Adenomyosis and Endometriosis: Myth vs. Fact

I have recently read some online articles about adenomyosis and endometriosis and have noticed quite a few misconceptions about these disorders. Since I recently wrote a book on adenomyosis after months of research into clinical studies, I feel it is necessary to write a myth vs. fact blog on these disorders.

Many misconceptions come from old information. Some of these inaccuracies are a result of a failure of medical professionals to update their current knowledge. I hope the following information will clarify the facts on these two disorders.

Myth: Adenomyosis and endometriosis are the same disorder.

False. Adenomyosis and endometriosis are similar, but they are not the same disorder. Both involved misplaced endometrial tissue (the tissue that is shed each month in the form of a menstrual period). In endometriosis, these endometrial implants are found outside the uterus on organs such as the bowel, bladder, and ovaries. Endometrial implants have even been found as far away as the brain. In adenomyosis, the misplaced endometrial tissue invades the uterine muscle and is confined to this area. It is important to note that many women suffer from both disorders at the same time.

Myth: Adenomyosis only affects women in their 40s – 50s.

False. This myth is rampant online. This used to be thought, but in recent years, this disorder is being recognized in much younger women. According to a 2013 study by Taran et al., “the clinical age at presentation of adenomyosis may be significantly earlier than previously thought and that early-stage adenomyosis might present a different clinical phenotype compared to late-stage disease.”¹ The reason for this change is due to the discovery of the difference in width of the junctional zone within the uterine wall (will be discussed later).

Myth: Pregnancy will cure both adenomyosis and endometriosis.

False. Pregnancy will only subdue symptoms due to fluctuations in hormone levels. Once the pregnancy is over, symptoms will return, sometimes worse than ever. Pregnancy is NOT an effective “treatment” for these disorders.

Myth: Adenomyosis/endometriosis is due to some kind of physical trauma earlier in the woman’s life.

False. This is a very antiquated belief that is completely false. Both disorders can now be seen clearly on imaging tests if the physician/radiologist is knowledgeable about the disorders. Bowel resections have been done on patients where the endometriosis has progressed through the bowel wall. Both adenomyosis and endometriosis can clearly be pathologically proven, so the idea that the disorders are linked to some kind of abuse has been proven to be false.

Myth: Adenomyosis can’t be diagnosed until hysterectomy.

False. If you go to a physician who is well-versed in adenomyosis diagnosis and treatment, he/she should be able to obtain a diagnosis prior to hysterectomy. As mentioned earlier, it has been found that the width of the junctional zone can indicate the presence of adenomyosis. The width of the junctional zone, visualized on MRI, varies throughout a woman’s cycle but in general, a normal width is 5-8 mm. Studies now show that a junctional zone width of 12 mm. or more indicates the presence of adenomyosis. In a 2011 study by Novellas et al., it was determined a thickness of the junctional zone of greater that 12 mm. indicates adenomyosis with an accuracy of 85 percent and a specificity of 96 percent.² A study by Dueholm et al. states that the use of transvaginal sonography and MRI together gives the most accurate results in the diagnosis of adenomyosis.³

Myth: Adenomyosis and endometriosis can be cured through hysterectomy.

This is only partly true – false for endometriosis and true for adenomyosis. Since adenomyosis involves only the uterus, removing the uterus will cure the condition. Since endometrial implants are found outside the uterus in endometriosis, removing the uterus will not cure the condition. Many adenomyosis sufferers become very confused when their symptoms do not resolve after having a hysterectomy, which is understandable. An important thing to remember is that in a lot of women, both adenomyosis and endometriosis are present. If your symptoms persist after having a hysterectomy for adenomyosis, you have probably been suffering from both adenomyosis and endometriosis.

For more in-depth information, including the results of recent research, please check out my book, Adenomyosis: A Significantly Neglected and Misunderstood Uterine Disorder by Maria Yeager. It is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.

¹Taran, F.A., Stewart, E. A., & Brucker, S. (2013). Adenomyosis: Epidemiology, risk factors, clinical phenotype and surgical and interventional alternatives to hysterectomy. Geburtshilfe Frauernheilkd, 73(9), 924-931. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1350840

²Novellas, s., Chassang, M., Delotte, J., Toullalan, O., Cheallier, A., Bouasis, J. & Chevallier, P. (2011). MRI characteristics of the uterine junctional zone: From normal to the diagnosis of adenomyosis. American Journal of Roentgenology, 196(5). doi: 10.2214/AJR.10.4877

³Dueholm, M., Lundorf, E., Hansen, E. S., Sorensen, J. S., Ledertoug, S., & Olesen, F. (2001). Magnetic resonance imaging and transvaginal ultrasonography for the diagnosis of adenomyosis. Fertility and Sterility, 76, 588-594. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/Soo15-0282(01)01962-8

Chemicals That Interfere With Hormones – Disturbing Findings

I have recently started to work on a new book on endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDC (also known as xenoestrogens). These chemicals have been implicated in the development of adenomyosis, but they have also been implicated in other reproductive disorders and cancers. I wanted to publish an in-depth review of these dangerous chemicals, but little did I know that I would be embarking on a huge project that is also quite disturbing.

