Normally in the female reproductive system, the uterine lining responds to hormones during the menstrual cycle in order to prepare for a potential pregnancy. This involves the shedding off and bleeding more commonly known as the “period.” Some other areas of the body have growth responses to these hormones too, except these other areas lack the ability to be expunged from the body, resulting in:
- Internal Bleeding
- Degeneration of Blood
- Tissue Shedding
- Inflammation of Surrounding Areas
- Scar Tissue Formation.
“Female pain (“womanly pain”) is not normal.” This statement also encompasses painful sex and painful menstruation – NOT NORMAL. Pain has been found to affect women more so—Fibromyalgia: 9x, Migraines: 3x, Athritis, and Temporomandibular disorders—than men as noted by a National Institutes of Health study. Imagine a world where your doctor, your neighbor, and even your family and close friends viewed your pain as womanly and below actual pain standards or as just plain normal. Many women live in this world and many women are treated in a way that only hides their pain, rather than fixing it.
“Immunotherapy treatment approach, a change in diet, and exercise – all considered alternative – are often the most effective in relieving pain.”
“…it’s fair to say that no other approach to endo (term commonly used for endometriosis) treatment has given as consistent and long-term positive results as has treatment for Candida albicans allergy/infection and its related problems.” Candida has been found to bind with estrogen, progesterone, and corticosterone and can even make us allergic to our very own hormones by creating antibodies against them.
One study found that women with endo, as well as their families, were more prone to have allergies and it is believed that one in every five to six have allergies. These numbers bring eery insight into the madness created by the Industrial Revolution, a “progression” that unlinked the bond between rarity and allergy. Mary Lou believes it is vital to not downplay our allergies, especially with links such as Candida causing:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
HOW TO AVOID CANDIDA
- Take allergies seriously.
- Use antibiotics only when needed and do not overuse.
- Antibiotics can wipe out the good bacteria which keep it in check, giving rise to super-infections (resistance).
- Antibiotics are also known to be found in animal products (meat).
- Birth control can exacerbate it.
- NSAIDS can lead to inflammation and a leaky gut.
- Balance essential fatty acids.
- Precursors to prostaglandins (moderate inflammation).
- “Slow down production of harmful prostaglandins by reducing the presence of the essential fatty acid precursor arachadonic acid, which is found in abundance in dairy products and meat.”
- Avoid magnesium deficiency.
- Supplement healthy bacteria.
- Avoid use of chemicals, perfumed paper, deodorant soaps and sprays, and other feminine hygiene products.
- Avoid chlorinated pools and spermicides which can cause vaginitis.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing.
- Keeps the vagina moist and thus promotes Candida growth.
“But the blessing of the anti-Candida diet is the complete loss of a ‘sweet tooth’.” Mary Lou writes about studies that show how sugar has been shown (200x more) to promote Candida growth. Mold sensitivities can even be triggered by dried fruits, cheese, and frozen fruit juices and this is why she recommends more veggies, whole grains, and the avoidance of sugar and yeast. Unfortunately, she falls victim to the mentality that a little here and a littler there will not hurt and this is why she believes you do not have to give these triggers up forever. My opinion, a poison is a poison forever.
Food is estimated to be the third best treatment for endo, preceded by Candida/immunotherapy and exercise. Prostaglandins, mentioned just above, are an extremely important concept to understand and this book offers some very intriguing information on this topic. Linoleic and Linolenic acid are the two mentioned and described. Would it shock you to know that the typical American diet is high in the ‘bad’ prostaglandin (Linoleic acid)?
Linolenic acid, the good one, has been shown to:
- Prevent inflammation
- Prevent clotting
- Dilate vessels
- Slow cholesterol
- Remove fluid from the body
- Improve nerve function
- Aid in T-cell function (immunity)
As for linoleic acid:
- Causes inflammation
- Promotes platelet aggregation (clotting)
- Induces the kidneys to retain salt (hypertension)
The ‘bad’ prostaglandin can be converted to the good prostaglandin, but many things can impede this process:
- High alcohol intake
- High cholesterol
- Stress hormones
- Low vitamin and mineral levels
- Elevated trans fatty acids
Meat and dairy are densely packed with these ‘bad’ prostaglandins and thus interfere with essential fatty acids. Linolenic acid can be found in:
- Human milk
- Fish oil
Intake of these foods bypasses the conversion process of the ‘bad’ one.
One study showed that a low-fat vegetarian diet was associated with reduced pain and intensity during the period and another found an association between menstrual pain and low intake of linolenic acid (good).
