Type 1 Diabetes VS Type 2 Diabetes

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Untitled

Definition:

So what is type 1 diabetes mellitus? “Type 1 diabetes (also known as Type 1 diabetes mellutis, (or T1DM) is an autoimmune condition. This means that the body’s immune system turns on itself; in this case, it attacks the beta cells of the pancreas. These are the cells that produce insulin. As a result, the pancreas produces very little, if any, insulin.” (Campbell, A., 2016).

So What Does That Mean?

“People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin, and as a result sugar builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells, where it’s needed for energy.” (Iliades, C. 2017).

People who have T1DM do not produce the insulin needed to help regulate your blood sugar levels. When this happens you can have too much glucose in your body leading to complications.

Causes and Symptoms:

Scientists are not exactly sure what causes T1DM. However, genetics can play a roll in it. If you have a family history of T1DM or a family history of auto immune diseases you are more at risk for T1DM.

Symptoms include blurry vision, high glucose levels, dehydration, weight loss, extreme thirst constantly, and frequent urination. Please make sure you are getting your yearly blood work done with your yearly exams. You will need to get a CMP (complete metabolic panel). This will show your glucose number. If it is high then further testing will be done.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

diabetes-1270350_960_720

Definition:

“Type 2 diabetes is not an autoimmune condition. Rather, it’s a chronic condition that affects how the body uses glucose. Type 2 diabetes generally results in part from insulin resistance, which means that the body has difficulty using insulin, along with abnormal insulin secretion. As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream.” (Campbell, A., 2016).

So What Does That Mean?

People who have T2DM have an issue with their body absorbing glucose from the bloodstream. The body still produces insulin, but the body can’t take it in and use it.

Causes and Symptoms:

Being over weight, little to no exercise, poor dieting, family history of type 2 diabetes, and poor lifestyle choices can all contribute to you developing T2DM.

Some symptoms include feeling fatigued, blurry vision, thirst, and increased urination. Again, blood work will need to be done to confirm.

 

References:

Campbell, Amy. (2016). Diabetes Self Management. Type 1 Diabetes VS Type 2. Retrieved from https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/type-1-diabetes-vs-type-2/

Dansinger, Michael. (2017). WebMD. Type 2 Diabetes: The Basics. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-2-diabetes#1
Iliades, Chris, MD. (2017). Everyday Health. What’s the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes? Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/diabetes/difference-between-type-1-type-2-diabetes/
Advertisements

Pregnancy Diets, Breastfeeding diets, and Post Baby Diets. OH MY!

So many questions revolve around pregnancy and dieting (What am I supposed to be eating?), breastfeeding diets (What diet should I be following while breastfeeding my baby to ensure they get the right nutrition?), and then there’s the mom that can’t wait to start losing weight after the baby is born (that’s completely me).

I want to start this article out by stating you should not try to lose weight during pregnancy. This is extremely dangerous for you and for your unborn child. When I say pregnancy diet I mean your overall consumption of food you ingest. You should not count calories and lose weight while pregnant.

The Pregnancy Diet

So what are you supposed to be eating while pregnant? What nutrients are you in dyer need of while pregnant? What does baby need to grow and maintain a healthy “diet” while in the womb?

I am so glad you asked!

folate rich foods
Photo Credit exhibithealth.com. (Unknown).

During your pregnancy make sure you increase your fiber intake. I can not tell you how important this is. Constipation during pregnancy is so common…and very painful. Make sure you are eating good sources of calcium and protein. According to WebMD “Choose at least one good source of folate every day, like dark green leafy vegetables, veal, and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas). Every pregnant woman needs at least 0.64 mg of folate per day to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida” (WebMD., 2018).

 

pregnancy food pyramid
Photo Credit Shweta, healthworry.com. (2016).

You should already be taking your prenatal vitamins. In fact,  you should start these as soon as you find out you are pregnant. These are rich in nutrients that baby needs to grow and develop. Your diet is the single most important thing for your baby at this stage of the game. You should be consuming something from every food group in the food pyramid. This helps ensure that baby is getting a well rounded amount of nutrients they need to grow and develop. Naturally, you will need to have a bigger calorie intake. This does not mean indulging in a chocolate cake or a whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. This means about 300-500 extra calories per day. This is about a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk. Depending on your weight before pregnancy determines how many extra calories you really should be consuming. Make sure you talk to your doctor about this.