I like to use PubMed through the NIH to get reliable information from actual clinical studies. The first study I read was “Mixtures of xenoestrogens disrupt estradiol-induced non-genomic signaling and downstream functions in pituitary cells” by Rene Viñas and Cheryl S. Watson at the University of Texas.¹

The first interesting thing I noted is that this group looked at the effect of mixtures of xenoestrogens, not just the effect of one xenoestrogen, on rat cells. This is particularly important since we are not exposed to one xenoestrogen at a time. In fact, we are exposed to hundreds of these dangerous chemicals each day. We are bombarded with them the minute we walk out our front door. This study showed that the cells responded differently when exposed to multiple xenoestrogens at the same time as opposed to a single xenoestrogen.

Although that fact is enlightening, the most disturbing thing I learned from this article is about bisphenol A, or BPA. This xenoestrogen is used to make plastics and epoxy resins, and it can be found in a slew of consumer products. Examples include water bottles, thermal paper (such as sales receipts, cinema tickets, airline tickets), CD’s, and DVDs. It is also used extensively to line the inside of food and beverage cans.  It is one of the highest volume chemicals made in the world today.

In the last ten years or so, the safety of BPA has come into question. Studies have shown that it is an endocrine-disruptor. In particular, it has been shown to interfere with estrogen receptors. Because of this concern, years of discussion ensued in governmental agencies worldwide leading to a ban of BPA use in the production of baby bottles and other products in children under the age of three. Today, some of these products are listed as “BPA-free”.

However, this study from the University of Texas pointed out that many “BPA-free” products now contain BPS, or bisphenol S. BPS is now being used as a substitute for BPA. Shockingly, this study shows that BPS is also an endocrine disruptor as it also interferes with estrogen receptors!! So, according to this study, “BPA-free” is NOT safe. As I continued to do my research, I noticed that a 2011 study stated “Almost all commercially available plastic products we sampled, independent of the type of resin, product, or retail source, leached chemicals having reliably-detectable EA [endocrine activity], including those advertised as BPA-free. In some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA [endocrine activity] that BPA-containing products.” ²

I was stunned! Next, I read a very long and excellent article on Wikipedia about Bisphenol A. I came to the conclusion that this chemical hasn’t been banned altogether because of lobbyists/politics.  Here are some interesting (and infuriating) facts:

  1. The FDA considers BPA to be “safe at the current levels occurring in foods.” They base this statement on two studies funded by the chemical companies even though there are hundreds of other studies out there that show this chemical to be an endocrine disruptor.
  2. The FDA had previously stated that the benefits of good nutrition outweigh the risks of BPA exposure when it comes to infant formulas/food. Since that time, BPA has been banned in baby bottles in the U.S.
  3. In 2011, the governor of Maine, Paul LePage, actually made the following statement when discussing the issue of bisphenol A: “The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.” In April of that year, the Maine legislature passed a bill that banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and some reusable food containers. Governor LePage refused to sign it.
  4. In 2009, the EPA planned on labeling BPA as a “chemical of concern; however, after lobbyists for the chemical company met with members of the administration, this didn’t happen.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I will get into much more detail in my upcoming book, but I felt the need to write a short blog on this topic now as to alert the general public about safety issues regarding BPA and so-called “BPA-free” products. After reading these articles, I have learned that virtually no plastic product is safe, regardless of what the government tells you.

The best advice I can give is to get away from processed food and go as fresh as possible. Organic is best. Try to stay away from canned foods as much as possible. It is important to note that we cannot avoid all xenoestrogens, but it is vitally important to reduce exposure as much as possible. This is particularly important for women who already suffer from estrogen-dependent diseases such as adenomyosis, endometriosis, and reproductive cancers.

