Fibroid Tumors – Self Care For Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths on the muscle tissue within the uterus that may cause painful and  prolonged menstrual cycles. Fibroids need estrogen to grow and they can grow in clusters and may worsen as a woman approaches her 40’s. After menopause estrogen levels drop and uterine fibroids can shrink and disappear. Current evidence links fibroids with a dominance of estrogen hormones and and a deficiency of Vitamin D and iodine. Supplements of Vitamin D and iodine can raise your levels as well as consuming foods high in vitamin D and iodine like fatty fish.

Ayurvedic models and Traditional Chinese Medicine models note that fibroids are a symptom of a yin yang imbalance in the body caused by hormonal imbalances and blood circulation issues. Particular Herbs and Dietary changes have been shown to be helpful in managing symptoms and even shrinking tumors.

There are many woman who suffer from this symptom of imbalance in the hormonal system. Fibroids can grow quite large and be numerous which can lead to blood loss and anemia and cause abdominal back and leg pain. Some woman are so disturbed by the suffering it causes them elect to have invasive surgery or minimally invasive surgery if they are candidates for the embolism fibroid treatment.

Several paramount studies concluded that there is a definite relationship between thyroid nodules and uterine fibroids. Both are crucially effected by estrogen. Too little attention has been paid to this pivotal association between the two diseases. It was found that woman with fibroids also had thyroid nodules. Lower triiodothyronine (T3) levels was observed as well. That was the only statiscally significant parameter between the two groups. However, the triiodothyronine was within the normal ranges.

A fascinating and promising study offers new information. The conclusion of that study indicates that the Pituitary Gland that signals Luteinizing Hormone and Follicular Stimulating Hormone is implicated in the formation of this soft tissue tumor. Hormone disrupting chemicals such as those in Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and those in pesticides and fertilizers, dyes and paints, plastics such as BPA and in hair straighteners may lead to an anatomical change in the pituitary gland. This particular study focused on the potential role of ginger extract in reversing the damages to the pituitary gland. The exciting conclusion is that ginger has fibroid-preventing and fibroid-reducing properties at the level of the pituitary gland.

An absulutely essential consideration for females with fibroids are the iodine levels in the body. The iodine connection is adroitly reported in a book called  “Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It” by M.D. David Brownstein who also co-authored the book “The Iodine Crisis” with Lynne Farrow, a health investigator and whiste blower and former breast cancer patient. Dr. David Brownstein is an integrative health physician, a Board-Certified Physician of Holistic Medicine with a practice in Michigan. Both books reveal the relationship between iodine deficiency and thyroid disease, fibrocystic breast disease and uterine fibroids as being the result of insufficient quantities of iodine. This issue is complicated by the amount of Halides such as chlorine, Fluoride and Bromines in bread and cereal grains and found in so many other household items that have gotten into the body. Halides are blocking iodine from being absorbed by the body. Bromides especially and aggressively push the iodine away from the cell receptors of the thyroid and breast tissue and away from the female reproductive system. There is a simple solution to this. Take iodine supplemetation and observe the iodine protocol of taking selenium, magnesium, vitamin B and Vitamin C to assist the iodine utilization. Additionally, there are tests that can be ordered to determine iodine and halide levels. An iodine loading test is the most specific.

One can assume that the overwhelming amount of halides in table salt and tap water need to be avoided by having water filters on faucets and shower heads and using Sea Salt instead of table salt. 1 Gram of  Vitamin C can neutralize the effect of Floride in the tap water but having a good water filter is the real solution. 

According to studies and conclusions the following highlights can be modified to fit into anybody’s lifestyle.

Ginger or Ginger Extract – A study done in Nigeria and reported in leading health journals shows the remedial effect ginger has on the pituitary gland for reversing damage from hormone disrupting chemicals.

Vitamin D – Studies show that Vitamin D may help reduce your risk of fibroids by 32 percent.

Green Tea or Green Tea Extract – The beneficial effects of taking both vitamin D and EGCG, a polyphenol of green tea on the growth of uterine fibroids has been shown in important studies.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – taking Vitamin B6 along with Vitamin D and Green Tea has been shown useful in managing and shrinking fibroids. Anise Seeds are high in B6.

Monk Pepper Fruit – This herb which comes form the Chaste tree berry is known to help with heavy bleeding.

Tumeric – The phytochemical Curcumin has been shown to limit the formation of fibroids and even to slowly shrink them.

Resveratrol – This may help with fibroids. Consuming berries, grapes and citrus fruit is recommended.

Sodium Avoidance – Research shows a link between high blood pressure and fibroids. Avoid processed foods and snacks and adding extra salt to meals.

Red meat avoidance – Since red meat can be a very useful source of iron that is easily assimilated, a person who is anemic may choose to consume red meat because the iron in red meat is so easily assimilated. Since fibroids can lead to heavy blood loss and anemia, avoiding red meat is a very personal choice because of how easy it is to assimilate iron from red meat. Therefore it is suggested to avoid its intake ten days before the onset of menses.

