The ‘pill’ is prescribed for many “non-contraceptive” reasons, such as acne, uterine fibroids, PMS, heavy bleeding or cramping without any consideration to safety or prevention of breast cancer and blood clots. Women taking “low dose” birth control pills are getting more estrogen than what is recommended for post-menapausal women. “Low dose” just means lower than before, which is still a problem as the research shows. With the incidence of hormone induced cancers on the rise, it is important to address the root cause of the problem before applying a band-aid approach.
Hormones are fundamental to health, and hormone imbalances are often responsible for negative health concerns. The pill often masks imbalances with estrogen and progesterone. Too little progesterone relative to estrogen can result in estrogen dominant symptoms, like weight gain, breast tenderness, anxiety, fluid retention and fibrocystic breasts.
Uterine fibroids can cause heavy painful periods and the pill and hormone replacement therapy can actually stimulate their growth. As well, increased estrogen intake and xenoestrogen exposure from chemicals in products, such as plastics, pesticides, cosmetics, household cleaning products, and even the water we drink, promotes the growth of uterine fibroids.
Diet and lifestyle factors are often part of the root of the concern of health problems. Foods, such as red meat, dairy, shellfish and peanuts, promote inflammation, thickening the uterine lining, which results in pain and heavy bleeding. Bowel problems caused by stress and poor diet can also promote inflammation and increase menstrual pain. Heavy bleeding and excess cramps can also be associated with overexertion, chronic illness, food sensitivities and vitamin deficiencies.
It is important not to overlook other physical hormonal imbalances. A concern, such as weight gain, may be associated with low thyroid function that could result from elevated estrogen or excess stress hormone production. Weight loss is also difficult in women with elevated testosterone.
Balancing hormones as well as considering lifestyle and diet are critical to getting to the root of women’s health concerns. Before using the pill to manage your health concerns, look a little deeper and try to understand what’s going on in your body to build a healthier you.