Birth control pills have become a part and parcel of many women’s reproductive health. Gynecologists prescribe birth control pills to many women for various reasons. Unfortunately, oftentimes women don’t understand the gravity of the effects of these pills that they consume. There is a lot of confusion and misinformation that exist around the use of birth control pills. And a lot of women who are on birth control pills are facing a lot of health and libido associated problems. Now, more women are coming out with these problems and people are getting to know about them.
A naturopathic doctor Dr. Jolene Brighten has shed some light on this issue. One of her patients who was on birth control pills started facing problems like diminished libido and weakness. The patient also said that she noticed the appearance of spider veins in her legs which made her very conscious about exposing her legs. She was also dealing with mild depression as she was having issues with her confidence and self-esteem.
Birth Control And Its Effect On Nutrition
Dr. Jolene helps and treats a lot of patients who are dealing with the side effects of birth control pills. A lot of women experience a severe depletion in the nutrient levels as a side effect of taking birth control pills. Dr. Jolene specializes in helping such women in reversing the risk of autoimmune disorders and in balancing hormones. General physicians might not always tell the patients about the side effects that come with these pills, which can end up misleading these women.
Researchers have found out that oral contraceptive pills can cause nutrient deficiencies which can lead to symptoms like pale skin, fatigue, weakness and even difficulty in walking. The ability of these pills to deplete nutrients in the body is not a new information. Researches conducted back in 1970s had found out the side effects. Some of the evident effects of these pills on nutrients are diminished glucose tolerance, increase in the level of triglycerides, an increased need for vitamins and minerals like vitamin B2, B6, C and folate. Researches have also found out that this pill can cause decreased loss of iron in the body.
Researches have found out that tryptophan gets used up abnormally in the bodies of the women who take birth control pills. And to make up for the deficiency, supplements around 25 mg need to be provided. This amount is 12 times higher than daily recommended amount for tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces serotonin, lack of which is likely to cause depression. Apart from vitamin B, vitamin C and E have also been found to be affected by these pills. Minerals like magnesium, selenium and zinc are some of the minerals that get affected as well. A study was conducted with 30 women in which the levels of antioxidants were examined in women who take and don’t take the pills. Women who take the pills were found to have diminished levels of antioxidants like coenzyme Q10 and alpha-tocopherol.
Birth Control Pills And Health Risks
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause behind death of women in the United States. A lot of reasons are responsible for a cardiovascular disease, but nutrient deficiency can be one of them. Nutrients like B6, B12 and folate are required for the metabolism of homocysteine. This compound affects the cardiovascular health and increases the risk of malfunction of the heart when its level stays up.
A Way Forward
The best way to deal with these pill-related deficiencies is to have a healthy nutrient rich diet. Protein rich diet can greatly help in warding off weakness. Fish oil, vitamin B complex, antioxidant-rich food, magnesium-rich food or supplements are all required for combating birth control pill induced deficiencies. Another alternative of getting rid of these deficiencies is to get off those pills. But, it has to be a personal choice.
So, know all the pros and cons of the medication you have been prescribed before you start taking them. Reproductive choices are personal but health should be a parameter for consideration before you take a decision.