The Breastfeeding Diet

mom-breastfeeding-baby
Photo Credit Parents, parents.com. (Unknown).

For breastfeeding you still need to follow a copious diet from every group of the food pyramid. You should continue to take your prenatal vitamins as those are still the nutrients being received from mommy to baby. You should continue to consume about 500 extra calories per a day for breastfeeding.

Everyone wants to lose weight after baby is born. Hold off on losing weight and focus on a healthy breastfeeding diet instead. You will want to increase your fish intake. Remember fish was banned while pregnant? Now you need to consume fish to help with baby’s eye sight development.

 

breastfeeding diet
Photo Credit Unknown.

Continue to consume lots of rich proteins and calcium foods. This helps with growth and development still. Don’t forget to increase your fiber intake as well. Again, constipation seems to still be an issue not only for you, but for baby as well. Anything you consume baby consumes. That also means avoid alcohol and caffeine.

The Post-Baby Diet

This is the part of the article I am most eager to talk about. For me counting calories after breastfeeding was over was the key to losing weight and keeping it off.

my fitness pal
Photo Credit My Fitness Pal. (Unknown).

First, set a goal. How much do you want to lose? Be realistic! Start keeping track of your calorie intake. You can use an app that I love so much. It helps you keep track of your calorie intake. It also helps you figure out what is the right amount of daily calorie intake for you to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight. It’s called My Fitness Pal. This app helped me lose weight and keep it off. You can also keep track of your exercise and how many calories you burned doing it. It’s the best app that I’ve tried so far.

Make sure to incorporate lots of exercise. You should exercise for 45 minutes per day roughly 3-5 days per week. I am not going to lie it can get addictive counting calories. It’s like a challenge when using the app. “How many calories do I have left? How many can I gain if I do this exercise?” I think that’s why it worked so well for me.

I also wrote an article about several different exercises you can do to help you lose that baby weight. You can find it here: https://themedicalmamac.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/losing-weight-after-baby-is-born/

What are your favorite ways to lose weight?

 

Resources:

American Pregnancy Association. (2015). Diet During Pregnancy. Retrieved from http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/diet-during-pregnancy/

WebMD. (2018). Eating Right When Pregnant. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/eating-right-when-pregnant#2-2

Murkoff, Heidi, What to Expect. (2018). The Pregnancy Diet. Retrieved from https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/eating-well/pregnancy-diet.aspx

 

How to Keep Your Child Healthy During Cold/Flu Season

Hi Medical Mama fans and followers! Today we’re going to talk about keeping you and your children healthy during cold and flu season. Cold and flu season is among us! The one thing I hate more than ice and snow is spreading germs (no seriously).

1) Hand Washing

This might seem the logical thing everyone says. However, it really is. According to Mayo Clinic Staff in an article they said “As you touch people, surfaces and objects throughout the day, you accumulate germs on your hands. You can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth, or spread them to others. Although it’s impossible to keep your hands germ-free, washing your hands frequently can help limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes.” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018).

hands-2238235_960_720Washing your hands is the single most effective way to not spread germs and to prevent YOU from getting sick. When you touch something chances are you touched a germ that can make you sick. Keep your hands away from your face and out of your nose and mouth. Make sure you teach your child this. Have they wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs to them and to other people.

2) Get Enough Sleep

baby-1151347_960_720Getting enough sleep allows your body to heal and fight off germs and infections. When we sleep it resets our metabolism and helps even out our moods (Huffington Post, 2017).

Make sure you know how much sleep your child needs.

3) Take Your Vitamins

birth control pillsEveryone needs their vitamins to help boost their immune system during a time when germs are rampid. Plus, when the weather changes it lowers your immune system response to catch up. Lower immune systems means higher chance of getting a germ making us sick.

4) Exercise

mom with child exercisingObviously, the best thing you can do for your body is to eat healthy and exercise. Eating healthy is #7 on this list.

“Exercise is better than any advertised cure or miracle,” says Harley A. Rotbart, M.D., Parents advisor and author of Germ Proof Your Kids: the Complete Guide to Protecting (Without Overprotecting) Your Family from Infections.

With that being said make sure you exercise. Make sure your kids are exercising.

5) Vaccinate

nurse bearThis one is going to ruffle some feathers. Vaccinate your children! I’m not going to go in to detail as to why you should vaccinate your child to keep them healthy. Don’t be neglectful! VACCINATE.