 

Want more information on adenomyosis, an overview of endocrine-disrupting hormones, and tips to reduce your exposure? Check out my book, Adenomyosis: A Significantly Neglected and Misunderstood Uterine Disorder. Available on Amazon (Kindle or paperback).

http://www.mariayeager.com

 

¹Viñas, R. & Watson, C. (2013). Mixtures of xenoestrogens disrupt estradiol-induced non-genomic signaling and downstream functions in pituitary cells. Environmental Health Perspective. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-12-26

²Walsh, B. (2011). “Study: Even ‘BPA-free’ plastics leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals”. Time. Retrieved 14 September 2016.

 

Hearing God’s Voice

When I pray, I always ask God to speak to me through His Word. When I open the Bible, I assume that God has me open it to whatever I am supposed to read that day. I have always done this, and I usually read something that really speaks to me that day. This is just the way I do it, and it works for me.

Today as I prayed, I felt like God was asking me to be silent. To just sit in His presence and listen to His still small voice. I have read some books recently which taught me this concept, and today, I felt like I just needed to listen to Him. Well, something came to my mind almost immediately. This had been in the back of my mind for a long time, but today, I felt as if God wanted me to delve in and understand this event in my life on a deeper level.

In 2011, just months before I found out that my husband had been having an affair, I began to have dreams that I was divorced. If you have read any of my past blogs, you will know that I had occasions of premonitions through dreams. My dad had this happen to him too – he dreamed that his brother was killed in a car accident, and a week later, it actually happened.

The first time I dreamed I was divorced, I just blew it off. I woke up thinking how ridiculous the dream was as I had no intention of ever getting divorced. When the second dream happened, I was a little bothered and wondered why in the world I would dream about something so crazy. When it happened a third time, I woke up confused and worried. I told my husband about the dream, and I asked him point-blank if he was going to divorce me. Although he denied that he would ever divorce me, his response was anything but convincing.

If that isn’t strange enough, around that same time, another amazing thing happened (although I didn’t understand it at the time). On at least three occasions while falling asleep, I audibly heard a voice say “Maria!” I opened my eyes, sure someone was calling my name, but no one was there. My husband was asleep next to me, and he didn’t move at all so I thought I had dreamed it. When it happened again, I thought that maybe it was an angel or even God trying to say something to me. Each time, I heard “Maria!”, clear as day, and when I opened my eyes, no one was there. My husband never moved, so clearly, he never heard it.

As I thought about these events this morning, I wondered if this was some kind of warning about what was going to happen to me later in 2011 when I found out about the affair. Was that God’s voice speaking to me?

I opened my Bible to Isaiah 41:

“Listen to me in silence…” Isaiah 41:1

This was interesting enough. But it went on:

“Do not fear for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Yes, all who are incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced….For I, the Lord your God hold your right hand. It is I who say to you, “Do not fear. I will help you.” Isaiah 41: 10-13

When I look back on these events, I now know that God was right there. I believe He was telling me that He was watching everything, and he knew every detail of the affair even when I had no idea what was happening. I believe this was His way of telling me that He never left my side during that time, and that even though I was going to be divorced, He would bring me through it. Even though I was about to go through hell and be yanked out of the life I knew, He would ensure that I would get through it and would end up in a much better place.

Always know that God sees EVERYTHING. He sees everything that is done in secret. He knows every insult, every lie, every betrayal….everything. Nothing can be hidden from God. On the other hand, He feels every single pain of betrayal. He sees every teardrop, feels every hurt, and goes through all the suffering with us. Remember – God was betrayed by Judas. He knows full well the pain of betrayal of someone who He believed loved Him.

He will always be with you, even when you think He isn’t there. God never leaves our side…EVER! As it is written in Isaiah 41:13, “Do not fear. I will help you.”

Taking on Andrew Wommack….Again!

 

Yesterday morning, as I was channel surfing while eating breakfast, I once again stumbled across Andrew Wommack’s show. This time, he was teaching about prayer. I listened for a few minutes but was so disgusted by his remarks that I quickly turned off the television. Just now, I decided to listen to a little bit more of speech on prayer online because I wanted to address his remarks in this blog.

I was raised Catholic. Although I currently attend a non-denominational church, Catholicism is near and dear to my heart. I personally don’t believe there is any one “right” religion – I believe it depends upon what is truly in your heart and soul. Some of the finest people I have ever known were Catholic, so I’m sure you will understand when this man insulted Catholics during his show on Monday. No, he didn’t actually say the word “Catholic” – he actually said that he didn’t want to point out any one group, but he talked about how some Christians would use beads and say the Hail Mary repeatedly and how this wasn’t real prayer. Clearly, he is referring to Catholics. His attempt at saying he didn’t want to point out any one group was pathetic and just plain mean. We all know who he is talking about. He went on to say that some prayer is bad if it isn’t done “correctly”. He talked about how prayers aren’t answered because we aren’t praying the right way.

