It’s My Ovaries Stupid!

 The book, Its My Ovaries Stupid!, by Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet is chock full of information for women!  It really opened my eyes to all the different things that can happen with regard to our ovaries.  I wish that I had come across this book years ago, but at least I stumbled across it at our used bookstore.  Even more, I wish that this book was mandatory reading for ALL gynecologists and endocrinologists.  There would be much fewer women out there suffering for so long with such serious problems!


Here's what Her Place says of the book:

Sometimes it seems as though the only women’s health issues that get any sort of attention are breast cancer, pregnancy, and menopause. But in her groundbreaking book, It’s My Ovaries, Stupid!, Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet describes many of the rarely acknowledged, pervasive health threats to young women:

  • Premature Ovarian Decline (POD)
  • Premature Ovarian Failure (menopause in the young)
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Early puberty
  • Endometriosis
  • Infertility
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease and heart palpitations
  • Osteoporosis
  • Insomnia, fibromyalgia, and fatigue
  • Mood disorders
  • Weight gain

All the above problems are on the rise, robbing younger and younger women of life, fertility, and vitality.

Why is this happening? What can you do to protect yourself? How can you get tested? And what treatments are available?

Many common products and environmental toxins are endocrine disruptors that can profoundly disrupt hormone function, even in childhood. These products include:

  • Pesticides
  • Plastic food wrappers
  • Aspartame
  • Soy supplements
  • Food additives

Adding to the problems posed by endocrine disruptors are lifestyle factors, such as stress and dietary fat.

Your life, fertility, and long-term health may depend on on the information contained in It’s My Ovaries, Stupid!. Dr. Vliet draws on the latest international scientific research and her more than twenty years of clinical experience to show the negative effects of endocrine disruptors and poor lifestyle choices on the body. She answers crucial questions for young women who want to take control of their health: For instance, whose job is it to care for the ovaries — beyond their function in reproduction? And why do women have trouble getting help for “hormone problems” that appear to be linked to their monthly cycles?

It’s My Ovaries, Stupid! will help you understand your symptoms, get reliable tests, obtain treatment, and improve your health. The book also examines the controversies surrounding hormone replacement therapy and discusses some of the latest and best options for the treatment of thyroid problems.

Remember, it’s not stress, and it’s not all in your head. It’s your ovaries!


Table of Contents

  1. When Ovaries Go Awry: Women’s Lives, Women’s Stories
  2. Your Ovaries: an Owner’s Manual
  3. Your Ovaries and Their Life Cycle
  4. Ovaries at Risk: Surprising Toxins in Your Diet
  5. Ovaries at Risk: “Gender Benders” and Endocrine Disruptors Around You
  6. Ovaries at Risk: Toxic Effects of Cigarettes, Alcohol, Marijuana, and Other Drugs
  7. Ovary Shutdown: The Toxic Role Of Stress Overload and Sleep Deprivation
  8. Lifestyle Habits and Cultural Issues—Unexpected Stress for Our Ovaries
  9. Ovaries at Risk: Unusual Effects Of Viruses and Medical Illnesses
  10. Ovaries at Risk: Unrecognized Problems from Surgery, Medications, and Herbs
  11. Ovaries Out of Balance: Patterns in Women’s Lives
  12. Ovarian Hormones and The Brain: It’s Not Just Stress or Your Imagination!
  13. The Perils of Pcos, Obesity, Syndrome X, and Diabetes
  14. The Many Faces of Infertility: Overlooked Factors
  15. The Ovaries and Your Other Body Systems
  16. Balancing Ovarian Hormones for Optimal Health
  17. Test-and-Treat Strategies for Optimal Thyroid, Adrenal, and Glucose-Insulin Balance
  18. Starting Your “Clean-Up Campaign”: Get Rid of Ovarian Disruptors You Can Control
  19. Create Your Own Path To Optimal Energy and Health

Publisher: Evans and Company, New York

Number of pages: 503

© 2003


And a review of the book by Publisher's Weekly (via Amazon) says:

Despite the flippant title, this book offers a serious and comprehensive look at hormone dysfunction in women of all ages. Vliet, founder and medical director of HER Place Women's Center, believes that many women suffer needlessly because they are not being treated properly. According to the author, a variety of illnesses-depression, panic attacks, heart disease, diabetes, fertility problems-are related to hormonal dysfunction. Drawing on medical research as well as work in her own practice, Vliet (Screaming to Be Heard) provides a complete guide to ovaries, explaining how they work and what happens when they don't work properly, along with surgical and other treatment. Included are questionnaires so readers can self-diagnose and prepare themselves before visiting a doctor. Also particularly helpful are sidebar definitions and schematic diagrams showing the connection between hormone and illness, such as "How Stress Sabotages Your Health" and "Chemical Disruption of Thyroid Pathways." This is a detailed and sophisticated book, complete with a glossary of medical terms. Readers wanting spoon-fed simplified explanations of their "aches and pains" will find this book daunting, but women who want to become more knowledgeable and assertive patients will find it indispensable.

Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

12 Steps to Raw Foods


Two years ago, this month, I tried a 28-day raw foods experiment.  I won't go into details about the program I followed, except to say that it was good, but not the right one for me.  I still believe a raw food lifestyle is probably the best out there for healing purposes, but my new goal is to stop following another plan and start truly listening to what makes my body feel good and what doesn't.  That's why I recommend this book.  The author takes you step by step on a journey of listening to your own body, while she shares her experiences, her struggles, her mistakes and how ultimately she got to where she is now.

