Typically, fibroids are symptomless, especially if they are small. However, a large fibroid can erode the lining of the uterus, resulting in heavy and prolonged menstrual periods. Large fibroids can exert pressure on the bladder, causing discomfort or urinary frequency; or on the bowel, causing constipation and backache. In some cases, a fibroid can cause the uterine wall to become twisted, triggering pain in the lower abdomen, and, in some cases, miscarriages or infertility.
What Is A Fibroid Tumor In The Uterus?
From Modern Western Medicine
Fibroids may be detected by a routine pelvic examination. Usually they require no special treatment, though regular examinations may be called for to determine if they are growing. Fibroids that cause serious symptoms or side effects require surgical removal. If the fibroids are numerous, a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may be performed. In some cases, a surgery called myomectomy is performed in which the fibroids are shelled out of their capsules. Fibroids tend to shrink after menopause.
From Traditional Medicine
According to Chinese medicine, fibroids are caused by stagnant blood, which itself is the result of insufficient qi in the sex organs to maintain healthy circulation. The stagnant blood coagulates or congeals and forms tumors. Blood stagnates because it is filled with toxins, waste materials, and tiny particles of fat, all of which diminish the life energy, or qi, in the blood and make it difficult to move through the vessels. The blood becomes viscous, sometimes literally like fatty milk. In such a condition, the blood moves slowly and sometimes not at all; it congeals and forms tumors. All remedies from traditional medicine are designed to promote circulation, especially in the areas of the sex organs, and increase blood qi.
In addition, it’s important to note that fibroids tend to disappear after menopause, when estrogen levels fall dramatically, because fibroids are estrogen-dependent. Estrogen is produced by fat cells. In obese post-menopausal women, fat cells are the leading producers of estrogen in the body. Therefore, to eliminate fibroids, the diet must be exceedingly low in fat so the fat cells shrink and stop producing high levels of estrogen.
Foods to Eat
The following foods and spices disperse stagnant blood:
- Sweet rice, unless there is deficient digestive fire (see the section on Chinese medicine in Part III); watery stools; pale, swollen tongue; and feelings of coldness
- Adzuki beans
- Eggplant, especially for dissolving uterine tumors
- Garlic; unless the person has signs of heat (see the section on Chinese medicine in Part III), which include aversion to heat; sensation of feeling too hot; flushed face; bloodshot eyes; deep, red tongue with possible yellow coating; and/or great thirst for cold fluids or signs of deficient yin, including tidal fevers, hot palms and soles, fresh red cheeks and tongue, frequent light thirst, and/or night sweats
- Ginger (same precautions as for garlic, above)
- Vinegar (same precautions as for sweet rice, above)
- Scallions and leeks
- Cayenne (same precautions as for garlic, above)
- White pepper
Foods to Avoid
- Cold foods or drinks
- Dairy products
- Ice cream
Herbs to Treat Fibroid Tumors of the Uterus
The following herbal remedy is invaluable in speeding the re-absorption of tumors in the lower abdominal region:
1 part turmeric
1½ parts licorice root
4 parts cinnamon bark
5 parts peach seed (found in Chinese herb outlets or can be collected from inside peach pits and dried in the sun)
For those with excessive heat:
- If there is heat or other deficient signs (see the section on Chinese medicine in Part III), substitute black fungus (wood ear) for the cinnamon bark. Use 4 parts black fungus.
- Turmeric is a good blood purifier. It can be used alone by decocting 1 tbsp. per cup of water or using 3 – 9 g; drink 3 cups per day; mix 1 tsp. per cup of water, drink two cups per day. Avoid during pregnancy; with acute jaundice and hepatitis, ulcers, or irritable stomach.