PCOS, Endometriosis and Uterine Fibroids
This blog covers 3 lesser know ‘period-related’ issues for women in detail. I have included links for charity support groups for all.
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome affects 1 in 10 women in the UK. 50% of women are undiagnosed. Having PCOS comes with a 3-fold risk of endometrial cancer.
70% of sufferers have hirsutism (unwanted facial or body hair)
75% are overweight
70% have insulin resistance
Sufferers have multiple cysts (small growths) just below the surface of the ovaries. They are not fluid-filled. They cannot get bigger, or burst. Not everyone has them and they are a symptom of the condition not the cause.
The main symptoms are: irregular periods, amenorrhea (no periods), infertility due to irregular or no ovulation, hirsutism (excessive thick dark hair on face, chest, back), weight gain, thinning hair, hair loss on the head, oily skin, and moderate to severe acne.
The endocrine system is definitely out of balance as testosterone and LH (luteinising hormone levels are raised, but progesterone and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) are low. Conventional treatment involves metformin to control blood sugar levels. Many women find the extra weight they have gained combined with the dark excess facial hair really affects the way they feel about their appearance. They may become depressed, withdrawn or feel embarrassed about their appearance. The kidney energy in Chinese medicine controls the quality of hair on our head and so in analyzing a case I would be looking to support this.
Charity support: https://www.verity-pcos.org.uk/
1 in 10 women in the UK suffer from endometriosis. The average time to be diagnosed is 8yrs. 1.8 million women suffer in the UK which is roughly the same number of women who suffer with diabetes link to blog.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition where womb cells are found outside of the womb, but still react to the monthly oestrogen and progesterone hormonal control. Depending on where this tissue is located, the symptoms can be varied but commonly are chronic pain, painful heavy periods, painful bowel movements, pelvic pain, painful bladder symptoms which may look like a UTI, fatigue, depression, infertility and pain during sex.
Conventional medicine choices for treatment are limited to pain relief, starting the contraceptive pill, surgical removal of the endometriosis tissue (which often grows back) or even a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the womb). Much needs to be done to raise awareness of this painful debilitating condition. Charity for support: www.endometriosis-uk.org
Women are often misdiagnosed or not believed by GPs and other health professionals when they present with endometriosis symptoms. Often the women has to push for ultrasounds and other tests herself as well as finding support or information online.
Here are my tips for endometriosis:
1. Trust yourself and your body.
If you feel something is not right, you know your body best! Keep pushing and being assertive in requesting tests and answers until you are satisfied. This can take time but many women suffer for years in silence or just assuming that painful, heavy periods are normal.
2. Consider avoiding dairy and meat
Dairy, meat and poultry can all have high levels of oestrogen due the way the animal was raised. Switching to organic meat and dairy or even plant-based alternatives can help with symptoms.
3. Uterine fibroids
1 in 3 women aged 30-50 will develop uterine fibroids. These are non-cancerous growths that grow in or around the womb (uterus). They are made from muscle and fibrous tissue. Black ethnicity women have 2-fold higher risk for developing fibroids. Women who are overweight are also have a higher risk whilst mothers have a lower risk.
Symptoms can include heavy painful periods, lower back pain, abdominal pain, frequently urinating, constipation, infertility, pain or discomfort during sex, anaemia, bleeding between periods, miscarriages, and longer periods.
Conventional medical treatment options are pain relief, synthetic hormones such as the contraceptive pill or surgery.
Charity support: https://www.fibroid.network/
Supplementation for all 3 conditions.
These supplements can help: Acidophilus, essential fatty acids like omega-3, kelp, iron tablets such as Floradix, natural beta-carotene (not for diabetics), zinc, selenium, magnesium, Vit B complex, Vit C, Vit D and Vit E.
Of course, homeopathy can help with not only the symptoms of these conditions but start to work on addressing the root cause too. Email me to get started.