There are a number of reasons as to why a woman goes on the birth control pill. While some use it for its actual purpose, that is to prevent a pregnancy, there are some, who would temporarily turn to it under a doctor’s supervision for numerous other reasons, including skin pigmentation and acne, normalising their menstrual cycle or to reduce bleeding and also balancing and controlling hormones. The risks outnumber the benefits associated with oral contraception, and hence, it is important that you start using the pills only upon a doctor’s advice and for a short period of time. To understand better about birth control pills, risks associated with it, and possible remedies to reduce those side effects, Hz exclusively spoke to Dr Rashmi Rai, who is an integrated lifestyle medicine expert, BHRT specialist, and regenerative medicine specialist. 

She explained a birth control pill is only prescribed by a doctor “upon proper examination and once he or she has an in-depth understanding of a patients’ symptoms, information around her menstrual cycle, blood pressure patterns, etc.” And, while the pill begins to do its job, she suggested these 5 ways in which you can reduce the side effects and stay healthy. 

Follow A Rainbow Diet

Follow A Rainbow Diet

The pill leads to the depletion of a wide range of nutrients in our body such as vitamin B, C E, Zinc, selenium, and magnesium. It is hence important to consume food that is rich in these nutrients. A rainbow diet, that consists of coloured fruits and vegetables will ensure wholesome nutrition. Green and leafy veggies are a rich source of vitamin B, C, E, and magnesium. So don’t forget to include this in your diet even if you may not be a fan of it. Vitamin B can also be found in eggs, meats, fish, and seafood. Some of these are also rich in zinc. You should also add nuts, fruits, seeds, and berries to your diet, since these too are a rich source of nutrients and will help in the longer run. Pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds are also loaded with zinc and selenium. "In case you feel, you aren’t able to get the right proportion of nutrients from your daily diet, you can request your doctor to suggest a multi-vitamin. There is no harm in taking a supplement under a doctors’ supervision to make up for this deficiency," said Dr Rashmi. 

Ensure A Healthy Liver

Your birth control pill has an impact on your body as a whole. However, the impact on our liver could be slightly more, as most of our hormones are metabolised in our liver.  One of the many reasons for this is nutrient deficiency. Our liver is responsible for hormone metabolism and our body’s detox system, which also depends on certain nutrients and minerals. A nutrient-rich diet is hence important. A herbal tea infusion like Tulsi or Holy Basil that is free of caffeine can help in the liver to detoxify. 

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Gut Health

Around 70-80 per cent of our hormones are secreted in our gut or our digestive system, which communicates with our brain. It is hence of the utmost importance that we have optimum gut health. Add a good quality probiotic to your diet. A probiotic that is easily available in our homes is curd, buttermilk, and rice kanji. Bone broth helps in healing the gut and reduces inflammation. Inflammatory food like refined sugars, refined oils, and refined carbohydrates worsens gut health. You can substitute refined oils with coconut, olive, sesame oil, or even better ghee. Millets like jowar and bajra are also wholesome options and a great alternative to simple carbohydrates.

Avoid Stress And Sleep Well

It has been proved numerous times that women on the pill react and sometimes over-react inappropriately to situations that can be managed with rationale thinking. So, keeping your stress level under a check is also important. Practise mind-body therapy. Indulge in a massage, every once in awhile, practise mindfulness, daily exercise, meditation or yoga, read a book, take up a hobby, etc, as these work wonders in relieving stress. Follow your natural body clock. Sound sleep is essential for rejuvenation of our bodies. It helps repair tissue damages that our body experiences throughout the day and also contributes towards boosting hormone health. Ensure you sleep for a minimum of 7-8 hours a day as it will help you to start your day afresh and in a good, happy mood. 

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Watch Your Symptoms

Watch Your Symptom

Your body might not always throw visible symptoms at you, if you are on the pill. Hence, watch your body and what it is trying to tell you. If your pill isn’t making you feel good, go back to your doctor. At the same time, you might also want to give your body some time to adapt to the new normal. We must be aware that while on the pill, the communication between our brain and ovaries is paused and this needs to be re-established by going off the pill. It is hence important to consider a more wholistic approach to treat such problems after understanding the root cause of these issues.

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