Tag Archive | estrogen-disrupting chemicals

I Hear You

I hear you.

I know what it is like to have abdominal pain that is so severe you can’t stand up straight…pain that feels like someone is reaching right into your abdomen and squeezing as hard as he/she can….pain that causes intense nausea and vomiting…relentless pain that doesn’t let up for hours. I feel your pain.

I know what it is like to bleed continuously for over two weeks…bleeding that is so heavy you soak a maxi pad in less than an hour….bleeding that causes you to become so weak that you can barely get out of bed to go to the bathroom….so much blood loss that you get migraine headaches and pass clots as big as the palm of your hand…bleeding that causes so much fatigue that you can barely make it through the day, many times skipping meals because all you want to do is sleep. I feel your weakness.

I know what it is like to go to a doctor and being told that it’s all “normal”….being told that you need to see a psychologist….being brushed aside because you’ve been to the doctor multiple times with the same complaint…having people think you are making it all up because the doctors can’t find a cause of your pain…hoping that the doctors find cancer – just so you can finally have a diagnosis…living without a diagnosis for over ten years or even longer…living with people around you that have no sympathy for your situation. I feel your frustration.

I know what it is like to never know when an attack will hit you….wondering if you will make it to your destination before the pain starts…waiting in an airport and looking around to see if a bathroom is nearby in case you need it…getting stuck in rush hour traffic and having a panic attack because you are afraid the pain might start while you are stuck…trying to “suck it up” so you can get through your day and not take more sick time. I feel your anxiety.

I know what it’s like to wait for yet more gynecological tests….waiting to see if they will find something life-threatening….waiting for hours for your surgery to begin…staring at the ceiling all night before the surgery, unable to sleep…the mild nausea and racing heart as you wait for the surgical techs to bring you back for yet another surgical procedure. I feel your fear.

I hear you. I hear you loud and clear because I’ve been through it. Women who suffer from adenomyosis and endometriosis are true warriors. They know real pain. They know real frustration. They know real anxiety. They know real fear. When you are in the presence of these amazing women, know that you stand among some of the strongest women alive. There is nothing or no one who will be able to take these women down after struggling with adenomyosis. We will defeat this disorder. It’s going to be a long and tough mountain to climb, but I am determined to climb it and won’t stop this fight against adenomyosis until my final breath. We will find a cure! Hang in there, warriors!

*Adenomyosis: A Significantly Neglected and Misunderstood Uterine Disorder is now available on Amazon. See my author website at http://www.mariayeager.com for more information.

Adenomyosis: A Significantly Neglected and Misunderstood Uterine Disorder

Do you have adenomyosis or endometriosis and are frustrated by the lack of knowledge on these uterine disorders? Are you constantly searching for information about adenomyosis or endometriosis? Are you looking for effective ways to diminish the symptoms of these disorders? Do you wonder what might be causing your painful and debilitating symptoms? Stop researching! This brand new book includes all of that information in one place! I have researched and compiled information on the most recent research on adenomyosis.

The cause is currently unknown, but adenomyosis has been linked to a condition called estrogen dominance, and this appears to be linked to excessive exposure to xenoestrogens (man-made substances that act like estrogen in the body). In the book, I list all the different types of xenoestrogens and give examples of ways to avoid some of them (total avoidance is impossible as explained in the book – reduction of exposure can be accomplished).

Did you know that you can help to balance your hormones through diet?  Fiber is known to bind to estrogen and removes it through urine and/or feces. There are many other foods that help to eliminate excess estrogen, and these are all listed and discussed in this book.

Did you know that liver health may have an impact on hormone levels? The liver is an amazing organ that helps your body to eliminate toxins, including estrogen. Liver health is of utmost importance in adenomyosis, and this is discussed at length in this book.

Are you facing a diagnostic procedure or future uterine surgery and don’t know what to expect? This book discusses in detail all of the possible procedures/surgeries along with stories of my own personal experience for each test/surgery. I also added the complications and dangers of each procedure.

Are you curious about medications for adenomyosis and endometriosis? I discuss current pharmacological treatments, including side effects of these medications.

This book was written for a person who is not necessarily in the medical field as I wanted women who are suffering to get the most reliable and up-to-date information in a format that they can understand. Many tips and hints to help control symptoms are given throughout the book. I wanted to share this information because I KNOW what it’s like to have adenomyosis and endometriosis. I KNOW the pain! I want to help out other women who are currently going through the pain, fatigue, and frustration that go along with these disorders. During the time that I dealt with adeno and endo, not much was known, and there were pretty much no support sites available. I’m so happy that there are now several excellent support sites out there, and I hope this book will add to the awareness of both endometriosis and adenomyosis.