My rebuttal:

First and foremost, I would like to point out that Andrew Wommack isn’t God! He cannot say at all if someone’s prayers are right or wrong. Only GOD know what is in someone’s heart. Only GOD knows how someone was raised and what they were taught. Only GOD decides if a prayer is genuine or not. Andrew Wommack doesn’t get to decide how you must pray. If you reach out to God with all your heart and soul, He will respond. He doesn’t need anyone’s permission here on earth. Don’t be deceived by this man.

Second, it is of utmost importance to not compartmentalize religious groups – any group, really. I have been very active in the Catholic church, especially in my youth. Yes, there are some bad people, but there are many, many wonderful people in this denomination who believe in Jesus with their whole heart, mind, and soul. What about Mother Teresa? What about Padre Pio? Andrew – are you really saying that these two people, both of them Catholic and both who prayed the rosary constantly, were not really praying? Are you saying that their prayers weren’t heard by God? You’ve got to be kidding! And there are so many other examples! There are bad and good people in every religion. Judging an entire group of people based on the actions of a few is very dangerous. Remember, Andrew – the Bible also says “Do not judge lest ye be judged”.

Third, it is extremely important to realize that prayer will not always be answered according to how you think it should be answered. Sometimes what you are asking for is not God’s will for you. Andrew leads you to believe that if you pray a certain way, your prayers will be answered according to how you want them answered, and that is just not true. The key is that you pray, just as God taught us to, and then you submit to His will. His will may not be the same as your will, but you have to trust in Him.

I believe it is a very dangerous teaching to tell others that they must pray in a certain way or God won’t hear their prayers. If the prayer is truly coming from your heart and you believe in Him with all your heart and soul, He will listen, no matter how you pray.  Remember – Jesus himself taught us how to pray through the Lord’s Prayer. He wants us to pray – listen to Jesus, not Andrew.

Finally, Andrew tells of a story where a woman asks him to pray for her husband. Andrew said “no” because in his mind, this lady wasn’t praying the right way. This is horrible. We should all pray for one another, no matter what. It is not up to us to judge how someone else talks to God. Shame on you, Andrew Wommack!

 

 

Daily Prompt: Cheat

Daily Prompt: Cheat

This morning, I checked my phone and saw that today’s word prompt on WordPress was “cheat”. I have never taken part in these word prompts as I usually have something to write about, but I have to admit, I’ve been running out of ideas lately. When I saw this word prompt, I knew I wouldn’t take part in it today as the word brings back some bad memories for me. However, throughout the day, I have been bombarded with reminders of this word, and I believe I am being called to write about this topic. So, I am giving in…haha!

The word “cheat” can refer to so many things – cheating on a test, cheating on taxes, cheating at a game. But for me, the word “cheat” brings back memories of a horrible time in my life – a time when I though my life was over. Almost five years ago, I found out that my spouse of almost twenty years was cheating on me.

Those few months right after I found out about the affair were some of the worst and most painful of my entire life. This man, who just months before the affair told me that I was the most wonderful wife in the world, was messing around with a co-worker. This is the same man who, for almost the entire length of the marriage, condemned anyone who stepped out on his/her spouse. This is also the same man who supposedly was a Christian and who clearly knew that infidelity was wrong.

I was stunned at his attempt to shirk responsibility for his actions. He blamed everyone else for his actions, including me. I have since learned all about narcissism and now realize that this played a role in how he failed to deal with his infidelity in a healthy manner. He refused counseling which is also a hallmark sign of narcissism. Through my own counseling, I began to realize that narcissism played a huge role in the demise of our marriage, but not just his narcissism. It was also quite prevalent in other members of his family as well – members that had a huge influence over the entire family dynamic.

I remember certain details about those terrible months. I remember how I found him at her townhouse ordering pizza on a Friday night. I remember walking up to the door and confronting him. I thought for sure that since I caught him, he would return home and talk to me about what had happened. I was, after all, his wife. I just caught him at another woman’s house. However, he didn’t return as I had expected. He didn’t come home for four hours. I remember crying myself to sleep. I remember waking up and looking at the clock, realizing he still wasn’t home, and knowing what was probably going on at her house. I remember feeling like someone was just stabbing right in my heart, feeling so sick to my stomach, and having a pounding headache. I remember never getting an apology for that behavior – instead all I heard were excuses and justifications.

