When women’s ovaries shut down the production of hormones after menopause the problems that are related to hormones diminish or disappear. I had a lot of fibrous tissue in my breasts prior to menopause. Because I was headed out of the country my gynocologist suggested that I get a hysterectomy. I don’t know if this was a good idea or a poor one but I did it. He also told me that if I wasn’t leaving that this fibrous tissue would probably just go away. I have heard again and again that this is the case. But there are more problems that women experience when they are getting ready to go through or are going through menopause.
Currently when a woman is experiencing PMS, has lumps in her breasts or uterus, has uterine bleeding, and a host of other related problems including a lot of pain she is given drugs, surgery is suggested which is nothing more than a quick fix and has its associated risks and high costs.
According to Dr. John McDougall, blood levels of hormones that influence the female reproductive tissues (this includes the breasts, ovaries and uterus) including estrogens, progesterones, and prolactin, a pituitary hormone, are dependent upon your diet. A high fat diet will increase the levels of these hormones in a woman’s body through a variety of mechanisms.
Let’s look at the different problems briefly:
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: The direct consequence of higher pain and more bleeding is the direct consequence of the quantity of the cells that line the inside of the uterus that build up each month and must be shed with the menstrual flow. The more estrogen stimulation the more menstrual flow. A diet high in fats means more estrogens which means more tissue buildup. Saturated animal fats cause the blood to clot more readily adding additional pain during menses.
Fibrocystic Breast Disease: When the mammary tissues are overstimulated the breasts swell and are tender. Swelling means inflammation. This can cause the breasts to develop scar tissue in many places and plug some of the milk ducts forming cysts. This means that there could be a higher risk of breast cancer.
Fibroids of the Uterus: When the muscle cells that make up the body of the uterus are overstimulated by estrogens the results are unregulated proliferation of some of these cells. Lumps form in various sizes. These are tumors but do not become cancerous. They can and do cause discomfort. After menopause there is an ovary shutdown because of less hormone production. At this time these fibroids soon shrink.
Late Menopause: If levels of estrogen are elevated women may menstruate approximately four years longer than they would if they ate a low-fat diet. The problem with this is that a prolonged menstrual life is associated with a much higher risk of breast cancer and cancer of the body of the uterus. The longer the stimulation of vulnerable cells by cancer-promoting estrogens the more possibility of cancer.
Ovarian Cysts: This happens, for the most part, in overweight women. Just losing weight can correct the abnormalities in the functioning of the sex hormones that are responsible for the lack of ovulation, infertility, excessive hair growth and acne. (The easiest way to lose weight to improve the hormone balance of the body is to eat a low-fat, starch-based diet.)
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): This condition was first described in 1931 and has been considered an estrogen-progesterone imbalance ever since. For the most part progesterone pills are given because they have an anti-estrogen effect. Taking these pills may cause changes in the cholesterol in the blood. Not a good thing. Recent findings have pointed out that women who take these drugs for years have four times the risk of breast cancer opposed to women who took none of these pills.
The key to all this is to correct any hormonal imbalances and guess what…a low-fat starch-based diet brings hormones into balance and relieves PMS for most women. (Please check out The McDougall Program by Dr. John McDougall, M.D.)
The answer is a low-fat starch-based diet rich in veggies, grains, legumes and fruits. I decided long ago that I simply wasn’t going to go through this PMS “thing.” I didn’t. I feel good, actually better than good…I feel great most of the time and look way younger than I am. This doesn’t hurt anything either. If you are overweight this can lead to all kinds of problems. If you are eating the typical American Diet your risks for various types of diseases increases dramatically. So, why not take your health seriously, stay away from all animal fats and live a long, healthy life.
(Dr. John McDougall runs 10 and 5 day live-in programs as well as programs in Costa Rica. Please check out his site for further information at www.drmcdougall.com.)