Are you a woman of childbearing age? I have news for you. You have probably had an ovarian cyst at some point and didn’t realized it. That’s good news, but for some people, ovarian cyst causes serious problems, ranging from bloating, discomfort and pelvic pain.
Causes of ovarian cysts?
Most ovarian cysts develop as a result of the menstrual cycle. These cysts are called functional cysts. Every month, follicles are produced by one of your ovaries.
These follicles produce hormones, progesterone, and estrogen, which play a vital role in female reproduction. The follicles release an egg during ovulation, some women might even feel this process.
When the follicle doesn’t rupture during ovulation, it develops into a follicular cyst which continues to grow. Furthermore, a corpus luteum cyst occurs when there is fluid accumulation in a follicle that has released an egg during ovulation.
Most times, functional cysts develop and fade off without you noticing them. They disappear most times within two or three menstrual cycles.
Some other forms of cysts can form outside the normal menstrual cycle, these include endometriomas, cystadenomas, and dermoid cysts. Dermoid cysts develop from embryonic cells and may contain teeth tissue, hair or skin. I know it sounds scary, but these cysts are seldom cancerous.
On the other hand, Cystadenomas forms on the outer surface of an ovary and may be filled with watery material or mucous. Lastly, endometriomas can develop when uterine cells grow outside the uterus, this condition is called endometriosis.
Dermoid and Cystadenomas cysts become dangerous when they become large and displace the ovary. This places the ovary at a higher risk of ovarian torsion, this means the ovary twist in the body.
I know you are already cringing, but hang on, to make matter worse, ovarian torsion can actually and dangerously cause a decrease or an outright stop to the flow of blood to the ovary.
Fortunately, these conditions are quite rare but on occurrence requires immediate medical attention.
What are the Symptoms of an ovarian cyst?
Ask anyone who has ever had to combat a cyst, they will tell you it can feel like a pinch of pain or a concentrated cramping sensation on one side of the body. The following symptoms have also been recorded:
Abdominal pain, with or without lower back pain
A full abdominal feeling
An urge to have a bowel movement
Constipation or painful bowel movements
Discomfort during sex
Nausea or vomiting
Pain in the lower right or left quadrant of your abdomen
How to prevent ovarian cysts
Still cringing? Here is the good news, you can actually prevent ovarian cysts. Below are five preventive measures.
A change of diet
If you are diagnosed with the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a good start is adjusting your diet. Studies have shown that about 50% of women living with PCOS are overweight, it is believed by researchers that there is a link between PCOS and insulin resistance.
So it’s advisable you stay away from foods that cause insulin resistance; foods such as white potatoes, white bread and any food made with white flour, processed baked goods and other processed food.
You should rather look to enjoy anti-inflammatory foods and spices such as almond, turmeric, high fiber foods and lean protein.
A reduction in your estrogen levels
Ovarian cysts may develop due to excess estrogen level. Avoid spiking your estrogen levels by avoiding foods microwaved in plastic and drinks packaged in plastic and soy foods.
Avoid parabens and mineral oil in skin care products, use natural detergents around your home. Furthermore, switch to organic dairy and meat products.
Consider black cohosh
Black cohosh supplements can help in menstrual cycle regulation. Most cysts are a result of the menstrual cycle, using this supplement can help keep cyst at bay.
Black cohosh has been reported to ease menopause symptoms including irritability, sleep issues, heart palpitations and night sweats, so it might relieve you from ovarian cysts.
Some studies reported and warn against black cohosh as it may cause liver damage, so discuss this supplement with tour medical health provider.
Eat ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil
Consider adding flaxseed to your diet to regulate your hormones. There have been studies which show that it helps lower the level of androgens in the body, which might be a contributing factor to PCOS when levels are high.
Moreover, flaxseed has amazing health benefits which are sure to make you feel good in no time.
Consider maca root
Maca root is used basically to help women who are peri – and postmenopausal. Although studies only support its use in regulating hormones, it’s actually possible that maca root can help keep ovarian cysts at bay.
Maca root can be easily added to breakfast or smoothies, it is generally considered safe for consumption.
Consider wild yam root
Like black cohosh and maca root, wild yam can help regulate hormonal balance and promote menstrual health. Some women have even reported it helps with ovarian cyst pain.
Natural treatments for ovarian cysts
If any of the above preventive measures didn’t work, there are some natural remedies for ovarian cysts.
Application of heating pad on your lower abdomen. Applying heat to the region may be as effective as medications in some cases.
Epsom salt bath
Epsom salt or magnesium sulfate is generally known for its ability to ease pains and aches.
A combination of hot water and Epsom salt to form an Epsom salt bath will combine its natural pain relieving ability and the benefit of heat to ease your pain.
Castor oil packs
Castor oil helps bring balance to the lymphatic and circulatory systems by pulling out toxins from the body. They can also help in improving circulation at the point of application, so they are essential in reducing inflammation from an ovarian cyst.
Ensure you avoid using castor oil during menstruation.
When to see a doctor
It is very crucial to seek medical attention immediately you experience sudden and severe pelvic or abdominal pain, especially if it is accompanied by fever and vomiting.
It may be a sign that something is seriously wrong, such as appendicitis or ovarian torsion. If you experience symptoms such as rapid breathing, general weakness, shock, clammy skin – get to the doctor straight away.
By applying few tweaks to your lifestyle, you can prevent ovarian cysts. If they still occur, hopefully, some of the above-mentioned remedies will you treat them at home.