This book can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Noble in the United States. It is also available through Amazon’s extended distribution channels which means that is should be available for purchase worldwide as a paperback or on Kindle. Click on the link below to purchase through Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Adenomyosis-Significantly-Neglected-Misunderstood-Disorder/dp/153306511X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464821114&sr=1-1&keywords=maria+yeager

I hope this book will bring at least some relief to so many women who are forced to live with these uterine disorders. I urge the medical profession to update their knowledge of adenomyosis and endometriosis, and I strongly encourage researchers to develop well-controlled trials to give us much more insight into the cause of these disorders as well as better ways to diagnose and treat them.

Questioning the Results of a Sonohysterogram

Due to many requests, I am currently working on publishing my book, “My Hormones Are Killing Me – My Struggle With Adenomyosis and Estrogen Dominance” as an e-book. I have to re-format the book for Kindle, so I am basically reading it as I re-format. It was originally published in 2012. This book is a re-cap of my seventeen year struggle with the disorder which finally ended in 2007 after my hysterectomy. Since writing this book, I have done a lot of research on the disorder and have recently published my second book which looks at all of the current knowledge and research. So, today I know much more about adenomyosis than I did back in 2012.

As I was re-formatting today, I read my ultrasound, sonohysterogram, and hysteroscopy notes that were done when I had a uterine polyp in the early 2000s. The ultrasound, which was done first, noted an endometrial thickness of 5 mm. Thickness of the endometrium varies throughout a woman’s cycle, but in general, this falls into the normal range. Please note, as I discuss in my current book, that it has now been found that it is of utmost importance to look at the thickness of the junctional zone, or JZ, in particular on MRI to identify adenomyosis. I’m quite sure that at that time, they didn’t look at the JZ.

My sonohysterogram report (done after the ultrasound) stated that my endometrium appeared normal with a thickness of 1-2 mm. A thickness of 1-2 mm usually is seen during menstruation, and I wasn’t menstruating – I was mid-cycle. That was a big red flag to me as I re-read the report. Other than the polyp, the report stated that everything appeared normal.

However, about a month after the sonohysterogram, I had a hysteroscopy to remove the polyp. The hysteroscopy report stated that I had a bicornuate uterus, and the surgeon was not able to accurately visualize the left horn of my uterus. The polyp was successfully removed but it begs the question: Why wasn’t the bicornuate uterus picked up by sonohysterogram? A sonohysterogram is touted for being about 90% accurate for picking up uterine abnormalities of all kinds, including a bicornuate uterus.

So….1-2 mm endometrial thickness and no mention of a bicornuate uterus? Hmmm. As you can see, I question everything. I have learned to do this not only because of my ordeal with adenomyosis, but also because I worked in the medical field for about twenty years. Although people in this field are quite diligent, we are all human. Mistakes are made in the medical field, and doctors and radiologists are not immune to this problem.

This also drives home the point that I have made in previous posts and on my website, Adenomyosis Fighters. The ability to be able to properly diagnose adenomyosis is entirely dependent on the skill of the doctor or radiologist. If the doctor who performed the sonohysterogram failed to pick up a bicornuate uterus, do you think he would be able to pick up adenomyosis? A bicornuate uterus is a rather large and  much more obvious abnormality compared to adenomyosis.

It is imperative that doctors and radiologists update their current knowledge on adenomyosis. Even though I’ve said this over and over again, to this day, I STILL hear patients tell me that their doctors don’t know much about adenomyosis. In my most current book, I point out the following statement made by researchers Owalbi and Strickler:

    “Adenomyosis is the addendum to textbook chapters on ectopic endometrium: it is a      forgotten process and neglected diagnosis.”ª

To learn more, please visit http://www.adenomyosisfighters.com.

ªOwalbi, T. O. & Strickler, R. C. (1977). Adenomyosis: A Neglected Diagnosis. Obstetrice and Gynecology, 50(4), 424-7. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/904805

Chemicals That Interfere With Hormones: Disturbing Findings

I have recently started to work on a new book on endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDC (also known as xenoestrogens). These chemicals have been implicated in the development of adenomyosis, but they have also been implicated in other reproductive disorders and cancers. I wanted to publish an in-depth review of these dangerous chemicals, but little did I know that I would be embarking on a huge project that is also quite disturbing.