“One possible approach to lowering estrogen levels might be to try lowering body fat content in general, since fat cells are a source of estrogen in the body, and obese women have been found to have higher estrogen levels than lean women.” About a third of estrogen within a woman’s circulation during her premenopausal years is due to the conversion of androgens (hormone) into estrogen by fat cells. That is a very large percentage, but it is this conversion process that accounts for the majority of the estrogen in the circulation during menopause.
Estradiol is believed to be the most active form of estrogen and vitamin B6 has been shown to aid in converting it to a less potent form. Estriol is the less potent form which does not cause tissue proliferation. You can successfully deplete your body of vitamin B6 by consuming:
- White bread & other refined carbs
- And by being stressed
Yes, you can control your estrogen levels by other means, rather than through medication or even surgical procedures. A vegetarian diet has been shown to be associated with decreased estrogen levels in women, both before and after menopause. It was discovered that a diet rich in fiber was able to bind the fiber with the estrogen and excrete it via feces. Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, etc…) have all been shown to help lower estrogen levels.
Phytoestrogens, or “weak naturally occurring estrogens” found commonly in soy and flaxseed (1/100,000 as strong as estradiol), have varied results from the studies performed thus far. Some link it to having the ability to block the receptor site from the more potent estrogen and others link it to infertility. From the reading and information I have delved into thus far, I would definitely recommend avoiding the unnatural and the non-organic sources of these naturally occurring estrogens.
VITAMINS & MINERALS
Vitamins and minerals are severely affected by our lifestyle decisions and this book offers a wealth of information about how our daily choices affect us, both in the short and long term. “Iron is so potentially dangerous that I recommend blood testing before prescribing it for anyone.” Those are the words of Elmer Cranton, M.D (President of the American College of Advancement in Medicine). In short, those nutritional facts found on most labels, are vitally important. Vitally important in that we need those building blocks of food to survive and also in that we need to avoid overuse through vitamin supplementation and to decrease and or eliminate our intake of fortified foods.
John R. Mathias M.D. believes that women with endo experience a seizure-like activity of the fallopian tubes and GI tract due to the over-secretion of insulin. This excess release is believed to lead to excessive bad prostaglandins. John recommends reducing high glycemic foods such as potatoes, bread, corn, pasta, etc… Increasing (some) fruit and veggies (especially green) is advised.
“If we design a compound to be toxic to an insect cell, why does it surprise us when we find out that the same compound is toxic to human cells?”
Environmental toxins have the ability to act like hormones and disrupt the natural order of things… and cause endo in animals. Human studies would be unethical, but they are performed anyway? These chemicals can be released into our environments and flooded into our food sources with ease and studies only provide the after effects in the long run. Avoid exposure and avoid becoming part of the unethical non-study.
PVC & DEHP
I read something in this book that absolutely irked me and nudged me further away from any belief in our healthcare system. You know those IV bags, IV lines, and all of those flexible and soft plastics found in hospitals? PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is the chemical responsible for that lovable texture and for an endless list of harmful effects due to its ability to run off and leach from these soft plastics into that medicine that has been draining into you all day.
In 2002, the FDA recognized that “Precautions should be taken to limit the exposure to the developing male to DEHP.” DEHP is the toxic additive found in PVC that leaches at the whims of your doctor’s orders. The FDA also recommends that non PVC/DEHP products be used in those at high risk (male newborns/pregnancy and puberty).
Lab studies (animals of course) show damage to:
- …but the FDA only warns about the effects on the male reproductive system and sperm.
More exposure means more problems and this greatly affects the chronically ill and other longterm patients. An even worse and more dire scenario unfolds when these materials are burned, forming dioxins which are touted as the most dangerous chemicals known to man. I believe Mary Lou mentioned in the book about how the FDA’s report on dioxin is about two to three thousand pages in length, all concerning its harmful effects on the human body.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that medical waste is the third largest source of dioxin emissions into the air. Wind then carries these harmful chemicals to the grounds we walk, the waters we drink, and foods we eat (animals, fish, dairy, produce, and etc…). One study showed that 79% of monkeys exposed to dioxin developed endo, with the severity being directly proportional to amount of exposure. As written by Mary Lou, we need to avoid contaminated foods by opting for organically grown foods found lower on the food chain.
PERFUMES & FRAGRANCES
I always thought those who smelled “too good” or “too nice” were just too heavily doused in perfume or cologne. They smell alright, sometimes, but have you ever walked into a Bath and Body Works? Your olfactory center is overloaded with the stimulating smells bombarding your nostrils. The information I gathered from reading this section is absolutely crippling to the idea of using these products. It makes me wonder if studies will ever exist to see how those working in such stores fare in the long run, especially those working for entire shifts.