 Victoria Boutenko, co-creator of Raw Family, mother, teacher, researcher, artist and author of several books, wrote 12 Steps to Raw Foods, published in 2000.  In it she shares her experience of switching from cooked foods to a raw lifestyle, not only for herself, but her entire family.

Having grown up in Russia, her family lived on a diet of white bread, white sugar and virtually no fresh fruit or vegetables.  (Not much different from the Standard American Diet). She explains how entire family, her husband, her two children and herself, were all very ill.  She was suffering from arythmia and edema.  Her husband had severe arthritis and hyperothyroidism.  Her daughter had dibilitating asthma and her son had childhood diabetes and was on the verge of using insulin.

At this critical point in her life, she ventured to speak with a stranger and it opened the door for which she never looked back.  Victoria goes on to tell of her radical shaping of her family, which will have you laughing.  It did me.  And how in just a month, her family's health improved tremendously.  She's also very clear to point out that it wasn't easy.  Our bodies want what they're used to.  Cravings and desires for fat laden, chemical swamped Frankenfood is difficult to detox from, but it can be done.

Another equally important point she shares is what they were doing wrong.  After a few years on this lifestyle, she realized that their diet, while raw and creating health, was lacking certain vitamins and minerals only found in certain vegetables that they were not eating.

In the back of the book, Victoria shares several of her family's favorite recipes, including green smoothies, chili, fries and more.  This is an excellent read.  Informative without the snore factor of some books on diet and health.

Chemicals, Chemicals & More Chemicals

The people of the United States through the FDA, have allowed the craziest “food additives”, chemicals, into our food.  Why on earth, would we think that these chemicals were okay to put into food?  What we’ve ended up with is Frankenfood, instead of real, whole foods.

chemicalsHere’s just five of the chemicals that have made it into our food supply.  For a comprehensive list of FDA approved food additives, see the Food Additive Status List.

  • Acetone Peroxide – This additive is used in flour to help whiten flour.  It looks similar in color and substance to coarse salt and smells like bleach.  Eeew!  Interestingly enough, its a high explosive and has been used in terrorist activity.  Nice…  Acetone Peroxide is made by a chemical reaction between hydrogen peroxide and acetone.  Isn’t acetone what people use to remove fingernail polish?  The use of this product is to hurry the process along in “bleached flour”, because waiting a few months for flour to turn whiter on its own is to much trouble.  (Or rather, not profitable.)
  • Benzoyl Peroxide – This additive is also used in helping to bleach flour.  But, it may sound more familiar to you, as its in most face washes meant for treating acne, because it is help slough off the top layer of skin and pore cleaner.  Its also used in teeth whitener systems and in hair dyeing.  “In a 1977 study using a human maximization test, 76% of subjects acquired a contact sensitization to benzoyl peroxide. Formulations of 5% and 10% were used.”  (James J. Leyden, Albert M. Kligman; Article first published online: 11 APR 2006; DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.1977.tb03674.x), per Wikipedia.
  • Aluminum Stearate or Monostearate – is used as a defoaming agent in the process of making beet sugar and yeast.  It is also used in makeup and to form gels in the packaging of pharmaceuticals.
  • Aspartame – this nefarious little food additive was discovered in 1965, by a scientist developing an anti-ulcer drug.  He licked his finger to turn a page and found his finger to be extremely sweet, from having spilled some of the chemical.  In the 1980’s, it was finally given approval to be put in some dry goods.  It cannot be cooked with, as it turns unstable and smells like formaldehyde, unless suspended in fats, like maltodextrin (a corn derivative).  It has since been gradually finding its way into more and more of the food supply.  There is virtually no gum on the market that doesn’t haven’t this product in it, even though they’re not sugar free.  Yes, even “kids” gum, like Hubba Bubba.  Why?  Aspartame has 200x the sweetness of sugar.  Its a way to reduce cost and get the “same” sweetness for the product, according to manufacturers.
  • MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) – This is a naturally occurring, non-essential amino acid, often called glutamic acid.  However, don’t let its natural status fool you.  While it sounds harmless enough and is used as a flavor enhancer in many, many foods, its got some sneaky reactions in the body.  MSG has been used in food for over 100 years, having been discovered in Japan in 1908 from seaweed.  Both the United States and Australia/New Zealand are adamant that MSG has no adverse affects to the body, but there is growing evidence to the contrary.  Some of MSG’s adverse reactions to a person who is sensitive are:
    • Headache
    • Flushing
    • Sweating
    • Facial pressure or tightness
    • Numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas
    • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
    • Chest pain
    • Nausea
    • Weakness
    • (list from Mayo Clinic)

For PCOS sufferers, and all those who have endocrine problems, including thyroid issues, Grave’s, Addison’s and Cushing’s, MSG is hard on the body, because its an excitotoxin and a disrupter of the endocrine system.  MSG and aspartame disrupt the pituitary regulation of the ovaries.  (source)  They are also helpers in infertility.  (source).  Bad stuff.  So… how do you avoid these additives?

  1. Switch to whole foods
  2. If you do buy something processed, read your labels!
  3. Eat out at restaurants that clearly say they don’t use MSG (and other items)
  4. Don’t sweat the minutia