6) Stay Away From Cigarette Smoke

cigarette-3288363_960_720There a million and one reasons to stay away from cigarette smoke! I’ll give you only one because I could literally spend a day writing about this topic! Cigarette smoke lowers your immune system and compromises your lungs healthy tissues needed to fight off infections and viruses.

7) Eating Healthy

child watching parent eatLike I said earlier in the article eating healthy is so important! Eating healthy helps you consume your vitamins you need in order to stay healthy. Also, eating healthy boosts your metabolism. This in turn increases your immune’s system to “jump start” to fight off anything that could potentially make you sick.

8) Brush Your Teeth

toothbrush-3297525_960_720Brushing your teeth is just as important as washing your hands. All the bacteria that lives in your mouth daily needs to be brushed away.

Don’t forget to use mouth wash and floss!

9) Stay Hydrated

aqua-3445987_960_720Keeping your body hydrated also helps your immune system. It also helps keep your mouth free from bacteria and germs.

“Our brains are 80 percent water, so hydration is extremely important…” (Huffington Post, 2017).

10)Cover Your Mouth and Wash Your Hands Regularly

 

 

Resources and References:

Huffington Post. (2017). 7 Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy and Happy in 2016. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/kidsinthehousecom/7-ways-to-keep-your-kids-_b_8923884.html

Crouch, M. (Unknown). Healthy Kids: 6 Secrets of Kids Who Rarely Get Sick. Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/health/cold-flu/cold/6-secrets-of-kids-who-rarely-get-sick/

CDC Office of Women’s Health. (2014). Tips for Raising Safe and Healthy Kids. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/family/parenttips/index.htm

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Hand-Washing-Do’s and Don’ts. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/hand-washing/art-20046253

 

Cover Your Mouth During Cold/Flu Season

Does anyone else get really annoyed with people not covering their mouths when they cough or sneeze? What are you supposed to do when you are sick or have allergies? Let me know what you think guys! Thanks for watching!

 

Calorie Counting: Does It Work? And How Do I Do It?

Okay first of all YES! Yes it works! I’ve seen results on many patients, including myself and my family.

Are you good with numbers (addition and subtraction)? Are you good with using apps to help you?

If you said “Yes” to any of these then keep reading. I have fantastic news for you.

Okay, so if you couldn’t tell already I am very passionate about this. I am passionate because I believe everyone has the opportunity to be healthy, and to succeed at being healthy. I want to help you help yourself.

my fitness pal

If you haven’t heard me rant about these two apps yet you are missing out! My Fitness Pal, and Map My Walk. You can get them for Android and for Apple operating systems.

I am not going to go in to detail about how to use them. You can find out more here.

So…you decided it’s time for a change. That’s fantastic and I am so proud of you. Please reach out to me with any questions or if you are looking for that extra support. I would love to help!

map my walk appFirst thing is first: Weigh yourself naked every day on a scale. Do it first thing in the morning before you have that first cup of coffee. I find that even if I take a shower first I weigh more than before (all that water weighing down my hair, it’s a real thing. I promise).

1) Enter your weight in the My Fitness Pal app. 

After you have done that then go ahead and start picking out your breakfast. Guess what! Everything has calories in it. Make sure you are watching how many calories you have for the day in your app. This will better allow you to spread out your calorie intake for the day.

2) Enter your food in to your My Fitness Pal app.

Feeling motivated yet? I am. Now it’s time to start exercising. You can do anything from jogging, to yoga, to tennis, to soccer, etc. ANYTHING! The My Fitness Pal app knows how many calories you are burning by what activity you are doing. Just log it in.

texting phone3) Log your exercise in to the My Fitness Pal app.

If you are a jogger/walker/runner/etc then I strongly recommend using the Map My Walk app. It knows your location and can tell you exactly your path, calories burned, and speed. I especially like it because I jog. I know roughly how long it takes me to do a mile. I like to do three, so I can judge how long I’ll be out of the house.

jogging4) Record your walk/run in your Map My Walk app.

The more you exercise the more calories you have at the end of the day for dessert. If you go over don’t worry. There’s always that cheat day once a week.

 

Any questions yet? Please reach out to me! I would love to hear from you. This is the easiest method I have found (I love numbers and challenges). I am free to eat whatever I want, and I get to call the shots. If I don’t exercise to earn my calories for that bowl of ice cream at the end of the day then that’s on me. Not the diet.

Good luck!

Rehashing-Postpartum Depression: What Should I Know?

