Uterine fibroids are also called uterine myomatas or leiomyomas. They involve lumps of smooth muscle tissue that can occur anywhere in the uterus, including just under the lining of the uterus, on the outside of the uterus or within the wall of the uterus. The vast majority (99%) are completely benign while a small percentage can turn into a cancerous form called leiomyosarcoma. Submucosal fibroids occur just under the inner uterine lining. Intramural fibroids occur in the wall of the uterine muscle. Serosal fibroids grow outward from the surface of the uterus and can become extremely large or stalk-like.
Fibroids are extremely common and affect up to 80% of women. Not all of these will show symptoms. In fact, only about 25% will show symptoms. The most common symptoms are an enlarged uterus, heavy vaginal bleeding, pressure on the bladder (causing frequency of urination), pain with sexual activity, and abdominal or back pain.
Fibroid tumors are triggered by estrogen so any woman with estrogen dominance will be more likely to have fibroids. Fibroids appear to respond to estrogen and have more binding sites to estrogen than normal smooth muscle in the uterus. Estrogen dominance can come from exposure to xenohormones (hormones from outside the body) such as those found in dioxin, hormone-laden meat, hormones in cosmetics and other molecules that mimic estrogen. Pregnancy will not usually cause fibroids but will cause them to increase in size because the uterus is enlarging. Because these tumors are rapidly proliferating, a cancerous change is possible.
At least 250,000 women per year in the US undergo a hysterectomy to prevent further growth of uterine fibroids. Other surgeries include removing the fibroid alone—a procedure called a myomectomy. Another procedure involves placing a substance that causes the equivalent of a blood clot in the arteries that supply the myomatas. The fibroids will slough off without a proper blood supply. This does not correct the underlying problem. Natural therapies include proper testing such as a eFHP or PHP Panel and correcting the hormonal imbalance which is usually estrogen dominance. Balancing hormones and the body’s chemistry can make a great difference. Reducing stress and balancing hormones through certain nutritional and herbal supplements along with healthy dietary and lifestyle changes may help slow the growth of these benign tumors and may even shrink them. Medications, such as Lupron, will shrink the fibroids but can only be taken for a short period of tim. This comes with a wide array of side effects. Finally, the onset of menopause will shrink the uterine fibroids down to a size in which they are not symptomatic. How? As you go into menopause, the estrogen levels are decreased so the estrogen that is causing them to grow is not as elevated and many times they shrink on their own. Insulin resistance can contribute to the formation of fibroids and if this must also be addressed that is why functional medicine is the proper way to go. If you balance the chemistry, the fibroids may cease growing. Why not try the alternative route? Call Today 330-644-7246