Uterine Fibroids are hard, fibrous balls in the wall of the uterus which range from golf ball size to larger. These may be asymptomatic or may cause pain and discomfort to women during menstruation.
The uterus is made up of muscular, fibrous and glandular tissue. Fibroids appear as lumps or growths in the muscular tissue of the uterus and are very common in women above the age of 25. Up to 25% of women over the age of 30 are believed to have Fibroids of varying size. Fibroids are believed to be caused by increased sensitivity of the uterus to oestrogen, as Fibroids increase in size during pregnancy and when regular menstruation is occurring.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- When the uterus contracts to force out blood and wastes during a period, these fibrous balls distort the uterus and cause the muscles to go into painful cramps. - In pregnant women, Fibroids may reduce the space available for the baby to grow and may cause a premature labour and birth. - In non-pregnant women, Fibroids may cause heavy and prolonged menstruation, or spotting between periods. - If the Fibroid grows to such a size that it presses on other parts of the body, it may cause symptoms such as lower back pain and urinary frequency.
- As with all conditions, your Doctor should be consulted to diagnose and treat this condition. - Fibroids can sometimes be detected on pelvic examination, although most commonly they are diagnosed using ultrasound. - Fibroids are not cancerous, but they can cause considerable distress to women, and because their symptoms can mimic cancer, they should always be investigated. - If the uterine cramps and discomfort are very distressing, the uterus can be removed in a hysterectomy operation, or if the woman wishes to have more children, the individual fibroid masses can be cut out of the uterus. - Fibroids also often cause heavy menstrual bleeding, and surgery may also be considered for this reason. - If the Fibroids are small and causing no symptoms, it is common to leave them and check their size every 6 months to be sure they have not grown and are causing problems. - Fibroids usually shrink when menstruation stops at menopause.
Ask your Pharmacist for advice. 1) Follow the Diet Hints. 2) If the diet is inadequate consider some supplements. 3) Ask your Pharmacist for medication to relieve the pain.
- Diet should be low in fat, high in fibre, with plenty of fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. - Soy products should be added to diet. - Avoid coffee. - Reduced intake of red meat, poultry and dairy foods is recommended.
VITAMINS/MINERALS/HERBSVITAMINS AND MINERALS - Iron is extremely important for all women, especially if menstruating heavily. - Vitamin K is very important for blood clotting. - Bioflavonoids may help reduce the symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding. - Vitamin B complex may help relieve symptoms. - Other vitamins and minerals which may be beneficial include vitamin C and vitamin A. - Evening primrose oil may help reduce pain and cramping. - Gotu kola contains compounds believed to interfere in the metabolism of abnormal collagen in a similar manner to cortisone. - Thuja has a reputation as both an anti-fibrotic herb and a uterine stimulant. - Some homeopathic remedies such as the Schuessler tissue salt silica are believed to resolve unwanted growths and fibrous tissue.