Photo Credit Creekside Center for Women, 2018

This article means so much to me as I suffered from postpartum depression with my first pregnancy. This is something serious that I feel I need to share and reach out to other moms who are going through the same thing, or even think they might have postpartum depression. Thank you for reading today.

Let’s take a minute to talk about something real.

What is Postpartum Depression?

depression stats
Photo Credit Winnie Palmer Hospital, ahealthblog.com, 2018

Postpartum depression is “depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue” (Dictionary.com, 2018). Postpartum depression is a real issue that needs to be addressed, especially among the mom community. There is no shame if you are suffering from it right now, or have in the past. Did you know that 1 in 7 women suffer from postpartum depression (American Psychology Association, 2018)? The CDC says that depression varies by state.

My Experience. My Story.

Unfortunately, I have suffered from postpartum depression. I used to feel shameful about it. With therapy I now know it was not my fault, and there are things you can do to help. I will talk about that later in the article as well. I want to share my story to help other moms who might be suffering.

I remember after I had my daughter (5 years ago) listening to her cry. She was colic from an unknown allergy, which we discovered about a year ago. She cried what seemed non stop. We hardly slept at night. We did not get any kind of spacial time away from her unless she was at my parents’ house (thank you mom and dad). I had to keep her on me at all times otherwise she was more unhappy and cried louder. There were times I had to just let her cry in her crib because she could cry just as easily there as she could in my arms. I needed a break. I needed 10 minutes to myself, then I would go tend to her again. She was in-consolable.

I started having panic attacks from the constant crying. Anyone who’s had a panic attack knows it feels like a heart attack in your chest and you can’t catch your breath. I was having these randomly throughout the day too. It would knock me to my knees and I couldn’t get up. That is when I decided to seek help. It was the best thing I did for myself and for my daughter. My husband, bless his heart, was so supportive through it all (thank you husband). I got a part-time job to get myself out of the house and away for a bit. I started going on walks with our dog by myself to have that moment of clarity. This is what worked for me, but it may not for you. I will discuss some strategies further in my article.

If you have suffered from postpartum depression before please feel free to share your story below. This will help other moms as well.

How Do I Know I don’t Just Have the “Baby Blues?”

baby blues vs postpartum
Photo Credit Kristen, The Healing Group, 2014

That is an excellent point! Baby blues are completely different than postpartum depression. It is so normal to feel weepy, tired, and exhausted after having a baby. The first few months are so hard, especially for first time moms (there is nothing wrong with first time moms either). You should have an increase in appetite and start molding in to that motherly role after a few weeks. You also will have good sleep when you do sleep. It’s normal to have worries throughout your thoughts and throughout your day (Bennett, S., 2016). Don’t worry, worrying about your child if you’re doing well makes you already a better parent than those that don’t.

Below is a chart to help guide your thoughts on whether or not you think you might have some issues with postpartum depression vs baby blues. Please keep in mind this is a guide, and not purposed with actual diagnosing your symptoms online. As always talk to your doctor if you think you might have postpartum depression.

postpartum vs baby blues vs psychosis
Photo Credit thesecrettogivingbirth.com, Unknown

Symptoms and Signs of Postpartum Depression

disinterest
Photo Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017

Let’s talk about symptoms and signs of postpartum depression. You may be reading this wondering if you have it. If you have just given birth and feel symptoms of hopelessness, sadness, exhaustion with sadness, and having a hard time coping with daily life you might have postpartum depression (National Institute of Mental Health, 2018). You could also be feeling overwhelmed, feeling anxious, crying a lot more than normal, over sleeping, or having disinterest. Make sure you do not confuse these with baby blues. If it is baby blues you should start feeling better in a couple weeks after giving birth.

crying in bed
Photo Credit drawingofpencil.com

For me the disinterest is what gave it away that there was a problem. My daughter would cry, and sometimes I literally did not care. I didn’t have that motherly instinct to help her. I would just lay there in bed crying. I knew at that moment it was time to do something to help myself and our child.

Please seek help right away if you are unable to help your baby because of your depression. This is a serious condition.

Please look over this chart and see if you have a significant majority of these signs:

signs of postpartum
Photo Credit Binkgirl, Steemit, 2017

How Does Someone Get Postpartum Depression?

I’m glad you asked. A lot of people are actually unaware of what it is and how someone “gets it”. It is not a disease, or a virus. It is nothing along those lines. It’s not even “regular” depression. They are both clinically different forms of depression. Yes, they share a lot of common symptoms, but they are different.

