Managing Multiple Disorders in One Body

Managing Multiple Disorders in One Body

Women with PCOS exhibit a very high degree of medical complexity, including dysfunctions of key metabolic and immune mechanisms, affecting a wide range of organ systems. Such dysfunctions can manifest as multiple disorders in one body! Identifying the root causes and common conditions that weave their way through these multiple disorders will facilitate finding a unifying remedy, and eventually a cure, for PCOS and its related conditions.

By understanding how foundational dysfunctions develop and then lead to a myriad of manifestations, we can take those crucial first steps. Conditions found at higher rates in PCOS women than in the general population includeautoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis), endometriosis, uterine fibroids (leiomyomata), adenomyosis (uterine lining glands within the muscle of the uterus), and several cancers.

Are women with PCOS simply unlucky to have so many medical maladies in one body, or is there a common theme to explain this? Once you delve beneath the surface, you come to recognize that all of these conditions have similar underlying mechanisms. Uniting all of them are the following: an abnormally functioning immune system, marked by chronic inflammation with elevations of inflammatory signaling agents called inflammatory cytokines, early age exposures to environmental toxicants (chemical endocrine disruptors), nutritional deficiencies, and gut microbiome abnormalities (dysbiosis). The ultimate unifying and underlying cause for all of these maladies in PCOS women is a foundational hormonalproblem: a major dysfunction of estrogen and its receptors, including its production and metabolic degradation. Estrogen is the master hormone, essential for metabolic health,and this requires a properly regulated immune system.  Sadly, PCOS women do not have proper metabolic or immune health.

Let’s begin with a quick overview of the conditions mentioned above. Endometriosis involves a severe localized inflammation in the pelvis, with high levels of inflammatory cytokines within the intra-abdominal (peritoneal) fluid. Interestingly, most menstruating women have some uterine contents flow backwards with each menses, with fluids and tissue passing through and out the Fallopian Tubes. The body’s immune system normally dissolves and gobbles up that tissue, but in women with endometriosis, this process malfunctions, and little holes in the lining of the pelvis (the peritoneum) are created, allowing living cells from the uterine lining to implant and thrive.

This process is controlled by a system of enzymes, called Matrix Metalloproteinases (which remodel tissue) along with immune cells of the body. These cells and processes are under the control of estrogen, which in PCOS women is not functioning correctly. One type of theseimmune cells – the Mast Cell, which isalso controlled by estrogen – accumulates within the pelvis of women with endometriosis, releasingmassive quantities of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (signaling agents which call other inflammatory white blood cells to the scene.) Thiscreates and sustainslocalized inflammation, promotinglocal estrogen production, and further stimulating growth of the ectopic endometrial cells.

In the case of uterine fibroids, malfunctioning Matrix Metalloproteinases and abnormal local production of estrogen and progesterone cause the muscle cells of the uterus to grow abnormally, creating muscle tumors – fibroids (leiomyomata). Likewise, adenomyosis involves the dysfunction of both the Matrix Metalloproteinases and of estrogen, resulting in the invasion of the endometrial (lining) cells into the muscle of the uterus.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease, also involves dysfunction of the immune system, gut dysbiosis,and impaired gut permeability (leaky gut), all related to abnormal estrogen function. Lastly, cancer, the ultimate immune dysfunction, involves uncontrolled inflammation and estrogen malfunction or deficiency. Not surprisingly, the incidence of many cancers is substantially higher in women with estrogen dysfunctions – PCOS, adenomyosis, fibroids, and endometriosis – compared with the rest of the female population.

And what connects PCOS with those other conditions? What is the root cause of PCOS? We now understand that it involves chronic inflammation, gut dysbiosis, and leaky gut;and that estrogen malfunction is at the root of those problems. The cause for this estrogen malfunction involves exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals at critical points of development – in utero, during infancy, and at puberty, in genetically susceptible women. This inflammatory state is exacerbated by continued chemical exposures and the consumption of a high fat/high sugar diet, filled with processed foods.

Despite all of this, there is substantial reason for hope. A fiber rich diet, stress control, exercise, timed eating and periodic fasting, along with the judicious use of bioidentical hormones, can ameliorate these problems. More on my PCOS protocols for health will be forthcoming in future articles.

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Health Professionals Radio Interview with Dr Gersh on Integrative Gynecology

Health Professionals Radio Interview with Dr. Gersh on Integrative Gynecology

Dr. Gersh’s interview with Neal Howard is live on Health Professional Radio, you can listen to the interview here on the blog.

