Fibroids are benign or non-cancerous tumors that grow in the muscular layers of the uterus (womb) . Also they are known as uterine fibroids , myomas , or fibroids . Uterine fibroids are the most common and are present in 205% of women. Fibroids are tumors of smooth muscle and fibrous tissue. These can vary in size, from the size of a grain to the size of a melon.

Fibroids affect at least 20% of all women at some point in their life. Especially women between the ages of 30 and 50 are the most likely to develop this problem. Overweight and obese women have a significantly higher risk of developing fibroids, compared to women of normal weight.

There is a class of malignant (cancerous) fibroma inside the uterus, called leiomyosarcoma of the uterus. However, this is extremely rare.

Different types of fibroids

There are four types of fibroids, among them are:

Fibroma intramural

These are found on the wall of the uterus. They are the most common types of fibroids present in women.

Fibromas subserosos

These are outside the wall of the uterus. They can develop into pedunculated fibroids. Subserous fibroids can become quite large compared to others.

Fibromas submucosos

These are found in the muscle below the lining of the wall of the uterus.

Cervical fibroids

These are found in the cervix (cervix).

What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?

Most women have no symptoms. That is why most patients with fibroids do not know they have it or they discover them unintentionally in some routine study. When symptoms do occur, some of the following may occur:

  • Anemia (as a result of heavy menstrual periods)
  • Back pain
  • Constipation
  • Discomfort in the lower abdomen (especially if the fibroids are large)
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Leg pain
  • Swelling in the lower abdomen (especially if the fibroids are large)

Other symptoms of fibroids can include:

  • Pregnancy problems
  • Fertility problems
  • Repeated miscarriages

What are the causes of fibroids?

We are not exactly sure why fibroids occur . During a woman’s reproductive years her levels of estrogen and progesterone are high. When estrogen levels are high, especially during pregnancy, fibroids tend to swell. When estrogen levels are low, fibroids can shrink, for example, a woman’s fibroids during menopause. Genetic inheritance can also be a factor. Women whose mothers and / or sisters have had fibroids have a higher risk of developing them as well.

How are fibroids diagnosed?

In most cases, the symptoms of fibroids can rarely be appreciated and the patient does not know they have them. They are usually discovered during a vaginal exam.

Ultrasound

If the doctor thinks fibroids may be present, he or she can use a scanning ultrasound to find out. Ultrasound can also eliminate other possible conditions that may have similar symptoms. Ultrasound scans are often used when the patient has heavy periods and blood tests have not revealed anything conclusive.

Trans-vaginal examination

A small scanner is inserted into the patient’s vagina so that the uterus can be seen up close.

Hysteroscopy

This is a small telescope that examines the inside of the uterus. During this procedure, if necessary, a biopsy may be taken of the lining of the uterus (womb).

Laparoscopy

A laparoscope is a small device that looks outside the uterus – in which the doctor examines its size and shape. A laparoscope is a small, flexible tube. During this procedure, if necessary, a biopsy can be taken from the outer layer of the uterus.

Biopsy

A small sample of the lining of the uterus is taken and then examined under a microscope.

What are the complications of fibroids?

It is important to emphasize that in the vast majority of cases fibroids do not lead to complications for patients. However, for a small minority if they can come forward. Complications can include:

Menorrhagia (heavy periods) – the most common complication is an alteration of the woman’s ability to function normally when periods are present, and also the possibility of depression due to this. In some cases, menorrhagia can lead to anemia and fatigue.

Abdominal pain If the patient’s fibroids are large, swelling and discomfort may be experienced in the lower abdomen. You may also have a feeling of being constipated. Some women with large fibroids say that their bowel movements are painful.

Premature labor, work problems or stress, miscarriages . Since estrogen levels rise significantly during pregnancy, and estrogen can accelerate fibroid growth, some women may experience preterm labor, miscarriages, or complications during delivery.

Infertility – In some cases, fibroids can make it more difficult for the fertilized egg to adhere to the wall of the uterus. A fibroid that grows outside the uterus (submucosal myoma) can change the shape of the uterus’, making it more difficult for a woman to get pregnant.

Leiomyosarcoma – this is extremely rare. This is a form of cancer, and it can develop within fibroids.

What are the treatments for fibroids?

If the woman has no symptoms and the fibroids are not affecting her day-to-day life, no treatment would be necessary. Even women who have heavy periods and whose lives are not greatly affected by this symptom may also choose to avoid continuing treatments. During menopause, symptoms generally become less noticeable, or disappear completely, as fibroids generally shrink at this stage in a woman’s life.

Natural treatments for fibroids

Note: Most herbal remedies, including chasteberry and milk thistle  ( milk thistle ) are not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding, so consult your doctor before taking them.

1. Castor oil

Applying castor oil to the abdomen helps stimulate the lymphatic and circulatory system, and increases lymphocytes (disease-fighting cells) to eliminate toxins that cause disease in the body. Many holistic practitioners believe that an accumulation of these toxins plays an important role in the development of fibroids.

Castor oil also contains ricinoleic acid with anti-inflammatory properties. The following remedy can help you shrink fibroids and also aid in pain relief.

Saturate a piece of wool flannel with castor oil.
Place it on the abdomen and cover it with plastic wrap.
Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on it and cover that with a towel.
Leave it on for about an hour, and then remove it.
Repeat three or four times a week for at least a month, or until you see some improvement.
Note: Do not use this remedy during menstruation or if you are trying to conceive.

2. Sauzgatillo

Chasteberry is an herb native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean areas. It is an excellent herbal solution to maintain hormonal balance, lower estrogen levels, and reduce inflammation. It is enough to take 25 to 30 drops of chasteberry tincture two to four times a day.

Note: Chasteberry will help regulate menstruation and bleeding between periods, but it can also reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.

3. Milk thistle

This herbal remedy helps metabolize and eliminate excess estrogen. The estrogen is a reproductive hormone that stimulates cells to release growth factors, which in turn contributes to the growth of fibroids. It is enough to take 10 to 25 drops of tincture of this herb up to three times a day for three to four months to prevent the growth of fibroids.

4. The dandelion

Many herbalists believe that poor liver function leads to poor elimination of excess hormones, which contributes to fibroids. Dandelion helps in detoxifying your liver and clearing excess estrogen from your body.

Boil three tablespoons of dandelion root in three and a half cups of water.
Let simmer for 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let it rest for another 15 minutes before straining it.
Drink this tea three times a day for at least three months.

5. Green Tea

Studies indicate that green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that inhibits the growth of fibroid cells .

Green tea offers anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, and antioxidant effects . Researchers have found that in addition to shrinking fibroids, green tea can reduce the severity of fibroid symptoms .

Drinking two to three cups of green tea or taking two 400 mg green tea capsules a day for several months will help prevent fibroids.

6. Warm compresses for fibroids

When fibroids grow on the outside of the uterus, you may notice a mass in your abdomen. Lying down and placing a hot pack or hot water bottle on your lower abdomen can decrease pain. Apply the warm compresses several times a day.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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