Fibroids and endometriosis are two of the biggest health complaints I hear about from women. There is hardly a week that goes by that I don't get an office call or a letter from a woman who is trying to avoid fibroid surgery or who is looking for relief. I decided to write this article in response to all of these wonderful women. It offers suggestions for safe and gentle natural therapies, like diet and whole herbs, that you may want to explore with your holistic physician or natural health practitioner. At Crystal Star, we always suggest you consult with health professional before starting a self-help program. The incidence of fibroids and endometriosis has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. More than a half million American women have hysterectomies every year because of complications caused by fibroids and endometriosis. As much as 40% of American women 35 and older have fibroids. Some data suggest uterine fibroids are more common than blue eyes.
Having a hysterectomy is major surgery, sometimes requiring a month or more of recovery time. A 2000 study in the journal Lancet shows women who have undergone hysterectomies have a 60% greater risk for urinary incontinence later in life. In addition, a hysterectomy induces a premature, unnatural menopause with all of its attendant problems- hot flashes, bone loss, weight gain, and mood swings. Most women tell me they would rather deal with the fibroids! The medical community's answer to this is usually a prescription of hormone replacement drugs that we now know are linked to breast cancer, gallbladder disease and blood clots.
The majority of these problems could have been avoided. The latest research shows that only 10% of hysterectomies are medically necessary.
What are Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are benign growths between the size of a walnut and orange that appear on or within uterine walls. Their symptoms can be mild to severe with excessive menstrual bleeding, abdominal pain, bladder infections, painful intercourse and infertility topping the list. Further, most fibroids are not cancerous, and, according to some estimates, have less than 1/2 of 1% chance of becoming cancerous before menopause. In fact, research suggests most fibroids go away on their own after menopause.
Breast fibroids are also highly common. Breast fibroids feel like moveable, rubbery nodules near the surface of the breast. Women complain they cause swelling and that getting a hug is too painful. In a small number of cases, breast fibroids can be fast-growing and may require medical treatment. Even then, you should know that a recent study in National Cancer institute shows radiologists report false positives 16% of the time. Click here for more Breast Fibroids information.
How is Endometriosis Different? Endometriosis is caused by excess growth of endometrial tissue that is not shed during menstruation. The tissue escapes the uterus and spreads, attaching to other areas of the body- ovaries, lymph nodes, fallopian tubes, bladder, rectum, even kidneys and lungs. It grows abnormally, bleeding severely during the menstrual cycle, from the vagina or rectum, or bladder or back through the fallopian tubes, instead of normally through the vagina.
Endometriosis can mean heavy periods and pain all month long, and it increases risk for benign uterine and breast fibroids. It's credited with up to 50% of infertility cases in American women.
In many cases, natural therapies can help a woman's body normalize naturally. Further, symptoms of fibroids and endometriosis can be reduced by making simple diet changes and following specific herb and supplement protocols.
Do You Have Warning Signs Of Fibroids Or Endometriosis?
A visit to your holistic physician will give you a definitive diagnosis, but two or more yes answers to the symptoms below should alert you of a potential problem.
- Severe abdominal cramping and shooting pain; and abdominal-rectal pain
- Excessive, painful menstruation; passing large clots; prolonged abnormal menstrual cycles
- Chronic fluid retention, abdominal bloating
- Irregular bowel movements or diarrhea during menses
- Urinary frequency
- Sensation of fullness or pressure in the abdomen
To Life-long health,