Clinical Depression Causes

Well, first and foremost clinical depression is not caused by just having a baby. Did you know that depression is hereditary (Meaney, M., 2015)? Let me also clarify this. You can develop depression from other ways. It doesn’t have to just be hereditary (ie. bullying, anxiety, down in life, etc).

Many people suggest depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is only half true. “To be sure, chemicals are involved in this process, but it is not a simple matter of one chemical being too low and another too high. Rather, many chemicals are involved, working both inside and outside nerve cells. There are millions, even billions, of chemical reactions that make up the dynamic system that is responsible for your mood, perceptions, and how you experience life” (Harvard Health Publishing, 2017). So you see, there are many factors influencing depression.

Postpartum Depression Causes

causes postpartum
Photo Credit Lifestyle, LinkedIn, 2016

“There’s no single cause of postpartum depression, but physical and emotional issues may play a role.

  • Physical changes. After childbirth, a dramatic drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in your body may contribute to postpartum depression. Other hormones produced by your thyroid gland also may drop sharply — which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and depressed.
  • Emotional issues. When you’re sleep deprived and overwhelmed, you may have trouble handling even minor problems. You may be anxious about your ability to care for a newborn. You may feel less attractive, struggle with your sense of identity or feel that you’ve lost control over your life. Any of these issues can contribute to postpartum depression” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018).

Okay I Think I Have Postpartum Depression. What Do I DO Next? How is my Doctor Going to Treat it?

 The first thing you should do if you suspect you have postpartum depression is contact your doctor’s office. Make an appointment. Make sure you let the nurse on the phone know what is going on so you can get in faster to help relieve your symptoms. This will help you and help your child.

Your doctor is going to ask you a series of questions. More than likely you will need to fill out a questionnaire to give the doctor more information. They may even order blood tests to make sure there isn’t another hormonal imbalance contributing to your symptoms.

Some things they will suggest are either taking medications (antidepressants), or talking to a psychologist/psychiatrist. This depends on if you want medications. I was able to talk to a psychologist and that helped tremendously. If you are uncomfortable about taking medications, like I was, I would start with a psychologist and go from there. They may recommend medication though.

Just remember to talk to your doctor if you even suspect you might have postpartum depression. It might be baby blues, or it might be more serious. Do not feel shameful if you experience any of the symptoms. This is a huge issue that needs to be discussed to help others.

As always please share your story below to help other moms and parents.

Resources:

American Psychology Association. (2018). Postpartum Depression: What is Postpartum Depression and Anxiety? Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pi/women/resources/reports/postpartum-depression.aspx

Dictionary.com. (2018). Postpartum Depression. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-ab&q=Dictionary#dobs=postpartum%20depression

National Institute of Mental Health. (2018). Postpartum Depression Facts. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/postpartum-depression-facts/index.shtml

Bennett, Shoshana, American Pregnancy.org. (2016). Do I Have the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression? Retrieved from http://americanpregnancy.org/first-year-of-life/baby-blues-or-postpartum-depression/

Meaney, Michael, Psychology Today. (2015) Is Depression Hereditary? Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hope-through-research/201509/is-depression-hereditary

Harvard Health Publishing. (2017). What Causes Depression? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Postpartum depression. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617

 

FVL: What is it? And Why is The Medical Mama Writing About it?

Photo Credit factorv.org

I would like to introduce you to my biggest nightmare-Factor Five Leiden, or FVL. “What is it?” you are probably asking. I’ll tell you, then I’ll tell you why this has impacted myself and my family so much.

So…What is Factor Five Leiden (FVL)? “Factor V Leiden is a mutation of one of the clotting factors in the blood called factor V. This mutation can increase your chance of developing abnormal blood clots (thrombophilia), usually in your veins” (Mayo Clinic Staff., 2015). It is an inherited gene. I happened to inherit it from my dad and his side of the family.

The Clotting Process

clotting process
Photo Credit World Federation of Hemophilia, http://www.wfh.org. (2014).

When you are injured, or have surgery, you have special proteins that work together to heal the blood vessels in your body. These proteins are your clotting factors. You also have platelets that send signals to other cells to come and clot together to repair this injury. This is called a platelet plug. After that you have coagulation factors (labeled by Roman numerals, like Factor V) that come and help with the clot. Note the image located to the left side of this section.

