What is the link between polycystic ovaries and hormonal imbalance?
Polycystic ovaries occur when numerous growths/cysts develop on the ovaries. This iscommonly associated with a hormonal imbalance such as estrogen dominance and/oran excess of male hormones. In many cases, these cysts are benign and can shrink oreven disappear when the hormone imbalance is corrected. The ovaries should beremoved if the cysts are cancerous or causing pain and do not respond to treatment.
What is the link between uterine fibroids and hormonal imbalance?
Estrogen dominance, an imbalance caused by excess estrogen in the relative absenceof progesterone, can cause the uterine lining to grow undetected. This can lead to thegrowth of tough, fibrous, non-cancerous lumps called fibroids. While the average fibroidis an undetectable lump in the wall of the uterus, about the size of a hen’s egg, larger fibroids often cause irregular bleeding and heavy or painful periods. Fibroids are themost common physical reason for excessive bleeding during menstruation.
Fibroids can grow dramatically during perimenopause when they are stimulated byhormonal imbalances and fluctuations in the body. Large fibroids secrete estradiol, themost potent form of estrogen, leading to estrogen dominance. Monitoring your estrogenlevels through routine hormone testing and taking appropriate steps to maintain a properbalance of estrogen to progesterone is especially important. Please note: recentinformation cautions against the use of progesterone for the treatment of larger fibroids.With all fibroids, hormone supplementation should be kept as low as possible.
What is the link between hormonal imbalance and breast cancer?
There are many factors associated with hormonal imbalance and increased risk ofbreast cancer including:
- 1.Declining levels of progesterone with age and/or with removal of the ovaries inhysterectomy
- 2.Environmental, “xeno”-hormones in the form of pollutants and pesticides
- 3.Oral contraceptives
- 4.Synthetic hormone replacement therapy
These factors can contribute to an excess of estrogen in the body known as “estrogendominance.” Since estrogen stimulates cell growth, a predominance of it, especially inthe absence of adequate levels of progesterone (common in the menopausal years withthe waning of ovulation), presents an increased risk of cancer, particularly in the breast.