Natural Treatment for Adenomyosis
Reading and researching are constants as a naturopathic doctor. In reviewing some research regarding adenomyosis this week, I came across an older study that I thought was interesting.
Firstly, what is adenomyosis?
This condition involves uterine lining tissue that has infiltrated the muscular wall of your uterus. This tissue responds to changes in hormone levels throughout your monthly menstrual cycle. This creates pelvic pain, menstrual cramps, and contributes to infertility.
Back to the study I mentioned. It used a mouse model to increase blood levels of the hormone prolactin. By increasing prolactin, the investigators could rapidly and frequently cause uterine adenomyosis.
Prolactin isn’t the only game in town where adenomyosis is concerned. Other hormones that have been associated with adenomyosis include estrogen, FSH, and progesterone.
What is Prolactin?
Prolactin is a hormone that is secreted from a gland in your brain known as the pituitary gland. Women make it to facilitate breast-feeding.
What Increases Prolactin?
Aside from while you are breastfeeding, prolactin increases when you are under stress and also if you have a prolactin-secreting tumor in your pituitary. This is called a prolactinoma. Identifying a prolactinoma requires an MRI.
How can you test prolactin?
Measuring prolactin requires a simple blood test.
How can you reduce prolactin?
Lowering prolactin depends on why it is high. If you are breast-feeding it will naturally be high and we don’t want to reduce it. The herb Chaste tree (Vitex Agnus-Castus) helps to lower prolactin. Supporting healthy dopamine production through the use of vitamin B6, magnesium and the amino acid tyrosine helps to lower prolactin. Stress reduction is important if stress is the cause of high prolactin. If stress is the issue, supporting the HPA axis (your adrenal glands) can help you handle stress better, lowering stress-related prolactin production.
Hormones and Adenomyosis
Other hormones that cause or contribute to adenomyosis are also balanced through natural means like diet, exercise, stress reduction, support of the endocrine system and herbs like Chastetree.
Medically reviewed by Dr Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND
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