Fibroids Remedy abdominal crunch by benbenzhou

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									Fibroids Remedy
How To Get Rid Of Fibroids Naturally

Shola Oslo




Fibroid Cure • www.FibroidCure.com • by Shola Oslo   1
Table of Contents

Introduction                                                             7
   What are Fibroids – Specifically Uterine Fibroids?                   7

   What are Some Symptoms of Fibroids?                                  9

   What are the Causes of Fibroids?                                    10

   Relationship of Fibroids to Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle        10

   Who’s at Risk for Fibroids?                                         12

   What Can You Do About Fibroids?                                     12

Your Medical Options                                                   14
   What Happens at the Doctor’s Office                                 14

   What Happens with the Results?                                      16

   Medical Treatment Options                                           17

   Surgical Approaches                                                 19

Symptom Management                                                     25
   Menstrual Flow, Regularity and Menstrual Pain Issues Due to Fibroids 25

   Anemia – How to Prevent it                                          27

   Pelvic Pain                                                         27

   Abdominal Bloating, Swelling and/or Back Pain                       28

   Pain or Pressure during Intercourse                                 28

   Fertility Issues                                                    28

   Frequent Need to Urinate                                            29

   Constipation and Hemorrhoids                                        30


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   General Recommendations for Managing your Fibroid Symptoms   31

Diet                                                            33
   Water, water, water – and more water!                        33

   What to Eat                                                  35

   Fat and Carbohydrates – the real story                       36

   Fresh fruits                                                 38

   Fresh vegetables                                             39

   The Good Oils                                                40

   Protein Sources                                              41

   Legumes, Nuts and Seeds                                      42

   Whole Grains                                                 42

   A Word About Fiber                                           43

   Foods to Avoid                                               44

Supplements                                                     48
   Vitamin A                                                    49

   Vitamin C                                                    50

   Vitamin E                                                    50

   Other Supplements – Vitamins and Minerals                    51

   B-Complex Vitamins                                           52

   Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)                                        52

   Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)                                      52

   Vitamin B3 (Niacin and Niacinamide)                          53

   Pantothenic Acid (also Vitamin B3)                           53

   Vitamin B6                                                   53

   Vitamin B12                                                  54


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   Folic Acid                                              54

   Iron                                                    54

   Calcium                                                 56

   Magnesium Citrate                                       56

   Selenium                                                57

   Chromium Picolinate                                     57

   Zinc                                                    57

   Quercetin and Bromelain                                 57

   Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)                            58

Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupressure                 60
   What is TCM?                                            60

   What Causes Fibroids?                                   61

   What is Liver Qi Stagnation?                            61

   What is Blood Stasis?                                   63

   What Is The TCM Protocol For Getting Rid of Fibroids?   64

   TCM Suggestions to Get Rid of Fibroids                  65

   Diet                                                    65

   Lifestyle                                               66

   Acupressure                                             67

   Herbal Remedies                                         69

   Exercises & Massage                                     71

   How to do Self-Massage in the Chinese Fashion           72

   Abdominal massage                                       72

Exercises                                                  74
   How Can Exercise Heal?                                  74


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   What Kinds of Exercises Should You Do?                              75

   Exercises to Stimulate Circulation                                  76

   Exercises to Strengthen Muscles and Overall Body Tone               77

   Eastern Exercises for Energy Flow, Hormonal Balance                 77

   Yoga                                                                78

   Tai Chi                                                             78

   Qi Gong                                                             79

   Other Exercises                                                     80

   Dancing                                                             80

   Stretching                                                          80

   Pilates                                                             81

   Abdominal Crunches                                                  81

   Kegels                                                              82

Detoxification                                                         85
   How do toxins damage our bodies (and lead to fibroid growth in women)?85

   Our toxic environment                                               86

   Air pollution                                                       86

   Chemicals and household cleaners                                    87

   Plastics                                                            88

   Food                                                                88

   Detox Methods                                                       90

   Liver and Gallbladder Detoxification                                91

   Flush Drinks for Liver and Gallbladder                              91

   5-day Detox Programs                                                92

   Liver Cleanse                                                       92


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   Colon Detoxification                                        93

   Colon Cleanse                                               94

   Juice Fasting Detox                                         95

   Kidney and Bladder Detoxification                           97

   Foods to avoid (that make fibroids worse)                   99

Herbal Remedies                                                101
   Vitex                                                       102

   Black Cohosh                                                102

   Evening Primrose Oil                                        103

   Red Raspberry                                               103

   Siberian Ginseng                                            103

   Licorice Root                                               104

   Red Clover                                                  104

   Echinacea                                                   105

   Goldenseal Root                                             105

   Milk Thistle                                                106

   Dandelion                                                   106

   Yellow Dock Root                                            106

   Artichoke                                                   107

   Ashoka                                                      107

   General Tips on Herbal Teas, Capsules, Tinctures and More   107

Conclusion                                                     110




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Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION


If you are a woman, your chances of having fibroids are nearly 75%. Nearly 3 out
of 4 women develop them. The condition is so common that it’s tempting to say
it’s a natural by-product of being female. That is simply not so. My goal with this
guide is to introduce you to as many facts as possible, and to point out natural
healing methods that you can use to rid yourself of fibroids.

