Uterine fibroids

uterine fibroidUterine fibroids are solid muscle tissue growths in the uterus. They are also called fibroid tumors, myomas, or leiomyoma’s. Fibroids occur so frequently (in up to half of all women over forty) that they could be considered a normal irregularity. The occasional fibroid can become enormous (medical literature reports one that was 100 pounds!), but the majority (80%) remains as small as a walnut.

Fibroids are the number one reason American women have hysterectomies.

The causes of uterine fibroids are unknown, but estrogens, especially estradiol, promote their growth. After menopause fibroids disappear. But because estrogen levels can rise during the early menopausal years, previously asymptomatic fibroids may grow in the years just before the cessation of menses, resulting in symptoms such as feeling of heaviness in the belly, low back pain, pain with vaginal penetration, urinary frequency or incontinence, bowel difficulties or severe menstrual pain and flooding.

  • Women of color are three to nine times more likely to have fibroids than white women, and theirs will grow more quickly.
  • Fibroid tumors are not generally cancerous. A tumor is a swelling or a growth, not a malignancy, not cancer. Less than 0.1% of all uterine fibroids are malignant.
  • Small fibroids often disappear spontaneously. Larger fibroids are more difficult to resolve, but not impossible to control with natural measures.
  • Exercise helps insure regular ovulation, and irregular ovulation seems to worsen fibroids.
  • Consuming three or more servings of whole grains or beans daily not only reduces the size of fibroids but offers protection from breast and endometrial cancers as well.
  • Strengthening the liver with herbs such as dandelion, milk thistle seed, or yellow dock root helps it metabolize estrogen out of the body, thus reducing fibroids.

Acupuncture treatments can shrink fibroids

Acupuncture treatment for fibroids include needle formulas that increase blood flow eliminate stagnation and clear heat within the uterine wall. These masses will be decreased with emphasis on smooth flow of energy and circulation. For example of points used: Liver 2,3,and 14. Large intestine 4, Kidney 7, 3 and CV 10,12,13. Also using immune points to clean and restore balance will help. These points include: Large Intestine 10, CV17, and Lu5.
Warm castor oil packs on the belly, or ginger compresses (soak a towel in hot ginger water) relieve pain and help shrink the fibroids.

The use of progesterone to treat women with uterine fibroids is hotly debated. One side holds that fibroids are created by lack of progesterone. The other side makes, to my mind, the better case: that progesterone increases fibroids. Evidence? Fibroids increase in size during pregnancy, when progesterone production is high, and atrophy after menopause, when progesterone levels decrease. Whichever side is right, eating more whole grains and beans usually changes estrogen/progesterone ratio for the better and shrinks fibroids.

Reduce fibroids by reducing your exposure to estrogen: avoid birth control pills, ERT/HRT, estrogen-mimicking residues from herbicides and pesticides used on food crops (eat organically-raised
products). Tampons that are bleached with chlorine may mimic the bad effects of estrogen, too.

Source:
Lewis, Randine. “The Infertility Cure”. Little Brown and Company. New York, 2004.

Posted in: Acupuncture, All Posts

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