Naturopathic Management of Endocrine Disruption, Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovaries

Integrative medicine site:

Endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, hypothyroidism and type 2 diabetes are liable to be caused by endocrine disruption from heavy metal poisoning, industrial chemicals, plastics and synthetic hormones. This results in a condition known as syndrome X, in which there is insulin resistance with abnormal endocrine gland function. Insulin resistance is associated with high blood insulin levels and high blood sugar levels. This is pathological because in health, high insulin levels lower blood sugar levels.

Clinically, Syndrome X is manifested by mental instability and abnormal tiredness. The syndrome may also include polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, abnormal thyroid function and type 2 diabetes.

Causes of endocrine disruption include heavy metal poisoning, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), bisphenol A, phthalates and DDT.

Heavy metal poisoning is caused by dental mercury and by cadmium in traffic fumes.

PCBs are by products of petroleum refining, which are liable to be concentrated in the fatty tissue of fish and meat, so that food accounts for about 90% of the human intake. House dust, that has been contaminated with decorating and cleaning materials, accounts for the remaining 10%.

The acute effects of exposure to PCBs are well known from the Monsanto fiasco in the USA, in which direct skin contact with a PCB chemical weed killer caused chloracne and cancer of the skin, liver and brain. River contamination with PCBs can  cause feminisation of male river fish.

Bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor contained in some plastic water and food containers, baby feeding bottles, dental materials and in the lining of some tinned cans.

Phthalates are endocrine disruptors that are occasionally contained in soft toys, flooring, cosmetics and air fresheners.

DDT (dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane) is a banned insecticide that can still be implicated in endocrine disruption.

Conventional treatment of endometriosis and polycystic ovaries
Synthetic female hormone supplements and surgical treatment are not always effective since the underlying chemical toxicity is overlooked.

Naturopathic treatment of endocrine disruption                                                                    This is achieved through detoxification of the chemical poisoning, adequate hydration and selected naturopathic treatment. Particular attention is also paid to supporting the liver, which is the primary organ of detoxification.

Insulin resistance is treated nutritionally with a high fibre/low glycaemic index diet  (lean organic meat, organic whole grains, leafy greens, fresh organic fruit and vegetables with minimal sugar intake). Regular exercise is encouraged. Selected treatment may  include essential fatty acids, and other nutritional supplements (e.g. chromium picolinate) to help optimise blood sugar metabolism.

After detoxification, naturopathic treatment is selected and prescribed to optimise sex hormone function, pancreatic insulin production and  thyroid function.

Stephen Bourne MB, Dip Homotox (Hons), MCMA
London Centre for Integrative Medicine.

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