"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."
Chances are that you or someone you know has fibroids. Fibroids (also called myomas) are benign tumors that grow in the smooth muscle cells in the uterine wall (the myometrium). They can form on the inside or outside of the uterus; above, below, or on the side of it. They're present in 25-40 percent of women in their childbearing years, and about 40 percent of women have one or more fibroids when they reach menopause. As a physician, I've cared for thousands of women with fibroids-including myself-treating them with everything from diet to drugs to hormone replacement to surgery.
women with fibroids don't even know they have one until their doctor discovers it during an annual pelvic exam. These benign growths are amenable to lifestyle changes such as diet, taking certain herbs, exercise, and changes in emotional patterns. Lifestyle modifications are likely to have an impact because fibroids are very sensitive to changes in hormone levels in the body. Your hormones can be influenced by everything from dietary modifications to changes in your thoughts
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. Unfortunately,
fibroids are the number one indication for hysterectomy in this country. And many
times the ovaries, a woman's source of testosterone, are removed along with the
uterus to prevent possible ovarian cancer in the future. Though I certainly understand
the rationale for this, many women suffer from unexpected side effects from ovarian
removal and subsequent low testosterone levels, which result in a loss of sex
drive and decreased vitality.
course, depending upon the size, number, and location of the fibroid, some women
experience pain, heavy bleeding, or pressure. If the fibroid is large, 10 cm.
or greater, the lower abdomen can swell slightly and make it appear that a woman
is a few months pregnant, which is what happened to me. Even if her fibroids are
causing problems, there's a lot that a woman can do besides taking drugs, having
surgery, or undergoing the new Ex Ablate ultrasound procedure. (See below.)
his excellent and comprehensive book Healing Fibroids: A Doctor's Guide to a Natural
Cure (which he co-wrote with Elena Oumano for Fireside, 2002), Allan Warshowsky,
M.D. (a board certified ob-gyn colleague and friend of mine), gives you everything
you need to know to decrease fibroid symptoms naturally. If you have fibroids,
I urge you to read his book. You're likely to find just the solution you're looking
for. And keep in mind that the lifestyle changes you adopt to heal your fibroids
will also improve the health of every cell in your body! Here are a few points
from Healing Fibroids. There are many other fantastic insights in the book.
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.)