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TC with Dr. Suresh Shottam

Recently, a TC user wrote in to say:

     “A friend of mine will have a non-radical hysterectomy at age 46,
because of having multiple fibroids. What changes - physical, emotional
or otherwise …will occur following a hysterectomy?

The query sparked a flurry of discussion in our Talk forum on the subject of menopause, with one user asking:

 I would love to know what others are doing to get this monkey off their backs?”

Dr. Suresh Shottam, who runs the Uforia Centre for Integrated Medicine in Bangalore, explains ‘the change’ that affects women of a certain age and offers some advice.

In the old days, most women went through menopause gracefully. That's because they lived in a relatively clean planet free from modern environmental toxins, led an active lifestyle and had a healthier response to stress; crucially, they used very few synthetic materials and chemicals.

Today's toxic, stressful lifestyle leads to an excess of estrogen in the body (estrogen dominance), causing a host of "female" problems” in peri- and post-menopausal women.

The science made simple
During the menopausal transition two major changes take place in your body:

  1. The number of ovarian follicles rapidly decreases (called “climacteric”)
  2. Estrogen hormone levels fluctuate greatly

These primary hormonal changes produce a cascade of secondary reactions: 
Changes in estrogen levels affect your central nervous system, causing those dreaded yet familiar menopause symptoms - hot flashes, irregular heartbeat and migraines.
Estrogen also produces fibrosis (thickening and scarring of connective tissue), a condition that also leads to these same painful disorders that can make later life plain miserable.

The question is, what causes estrogen dominance in a woman’s body?

It’s those Chemicals, Sisters
And the answer is Xenoestrogens, difficult to pronounce but freely found in our everyday lives. The over abundance of these hormone-disrupting chemicals in our environment  (over 70,000 to date) burdens our body’s detoxification mechanisms and organs (mainly the liver); they accumulate in fat tissue (including breast tissue) and leads to “estrogen-dominance”.

Meat eaters beware – if those succulent cuts of beef and chicken come from cattle and poultry injected with estrogenic hormones, they grow faster and bigger and so does the amount of estrogen in your body. But don’t panic. Go organic!

Bald & Unsexy – on the one hand there’s estrogen dominance, but on the other, there’s progesterone and testosterone deficiency which, oh joy, can cause hair loss and loss of libido - as if hot sweats and heavy bleeding weren’t enough.

Think twice if you’re using vaginal creams or birth control pills…these pharmaceutical estrogens (Premarin for example) and oral contraceptive pills have powerful side effects - they magnify existing estrogen excess in the female body.

And then, that familiar thorn in our side – our diet - high in sugar, crammed with refined carbohydrates and crowded with dairy products - they recycle estrogen into our bodies instead of eliminating it and crucially, interfere with the proper production of progesterone. 

Why do we need progesterone?

Remember the flak we get for mood swings…and our own frustration with insomnia, irritability, anxiety and depression, our physical exhaustion from excessive menstruation and impending osteoporosis, not to forget horrid weight gain? Unopposed, estrogen without progesterone will wreak havoc, like adding about 10 pounds to your frame.

So, if you seek menopausal relief – from vaginal dryness or hot flashes – think about combining natural estrogen with safe natural progesterone; it nullifies the adverse effects of estrogen-alone therapy (which many menopausal women misuse) … don’t forget to use natural testosterone supplementation if your doctor finds you have a deficiency, but first, make sure you test your blood levels before using any natural hormones.

Are you willing to sacrifice these Toxins?
So maybe its time to toss the Clorox and Chloe, carbs and calories  – and go back to vinegar, baking soda, lime and lavender; and obviously, we need to rethink our diet.

It’s worked for one TC user:

“ I haven't had a hysterectomy but I am at that age where I am peri-menopausal (approaching menopause). I've always had excessive menstrual pain and …and for the last year or so I've found myself dealing with hypothyroidism, anxiety, digestive imbalances and all that. My OBGYN asked if I wanted to go on estrogen therapy and I did not; so I started to look for alternatives.

I tried several things but what worked is regular exercise and cutting back on carbs and dairy. I still have some symptoms but nothing compared to what I experienced before”

Yet, some of us still need hysterectomies

Women stop ovulation ten or more years before menopause due to estrogen dominance and the heavy, intractable bleeding we experience often leads to a hysterectomy. Existing fibroids in the uterus tend to appear and steadily enlarge under the stimulation of excess amounts of estrogen. Worryingly, excess estradiol (one type of estrogen), promotes the Bel 2 oncogene which blocks a natural phenomenon called 'programmed' cell death (apoptosis), leading to cancer.

Keep in mind, however, that both testosterone and progesterone promote the p53 gene leading to normal healthy cell death (apoptosis)...a phenomenon that protects the body from cancer.

Some Answers

How do you create a hormonal balance? Or get rid of uterine fibroids and polycystic ovaries?

Dt. Shottam suggests using non-invasive therapies and natural ways to create that elusive hormonal balance

Diet: Eat a diet rich in protein, good fats (such as unrefined coconut oil, ghee, extra virgin olive oil, almonds, avocados, etc.) and complex carbohydrates.

Stress Reduction: Get rid of things in your life that you tolerate and find a stress reduction technique that works for you - wheher its yoga, Tai Chi or TM.

Regular Exercise: Contrary to popular belief, you DO NOT need to exercise every day and for long periods of time. Do short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by a 15-20 minute recovery 3 times a week. Try body weights for strength, flexibility and endurance, trampolining or take a leisurely walk.

Nutritional Supplements and Bio-Identical Hormones:  You can take several supplements  to help balance your hormones and correct deficiencies, but always consult with a competent healthcare professional familiar with natural therapies; remember to first take a comprehensive blood test and an ultrasound scan of the pelvic and abdominal region.

The key, it appears, is to achieve a hormonal balance  - it means normal menstrual cycles, a smooth transition into menopause, protection from various cancers and, regardless of age, a  better quality of life.

This TC user has the final word.

“I had a laproscopic hysterectomy, where the ovaries were
removed as well...was on hormones for about 6 months
...it has worked out well..I have not lost my energy levels
...but my diabetes went a little awry and I am on insulin now
...over all I have a normal life...it has been 10 years I got it done.
 I am 52 today... doing great since
...need a tummy tuck though..!”

The information presented in this article is offered for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as personal medical advice. You should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your own medical care.

edited by m.kymal

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