Q&A with Yolandi Rademeyer

Prenatal Dietitian

We sat down with Yolandi Rademeyer who recently joined our team as our Prenatal Dietitian and we asked her to explain why food, nutraceuticals (medical grade nutrients / supplements) and hormonal health are vital for women’s overall health and fertility.  Nutrition is not her only area of expertise; Yolandi is a Fertility Counselor as well as Birth Doula. Yolandi also runs regular workshops online offering advice and support, from preconception to postpartum.

So, what exactly is your practice about?

My practice focuses on women’s health. We look for the root causes (functional medicine) of imbalances by examining symptoms and functional lab tests. Since the menstrual cycle is seen as the fifth vital sign, I focus a lot on the root causes of menstrual issues. By using body basal temperature (BBT) as a tool to gage hormonal health, I know what to test and where to bring in extra support for hormonal health, by using food as medicine; as well as nutraceuticals (medical grade nutrients/ supplements).

Why is BBT so important when it comes to fertility?

Basal body temperature (also called natural fertility awareness) is done by measuring body temperature every morning at the same time, immediately after waking up, and plotting the information on a graph. The first part of our cycle is where oestrogen is the highest (follicular phase). This will be seen as a lower temperature pattern on the graph.

As soon as ovulation has occurred, temperatures spikes and remains high (luteal phase), through the rest of the cycle. This is due to progesterone being secreted by the corpus luteum. As soon as our cycles (bleeding) starts, our temperature falls back to follicular temperatures.

We are also able to see on the graph if conception has occurred. This will be seen if temperatures don’t drop after 18 days of being raised, or temperatures could even go to a higher level after conception.

So once we can plot our temperatures and look at it on a graph, it’s easier to see which hormones are at play and where the imbalance is.

  • We may not be ovulating (egg may not be released)
  • We may see that the luteal phase is not long enough for conception to take place
  • We may see a lack of oestrogen (needed to build the uterine lining for implantation), oestrogen dominance or progesterone (needed for implantation & maintaining the implantation) deficiency
  • We may see that we are conceiving but miscarrying very early

With regards to achieving conception as naturally as possible, I think this method has much less of a “stress” element to it instead of trying to find the exact window with ovulation sticks, and dealing with the confusion that comes with that.

The myth with ovulation is that it happens mid-cycle. But this is not true. It happens when it happens, and could be postponed by many environmental factors. Bleeding however, happens 12-16 days AFTER ovulation. So if one can see exactly if they have ovulated or where they ovulated, it gives us a much better idea of what to expect; instead of doing a bunch of pregnancy tests as soon as one thinks they may be late in a cycle.

What lab testing do you do and why are these important to gage fertility?

There are many functional lab tests to be done that helps us pinpoint the root causes of imbalance. One of the tests available is called the DUTCH test, where we can have a comprehensive look at the sex hormones as well as adrenal hormones that are stress related.

Other than this, it depends from patient to patient what we find and where we think the imbalance may be. If we believe gut health to be the root cause, there are stool tests that can be done. Or, if we are struggling with adrenal fatigue which leads to hormonal imbalance, we have cortisol home kits to test this.

I focus a lot on the root causes of inflammation, so we always work to find the correct test that shows us how to support the body and decrease inflammation.

How do micronutrient panel deficiencies affect women’s health/fertility?

Every pathway in our bodies requires specific nutrients to successfully occur. So often, we can trace a hormonal or detoxification pathway that’s out of sync, back to the imbalanced nutrients.

Functional medicine is concerned with micronutrient levels because that may very well be the root of the issues.

One example of this is Vitamin D levels in the body. Vitamin D acts very much like a hormone in many pathways and if we can see a deficiency, we know how to supplement correctly.

Another example is thyroid health. Thyroid health plays a huge role in fertility and the thyroid is so much more complex than people realise; every single step of the thyroid is dependant on a micronutrient that’s in play. The thyroid gland combines tyrosine and iodine to make thyroid hormones.

Selenium and zinc plays vital roles in converting inactive thyroid to active usable thyroid hormone.  Iron/ transferrin is needed for the active thyroid hormone to be transferred into the cell (the only place where it can do its job). So if one of those nutrients are off for some reason, it gives us a lead as to where to search for further answers. Why are there deficiencies or excess? There are so many reasons of micronutrient imbalances, all of which play major roles in hormonal health.

What are the root causes of inflammation? And, how do we go about healing the gut?

With fertility, our aim is for both women and men to be at optimal health. There is no “special condition” that provides natural fertility. One major condition that stands between us and “optimal health” these days, is lower grade inflammation; an underlying cause of endometriosis, PCOS, cysts, menstrual pain for example.

By addressing inflammation, we support the body to heal – something it naturally is programmed to do, if supported and with ample resources (nutrients/sleep/detoxification pathways/lower stress hormones).

Stress hormones are some of the most prominent causes of lower grade inflammation (which is continuous ongoing inflammatory responses circulating within the bloodstream).

Poor gut health is a major factor that chronically puts stress on the body and causes the release of stress hormones, which in turn causes inflammation and hormonal shifts. This can become a vicious cycle between stress hormones and decreased gut health, such as IBS and anxiety.

I therefore often address gut health as a first step protocol to lower inflammation, and use this as a foundation to address hormonal imbalances.

How long are your workshops and are they virtual?

I have different workshops, some are a couple of hours such as my webinars on “Thyroid Health” or “Healing Menstrual Pain”. Some, like my “Virtual Gut Healing” workshop or “Learning how to use BBT” online, are anything from 5 weeks to 3 months.

How can our patients sign up?

My practice is virtual. Everything is done online if I am not able to see you in person.

To sign up to my practice, the following link can be used and sign up here with the code 061e9a 

To find out about Yolandi’s future workshops / webinars/ virtual programs, follow her on Facebook

Love HART x

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