Alcohol Avoidance – numerous studies have revealed the conclusion that alcohol impacts hormonal functioning. Alcohol alters the levels of various hormones, growth factors, and cytokines which can lead to an increased risk for fibroid disease. Alcohol use has been tied to high blood pressure, liver disease, heart disease and cancer.

Caffeine Limited – Since there are numerous studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that link hormonal fluctuation to caffeine levels it makes sense to take into account the daily and also the accrued cumulative amount of caffeine consumed. The National Institute for Health notes that consuming 200mg. or more from coffee affected Asian Women by elevating their estrogen level, while White Woman had a lower impact, and for Black Woman there was no statistical difference. However, consumption of more than one cup each day of caffeinated soda or green tea was associated with a higher estrogen level in Asians, Whites, and Blacks. Findings differed slightly when the source of caffeine was considered.

Herbs – Nettle Leaves, Red Raspberry Leaves, Ground Anise Seeds, Chinese Star Anise (I-Verum) Star Anise is rich in thymol and anethole. Anethole possesses estrogenic properties that can effectively modulate hormones in the female body. Thymol is a terpenoid type of oil that has an anti-inflammatory, analgesic anti-fungal and anti-viral effect. Bulk herbs can be purchased and combined to make healing tea tonics. Herbs are highly nutritious plant foods containing essential oils, the blood of the plant.

Potassium – Potassium balances out sodium for every cell in the human body. That mechanism is called the sodium-potassium pump. Increase your potassium by including potassium rich foods throughout the day and including a majority of plants at each meal.

Dairy Foods -A study published in 2010 in the American Journal of Epidemiology followed trends in the dietary intake of more than 22,000 premenopausal black women from the US Black Women’s Health Study over a 10-year period. The collected data revealed a connection between higher dairy consumption and a lowered risk of uterine fibroids. The researchers theorize that calcium and butyric acid (present in milk fat) inhibit the growth of cells that would otherwise form fibroids.

Fennel Seeds – have been found to have hormone modulation effects.

Burdock Root – supports liver function and detoxification. The liver and gallbladder work together towards the utilization, breakdown and excretion of excess fat and hormones.

Stress Reduction – Stress Reduction is very important because cortisol stress hormones can affect the other hormones due to the nature of the endocrine system. It is a closed loop system and when any hormonal signals are out of balance such as the blood sugar hormone glucagon or the adrenal hormone cortisol that signals other hormones to react and mediate by way of a feedback mechanism. Cortisol hormones can be quickly abated with the use of Pranayama breathing practices, Contemplation, Meditation and Prayer. This can be done anywhere and anytime. Additionally Yoga, Hypnosis, Tai Chi and Reiki aim at bringing movement and meditation together to complement the whole body-mind state. Stress reduction is very important and one can learn to do this on their own or in a group.

Eastern Healing Modalities – Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture as well as Ayurvedic Medicine have been found to be helpful in dealing with the pain and discomfort that are the result of cluster fibroids. Each of these disciplines focus on healing the individual by seeking balance through the understanding of the individuals constitution. By seeking to balance the endocrine systems hormones and also a focus on restoring balance to the blood circulation system and avoiding detrimental stickiness.

Guizhi Fuling – a formula used in TCM that contains several herbs that act to shrink uterine fibroids by balancing hormones. While it may be unrealistic to expect dietary changes alone to completely eliminate or even prevent fibroids it has been shown that certain foods diminish and other foods worsen fibroids. Foods that raise blood sugar levels produce too much insulin hormone. Avoid or restrict simple carbohydrates . Dairy products may help to reduce fibroids. There are nutritious milks available that have a minimum amount of processing and are therefore more bio available and easier to digest.

NOTE of Caution: There is information circulating that Star Anise has two varieties. The Chinese Star Anise (i-Verum) is the aromatic that has many healing properties such as warding off avian flu. It has a sweet taste and looks like a 7 pointed star. The Japanese Star Anise (I-Anisum) comes form a Japanese evergreen tree and is sour tasting and can even be toxic especially to children. It has more points to the star and does not look as symmetrical as the Chinese Star Anise. Anise Seeds differ from StarAnise. They come from a completely different plant source and area of the world. Anise seeds come from an herbaceous plant and are part of the parsley, celery, carrot family. They contain anetholes which modulate hormones and thymol.

The above material has been gathered at different times and from various sources and can be verified through research of ones own. Uterine Fibroids are a complicated endocrine system byproduct that may require the professional assistance of your choice of an Acupuncturist, Ayurvedic Practicioner, Applied Functional Medicine Practicioner, Naturopath, Integrated Physician or a combination thereof. Understanding the direct or indirect impact on fibroids that supplement, food and beverage choices have can be most helpful.

© 2022 Maria Carmichael

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