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Under- and Overweight and Infertility

People are increasingly suffering from two of the modern world’s top diseases: infertility and obesity. Both are often belittled and/or seen as taboo subjects. But something can be done about both.

In Europe around 25% of the population is overweight. Sport and a healthy diet can prevent and counter act this but discipline is needed. Being overweight has many consequences including a high cholesterol level, arteriosclerosis, gout, etc. It is therefore important to take weight issues seriously and aim to maintain a healthy body weight.

The focus needs to be placed on reducing carbohydrates. In particular bread and other products containing wheat are not only unhealthy, but they are one of the most harmful food stuffs. Studies unveil the wide-spread problems of overweight through diabetes, arthrosis and heartburn, skin problems, etc. all the way to dementia.

The cause probably lies in our daily consumption of bread made of wheat. Professor Davis from the USA has written a book worth reading on the topic. Davis was motivated to write the book based on the fact that people are becoming fatter from year to year, despite healthier eating and increased sport.

It is possible to undergo an individual medical assessment of how much carbohydrate should be eaten daily. The amount depends on age, weight and body size. Many people assume that only fat needs to be reduced in a diet but carbohydrates can also cause excessive weight. If the body absorbs more carbohydrates than it needs for metabolism and general energy expenditure, the liver turns the surplus into glycogen, which is then transformed into fat so that more energy can be available if needed.

Physical activity (not only during the weight loss period) plays a large role, since the metabolism and the physical vitality is stimulated in this way. Activating muscles requires energy. To get that energy, the body will use energy reserves in the form of fat. The more the muscles are used, the more energy is required. It is known that fat energy reserves start being tapped after approximately 30 minutes of persistent exercise.

When losing weight, it is important to pay attention to drinking sufficient fluids! Only when the body contains sufficient fluids can it eliminate unnecessary waste through the kidneys. Important rules to remember

  • Restrict the amount of carbohydrates in your daily diet (in particular the unnecessary ones)
  • Do regular exercise
  • Drink lots of fluids (water and unsweetened tea)

Underweight and the impacts on female fertility

Underweight in women has an impact on the hormone production in the brain. The pituitary gland (hypophysis) is unable to produce the hormones LH and FSH at the right time and in the correct amount. The female cycle becomes unbalanced and ovulation may fail to take place.

The less often ovulation takes place, the lower the chance for a woman to fall pregnant. The cycle of female hormones is controlled by substances that are formed in fat tissue. That’s why a young woman only has her first menstrual bleeding when a certain amount of fat cells are given (which forms the basis for the future nourishment of the baby).

One speaks of underweight with a body mass index of under 18.5. Values under 17.5 are an indicator of anorexia. In very thin women, the monthly menstrual bleeding and ovulation may fail to take place. Here one speaks of anovulation, which also may occur in extremely active women, for example in top athletes. Some fertility problems can as a rule disappear on their own through regular meals and weight gain to a healthy level.

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