Return to Naturopathic Medicine
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors
that grow on the uterus. Twenty percent of women over the age of
35 will be affected.
Some women have small symptomless fibroids for many years. For others,
the fibroids enlarge and may cause pain, bleeding between periods,
and excessive bleeding during periods. Estrogen, growth hormone,
blood sugar and other substances stimulate fibroid growth. This
means that oral contraceptives, estrogen treatments, and pregnancy
enhance fibroid growth. Sometimes this is because of an excess of
estrogen or an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone.
Other factors associated with fibroids are family history, poor
diet, whether or not a woman has had a child, and race. Black women
have a higher incidence of fibroids - 3 times as much as Caucasian,
Asian or Latino women do.
Therefore, our goal in treating fibroids
is to both to lower the estrogen level to one that will permit normal
hormonal balance and discourage fibroid growth. The following are
things that the patient can do in addition to the herbs, nutrients,
and homeopathic remedies that will be prescribed by her naturopath.
- Eliminate all estrogen promoting food from the diet: dairy, eggs,
red meat and fat.
- Eliminate refined, processed foods
- Eliminate fried foods. Fried foods place an additional burden
on the liver, which is where estrogen is processed.
- Eliminate methyl-xanthines from the diet: caffeine in all forms
(coffee, caffeinated pop, black and green tea, and chocolate)
- Add dark leafy green vegetables, beans, whole grains, high quality
protein like fish, organically raised fowl, and soy and other bean/legume
proteins. Beans such as soybeans, lentils and garbanzo beans have
hormonal balancing properties and are very beneficial in estrogen
- Consider a greens drink or multivitamin for additional nutrition.
- Try seaweed both as a source of micronutrients, including iodine
and as a hormonal balancer. There has been an association between
hypothyroidism and fibroid growth. Even women who tested normal
on their thyroid panel showed benefit from the iodine.
- Eat a lowfat diet. Once again, we need to focus on improving the
function of the liver.
Castor Oil Packs This is a very effective, though messy, way to
help decrease the fibroids.
Supplies: Castor oil, a soft, clean, cotton cloth, plastic wrap,
a plastic container to store the oil-laden cloth, and a hot water
Directions: Soak the cloth in warmed castor oil. Place the folded
cloth over the fibroid lump. Cover the cloth completely with plastic
wrap both to avoid staining your clothes and to keep in the warmth.
Place a towel over the plastic and put a hot water bottle it. Leave
it on overnight. Repeat this five nights in a row and rest for two
nights. Do this for three weeks.