Estrogen Stimulation and Hormonal Grades

UNDERTSANDING ESTROGEN STIMULATION AND HORMONAL GRADES

Understanding Estrogen Stimulation and Hormonal Grades

*Hormonal Grades are a unique component of Advanced Thermography at The Thermogram Center and are not available from other thermographers in Colorado.

According to the National Institutes of Health, breast tissue can hold 10 to 50 times more estrogen than a typical blood test may reveal. Since prolonged exposure to excess estrogens is a significant risk factor for breast cancer, many women seek a way of monitoring the estrogen in their breasts, not just in their blood, urine, or saliva.

The Thermogram Center provides images of the vascular dilation of the breasts and grades the level of vascular dilation seen, relative to a state of lactation, when estrogen levels are high. Excess estrogen stimulates breast tissue and dilates blood vessels. Dilated blood vessels are more visible on thermograms than non-dilated vessels because they have more blood and heat flowing through them. (Our current digital infrared imaging camera captures 307,200 temperature readings to 0.05°C sensitivity and 0.69mrad spatial resolution in a split-second.)

During lactation, dilation is necessary for an adequate supply of blood to support breast milk. But if a woman's thermograms look as though she is lactating when she is not, then the breasts may be unnecessarily stimulated by estrogen, resulting in an increased supply of blood, estrogen stimulation, and risk for developing breast cancer. (High homocysteine levels and systemic and /or chronic lymphatic inflammation, i.e. from dietary and/or environmental sensitivities, can also make vessels look dilated in a thermogram, but such a dilation appearance would not be limited to the breasts.)

If a woman has a higher than expected Hormonal Grade, she can work with a qualified health provider to determine if excess estrogen stimulation is present. Qualified health providers are those who are proficient at estrogen metabolism and elimination, not just estrogen support or HRT (hormone replacement therapy). While there are prescription drugs available to reduce estrogen stimulation, there are also many effective natural and nutritional methods.

It is important to recognize some additional factors that can affect the hormonal grade that may or may not be the result of estrogen stimulation. Low-grade whole breast inflammation from poor lymph flow can produce mottled thermal patterns that can simulate the appearance of estrogen stimulation in the breasts. Altered thyroid function can create mottling and can directly alter the estrogen progesterone balance. In addition, chronic: pain, stress, hormonal imbalance, allergy, illness, (low-grade) infection, exposure to foods/chemicals for which one is sensitive can also affect nervous and/or immune/lymphatic system function creating mottling. When the hormonal grade is at a 3 or 4, all of these factors should be considered.

Hormonal Grades at The Breast Health & Preventive Education Center:

Hormonal Grades at The Thermogram Center:

The Thermogram Center uses Hormonal Grades (formerly Vascular Display Grades) to assess the level of vascular dilation in the breasts, which increases with estrogen stimulation:

Grade 1

Thermal Images copyright The Thermogram Center

Grade 2

Thermal Images copyright The Thermogram Center

 

Grade 3

Thermal Images Copyright The Thermogram Center

Grade 4

Thermal Images copyright The Thermogram Center

Grade 1 is commonly seen in postmenopausal women, while Grade 2 is commonly seen between puberty and menopause. Grade 3 is commonly seen with HRT, birth control pill use, hormone imbalance, and large breast size. Grade 4 is commonly seen in lactation, pregnancy, and exogenous estrogen usage.

Since there are potentially multiple factors that can contribute to increased blood flow to the breasts and/or increased systemic lymphatic inflammation, it is important that clients consult with an informed and qualified health provider to correlate thermal findings with the client's particular situation before deciding on any course of action.

Example: Conspicuous Vascular Patterns…

Example: Conspicuous Vascular Patterns in the Breasts and Estrogen Stimulation

Thermal Images Copyright The Thermogram CenterNote the extensive vasodilation in the left image. The right image followed 3 months of nutritionally-based estrogen metabolism support.* Note the significant reduction in vasodilation, suggesting a decrease in estrogen stimulation. Her Hormonal Grade decreased from 3 to 1.

Example: Effect of Birth Control Pills in One client

Example: Effect of Birth Control Pills in One client

Thermal Images copyright The Thermogram CenterThis 38 year old client had no breast complaints, but had previously used birth control pills for 15 years. While she had not used birth control pills for about a year, her Hormonal Grade is 4, consistent with stimulation by estrogen as seen during lactation.

Without her imaging, the client would not have been aware of her potential estrogen stimulation and breast cancer risk. She is now considering treatment to reduce her breast estrogen stimulation.*

Example: Imaging Demonstrates Effectiveness of Treatment

Example: Imaging Demonstrates Effectiveness of Treatment

Thermal Images copyright The Thermogram CenterThis 40 year old female experienced swollen and painful breasts with several large fibrocysts. After 2 months of treatment involving natural support for hormonal balance and optimal estrogen metabolism,* her fibrocysts and symptoms drastically diminished. Note the improved symmetry in colors and thermal patterns from the left to right image.