When you have a coagulation disorder, or blood clot disorder, this is when things get complicated.

How FVL Affects Clotting

When our bodies need to clot we have something called activated protein C (APC). This initially tells the blood clot to not grow too large enough for complications (i.e. deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, etc). This directly tells the fibrin (clotting factors mentioned above) to not grow and get out of control. When someone has FVL it is a gene mutation in which is can not help but grow too large to the point of blood clots in the body that become harmful (World Federation of Hemophilia., 2014).

How Has This Impacted My Life?

I am not perfect (hard to believe I know. Haha). I have Factor Five Leiden. I have this horrible gene mutation that affects my daily life. If I get injured in any way I am at risk for developing blood clots or hematomas. When you are injured the clotting process is still the same (even in organs). Both of my pregnancies I have had to be on blood thinners (self injections twice a day for 12 months). When you become pregnant your body produces more blood for the baby. More blood=more blood flow. Your heart and blood vessels have to work twice as hard to pump this blood throughout the body. This increases your risks of clotting. Clots will undeniably kill your unborn baby. It’s a fact, not a “maybe”. When I have surgeries (like my two c-sections) I increased my risks for clotting. Patients can throw a clot and die from surgeries if they have FVL.

dad and elexys
Photo Credit The Medical Mama, themedicalmama.wordpress.com. (2012).

Not only do I have FVL, but my father and sister have it as well. This puts both my daughters at risk for it as well. My father almost died from it. We were not aware it “ran” in our family. He fell on ice one day and it went untreated by several doctors (Don’t get me started on that.). He had a deep vein thrombosis in his right leg. The clot broke off and traveled to his lungs leaving him with several pulmonary embolisms. The clots from there then traveled to his heart. He had about 5-7 clots in his heart. This left his heart damaged in some areas permanently. This is something that can not be reversed when damage has been done. He almost died sitting in an ER room waiting for doctors to figure out how the heck it got this far to a life or death situation. With the grace of God and God’s love my father is alive today.

There are two types of gene mutations: heterozygote and homozygote. I have the heterozygote gene mutation. I have the heterozygote gene mutation. This means if a parent with one copy and a parent with no copies has a baby that baby will have a 50% chance of carrying the FVL gene. That is 1 in 2 babies. I have 2 children and that fact just hit me hard in the face…like a pile of bricks. That means AT LEAST one of my beautiful daughters is carrying the gene (maybe both).

FVL and Pregnancy

carrying high or low
Photo Credit Emily Sadler, todaysparent.com. (2017)

As I mentioned above pregnancy increases your risks for blood clots. When you become pregnant your body produces more blood for the baby. More blood=more blood flow. Your heart and blood vessels have to work twice as hard to pump this blood throughout the body. This increases your risks of clotting. Again, clots will undeniably kill your unborn baby. It’s a fact, not a “maybe”.

“The factor V Leiden mutation is associated with a slightly increased risk of pregnancy loss (miscarriage). Women with this mutation are two to three times more likely to have multiple (recurrent) miscarriages or a pregnancy loss during the second or third trimester. Some research suggests that the factor V Leiden mutation may also increase the risk of other complications during pregnancy, including pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (preeclampsia), slow fetal growth, and early separation of the placenta from the uterine wall (placental abruption). However, the association between the factor V Leiden mutation and these complications has not been confirmed. Most women with factor V Leiden thrombophilia have normal pregnancies” (Genetics Home Reference., 2010).

FVL and Surgery

When you have an injury your blood vessels will dilate to keep blood inside your body. This will slow down the rate of blood flow through the blood vessels. This increases the risk of blood clots.

“Injury to your veins or surgery can slow blood flow, increasing the risk of blood clots. General anesthetics used during surgery can dilate your veins, which can increase the risk of blood pooling and then clotting” (Mayo Clinic Staff., 2015).

If you think you have a blood clotting disorder please talk to your doctor right away!

 

 

Resources:

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2015). Factor V Leiden. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/factor-v-leiden/symptoms-causes/syc-20372423

World Federation of Hemophilia. (2014). The Clotting Process. Retrieved from https://www.wfh.org/en/page.aspx?pid=635

Dictionary.com. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.dictionary.com/

Genetics Home References. (2010). Factor V Leiden Thromophilia. Retrieved from https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/factor-v-leiden-thrombophilia#resources

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Factor V Leiden. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/factor-v-leiden/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372428