Do you know that many hysterectomies to remove fibroids are medically unneces-
sary? Up to 600,000 hysterectomies are performed each year, with one third of
those to remove fibroids. If your gynecologist suggests you have one, I’d recom-
mend you ask why first, and then hightail it to another doctor for a second, and
third, opinion. I firmly believe that extreme medical treatment – and by extreme, I
mean unnecessary surgery or harsh drugs with sometimes debilitating side-effects
– is not the way to go for most women.

Most illnesses, in fact, can be avoided with natural hygiene and healthy lifestyle.
By this I mean eating fresh, organic foods, getting the right nutrients into your
body, and avoiding the environmental and social toxins so prevalent in the world
around us. These may include xenoestrogens, electromagnetic fields, radiation and
stress. But, I’m getting ahead of myself here.


What are Fibroids – Specifically Uterine Fibroids?
I’ll begin with the classic definition of fibroids. Medically known as uterine leio-
myomata, any uterine fibroid is a solid mass of muscle tissue and collagen and
elastin, or extracellular matrix proteins. They are abnormal growths in that they



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don’t belong in the uterus but they have been created and interfere with the uterine
cavity. They are also benign (non-cancerous) tumors.

They are not life-threatening, but they can cause problems. This is important! They
are not life-threatening. Most are a nuisance, but they can be controlled. That’s
why you’re reading this guide.

There are three types of uterine fibroids: intramural fibroids (these grow on or in-
side the wall of the uterus), subserosal fibroids (these grow on the outside of the
uterine wall) and submucosal fibroids (these grow inside the uterus or womb).

I know you’re about to freak out at the word tumor. Don’t! Fibroids are benign.
Most are harmless and aren’t even cause for concern. They could be the size of a
walnut. But occasionally, they become large enough to cause health problems and
need some form of treatment. I know of one woman who had a fibroid tumor the
size of a large grapefruit who sought treatment due to excessive pain and bleeding.
She felt that her entire life was being compromised by the fibroid’s existence in her
uterus (womb). She wanted it out, but she didn’t want to undergo a hysterectomy,
if at all possible.

The first thing I’d do if I suspected a fibroid is to see a doctor that practices con-
servative treatment approaches. I am fortunate that my own gynecologist is a firm
believer in the less radical approach – in other words, he’ll utilize more conserva-
tive treatments until he’s exhausted them all, before he recommends surgery. He
isn’t a cutter – despite the fact that he’s a surgeon. He also believes wholeheart-
edly in dietary and lifestyle changes to effect positive changes in a woman’s health
and well-being. Now you see why he’s my doctor.

Your doctor will use a couple of methods to determine whether or not you have
fibroids. He’ll use hysteroscopy and ultra sound to locate the tumor, its size and
whether or not it’s impacting the uterine cavity. This is especially important if you
are concerned about having a child. Other women want to get rid of uterine fibroid


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tumors so they can have normal periods again – not painful, heavy bleeding peri-
ods that can cause additional medical problems, such as anemia.

Sometimes a doctor will need to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help
pinpoint a fibroid’s exact size and location.

These are just how you and your doctor know what you’re dealing with. It doesn’t
imply any radical treatment. I find it’s always better to know your situation so that
you can determine how best to go about healing yourself.


What are Some Symptoms of Fibroids?
While I will list the symptoms here, I want to also state that the presence of one or
more of them may, or may not, indicate the presence of fibroids. The only way to
know for sure is to consult with your trusted physician.

Sometimes fibroids cause no symptoms at all, and many disappear or shrink by
themselves after menopause. However, women with fibroids typically have sev-
eral, if not all, of the following symptoms:

   • Pressure and pain in the pelvic region (may be chronic or constant, or stab-
       bing and infrequent)

   • Problem with constipation and/or hemorrhoids (due to pressure on the rec-
       tum)

   • Frequent need to urinate – sometimes urgently! (due to pressure on the
       bladder and urinary tract)

   • Heavy menstrual flow – lots of blood! This is known as menorrhagia.

   • Painful menstrual flow – known as dysmenorrhea.

