What are ovarian cysts?
Ovarian cysts are tumors or fluid or tissue filled sacs that develop on the surface of one or both ovaries. They are typically the size of a walnut or almond. Cysts are either functional or pathological in nature, with the pathological cysts being more of a detriment to overall health. Here are a few descriptions and some photos.
- Follicular – Most common type of functional cyst. The ovarian follicle produces a fluid to protect a growing egg. When the egg is released, the follicle should burst, releasing the fluid, then shrink back to it’s normal size. If the follicle doesn’t release the egg or doesn’t release the fluid and shrink after releasing the egg, it can becoming a follicular ovarian cyst. Typically, only one of these cyst appears at any one time and thanks to mother nature, goes away within a few weeks without interference. The following picture comes from Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
- Luteal – Least common type of functional cyst. After an egg has been released it leaves tissue behind called the corpus luteum. If this tissue fills with blood, a luteal cyst develops. Thanks to mother nature, this cyst typically goes away within a few months. There is a danger in the egg rupturing before then which could cause sudden pain and internal bleeding. The following picture comes from Humpath.com.
- Dermoid cysts – Most common type of pathological cyst for women under 30 years of age and also know as cystic teratomas, which means monster tumor (usually benign). This type of cyst is formed from the cells that make eggs. They typically contain hair, skin, bone, other tissues, and in some cases, even teeth. Doctors suggest that these cysts need to be removed surgically. The following picture came from Hyperalimentation.blogspot.com.
- Cystadenomas – Most common type of pathological cyst for women 40 years of age and older. these ovarian cysts develop from cells that cover the outer part of the ovary. Some are filled with a thick, mucous substance, while others contain a watery liquid. Rather than growing inside the ovary itself, cystadenomas are usually attached to an ovary by a stalk. Since they exist outside the ovary, they have the potential to grow to an extremely large size. These cysts are typically benign and doctors recommend that they are removed surgically. The following picture came from Humpath.com.
The information about the various types of cysts came from a myriad of sources, including WebMD.com and eMedicinehealth.com.
Symptoms Depending upon the type, most women who suffer from ovarian cysts don’t display any symptoms, however, if the cysts grows larger, she might experience:
- lower abdominal and pelvic pain or feeling or excessive pressure
- vaginal or pelvic pain during or after intercourse
- pelvic pain during menstrual cycle felt in the lower back
- pain or pressure with urination (bladder) or bowel movements (rectum)
- problems fully emptying the bladder
- bloating, swelling, or heaviness of abdomen
- irregular menstrual cycle
- naseau or vomiting
- vaginal blood spotting
- breast tenderness
- changes in the way breasts grow
- changes in the way hair grows, especially if increased facial hair similar to a male pattern
- weak, dizziness, or fainting
- high or low blood pressure unrelated to medication or other medical conditions
- unexplained weight loss
- excessive thirst or urination
- noticeable pelvic or abdominal mass
It’s important not to self-diagnosis an ovarian cysts as the symptoms are similar to those experienced with endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, etopic pregnancy, normal pregnancy, or ovarian cancer. If the ovarian cysts ruptures, the symptoms can mirror those related to appendicitis or diverticulitus.
- Eliminate sugar, especially refined sugar, from your diet.
- Limit the consumption of grains and excess protein, which turns into sugar.
- Have at least one baby before the age of 30 and breastfeed your baby.
- Don’t smoke and avoid second hand smoke.
- If experiencing breast cancer, know that Tamoxifen (Soltamox) therapy blocks the action of estrogen which can contribute to ovarian cysts.
- Avoid infertility treatment with gonadotropin medications.
- Get hypothyroidism (thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of the thyroid hormone) in check.
- Ensure that your body is able to produce the hormone we know as vitamin D3 – sunlight and sleep during the hours of 10pm-4am are the best sources.
The information about the symptoms and prevention came from a variety of sources, including my experience as a Master Herbalist and Health Coach, WebMD.com, and eMedicinehealth.com.
While there is no miracle herb or process to dissolve cysts, there are some healing modalities that have worked for others in the past. This work takes some focus and about three-six months to accomplish. Start with clean eating (no sugar, no processed food, no bread, no beef, no pork, and make sure your other meat and fish are from clean sources), meditation, and herbal infusions of chapparal and vitex.