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  • Jen Dunlap

Case Study: Dairy Intolerance and Infertility

Several years ago, a friend approached for help with her frequent and long menstrual cycles. She bled about 10 days out of every 20, was increasingly fatigued and unable to get pregnant. Her weight was normal, her skin was clear, and she didn't have pain with her periods.

She exercised daily and ate a variety of real foods, and my thought when looking at her food journal was perhaps she wasn't eating enough for an hour a day of brisk walking. That, however, seemed an insufficient explanation for such an unusual pattern.

I suggested various formulas that had helped other clients normalize their cycles, and we tested them one by one. Every herbal formula or supplement she tried improved her cycle for a month before it would revert to some version of the odd pattern. After several rounds of this process, and increasing muscle weakness, I was wondering if she had a condition like MS or myasthenia gravis, and was preparing to broach the topic when she called to say she had remembered that as a child she'd had stomach pain when she ate dairy, and she had decided to cut it out of her diet, instead of eating 1-2 servings per day.

Immediately she slept better and felt calmer, and next month she had a 28-day cycle with only 5 days of bleeding. Soon after, she was able to conceive and carry the baby to term.

Food is always primary for fertility, over supplements. This client had an unusual systemic response to her dairy sensitivity, and I was delighted that she pieced together the solution. Bloodwork would have been the next step, but it's nice when the solution turns out to be one key ingredient.

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