Fibroids in the uterus, and cysts on the ovaries are benign (not cancerous) growths, which can cause no symptoms, mild or severe symptoms of pain, bloating and/or bleeding. Both uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts affect 75% of women. Fibroids and can range in number and size from a single growth to multiple growths, from small to large. The ovaries can have single or multiple cysts, small or large. The type of cyst that is more complicated to treat is PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome. Isn’t it interesting how similar they are? The main differences are the location and texture. Cysts are fluid filled whereas fibroids are dense tissue. Both are diagnosed through Pelvic Ultrasound. Here are some differences between the two.
You can prevent and treat both Uterine Fibroids and Ovarian Cysts simply by understanding the cause (discussed below). Prevention is always easier. If either one has gotten to the point that reversing through lifestyle changes is unsuccessful, conventional treatment may be necessary. Conventional treatment for fibroids and cysts involve pain medication and/or hormonal suppression with Birth Control Pills. Both fibroids and cysts can require surgery. Fibroids can be treated by reducing blood supply to fibroid (embolization), myomectomy (removing fibroid), hysterectomy (removing uterus) or endometrial ablation – with heat or cold to stabilize the uterine lining.
The cause of both fibroids and ovarian cysts are similar – Estrogen Dominance and Liver overload.
Symptoms of Uterine fibroids:
- Pressure on the bladder/rectum
- Lower abdominal and/or lower back pain
- Constipation/rectal pressure
- Uterine cramping from mild to severe
- Bleeding that can be frequent or infrequent, heavy or light, with or without cramping
Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts:
- Pressure with ovulation
- Sharp pain in pelvic cavity if large
The main concerns with uterine fibroids are:
- Anemia due to heavy bleeding.
- Discomfort due to size.
- Challenges with fertility.
The main concerns with ovarian cysts are:
- Challenges with fertility
Estrogen dominance means that estrogen is high and progesterone is low. It is caused by many things, mainly by xenoestrogens. These are xeno (alien, strange) hormones. They imitate estrogen. They are found widely in PCB’s, BPA’s and Phthalates. Most specialists that study xenoestrogens regard them as serious environmental hazards that have hormonal disruptive effects on both humans. PCB – (polychlorinated biphenyl) is an organochloride pollutant. These are man-made chemicals used widely in electrical equipment (capacitors and transformers) until they were banned in 1979 due to toxic human exposures. Although declining, once in the environment, PCBs tend to be persistent in the environment. We have all been exposed to them through breathing, eating, drinking and skin contact.
These toxins store in fat tissue and are difficult to eliminate.
- BPA – Bisphenol A, is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. They are found in food and beverage containers, both plastic and metal products (as they have linings that contain BPA). Steel cans/bottles do not contain BPA. The recycling # 7 on plastic bottles contains BPA – unless it says “BPA free on it,” then the #7 is fine.
- Phthalates – Phthalates, called “plasticizers,” are a group of industrial chemicals used to make plastics more flexible. Phthalates are everywhere – in processed foods, plastic objects like shower curtains and toys, adhesives, detergents, shampoo and many more. Hidden phthalates may be abbreviated as seen below. For more detailed information on environmental toxins please visit www.thedailygreen.com.
- Paraben is a chemical used as a preservative in cosmetics and food. They can mimic estrogens as well and have been found in breast tumors and linked to breast cancer. Paraben can be avoided by reading labels. Any word that has “paraben” in it is a paraben. Two other ways to write parabens are Hydroxybenzoic acid and hydroxybenzoate.
Treating Estrogen Dominance
Excess estrogen in one of the main culprits in hormonal imbalance, which then can cause fibroid tissue in the uterus and disordered ovulation or ovarian cysts. One of the first things you can do to prevent and start reversing these hormonal imbalances is to stop exposing yourself to xenohormones.
Five steps to avoiding xenoestrogens:
- Avoid plastic bottles as much as possible – never freeze, warm or reuse disposable water bottles.
- If you use the microwave, never use plastic. Best is to not use the microwave.
- If you eat meat or use dairy, use from grass-fed, free-range farms.
- Use natural detergents
- Avoid paraben in skin care products.The best supplement that helps eliminate xenoestrogens from the body is DIM. Dr. Ramsey’s brand is called Detox II. Another way to balance estrogen levels is by increasing progesterone levels. To me, the best way to do this is to take Bio-Identical Progesterone. This is done individually with each patient as each patient has different needs.
Lastly, unload the liver. This is done by:
- Eating as close to nature as possible
- Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily.
- Make sure you are having at the minimum, one bowel movement daily.
- Use castor oil massaged over liver morning and night to enhance the liver’s functioning.
- Take 1-2 scoops of detox powder daily. Some of Dr. Ramsey’s favorites are Core Restore, Complete Detoxification and Complete Meal.
I encourage you all to use the 5 steps of avoiding xenobiotics and the 5 steps towards helping your liver become more efficient.