Recently, I have seen a number of patients with something in common, other than their fertility issues,... a love of fizzy drinks.
These are women who are seemingly conscious of eating healthily, aren't skipping breakfast, are trying to eat more vegetables, healthy fats, lean protein etc.. Yet when quizzed about their daily liquid intake, it turns out that fizzy drinks, not water, are top of the list.
"But don't worry, I always choose the 'diet' version, never the one's that are full of sugar".
This fallacy has to stop. Artificial sweeteners are known to have a myriad of negative health effects on the body. A recent piece of research has found that aspartame actually blocks an enzyme that is needed to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a condition where you experience an overlap of various health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
I have dealt with women who are struggling with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), hypothyroidism (under active thyroid gland), hyperprolactinemia (elevated prolactin levels), inexplicable weight gain, insomnia, energy crashes and erratic moods... the list goes on.
In many of these cases, the common factor has turned out to be some form of diet product or energy drink, yet the problem had been overlooked because it wasn't perceived as problematic, in the way that excessive alcohol or coffee consumption would be.
If you are trying to conceive and have a taste for fizzy drinks then I would strongly advise you to avoid them like the plague.
If you're having bad cravings, then try having fizzy water with some sliced fruit added to it. In time your cravings will diminish and the benefits to your health should prove to be more than worth it.
Eating regularly and avoiding skipping meals, should also help manage your cravings.
The most important thing is to realise that this seemingly minor dietary habit is likely to cause significant ramifications for your overall health and fertility, so please don't wait until the New Year before making some changes, start today.