THIS MONTH: Angelina Jolie’s dramatic surgery, Kim Kardashian’s infertility issues, new research linking the birth control pill to Crohn’s Disease, what it means to be a Moody Bitch, plus - are women biologically superior?
I’ll be giving my take on what’s current, topical and trendy and asking you all to share your own thoughts and feelings about the hot topics that we cover.
So, let’s get started.
Tell me what you think. How do these issues impact you?
I just wanted to think through her choice here and I find myself left with some big questions for all of us.
I really feel for Angelina and I think she is courageous in taking these steps for her own health and for the sake of her children. The BRCA gene, as with any gene, can be impacted by diet and lifestyle. A carrier of this gene who eats and lives in a healthy way will decrease the likelihood that the gene will be triggered or turned on and, therefore, become harmful. I think we can assume that Angelina eats well and lives a healthy lifestyle, taking in few, if any, inflammatory foods. And yet her tests showed inflammatory markers, regardless. That’s a testament to the genetic card she has been dealt. Despite her best efforts she can not turn this gene off.
Removing your breasts is one thing, but removing your ovaries has a far more dramatic health impact. By removing the ovaries, Angelina has entered menopause and will experience a huge hormonal shift as a result. Without the estrogen patch (synthetic or not) and the progestin-secreting IUD she is currently using, she would otherwise age dramatically within the first year after surgery. The change would be obvious in her appearance - her skin, her weight, all of this would change. The hormone supplementation will keep her looking, and feeling, more youthful, although it will come with other side effects.
Angelina’s double mastectomy may have helped her avoid using the estrogen suppressing medications most women with breast cancer have to take post-treatment, which also have an aging effect on the body. Yet now she must opt for the patch and the IUD to maintain her hormone levels. She is navigating a very complex situation and making choices as best she can with the information she is provided.
She knows she’s not out of the woods. Removing estrogen sensitive organs and tissues does not ensure that the gene will not express itself in another area - the uterus, cervix, or other estrogen sensitive tissues. If she is not avoiding inflammatory foods, now would be the time to do so if she is to avoid hysterectomy and further surgeries.
What I find incredibly brave about Angelina’s choice is that essentially she has given her body over as a science experiment. What I find frustrating is that neither she nor her medical practitioners have any way of knowing whether this will work as hoped. What’s probably more scary for the rest of us is knowing that she has access to the best medical care money can buy and yet this drastic surgery is her only option and she has little assurance that it will help her avoid cancer entirely.
I’m left a bit curious and concerned - we’ve been wearing pink ribbons for breast cancer research for decades and yet here’s Angelina stabbing around in the dark for a solution. In the end I feel like this makes me wonder how we can have not come up with better options for women facing cancer. Why do the medical advances in this area fall short? Why must she depend on such drastic invasive surgeries?
I happened to catch a glimpse of this segment where she was a platinum blonde and when asked why she went there, her answer had to do with her fertility and not fashion - so of course my ears perked up.
Kim feels like she has been doing everything “right” to have baby number two with Kanye - including not coloring her hair. It hasn’t worked yet, and so she is giving up being good, and the hair color was her way to “let go” of the process. Kim is right - “going with the flow” (or Flo 😉 ) is a good idea if you have been getting stressed about conceiving. Stress can prevent ovulation. However Kim has admitted she has similar fertility issues to her sister Khloe who revealed that she “does not ovulate.” I would speculate that Khloe has PCOS, which is one of the easiest hormone conditions to treat with diet and lifestyle changes. Many women have turned a PCOS diagnosis around by following the Flo protocol and I only wish I could get this information to the sisters. Interestingly enough, Kourtney has a grasp of healthy diet and lifestyle and she now has three babies, though her genetics would have her be equally disposed to the same fertility challenges as her sisters.
My concern, however, is that women watching this story unfold will feel discouraged. They will think - if these women with all the money in the world and the best fertility doctors at their disposal can’t get pregnant naturally or with IVF, then what hope is there for them here? It suggests that women without the access to this kind of medical care might as well give up and get IVF or a surrogate, and how many people can afford either? Khloe and Kim are incredibly privileged and yet they still aren’t getting the right information on what to do to heal their bodies and have the babies they want. Options like IVF and egg freezing give us a false sense of control and they do not work often enough to be the default action. What we ought to be doing is figuring out how to make our bodies work how we want and need them to work. It’s not Khloe and Kim’s fault, it’s just that we don’t have the right kind of healthcare for women yet.
This is huge news!
Taking synthetic hormone replacement of any kind is health-altering and here's one more study that shows us yet a new way the Pill can wreak havoc on your health. If you have digestive issues or a history of issues in your family, you want to read this and then seriously consider ditching your birth control pills ASAP.
Umm...OF COURSE we are!! Why else would our gender be exclusively encoded with the ability to make new tiny humans? Our double X chromosomes are actually heartier, our immune system, absorption system, conservation system, and cross hemisphere brain communication are all more robust. As far as how the world would be if it were run by more women, well of course I think that’s a no brainer, but thank goodness there’s now research to solidly back this up. I was introduced to this research at my first TEDXWomen in DC when the author of The Athena Doctrine (one of two men speaking that day) shared his extraordinary and long overdue research about how countries that leverage women, feminine values, and the female brain are the ones that have the most economic and social stability in our present day. Again, I say - OBVI!!! I am eager to see our first female president in the US - like next election!!
I love this! You are being overmedicated and now there's a book detailing all the studies and science about what is normal for your moods as women and why you don't need all of this unnecessary medication! Could this book be one of the sequels to the Feminine Mystique? I cannot wait to interview the author and share more of her findings with you!!
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, have you been affected by any of these issues in the hormone headlines?
Second, what’s your take? Share your opinion with me in the comments and on social media.
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