If you’ve been taking birth control and feel bloated after eating, or have gained weight that is difficult to drop, or have been set back by sports-related injuries that happened years ago, perhaps this case study on the unintended consequences of birth control on women’s health is for you.
Meet Stephanie — a 24-year-old professional who came to see me with a concern about her digestion. Well, it turned out to be more than that, and as you’ll see, very much related to her use of birth control pills.
Stephanie’s most pressing concern was related to her constant bloating after eating, along with constipation. During her initial consultation, she also told me that while playing sports in high school she suffered a terrible ankle injury that required surgery and months of bed rest. During this time, this 5-foot, 4-inch young woman went from weighing 120 pounds to 183 pounds.
Stephanie’s pediatrician recommended a gluten-free diet to assist her with digestion problems and weight loss. As a result of following her initial doctor’s advice, she did manage to lose a little more than 20 pounds, but still wasn’t comfortable at 162 pounds.
So far, Stephanie’s scenario seemed pretty straightforward to me. This young woman, concerned about her weight, had experienced a setback due to a sports injury a decade earlier as a teenager. Since then, exercise and diet haven’t helped her lose weight, and now she’s stuck at 162 pounds.
More to the Story
One important lesson I’ve learned over the course of my 20-plus years in practice is that there’s usually more to the story leading up to a patient’s primary symptoms, and this was certainly the case with Stephanie. As we explored her medical history, including the information she provided on the functional medicine analysis form she completed prior to her initial consultation, I discovered some interesting and enlightening details: Continue reading…