A hysterectomy, with surgical removal of the uterus and/or the ovaries, results in a dramatic drop in hormone production. Overnight the main source of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone dries up, with dramatic short and long-term consequences. Among these: decreased bone and muscle mass, heart palpitations, vaginal dryness, reduced sex drive and depression. Most women go into instant, surgically-induced menopause following a hysterectomy and are usually placed on estrogen, unbalanced by adequate progesterone. In this case it doesn’t take long for supplemented estrogen levels to lead to “estrogen dominance” the term coined by Dr. John Lee in his popular book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. Symptoms of estrogen dominance in women (with or without hysterectomy) range from mood swings and irritability to heavy periods, tender breasts and weight gain. Long-term, too much estrogen can lead to low thyroid, fibroids and endometriosis, the latter two, ironically, constituting common cause for hysterectomy! Identifying estrogen dominance through saliva hormone testing and taking steps to correct the imbalance can prevent conditions leading to hysterectomy in the first place. Saliva testing is also important post- hysterectomy to pinpoint the extent of resulting hormonal deficiencies and monitor physician treatment to restore balance naturally.
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