The birth control pill was approved by the FDA in 1960. Birth control pills are very common these days and of course necessary in many cases to prevent unintended pregnancies. Personally, I was on birth control for almost 10 years before discontinuing use to try for a pregnancy. It wasn’t until I went to school and learned about birth control that I realized how many drug-nutrient reactions there were! We need to realize that BC pills are a drug, and they DO have side effects.
There are general precautions written on every package, such as:
•The birth control pill can lead to a higher risk for blood clots, heart attack, and stroke in women who smoke, especially if they are over 35 years of age. Combination estrogen and progestin birth control (including the pills, ring or patch) should NOT be used by women who are over 35 years of age and smoke.
•The birth control pill does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Only a condom can protect from sexually transmitted diseases.
•The pill has a <1% failure rate (meaning less than 1 out of 100 women unintentionally become pregnant) if used correctly. However, for women who miss taking their pills, the failure rate goes up to roughly five percent, or 5 out of 100 women become pregnant unintentionally.
•Birth control pills can cause breast pain or vaginal dryness; these side effects may continue with use or subside.
•A progestin called drospirenone is found in some birth control pills such as Yaz, Yasmin, Gianvi, Syeda, Safyral, and Beyaz and is linked to a higher risk for blood clots than other pills control pills. Drospirenone may also raise potassium levels in the blood which may cause heart or health problems. It is important to discuss your health history with your doctor prior to using these birth control pills.
•After stopping the pill, it may take several months or longer to begin ovulating again if pregnancy is desired.
In addition to these risks, there are many other drug-nutrient interactions that cause mood, immune, gut/digestion problems and fatigue among many other symptoms:
*Lowers B6, B12, Zinc, Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, B-carotenes & Vitamin E
*Raises copper, which increases cancer risk and interferes with zinc:copper ratio, causing copper toxicity: http://www.holistic-back-relief.com/copper-toxicity.html
*Creates high lipid peroxidase, which increases oxidative stress and cardiovascular and cancer risk
*Disrupts folate (folic acid) and B12 metabolism, which is important for energy production. Depletion of folate could cause birth defects if one becomes pregnant while on or shortly after birth control if one does not supplement and eat foods high in folic acid: http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/fetaldevelopment/l/blfolatefacts.htm
*Disrupts intestinal flora (beneficial bacteria in the gut) causing dysbiosis, leaky gut, increased food allergies and candida–1 IN 3 AMERICANS HAVE CANDIDA!! http://www.thecandidadiet.com/
Birth control also contributes to hypothyroid due to excess estrogen!!
If you are on birth control, make sure to eat a healthy diet RICH in nutrients! Take good quality supplements to replace the depleted nutrients lost while taking the pill. Add a probiotic and/or eat probiotic foods (raw, unpasteurized miso, sauerkraut, kim chi, beet kvass, organic apple cider vinegar and organic yogurt/kefir if tolerate dairy) to restore and balance intestinal flora. Sickness starts in the gut! Eat wild fish 2-3 times a week and/or take fish oil supplements.
Here are my recommendations for professional-grade, quality supplements:
Good brands for supplements include: Innate Response, Pure Encapsulations, Green Pastures, Mega Food, Primal Defense.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil: http://www.greenpasture.org/public/Products/CodLiverOil/index.cfm
OR Fish Oil:
Probiotic (Buy in at Whole Foods/Pharmaca/Health Store in refrigerator to ensure freshness): http://www.amazon.com/Garden-Life-Defense-Ultimate-Probiotics/dp/B000GWG8FS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376246045&sr=8-1&keywords=primal+defence+probiotics
Vitamin E: http://www.amazon.com/MetabolicResponseModifier-Complete-E/dp/B0045P4ORG/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376246200&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=metabolic+response+vit+e