The fertility rates in women are dropping like a very bad day on the Dow. The period of time that women can conceive appears to be shrinking from both directions. At the same time, the incidence of miscarriage is rising, with more than one in five pregnancies ending this way. What could be happening to the reproductive tract of our women?
First, a very brief review of the hormonal balance during pregnancy. Very superficially put, progesterone maintains the pregnancy and excessive estrogen can end it. Veterinarians know about the latter due to our previous use of estrogen compounds to intentionally end unwanted pregnancies in dogs. Also, the evidence that progesterone is maintaining the pregnancy is the fact that pregnant women are almost “bullet-proof” during most of their pregnancy due to the high levels of this anti-inflammatory hormone. I had one woman tell me recently that she can only drink milk without a problem during pregnancy. Otherwise, it really upset her stomach. I explained that this was because the progesterone in her body at that time was so high that she might as well be taking cortisone to cover up her milk-related allergies and intolerance. (We use progesterone in cats with allergic skin problems when cortisone stops working. Wow!)
So, we know that progesterone is anti-inflammatory and maintains the pregnancy. We also know that estrogen can terminate the pregnancy. BUT, there are plenty of doctors out there who also know that estrogen is the culprit in endometriosis. A great book for the interested reader is found here (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0890877734/ref=lib_dp_TFCV/104-1166292-5088722?v=glance&s=books&vi=reader#reader-link) A fabulous article on endometriosis is also found here: (http://www.positivehealth.com/permit/Articles/Womens%20Health/price62.htm) Note the chart toward the middle of the article which contains the foods that the author recommends be eliminated from the diet in those women with endometriosis. It will look very familiar to those who have spent time on this site.
So, if estrogen is the culprit in endometriosis, is it our own body’s production of this hormone that is likely to cause this devastating condition? Highly unlikely. Then where are the “toxic” levels of estrogen coming from? I think if you have spent any time on this site that you have guessed it by now- the food. Yes, and it shouldn’t surprise you that it is the same guys…. the usual suspects. Cow milk is a huge source of estrogen as is soy. These two dietary sources are the ones responsible for lowering the age of our little girl’s first menses from 15.5 years down to 8. Yes, 16.7% of our female children have their first period now by age eight. The most logical explanation, which I fully believe, is found in the dietary source of estrogen found in cow milk and soy formulas followed by the overwhelming amounts of dairy and grains in their diet once they start eating solid food. Macaroni and cheese, anyone?
I’ll finish this mini-lecture with a true story. One of my closest friends and his wife were trying to have a baby. They had been unsuccessful for over two years. Finally, she was scoped and found to have significant endometriosis. I bombarded her with information concerning dietary estrogens with major emphasis on dairy products. She drank milk instead of water most days and went through a gallon milk by herself every couple of days. She had other signs of dairy intolerance as well, as most of these cases do. I convinced her to go off all dairy products and watch the amount of other estrogens consumed in food and within 6 months she became pregnant. However, she miscarried, something that I had warned her of because of her history. This just makes sense now, doesn’t it? Well, she is now over 8 months pregnant and about to give birth, just about a year and a half after greatly reducing her dairy intake. This is not a coincidence.
Please read the above linked article. The book is also a great book for those who want or need a more detailed explanation. The consensus appears to be that there is an immune-mediated component to endometriosis. I certainly believe that this is true. This can be said of so many of the conditions from which we suffer. But what we see over and over is that the immune aspect is generated by the same foods that provide the other components of that particular syndrome. As in chronic fatigue in which the immune suppression to Epstein Barr is caused by the same foods providing the depressing casomorphins and gliadorphins, the foods providing the estrogens in endometriosis are the same ones causing the immune suppressing aspect of this syndrome. The immune system gets “over-worked and under-paid” because of the detrimental changes in the duodenum caused by the dairy, wheat, and soy and these same foods turn right around and provide the “toxic” levels of estrogen to the victim. Another double-whammy. Same in our next subject, epilepsy. This appears to be the “M.O.” of these foods, doesn’t it?