I’m an open book with my health and the journey I’ve been on. I have stood naked in front of you and shared my lab results and admitted that sometimes things in my world can be less than perfect.
I do it because I feel that when I tell you that I’m not perfect, you will feel like perfection is not the answer to good health and healing. Because nobody is perfect and s&*t happens. And yes, you can heal and get better with your imperfections.
If you know my full health story, you might have heard me talking about hair loss and breast lumps which happened in spite of having done so many changes in the previous years.
Hair loss could be seen as a superficial and trivial symptom but once you are in sync with your body, you know that it is also a sign of an imbalance.
And breast lumps? Most doctors tell us to “observe” them and come back for a scan. I have personally found it demeaning to be told that a deformation in my body should be just “observed” and accepted. And especially in a family where two of my aunts on my mom’s side passed away from breast cancer.
Where I’m headed with this story is this: uncovering the early signs of an imbalance can save your life. If you have no idea what hormonal imbalances you are suffering from, take this simple online hormone quiz.
Both hair loss and breast lumps (in my case) were caused by estrogen dominance.
Some of the symptoms of estrogen dominance are: PMS (which we just access as “normal” which we should not), chronic water retention, mood swings, hair loss, tender breasts, cellulite, breast lumps, fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, infertility and miscarriages.
:: True stories ::
I wanted to share with you two true stories today: from Christine and Anna.
Christine’s story – breast lumps and cancer
Christine and I met in NYC at a health talk I did at a women’s club about 4 years ago. She approached me after the talk and said that she has fibroids and lumpy breasts. Her doctor told her that “it’s not serious,” “just watch it,” “eat well” (whatever that means) and come back in 6 month’s time.
I told her that both fibroids and breast lumps are common in women with estrogen dominance and that they are totally reversible, especially at her stage.
She told me that she ate really well. She ate organic.
I never heard back from her after that talk.
Until 3 weeks ago when I got an email from her that read: “This really sucks.”
Christine was found to have breast cancer.
Nobody, and not even the very doctor who asked her to just wait and do nothing, had ever told her that breast cancer is an estrogenic cancer (see medical references below).
Estrogenic cancers such as breast and ovarian cancers develop in the presence of estradiol, the more “antagonistic” estrogen which stimulates the multiplication and growth of cancer cells.
Unfortunately, most doctors do a useless blood test measuring estradiol which I’m yet to see out of range when done by blood (urine or saliva are the way to go).
A better marker is the 2:16 hydroxyestrone that measures the relationship of two estrogen metabolites, one protective and one antagonistic. This is one of the markers used to monitor women with breast and ovarian cancers or women who have a family history of such cancers.
Getting Christine’s email broke my heart. I immediately called her and we had a long conversation. A conversation filled with regret, shame, guilt and fear. You know the kind of conversation that every sentence starts with “I should have,” “if I only had” and “this really sucks.”
All I want to share with you today is this: do not wait. Do not let anyone tell you that having breast (or ovarian) lumps, cysts, fibroids is OK and that is benign. They are benign and but they are also a sign that something is going on.
Anna’s story – thyroid cancer
Anna has just been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She called me saying that she has been following my emails and the Facebook community for years, she ate really well (sounds familiar?) and did all the things that she thought were healthy. She is scheduled for a full thyroidectomy next week.
If you or someone you know who has been diagnosed with cancer, then you know the feeling of fear, anger, overwhelm, helplessness and the choking need for information and support.
I immediately connected Anna with my clients who had a full thyroidectomy and an online forum to find the support she needs.
It turns out Anna had thyroid nodules for a few years now. Based on her symptoms, she probably also has estrogen dominance – terrible PMS, water retention, fat and cellulite around her hips and a history of birth control pills.
Her doctor told her to “wait and see about the thyroid nodules.” It kills me every time I hear this. Wait for what? For cancer to develop? Meantime, do what to shrink the nodules? No solutions here from Western medicine doctors as there are no “thyroid shrinking” pills.
I don’t want to get these kinds of emails and calls. I feel like it’s my responsibility to provide you with enough information for you to take action and do not wait.
Don’t wait. Please do not.
Estrogen dominance and breast cancers
First, what is estrogen dominance (or ED)? ED can mean one of two things: we either have too much estrogen in relation to progesterone, or we have an imbalance in the estrogen metabolites (some are protective and some are dangerous).
Bad PMS, lumpy breasts, painful or swollen breasts, infertility, ovarian cysts, heavy periods, endometriosis, cellulite, fat around the hips can be symptoms of estrogen dominance.
Estrogen dominance in the alternative and holistic medicine is well known to be the leading cause of breast cancers. Genetic breast cancers (like the one Angelina Jolie was diagnosed with) constitute only a small percentage of breast cancers.
For the geeks here:
“Although the causes of sporadic breast cancer remain undetermined, there is substantial experimental, epidemiological, and clinical evidence that estrogens influence breast cancer risk (Clemons and Goss 2001). In fact, recent evidence indicates that the oxidative metabolism of estrogens to catechol estrogens and to estrogen quinones can cause mutagenic DNA lesions (Yager and Liehr 1996; Cavalieri et al. 1997; Parl 2000). Consequently, catechol estrogen and estrogen quinones have been implicated in mammary carcinogenesis.”
Estrogen dominance and thyroid nodules and cancers
Excess estrogen is especially problematic for people with thyroid conditions. High estrogen levels raise thyroid binding globulin, making less thyroid hormone available for the body.
It is also well documented that estrogen dominance can be the leading cause of thyroid nodules and even thyroid cancer development, a medical reference is here.
Why are our doctors not telling us this? I do not have the answer for you but this is yet another reason why taking control of your health is your job from now on.
Can breast lumps and thyroid nodules be reversed?
Yes, yes and yes. I had them as well (both breast lumps and three thyroid nodules) and I’ve managed to completely get rid of them over the years.
The first thing to address is your level of estrogen and its relationship to progesterone. You can either get tested to confirm it (I only recommend saliva or urine and NOT blood) or just listen to your symptoms, they are there for a reason!
Can you be healthy and still have estrogen dominance?
Healthy on the surface, yes. That was Christine, Anna and me. I was lucky to work on my ED a few years ago to see my breast lumps, PMS and hair loss go away.
They waited. And the rest you know.
Don’t wait and get educated.
The two resources I want to point you two are:
“7 Toxins That Impact your Thyroid and How to Manage Them” – FREE Online workshop.
“How to Use Good to Rebalance Your Hormones” – another FREE Online workshop with tons of tips to get you started in this direction.