocados, bananas
- Crucial for the thyroid health, boosts immune system, lowers risks of cancers and inflammation
- Found in Brazil nuts, eggs, sunflower seeds, turkey, chicken, liver, fish and chia seeds
The good news is that these nutrients can be replenished and rebalanced, it will just take time, energy, and most importantly, patience.
Learning to listen to the ways your body is speaking to you is like learning a new language. Education is the key to making sure you have the tools to listen.
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