I like to use PubMed through the NIH to get reliable information from actual clinical studies. The first study I read was “Mixtures of xenoestrogens disrupt estradiol-induced non-genomic signaling and downstream functions in pituitary cells” by Rene Viñas and Cheryl S. Watson at the University of Texas.¹

The first interesting thing I noted is that this group looked at the effect of mixtures of xenoestrogens, not just the effect of one xenoestrogen, on rat cells. This is particularly important since we are not exposed to one xenoestrogen at a time. In fact, we are exposed to hundreds of these dangerous chemicals each day. We are bombarded with them the minute we walk out our front door. This study showed that the cells responded differently when exposed to multiple xenoestrogens at the same time as opposed to a single xenoestrogen.

Although that fact is enlightening, the most disturbing thing I learned from this article is about bisphenol A, or BPA. This xenoestrogen is used to make plastics and epoxy resins, and it can be found in a slew of consumer products. Examples include water bottles, thermal paper (such as sales receipts, cinema tickets, airline tickets), CD’s, and DVDs. It is also used extensively to line the inside of food and beverage cans.  It is one of the highest volume chemicals made in the world today.

In the last ten years or so, the safety of BPA has come into question. Studies have shown that it is an endocrine-disruptor. In particular, it has been shown to interfere with estrogen receptors. Because of this concern, years of discussion ensued in governmental agencies worldwide leading to a ban of BPA use in the production of baby bottles and other products in children under the age of three. Today, some of these products are listed as “BPA-free”.

However, this study from the University of Texas pointed out that many “BPA-free” products now contain BPS, or bisphenol S. BPS is now being used as a substitute for BPA. Shockingly, this study shows that BPS is also an endocrine disruptor as it also interferes with estrogen receptors!! So, according to this study, “BPA-free” is NOT safe. As I continued to do my research, I noticed that a 2011 study stated “Almost all commercially available plastic products we sampled, independent of the type of resin, product, or retail source, leached chemicals having reliably-detectable EA [endocrine activity], including those advertised as BPA-free. In some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA [endocrine activity] that BPA-containing products.” ²

I was stunned! Next, I read a very long and excellent article on Wikipedia about Bisphenol A. I came to the conclusion that this chemical hasn’t been banned altogether because of lobbyists/politics.  Here are some interesting (and infuriating) facts:

  1. The FDA considers BPA to be “safe at the current levels occurring in foods.” They base this statement on two studies funded by the chemical companies even though there are hundreds of other studies out there that show this chemical to be an endocrine disruptor.
  2. The FDA had previously stated that the benefits of good nutrition outweigh the risks of BPA exposure when it comes to infant formulas/food. Since that time, BPA has been banned in baby bottles in the U.S.
  3. In 2011, the governor of Maine, Paul LePage, actually made the following statement when discussing the issue of bisphenol A: “The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.” In April of that year, the Maine legislature passed a bill that banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and some reusable food containers. Governor LePage refused to sign it.
  4. In 2009, the EPA planned on labeling BPA as a “chemical of concern; however, after lobbyists for the chemical company met with members of the administration, this didn’t happen.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I will get into much more detail in my upcoming book, but I felt the need to write a short blog on this topic now as to alert the general public about safety issues regarding BPA and so-called “BPA-free” products. After reading these articles, I have learned that virtually no plastic product is safe, regardless of what the government tells you.

The best advice I can give is to get away from processed food and go as fresh as possible. Organic is best. Try to stay away from canned foods as much as possible. It is important to note that we cannot avoid all xenoestrogens, but it is vitally important to reduce exposure as much as possible. This is particularly important for women who already suffer from estrogen-dependent diseases such as adenomyosis, endometriosis, and reproductive cancers.

Want more information on adenomyosis, an overview of endocrine-disrupting hormones, and tips to reduce your exposure? Check out my book, Adenomyosis: A Significantly Neglected and Misunderstood Uterine Disorder. Available on Amazon (Kindle or paperback).

http://www.mariayeager.com

¹Viñas, R. & Watson, C. (2013). Mixtures of xenoestrogens disrupt estradiol-induced non-genomic signaling and downstream functions in pituitary cells. Environmental Health Perspective. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-12-26

²Walsh, B. (2011). “Study: Even ‘BPA-free’ plastics leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals”. Time. Retrieved 14 September 2016.