I remember waking up one morning the week after finding out about the affair and walking down to the kitchen right after he left for work. The overwhelming scent of cologne just about knocked me down as I walked into the kitchen. It followed me throughout the house as I thought about the fact that he was probably with her on the train right at that moment – the train that took the two of them to work. He had never put on that much cologne before, but he was doing it for her.

I remember how thoughts haunted me day and night. What caused him to treat me like this? How could this happen? On those days when he left to play golf or go to the casino, was he with her? On the days he had to “work late”, was he with her? Did he lie to me the entire marriage? Did I ever truly know this person? Was she in my home when I was visiting my parents? A never ending stream of horrible confusion and terrorizing realizations kept me from sleeping for months.

I remember how, in a divorce support group at church, they described divorce as a “tearing of the flesh”. They explained that when a couple marries, God joins the two and they “become one”, so when a divorce occurs, it means that the two are being torn apart. Believe me, it felt like this. It was awful.

I remember how, within the time period of just about a month, he went from this loving husband who couldn’t seem to keep his hands off me to a complete stranger who didn’t seem to care about me at all. He didn’t care about all the hurt he was inflicting, not only on me, but my entire family. It didn’t seem to bother him one bit that he was walking out on almost twenty years of his life. It’s like he went to bed as one person and woke up as a complete stranger.

It was hell. A complete uprooting of everything I knew to be true. A time where I didn’t think I would make it. But I did make it, and I am so much better for it.

I went through years of counseling. In addition to learning all about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I learned who I truly was – a knowledge of my own self. I realized that I had not been true to myself as I let others control what I did and thought. I became self-aware, and I learned to love myself and accept myself just as I am.

I also spent a lot of time with God – time in prayer, time in church, and time alone with Him. My spiritual life grew by leaps and bounds, and today I have the closest relationship of my life with God. I spend a lot of time reading the Bible and other spiritual books, and I have learned to lean on Him all the time, not just some of the time. But the biggest lesson of all is that I now know that He always has a plan for me – a purpose that at times I cannot see because of all the darkness on this earth. I thought I was surrounded by that darkness five years ago, but little did I know, the light was still shining. Today, I know that the light is always there no matter how bad the circumstances. God never leaves us.

Looking back to where I was five years ago, I can truly say that I am thankful that my husband had the affair. I actually want to thank him, believe it or not. If he hadn’t had the affair, I would still be stuck on a path that led nowhere. I do not believe in divorce, and I would have never left the marriage had he not had the affair. I have grown by leaps and bounds since the end of my marriage – emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

I remember several years ago when my therapist suggested that the affair might have been a blessing – a good thing because it allowed me to grow. In fact, my own grandmother made this same remark several years ago. I didn’t want to accept it at the time. I wasn’t ready. But today, I can truly say that some great changes have occurred as a result of that affair. I recall how it has been said that God can take bad things and turn them to good if you trust in Him. This is so true, and it certainly happened in my case. I truly believe that He reached down, yanked me out of a terrible situation, and placed me on solid ground where I could grow. God sees everything. I believe He gave me the “out” that I needed so I would be able to reach new heights. I wouldn’t be at this place today if I hadn’t been released from this marriage. Being in that marriage and family was truly holding me back from my destiny – a destiny full of hope and happiness. A destiny centered around the one true God. A destiny of true self-awareness.

Although bad things do happen in this life, hold onto hope. There is always a reason that is bigger than any of us, and most of the time we can’t see it at the time. You just have to trust. Hold onto the hand of God. Get a good counselor. God will get you through it and will bring you out on the other side in such a better place. He has bigger plans for you. All you have to do is trust in Him.

My blog address: http://www.yeagerm193.wordpress.com

Stop on by and check it out!

 

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Cheat

Adenomyosis Fighters – new updates to website!

Hi, everyone! My adenomyosis website has recently been updated!

I am now a member of the Amazon Affiliates program, and I have included links to Amazon products that may help adenomyosis sufferers. These products include additional books on adenomyosis/endometriosis, healthy cleaning alternatives that don’t contain dangerous xenoestrogens, and better cosmetic products that don’t contain parabens or phthalates. You can click on these products on my page and they will bring you directly to Amazon where you can learn more about the product and purchase it if you desire to do so.

I will be updating this site in the future with additional products that may be helpful, so check back often!

Let me know if you would like to see additional information/product options, and I will do my best to accommodate those requests.

Thanks for all your support! Hope these tips/products will help all of you on your quest to deal with this incredibly painful disorder!

My website address: http://www.adenomyosisfighters.com