The FDA’s standpoint on these concoctions of natural oils, aroma chemicals, and solvents in alcohol bases: “Appears to be causing adverse reactions in an increasing number of individuals.”
Tolane, a chemical found in most fragrances according to a 1991 report by the Environmental Protection Agency, is linked to headaches, nausea, and narcosis. Musk AETT (used from 1955-76) was utilized as both a fragrance and a masking fragrance (unscented products). This chemical was withdrawn not because of its seemingly amazing abilities, but rather its hidden ability to cause permanent brain damage (studies noted other chemicals acted similarly). Phthalates, which one study found in 100% of fragrances and 72% of all cosmetics tested, cause birth defects.
REGULATION OF THE FRAGRANCE & COSMETIC INDUSTRY
“Fragrance and cosmetic industry is the least regulated industry,” -Dr. John Bailey of the FDA. “Fragrance can contain up to 600 ingredients.” A 1989 National Institutes of Occupational Safety study found that 884 out of the 2,983 chemicals used in the fragrance industry, were toxic and heavily linked to:
- Birth defects
- Central nervous system disorders
- Skin and eye irritations
- Allergic reactions
- Chemical sensitivities.
This information is absolutely astonishing when you think about how many people load these thousands of chemicals onto their bodies, often more than once each day. Whether we inhale them, absorb them through our skin, or lick that tasty strawberry off our lips, these chemicals always find a way into our bodies. We have become the self-induced vectors of future diseases and disorders.
DISEASES & DISORDERS WITH ENDO
“The constant production of antibodies against self tissue can lead to chronic inflammation and all the ‘fun’ that goes with it.” Those with endo have been found to be more sensitive to allergies and have weakened natural killer cells (“exhibit decreased cytotoxicity”). The body’s immune system is unable to stop the endometrial growths appropriately and the individual is left with the inability to prevent an attack against themselves. A compromised immune system opens the door to many possibilities, none of which we want.
Being unable to reproduce or make new life can become the harsh reality for many. This inability affects about one third of those with endo, and interestingly, endo affects about one third of those afflicted with infertility. Two treatment options often promoted to fix this problem: surgery and or fertility drugs. The results for surgery are conflicting and not completely reliable, hence the need for more studies. Menopausal symptoms can often still exist after surgical or natural menopause.”…like throwing gasoline on the fire.” That is how one patient’s doctor explained fertility drugs, due to their innate ability to promote endo.
Even mothers with poor performing thyroids have been dealt with more children with lower iodine levels and birth defects. Shockingly, thyroid dysfunction and these end results often exist even with mild or no symptoms. More shocking, but not really, PCBs and dioxin have been shown to decrease thyroid levels.
- Ability to metastasize
- Reduced natural killer cells
- Presence of oncogenes
- Loss of tumor suppression
- Defective apoptosis (programmed cell death)
- Hormonally affected
- Affected by lifestyle choices
…sounds like cancer, right? Sounds like cancer and endometriosis. These are some of the commonalities shared between these two malignancies.
“Most cancers are the result of genetic mutations that occur after we are born.” Few of these cancers are due to the inherited mutations (oncogenes). “Having an oncogene for a particular cancer does not mean getting that cancer is inevitable.” An adoptee study mentioned revealed that cancer correlated to the adopting family rather than the biological parents.
Cancers specifically linked to endo include:
- Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
Theories exist, just as breast cancer exists, that a weakened immunity and nutritional deficiencies can result from an intake of alcohol. Studies show that those who drink one or more drinks a day, can increase their cancer risk by as much as 50%. Two drinks a day has been shown to raise estrogen. It is important to mention that some studies (mentioned in book also) find that moderate consumption protects against heart disease. My belief, poison is poison, if you want wine, go eat some grapes.
Weed killers, most of them if not all, contain dioxin. Roundup, a herbicide owned by Monsanto, has been found to work well with most genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Some of these overly tampered organisms become intolerant though, and need the additional spanking (more herbicide, etc…) …thus becoming even more altered. Non-hodgkins Lymphoma has been linked to the advent of new chemicals that came about after WWII.
Have you ever gone for a “fake” tan at one of those tanning salons? Have you ever rationalized this experience for your need to get a base-tan prior to your exotic cruise coming up soon? Have you ever heard that the rays (UV-A) emitted by these machines have been linked to skin aging and non-melanoma skin cancer? Research also overly suggests that this is not an effective means of getting a base tan and this is why I urge you to seek beauty through health (natural aging) and avoid “faster” routes.
