When I first started my practice I had several women come in with fibroid issues. Some women came in because they had been diagnosed with fibroids, opted for the surgery, and wanted to change their behaviors so they would not come back.
Some women came in because they had been diagnosed with fibroids and wanted to avoid surgery by using natural methods to have them shrink and disappear. Of course my patients wanted me to make them disappear, and quickly. While they were in my office I would listen to their stories, racking my brain to figure out how I was going to help them get rid of their fibroids.
Fibroids are a condition where I knew the best I could offer my patients was management and not cure. What I mean by management is that I had successfully been able to stop growth but could not shrink their fibroids. So I would take a deep breath and be honest with my patients, telling them the limitations of what I could do to help them with their problem.
I was disappointed that I couldn’t offer a complete reversal of their problem but I knew I could improve their symptoms and their quality of life and if that was good enough. I would work with them to support them in the process.
Medical science is not sure of the exact reason why fibroids are created by women’s bodies. That is part of what makes it hard to get them to shrink or disappear.
It is estimated that 50 percent of women will have at least one fibroid by the time they are 50 years old. So it is a common problem with no common quick treatment that works all the time.
Fibroids are benign growths that develop in the uterus. Fibroids are not cancerous yet depending on where they are located on the uterus they can cause many problematic symptoms for women.
Fibroids, which are also called uterine fibroids, leiomyoma, fibromyoma or myoma, may not show symptoms or can be debilitating. Fibroids can show up as just one or several within the uterus of a woman. This can complicate symptoms, depending on where they are located.
Common symptoms that may send you to a doctor are heavy menstrual bleeding during a period, including blood clots at times or bleeding in between periods. Menstrual periods may last longer than normal. Painful pelvic cramping or extreme pain during periods is another symptom you might experience.
If the fibroid is located near the bladder, you might need to urinate more often or if it is located near the vagina you might experience pain with intercourse. One of the most devastating symptoms is infertility for women that want to have children.
With these myriad of symptoms you can see why these would be problems that would send you to your doctor wanting relief!
So back in my office, I am listening to my patients' stories and I want relieve their symptoms. I want to help them have a better experience with their period each month.
I have had great success managing growth because the growth is usually dependent on one hormone, estrogen. Using a combination of exercise, nutrition, and emotional support and time all of my patients with fibroids experienced relief of their symptoms or their fibroids did not return or grow.
In my next blog we will talk about the specific lifestyle changes that have reduced excess estrogen and support the overall well-being of my patients with fibroids.
Dr. Dae is a Naturopathic Physician who practices in the Washington DC metro area treats the whole person using safe and effective combinations of traditional and natural methods to produce optimal health and well-being in the lives of her patients.
"Uterine fibroids - PubMed Health." National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001912
"Uterine fibroids: Symptoms - MayoClinic.com." Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uterine-fibroids/DS00078/DSECTION=symptoms
Reviewed March 20, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith