Poor nutritional status as a cause of gynaecological problems
Wobbly sex hormones are a major cause of many symptoms. Sex hormones allow women to have babies. To make healthy babies, the nutrition has to be perfect. If the nutrition is less than perfect, there will be a degree of infertility. Nature makes this happen initially through wobbly hormone levels then, perhaps by such low levels, nothing (baby-wise) is possible.
The most obvious example of poor nutritional status is dieting. Research shows that a 1,000 calorie a day diet for six weeks will cause oestrogen levels to fall to below 25% of normal levels and progesterone to below 15% of normal levels. Cessation of periods is a typical symptom of anorexia.
Heavy exercise has a similar effect. Especially the long distance female runners are at risk of amenorrhoea because of low body weight.
Hormone levels will wobble from day to day depending on how much food is eaten and the quality of that food. Irregular and poor eating habits are the largest cause of hormone wobbles and the problems that go with it. Interestingly, it is the micronutrients which are more important than the number of calories! But of course in the absence of supplements, more calories will mean more micronutrients.
- Not enough calories: with the modern day fashion for slimness and the lack of exercise, many women are not eating enough calories.
- Poor quality food: the food which is eaten is often junk ie nutritionally devoid of micronutrients.
- Toxins in the diet: too much caffeine, alcohol, nicotine all interfere with hormone production, probably because they deplete micronutrient levels. Some drugs such as tranquillisers and analgesics disturb hormone levels directly.
- Toxins in the environment: many pesticides, plasticises and novel foods contain hormone mimics which further disturb normal function.
- Hypothyroidism is a common cause of wobbly hormone levels
As a result of the above factors, nutritional deficiencies are very common, wobbly hormone levels are common and the symptoms which go with them are common. The trouble is sloppy pharmaceutical oriented medicine which treats these problems by imposing a hormone cycle on women through the Pill and HRT instead of adressing the underlying causes. Although there may be relief from some symptoms, the underlying problem is not addressed storing up terrible problems for the future: problems like arterial disease; cancer; infertility; mental disorders; and early menopause.
Treatment of gynaecological problems
- Eat a Stone Age Diet. More often I now prescribe the ketogenic diet - please see Ketogenic diet - the practical details and My book The PK Cookbook - Go Paleo-ketogenic and get the best of both worlds.
- Take nutritional supplements, including a daily dose of sunshine
- Get a good night's sleep on a regular basis. See Sleep is vital for good health.
- Get the right balance between work, rest and play. See Getting enough rest.
- Do a good chemical clean up of your environment.
- Detox regimes - either regular exercise or saunaing. See Exercise and Detoxing.
- Nutritional deficiencies - What signs to look for if you think you may have them
- The general approach to maintaining and restoring good health
- Stone Age Diet
- Ketogenic diet - the practical details
- My book The PK Cookbook - Go Paleo-ketogenic and get the best of both worlds
- Sleep is vital for good health
- Getting enough rest
- Do a good chemical clean up
- Menstrual cycles constitute the most accessible and non-invasive biological markers of female reproductive function in humans" (US National Research Council 1989).
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