As for diets and cancer, unhealthy fats have the ability to absorb and produce estrogen. One study revealed that women with higher trans fatty acid levels had a 40% greater risk of developing breast cancer. The Healthy Iowa Women study (consisting of 35,156 women ages 55-69) linked protein and fat to cancer. A high fat and high protein diet increased the risk for non-hodgkins lymphoma and risk was deescalated with a greater consumption of fruits.
Some anticancer activity substances mentioned were:
- Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, etc…)
- Fish/Fish Oils
- Green Tea
In total, these are substances with the most exposure (not enough), in reality, healthy foods promote a healthy internal environment. Eat more of these and you will have more of these -> YEARS TO LIVE.
A recent news story brought to light the need-to-know information about how canned foods contain substances that made many people throw away their plastic bottles a few years back. We are in the year 2011 and quickly approaching 2012, a 1995 study discovered that estrogen (xenoestrogen) existed in cans coated with plastic inside. This book was published in 2003 and another study found the presence of BPA in the liquid of preserved veggies and the water of autoclaved (heated under high pressure for sterilization) cans. The news of yesterday should not become the news of today, followed by an epidemic of highly preventable conditions and diseases.
High-caloric intake has been associated with early puberty and total lifetime exposure to estrogen, but studies of lean verse obese vary. A longer exposure to anything toxic, including estrogen, synergizes over time and increases your odds of cancer and other various malfunctions of the body. The American Institute of Cancer offers these dietary guidelines:
- Eating right, remaining physically active, and maintaining a healthy weight can cut cancer by 30-40%.
- Diet with no smoking – 60-70%.
- A simple change of incorporating five servings of fruits and veggies into your daily intake – 20%.
- We can prevent 375,000 cases per year with a healthy diet!
SOME FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS
- Start young.
- Avoid alcohol consumption.
- Avoid dairy with Bovine Growth Hormone and IGF (Insulin-like Growth Factor)
- We cannot breakdown IGF due the milk protein casein—this is an extremely interesting and possible milk-killing factoid. The growth factor typically gets a lot of the deserved blame, but if it is the milk protein at the deck wheel…
- Baby formulas wreak their own havoc with poor nutrition: 51% linoleic acid (‘bad’ stuff) vs 7% linolenic acid (good stuff).
- Sleep in the dark.
- Melatonin, which regulates estrogen, can be adversely affected by light stimulation.
- Avoid the use of talc.
- Baby diapers have dioxin too.
- Filter showers to avoid the heated chlorine gases that are toxic.
- Eliminate pesticides and herbicides.
- Drink purified water from glass containers (don’t leak) and drink plenty of water which functions to hydrate and flush out toxins and wastes within the body.
- Breastfeeding reduces the amount of toxins within you, but understand that these toxins go to the baby.
- “Weight loss releases organochlorines stored in body fat, which travel into the blood and from there into breast milk.”
- Breast milk has also been shown to be protective against celiac disease.
- Limit your exposure to toxins because they will affect you and your children too.
- Breastfeeding is the way to go, but just as you can mess up every other function of your body with an unhealthy lifestyle, you can do great harm to your children with this natural source of milk.
- Limit sun and radiation exposure.
DIGESTIVE HEALTH & FOOD SENSITIVITIES
When the body’s environment and normal bacterial flora is up and running, studies show half as many allergy disorders exist compared to the control group (Lactobacillus given to non-control group). Mary Lou writes that we need to avoid foods we are sensitive to in order to avoid adversely affecting our children. Even hypertension, a real danger in pregnancy, is linked by some studies to prostaglandin release due to sensitivities and allergies.
EXERCISE & SOFT DRINKS
A Boston study may make you think twice about soft drinks, even rationalizing them with exercise. The results: Girls who were physically active and drank soda were five times more likely to fracture bones. The researchers were unsure to why this association existed, but one theory blames phosphorous, which is abundant in soft drinks, for stealing calcium from the bones and gradually weakening them over time. Mary Lou writes that we should avoid:
- Extreme weight loss
- …but perform weight bearing exercise in order to promote bone health.
Dr. Malcom Pike: “We could get rid of 85% of American breast cancer by starting with ten year olds, keeping them on a low fat, high fiber diet, exercising them heavily and keeping them slim.” We can do this. We can live longer.
“The EPA estimates that over 95% of human exposure to dioxin is through our food.” “You are the environment and the environment is you.” That quote is amazing—We are not only what we eat, we are how we live too. Live healthy, be healthy, and achieve optimal health.
Do you have endometriosis?
Has nutrition and or any other lifestyle modifications helped you?