7 Ways To Naturally Manage, Shrink and Eliminate Uterine Fibroid Tumors
Around 70% of women will develop fibroids at some point in their lives, however the majority of these women are only given one option when pursuing treatment via the conventional route -- a hysterectomy, which should never be an option. Some women never experience any symptoms while others have debilitating symptoms. The good news is most fibroids don't cause symptoms, don't require any fancy treatment, and almost never require a hysterectomy, despite what you may have heard from your doctor.
Uterine fibroids, or leiomyomata, are non-cancerous tumors that form within a woman's uterus. Doctors still to this day treat fibroids with invasive procedures when it rarely if ever necessary, especially since fibroids end up shrinking on their own over time. Unfortunately, fibroids are the number one indication for hysterectomy in many developed countries.Most of the time the ovaries, a woman's source of testosterone, are removed along with the uterus which causes a host of other problems. FACTS ON UTERINE FIBROIDS
- Intrauterine fibroids are located within the uterus.
- Submucosal fibroids are located in the wall of the uterus.
- Subserosal fibroids are located under the serous membrane of the uterus.
- Most of the time they are benign and cause no apparent symptoms
- Fibroids tend to form at reproductive age, grow larger with pregnancy, and shrink after menopause.
- Rate of growth is generally very slow.
- Their cause is not fully known, though estrogen is considered a primary factor in their growth.
- Fibroid tumors can vary in size from so minute that they can only be identified under a microscope to very large
- Larger fibroids can cause the lower abdomen to swell and make it appear that a woman is a few months pregnant
- Some women experience pain, heavy bleeding, or pressure with uterine fibroids.
6 MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS OF UTERINE FIBROIDS
For most women, fibroids do not cause any symptoms, discomfort, or health issues. However the most common observable symptoms are as follows:
1) Heavy and/or prolonged menstrual bleeding.
Fibroids cause the uterine wall to become thicker than normal during the menstruation cycle, causing much heavier bleeding than usual. In some cases, bleeding is severe enough to cause anemia.
2) Significant change in menstruation patterns (e.g., sharply increased pain, much heavier bleeding).
3) Pelvic pain, or feelings of “heaviness” or “fullness” in the pelvic area. Fibroids can range in size from very small (smaller than a seed) to very large (grapefruit-sized). Large fibroids may even cause your abdomen to look distended as with pregnancy.
4) Pain during sexual intercourse.
5) Frequent and/or difficult urination.
6) Constipation. Fibroids may expand and cause the uterus to press against your bladder or bowels, causing constipation.
7 WAYS TO ADDRESS FIBROIDS NATURALLY
1) Green Tea or Green Tea Extract Green tea extract (epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG) has shown some promise in clinical trials to reduce the severity of fibroid symptoms. Women who take green tea extract experience fewer severe symptoms, and fibroid size shrank by over 30%. Green tea has also shown to prevent the growth of new fibroids.
Nearly all women can benefit from taking phytoestrogens-plant-based hormones found in flaxseed. Not only are phytoestrogens a safe alternative to synthetic hormones, phytoestrogen-rich foods decrease the effects of estrogen levels naturally by blocking the estrogen receptors on the cells in fibroids and other estrogen-sensitive tissues. Studies have shown that eating flax helps the body produce smaller amounts of unhealthy estrogens. Flaxseed is high in both fiber and omega-3 fats, which help reduce inflammation and tumor growth throughout the body and rid the body of toxins, including excess estrogen. Due to the prevalent nature of unfermented and GMO sources of soy, it should be avoided even if it is organic.
3) Antispasmodic herbs
can be used to relax muscle fibers and thereby decrease pain associated with fibroids. Antispasmodic herbs affect the nervous system to relieve muscle tension and cramping. They include herbs such as Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa),Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa), Lobelia (Lobelia inflata), Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), Jamaica dogwood (Piscidia erythrina),Wild Cherry Bark (Prunus spp.), Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), Valerian (Valeriana officinalis),Cramp bark (Viburnum opulus), Ginger (Zingiber officinalis), Kava (Piper methysticum)
4) Decrease or Eliminate "White" Foods. Foods such as white bread, cookies, cakes, and pasta increase insulin, which changes the way estrogen is metabolized, creating compounds that are more likely to cause cellular inflammation and fibroid symptoms, including enhanced growth of existing fibroids. (Further evidence of the diet-estrogen-fibroid connection is the fact that fibroids are more common in overweight women.)
5) Chinese Medicine Chinese herbal medicine can also shrink fibroids and/or relieve fibroid symptoms.One study found that the herbal remedy Kuei-chih-fu-ling-wan reduced fibroid size in about 60% of the study participants. Several clinical trials have shown that Tripterygium wilfordii extract, or lei gong teng can shrink fibroids as well as or better than the drug mifepristone. Guizhi Fuling formula (Ramulus Cinnamomi, Poria, Semen Persicae, Radix Paeoniae Rubra or Radix Paeoniae Alba, and Cortex Moutan) and mifepristone together are also effective at reducing fibroid size.
6) Adaptogen Herbs
Adaptogen herbs can support the overall health of the endocrine system. (Women with uterine fibroids often have estrogen dominance). Herbs such as Ginseng (Panax ginseng), Codonopsis (Codonopsis pilosula), Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum), Ashwagandah (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus, Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea), Schizandra (Schizandra chinensis), Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) and Licorice (Glycerhiza glabra) all act in non-specific ways to increase resistance to stress caused by fibroids, without disturbing normal biological functions.
There is some evidence that acupuncture may be effective in improving fibroid symptoms for some women. Because acupuncture usually has few side effects, it may be worth considering if you find other treatments have not worked. Make sure you work with a licensed acupuncturist.
Other alternatives that have worked for many women include liver cleanses, colonics, green juicing, high-potency turmeric capsules to reduce inflammation, systemic enzymes, chasteberry tincture (shrinks fibroids), oleander extract and avoiding birth control pills to prevent fibroid growth.
Dr. Marianna Pochelli is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine specializing in the treatment of disease through superfoods and herbal strategies. She actively promotes detoxification, colon cleansing, and a vegetarian lifestyle using living foods as a platform to health.