What can you do about fibroids?
A teacher of mine once said that whatever our body makes, it can un-make[i]. If true, this is encouraging for women suffering with fibroids, benign growths of fibrous tissue growing in or near the uterus that are usually harmless but can sometimes become large and very bothersome. And there are a lot of us, I had them too at one point: more than half of pre-menopausal women do and most don’t ever know it[ii]. As you will see, fibroids are often associated with hormone imbalance, so directly addressing this can lead to a positive outcome.
It is important not to self-diagnose. This is because the symptoms of fibroids can be confused with other conditions such as endometrial polyp, adenomyosis, adenomyoma or ovarian cysts. The presence of fibroids can be determined through a pelvic exam, imaging to identify the number and size of the fibroids, and a formal diagnosis from your licensed provider.
“Common symptoms” of fibroids include: a sensation of fullness in the lower abdomen, pain and menstrual cramping, bleeding between periods, extremely heavy menstrual flow (which can result in anemia), frequent urination, constipation, chronic back pain and pain during sex.
Conventional medical treatment for fibroids is recommended particularly when there is disruption of functioning such as excessive bleeding or pressure on other organs. Treatment options include surgical removal, other procedures that cut or block the blood supply to the fibroids, and drug therapies that reduce estrogen and increase progesterone.
Assessing your fibroids
An integrative approach that complements conventional care could be considered if serious consequences of fibroids have not occurred (such as high blood loss or bowel obstruction). I will ask you about the individualizing symptoms such as: the nature of the pain; local sensations in the lower abdomen other than heaviness; the timing, color and consistency of the menstrual flow; and other systemic signs or symptoms that can occur such as thyroid nodules, elevated liver enzymes, anemia, high blood pressure, breast cysts, recurring urinary tract infections or whether there is any calcification.
It can also be important to identify changes that may have taken place before the fibroids developed, such as a miscarriage, hormone-based contraceptive use, other hormone treatment, cortisone treatment, sexual trauma; or a history of metal toxicity.
I am always interested in you as a unique individual and will ask what kind of person you are, your daily habits and routines, how you respond to stress and trauma, your food desires and aversions, and will also do a head-to-toe “review of systems”.
Solutions for fibroids
I may start with a single “constitutional” remedy that addresses as many of your symptoms as possible. Then your response to the remedy will be monitored over a few or several months.
Depending on other specifics of your case (such as thyroid, parathyroid or liver issues), I may later add “cell salts” or other low-potency homeopathic remedies to support organs or systems[iii].
Adjunct care might be recommended, such as abdominal massage, a technique that can relieve the discomfort resulting from fibroids. It can be self-applied or sought from a licensed massage therapist[iv].
Finally, it can help to be re-examined by your licensed provider or have repeat imaging done during or after homeopathic care in order to confirm if indeed your body is “unmaking” the fibroids.
[i] A big thank you to Karen Allen CCH, consummate teacher and healer, for some of the material in this article.
[ii] Shyamal D. Peddada, Shannon K. Laughlin, Kelly Miner, Jean-Philippe Guyon, Karen Haneke, Heather L. Vahdat, Richard C. Semelka, Ania Kowalik, Diane Armao, Barbara Davis, and Donna Day Baird. “Growth of uterine leiomyomata among premenopausal black and white women”. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Dec 16; 105(50): 19887–19892.
[iii] James Compton Burnett. Organ Diseases of Women. 1897 (1st ed.). Whitefish MT: Kessinger (2018); Harvey Farrington. Homeopathy and Homeopathic Prescribing. 1955 (1st ed.); Edwin Hale. Materia Medica and Special Therapeutics of the New Remedies, Vol. 2 1897 (1st ed.). London: Forgotten Books (2017).