A uterine polyp is a growth from the inner wall of the uterus into the uterine cavity. Polyps can be benign (non-cancerous), pre-cancerous or cancerous. They are more common in women who are peri-menopausal or menopausal but can happen in younger women as well.
What causes a uterine polyp?
There are two factors that influence the growth of polyps:
- Inflammation – Chronic inflammation and the factors that cause it (insulin, inflammatory foods, lack of exercise) can cause abnormal tissue growth.
- Estrogen – Imbalanced estrogen levels can also cause abnormal growth of estrogen-sensitive tissues like the uterus.
- Progesterone deficiency. Progesterone acts to balance the effects of estrogen. If progesterone is absent, then estrogen goes unchecked and causes abnormal tissue growth in the uterus.
What are the symptoms of a uterine polyp?
How is a uterine polyp diagnosed?
Uterine polyps are usually detected via a pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound.
What is the treatment for polyps?
Medical doctors would recommend surgical removal of polyps in most instances because of the risk that if they are not currently cancerous, they can become cancerous.
What is the natural treatment for a uterine polyp?
- Address the root cause, which may be referred to as estrogen dominance.
- Inflammation – there are a number of factors that can provoke, aggravate or create inflammation in the body:
- Food sensitivities – low-grade food allergies to foods can contribute to inflammation in your body. This inflammation can be widespread and is not limited to your digestive tract (although it can show up as digestive problems).
- Insulin – when you eat foods that increase your blood sugar level, insulin needs to be made to bring the blood sugar down. Insulin promotes inflammation.
- Poor diet – certain foods, aside from food sensitivities, are pro-inflammatory, while others are anti-inflammatory. For example, trans fats are more inflammatory while fish oils are anti-inflammatory.
- Latent infection. A latent infection is one that you may not be aware of. The symptoms are sufficiently mild that you may not notice them. But, these low-grade infections can perpetuate inflammation.
- Estrogen – for women, estrogen is necessary to develop a uterine lining and is produced as an egg is developing each month. However, excess estrogen, chemicals that act like estrogen or estrogen that is not well balanced by other hormones like progesterone, can cause problems like polyps. How does this happen?
- Excess estrogen. Once your body has sufficient estrogen, the liver needs to process and break down the extra estrogen for excretion. What ingredients are needed for this process? Vitamin B6, vitamin B12, magnesium, 5MTHF, indole-3-carbinol, sulfur, and glucaric acid (glucarate). If your body is missing one or more of these ingredients, estrogen may get partially broken down but isn’t excreted. Will a blood test for estrogen show this? No. Blood tests don’t assess the multiple forms of estrogen and estrogen breakdown intermediates or metabolites.
- Excessive estrogen production or activity. Your diet can increase your blood levels of insulin. Higher insulin can drive increased production of estrogen through aromatase stimulation. Insulin also lowers levels of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). SHBG helps lower estrogen activity, so lowering SHBG increases estrogen activity.
- Lack of hormones that should be balancing estrogen. Progesterone, testosterone, DHEAs, and Androstenedione, can all balance estrogen by competing with it for receptor sites. Low levels of these hormones can happen because of excessive stress. Through a feedback loop, high levels of estrogen can suppress their production. Lack of certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6 can negatively affect hormone production.
Should you treat a uterine polyp?
Yes, because of the risk that they can be or may become cancerous. Even if surgically removed, the underlying cause of the polyps still remains. Naturopathic treatment to address the cause will help prevent future polyp growth.
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Uterine Polyp Research
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1994 Oct;79(4):1173-6.
The relationship between serum levels of insulin and sex hormone-binding globulin in men: the effect of weight loss. Strain G1, Zumoff B, Rosner W, Pi-Sunyer X.
“it was found that progesterone deficiency and local immune imbalance with severe hypofunctional NK cells against viral and fungal infestations result in excessive endometrial cell proliferation and development of an isolated polyp. The case of a polyp merging with micro polyps potentiates an active inflammatory process alongside all of the mechanisms mentioned above. Micropolyps as a macroscopic manifestation of an active inflammatory process in chronic endometritis is characterized by focal infiltrates of leukocytes (CD45), macrophages (CD68), plasma cells (CD138) and NK (CD56) cells, whose activity leads to excess abnormal proliferation of endometrium, even in the absence of hormone receptor disorders.” Georgian Med News. 2017 Dec;(273):16-22.
ENDOMETRIAL POLYPS IN WOMEN OF REPRODUCTIVE AGE: CLINICAL AND PATHOGENETIC VARIATIONS. Kosei N1, Zakharenko N1, Herman D1.