Uterine fibroids are a very common phenomenon among women of all backgrounds.
Women of African decent do have a higher risk of developing fibroids but the incidence rate among women in general during the reproductive years is about 30 %.
A fibroid is a non-malignant growth of tissue in the muscular layer of the uterus and can continue to grow as long as the woman has hormones feeding it. There are theories as to what causes fibroids, estrogen stimulation is the main working theory based on behavior of the tumor to hormone suppression.
Mainstream treatments can consist of hormonal manipulation and often surgery.
The hormonal treatment is typically contraceptive pills, which controls the cycle and the amount of estrogen, or Lupron, which shuts down the whole system and puts the woman into a chemically induced menopause. While this can prove to be effective, the patient often suffers from many objectionable side effects emotionally and physically from being thrown into menopause overnight.
A myomectomy is where just the fibroid itself is removed, or, in the case of a very large fibroid, a hysterectomy, where the total uterus is removed. And while these can be effective as well, they do nothing about the actual cause of the fibroid and having to undergo general surgery when there are less invasive options is not preferable.
In my Evanston office, I manage these patients by taking a careful history, looking at possible dietary, environmental toxin or emotional factors that could be contributing to the growth of the fibroid.
I get a complete hormonal laboratory workup and often suggest many dietary changes.
In addition, I often complete a homeopathic evaluation and perform SCENAR on the uterine acupuncture points which can alleviate any pain or discomfort the patient may have been having from the fibroid.
Supplementation with I3C or DIM as well as herbs to help the liver detoxify the hormones can also be helpful.
There are times, that this is not enough and the patient does need to undergo surgery, but in all fairness, it is almost always when the patient just can’t or won’t make the necessary dietary changes.
Look for future blogs on hormones in our food chain and how to limit our exposure to them.