Fibroids are very common among women. Most of the time they do not cause concerns. But sometimes they can be very serious. Learn what to do if you have fibroids.
Many years ago, during a pelvic ultrasound exam, I discovered that I had a relatively large fibroid in my uterus.
The doctor told me that most women have fibroids and that I should have nothing to worry about. He said that my fibroid was not cancerous, and that all I needed to do was to have a regular pelvic exam to monitor its growth.
My fibroid doesn’t really bother me. I have regular periods and my bleeding is normal.
I used to have severe period cramps. But since I made changes to create a healthier lifestyle, my cramps have been pretty mild, and usually only happen on the first day of my periods.
So I wonder if my fibroid has shrunk or even disappeared.
Fibroids are very common
It turns out that my case is not unique. Fibroids are extremely common. More than 75% of women can be found to have small fibroids using an MRI, a very sensitive imaging technique.
Fortunately for most women like myself, there are no worrisome symptoms.
Some women, on the other hand, are not as lucky. I have a dear friend who had to have a hysterectomy because of prolonged, heavy bleeding as a result of her fibroids.
Sadly, every year some 600,000 American women have a hysterectomy. About 30% of those hysterectomies are performed because of fibroids. And about 30,000 myomectomies are performed each year to remove fibroids.
When to treat fibroids
According to Dr. William Parker M.D., treatments are usually needed for the following reasons:
- Recurrent hemorrhage (excessive bleeding) leading to chronic anemia
- Blockage of ureter(s) – very rare
- Suspicion of cancer – extremely rare
- Improving the quality of life from issues such as bleeding, discomfort, frequent urination, constipation and appearance
Since many women are likely to have fibroids during their reproductive years (most fibroids shrink naturally with menopause), I think it’s important that we are well educated on this issue, and the various options available to us.
How to treat fibroids
This is an important and complex subject. I’ll continue to share more along the way. In this post, I’ll offer four general tips:
1. Create a healthier lifestyle
Even though our medical science has not yet been able to pinpoint the exact cause of fibroids, it’s generally believed that they’re a consequence of a chronic inflammation of the immune system. So lifestyle plays an important role in preventing, managing and healing fibroids, among other menstrual disharmonies.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet, exercising regularly, improving the quality of sleep, and managing stress effectively are the keys to many of our health concerns, including fibroids.
2. Reduce estrogen dominance
Fibroids is often associated with elevated estrogen levels.
3. Watch for abnormal menstrual bleeding
As mentioned earlier, a major reason for surgery is heavy bleeding leading to chronic, severe anemia with symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, and light-headedness.
If you have been bleeding heavily over a relatively long period of time, it’s easy to grow accustomed to heavy monthly blood loss and forget how a normal flow would feel.
I encourage you to track your menstrual bleeding and monitor the amount and timing of your monthly bleeding along with other symptoms.
If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to get a pelvic checkup (with an MRI perhaps) for fibroids or other conditions. Like everything else, it’s always easier to treat a condition if it’s diagnosed at an early stage.
Meanwhile, use cypress oil to help reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.
4. Explore treatment options
A hysterectomy is not the only option when it comes to treating fibroids.
If your fibroids are small (<4cm), acupuncture and Chinese herbs are effective in reducing/removing the fibroids, alleviating secondary symptoms and improving the quality of life.
If your fibroids are relatively large and require surgery, there are other less invasion options to consider:
- Endometrial Ablation
- Hysteroscopic Myomectomy
- Abdominal Myomectomy
- Laparoscopic Myomectomy
- Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE)
- Focused Ultrasound
I had the opportunity to meet two compassionate, trusted, and respected doctors and healers this past weekend in a workshop on uterine fibroids. They would be happy to discuss your options with you.
Dr. William H. Parker is a board-certified Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Parker is an internationally recognized expert in fibroid surgery and research.
Based in Los Angeles, California, he is considered one of the best fibroid surgeons for abdominal and laparoscopic myomectomy in the United States and abroad. He has been chosen for Best Doctors in America and Top Doctors every year beginning in the late ’90s.
Contact Dr. Parker at FibroidSecondOpinion.com.
Kumiko Yamamoto, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist at Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica specializing in women’s health. Besides offering acupuncture, Chinese medical massage, and herbal and nutrition therapies, she also teaches prescriptive mind-body exercises (Qigong) as well as InfiniChi energy healing.
Contact Kumiko Yamamoto at TaoofWellness.com.
Reduce Estrogen Dominance
Liver Cleanse Detox and Repair Formula (support liver functions)
Dim Plus (improve estrogen metabolism)
Amazing Grass Super Foods (clear excess estrogen and alkalize the body)
Chasteberry (proven to help treat low progesterone and regulate menstrual cycles in more than 60 years of clinical research, including 5 randomized trials)
Vitamin B6 (one of the best vitamins to boost progesterone)
Progesterone Cream (bio-identical hormonal support)
Support Adrenal and Thyroid Functions
Adrenal Health Daily Support (promote overall hormone balance)
Thyroid Support Complex (support energy and metabolism)
Once Daily Organic Whole Food Vitamin Supplement (provide essential nutrients for health and hormone balance)
Liquid Iron (support healthy blood)
Omega 3 Fish Oil (reduce inflammation and promote overall health)
The Hormone Cure, by Dr. Sara Gottfried
Cooking for Hormone Balance, by Magdalena Wszelaki