One of our local EndoSisters has recently been diagnosed with endometrial polyps, something I know absolutely nothing about. So what happens when I know nothing? I research!
What is a polyp?
A polyp is an abnormal overgrowth of tissue, usually a lump, bump, or stalky growth (hence the mushrooms above). They’re most commonly found in the colon, but can be found in the uterus (known as uterine or endometrial polyps), cervix, stomach, throat, nose, and ear canal. There can be just one polyp…or there can be lots.
One of my readers recently contacted me asking if I could do some research for her. Her physicians suspect she may have hyperplasia. What is that, you may ask? It’s the changing or enlarging of cells or organs which may develop into cancer. Specifically, she is undergoing tests to see if she has endometrial hyperplasia. Now what’s that? It’s when the uterine lining (the endometrium) is too thick. Her question? Is there a link between Endo and hyperplasia?
I found this to be very interesting as I had an MRI before my diagnostic surgery which found I had abnormally thick uterine lining. The first part of my surgery last year was to go in and perform a D&C (dilation & curettage) to remove some of the thick lining. So now I’m not only researching for my reader, but for myself (although my D&C biopsy came back normal).
Here we go again, inspired to write due to a dietary “restriction.” I’ve read that as an Endo Sufferer, I should avoid (or drastically cut back from) soy and soy-based products. I’ve read soy mimics and increases estrogen levels, which we’ve come to understand can affect our Endometriosis growth and symptoms. So today, I want to do my own research.
Soy products are the “richest sources of isoflavones” that humans can eat. What the heck is an isoflavone? It’s a “plant-based compound with estrogenic activity” English, Lisa, ENGLISH! It means it’s a plant-based compound that mimics estrogen. So, soy has a very rich, or high levels, of a property, a compound, a thing…that acts like, or mimics, estrogen. The isoflavones can attach themselves to estrogen receptors throughout the body, and either mimic or block certain estrogen effects in tissues.
Why is that bad? Well, it’s not, for everyone. Estrogen may help prevent certain forms of cancer (breast, uterine, or prostrate), stimulate bone growth, or help women suffering with post-menopausal symptoms. But for those of us who suffer from what very-well may be an estrogen-driven disease, it can be very bad.