In today’s Health Supplier Segment, Dr. Felice Gersh, MD, board certified OB/GYN and medical director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, CA discusses the field of integrative gynecology.



Dr. Gersh did a great job of explaining her expertise in functional and integrative gynecology and how the approach delivers optimum results for her patients. In addition, Dr. Gersh was able to speak about Pure Encapsulations and her contribution to the development of the PureWoman product line!

Hormonal contraceptives and hair dyes increase breast cancer risk

Hormonal Contraceptives and Hair Dyes Increase Breast Cancer Risk | University of Helsinki

I’m anti the use of Progestin embedded IUDs (intrauterine devices), and have been for a long time. Here is now another reason, based on a just published study from Finland. There are several such IUDs, which are different from the copper containing ones.

The progestin containing IUD was found to increase the risk of breast cancer by 52% in postmenopausal women. Granted this is a retrospective observational study … but it makes sense to me!! With such an IUD, you’re putting into the uterus a progesterone endocrine disruptor! Progestins (phony progesterone) block the natural and protective effects of real progesterone!! These IUDs do not contain hormones … but rather contain “anti-hormones,” toxic substances which interfere with real hormones. After all, that’s their purpose – to prevent the natural hormones of the female body from being produced and working in the ways intended for females to work!

I’m also anti oral, and otherwise delivered, chemical endocrine disruptors, known as birth control pills!! These apparently increase the risk of breast cancer by about a third. I’ve been opposed to them for some time as well. It’s especially horrifying that we place these acknowledged toxins into the bodies of young teen girls, whose bodies have not yet fully matured … including their brains!

It’s no wonder that in the USA that over a quarter of adult women use SSRI’s for depression! Of course there are other toxins entering the brains of women, and lots of other issues as well, but often women are kept, unaware of the risks, on those disgusting BCP chemicals for decades!!

I know I’m full of venum on this topic … but why on earth is no one questioning this practice and thinking about the true ramifications of such a thing? Well … at least in Finland there are some who feel as I do!!

And we won’t go over the issue of mammography right now! That was also mentioned in the study. That’s another giant topic for another day!

I know I’m an outlier on the use of chemical endocrine disruptors as contraceptives. I am universally opposed to the intentional placement of endocrine disruptors in humans.

As for the hair dye issue – at the very least, those who do dye their hair should know what the risks are. That’s the entire point of informed consent – to understand the opening and make choices intelligently, with full awareness of the options and risks!

PS: I’m on the fence now … as I do dye my hair … in this regard I’m a phony! I will immediately look into natural wash-in hair coloring. I want to be true to my pronouncements!

Helpful Hints to Ward Off the Flu: Your Flu Shot Alone Isn’t Going to be Enough to Keep You Healthy

It’s here—flu season. Scientists do their best job trying to anticipate which variants of influenza will strike and they create the flu shots for the upcoming onslaught of germs. However, they don’t know how effective it is until the first cases of flu start showing up and they can compare reality to their predictions. The statistics are in, and the vaccine has been deemed 48% effective.

Don’t despair, however, there are additional measures you can take to boost your immunity and help keep you healthy.

Take N Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) daily in the dose of 600-900 mg twice a day, and three time a day if you’re exposed! NAC has been repeatedly shown to assist in preventing flu by reducing the virus’ ability to replicate inside of your body. Additionally, NAC also reduces an inflammatory response once you are exposed. This results in less severe symptoms should you become ill.

Be sure to eat a whole foods diet with lots of vegetables! Get enough sleep! Try a diffuser with orange oil; it is quite useful at killing airborne viruses. As always, wash your hands if touching surfaces which may be contaminated. (Door handles, light switches, countertops, etc) And think positive thoughts!

If you do get sick – come see us right away for additional therapeutic modalities!!

We’ve many suggestions to help you recover faster!

Flu Vaccine 48 Percent Effective This Year, CDC Says

Bloomberg News (2/16, Cortez) reports the flu vaccine has been 48% effective so far this season, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist at the CDC’s influenza division, said, “The 48 percent overall is not as good as we would like to see for flu vaccine, but the protection we see is significant.”

       Medscape (2/16, Brooks) reports CDC officials said that “elevated” influenza activity is expected to continue for several more weeks in some parts of the US. Lenee Blanton of the CDC’s Influenza Division said in the report that influenza activity began to pick up in mid-December and has been “elevated” since February 4.