Generally if you have weight loss - unexplained weight loss is always a problem and should be looked into by a doctor. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's ovary cancer. But a benign cyst, a functional cyst, any of these cysts that we talked about with the exception of the cancerous cysts which are rare, will not be associated with a weight loss. Obviously if we have pain or anxiety about a tumor or cyst often times that's the cause of the weight loss. As far as weight gain, the weight gain is not because of a cyst. However, in the case of the polycystic ovary it's a condition that's sort of related. The cyst doesn't cause the obesity but they seem to be related. And the reason for polycystic ovary disease is unknown. It's multi-factor but again one of the treatments I mentioned was to try to get the patient to loose weight and it often helps the other symptoms.
A lot of women have been sending in questions to obstetrician Christopher Freville in relation to their nutrition and can eating certain types of food or avoiding other types of food have a, any affects on the cysts within their ovaries?
Let's talk nutrition and perhaps we should mention certain types of drugs and what drugs might have an effect.
First of all as far as - let's talk about food. Will nutrition help? Nutrition's always good. Anybody that says good nutrition is not going to help the body is wrong. However, good nutrition per say is not going to resolve a cyst; it's not going to prevent a cyst. Most of these cysts cannot be prevented because they're functional or they're the types of tumors or conditions that we've talked about and they're totally unrelated to diet. The only condition it might be able to help would be the polycystic ovary that's associated with diabetes and obesity, and by proper nutrition, proper diet, eliminate the obesity, decrease the tendency toward diabetes and therefore, hopefully the other symptoms might resolve as well. That would be the only case, I say that nutrition -
Now there are, and I will mention one thing because you kindly provided me with a list of questions that you've received from various people. And one, some health food, and this is interesting. I call it health food; we'll call it health pills. One was Noni- Tahitian. Noni-Tahitian is the Indian mulberry plant. It grows in the South Pacific and like a lot of the natural foods there's a lot of claims around all of these. In fact Noni-Tahitian, this is just an example. One company called Morinda, Inc. was pretty well known. It was 1998. And these can feel like a giant cystic mass, a giant sausage like soft balloon, but these are benign. But sometimes we don't have a way of knowing until we actually get in at the time of surgery. Or, we actually can image it on ultrasound. And most of the time you're going to go in and relieve that hydrosalpinx.
Tubal pregnancies - this is called an ectopic. Once in a while the pregnancy develops in the tube before it makes it down and these conditions are life threatening. Most of them are not, but in the process the tube can fill up with blood and before it ruptures. And this can also appear on ultrasound as a cyst and it can feel like a cyst. Most of the time a pregnancy test will be positive, and when you combine that with the enlarged tube, well you've got your diagnosis and saved an emergency.
We've talked about endometriosis, that which can be a cyst. They're rare types of colon tumors, most of these are solid bowel abscesses, can be sometimes diverticulosis, diverticulitis. You can have abscesses that can feel - most of these, well they can feel, or present like a cyst, and they're going to be painful. Most ovary cysts in and of themselves are not going to be causing a problem. And there are a couple of other conditions that can be mistaken for a pelvic tumor. They're not cysts but I'm going to mention them; uterus fibroids or uterine myomas, and pelvic kidney's. The kidney actually migrates during development. A lot of strange stuff happens to us. We're lucky that so many of us are normal. The pelvic kidney sometimes remains in the pelvis and can feel like a tumor until the proper tests are done to identify it as a kidney. So, during the work up process all these things are considered. But, the important thing here, is that cysts themselves, in and of themselves are not going to be a problem or life threatening problem.
Hillary Templeton gives advice to women of all types of ovarian cysts on her website. Click here for more information on ovarian cysts and pregnancy .