   • Menstrual periods that are irregular, including spotting during the month

   • Issues with infertility


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   • Loss of pregnancy (miscarriage)

   • Pressure or pain experienced during intercourse (known as dyspareunia)

   • Abdominal bloating, swelling and/or back pain


What are the Causes of Fibroids?
I’m afraid the answer to this is that doctors aren’t sure what cause uterine fibroids
– at least not to any degree of absolute certainty. What we do know is that fibroids
occur when a single cell reproduces again and again from the muscular wall of the
uterus and develops into a firm, rubbery-type mass completely distinct (but often
unrecognizable to the naked eye) from surrounding tissue. They can develop sin-
gly, or in groups and vary greatly in size.

According to research and various clinical studies I’ve found, there are several fac-
tors that appear to be involved in the formation of fibroids:

   • Hormones – Particularly the female hormones of estrogen and progesterone
       seem to be factors in the creation of fibroids.

   • Alteration in Genetic Codes – Many fibroids contain some modifications
       that provided the change in the uterine muscle walls.

   • Chemicals in the Body – The insulin-like growth factor chemical that helps
       the body maintain its tissue may also be a factor in fibroid development.


Relationship of Fibroids to Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle
I know you know some of this information, but bear with me as it will help illumi-
nate the relationship between hormones, the menstrual cycle and fibroids.

A woman generally experiences her period every four weeks. That’s why it’s called
your monthly period, a phrase that must have been coined by some doctor at some
distant point in the past. Menstruating actually refers to the blood flow from a


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woman’s womb each month. It’s all part of the continuation of the species and is
part of our inherited DNA. That’s who we are as women.

The menstrual cycle is where the woman’s uterine wall thickens in preparation of
pregnancy, and the blood flow is the sloughing off (elimination) of the lining of the
uterus when pregnancy does not occur.

Ovulation is part of the woman’s reproductive cycle in which eggs are produced in
the ovaries each month and travel to the Fallopian tube to the uterus to await preg-
nancy. If pregnancy does not occur (the egg is not fertilized by the man’s sperm)
the egg and the uterus lining are shed during the monthly menstrual period.

Some key hormones involved include progesterone, estrogen and progestin.

Progesterone and estrogen are produced by the ovaries in order to prepare the
woman’s uterus each month for pregnancy. They also support the fertilized egg if
that process is successful. Progesterone also promotes milk in the mammary glands
for breast feeding.

Estrogen is part of a group of female hormones, again produced in the ovaries as
well as other body tissues, that helps prepare a woman’s uterus each month for
pregnancy. Estrogen causes the cervical mucous to change and the lining of the
uterus to thicken.

Progestin, a hormone that is sometimes taken with estrogen, works to prevent
thickening in the uterus’ lining. Progestin is sometimes prescribed for menopausal
women seeking relief from their symptoms and is usually taken in some dose
along with estrogen. Progestin is also used in the treatment of various conditions,
including breast, kidney or uterine cancer, to help with muscle or weight that’s se-
vere, and to prevent pregnancy.

Menopause refers to the period in a woman’s life when menstruation ceases. It var-
ies from woman to woman but can begin in the mid- to late 40s, or as late as the


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early 60s. Most commonly, women in the 1-3 years of menopause experience er-
ratic periods, spotting, slowing down of ovulation, heavy bleeding, irritability,
cramping, hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes, periods of high energy or creativ-
ity, headaches or migraines. I’d like to stress that not all women experience all of
these changes, which are related to hormonal balance or imbalance. Some women
report no discomfort at all.

Fibroids actually contain more estrogen – and estrogen receptors – than normal
muscle cells in the uterus. It is this hormonal imbalance that is thought to be one
cause, or at least a strong contributing factor, in the production, severity and prolif-
eration of fibroids.


Who’s at Risk for Fibroids?
If you’re a woman in your reproductive years, you may be at risk for fibroids.
Women of color are more likely to develop fibroids, and to develop them at an ear-
lier age than other women. According to some statistics I’ve read, by the age of 35,
about 80% of African-American women and approximately 35% of Caucasian
women living in the United States have been diagnosed as having fibroids. If your
mother or female relatives had or have fibroids, you may be genetically predis-
posed to develop fibroids.

I’ve seen some studies that link obesity to fibroids, including the Mayo Clinic.
What I do know is that obesity challenges your body’s functioning and is a condi-
tion that must be changed in order to affect a healthy body, no matter what. I be-
lieve that obesity probably contributes to the development of fibroids because
obese women are not able to utilize the appropriate and necessary dietary and life-
style changes they need.


What Can You Do About Fibroids?
I’m sure that’s why you’re reading this guide. Now that you know some informa-
tion about fibroids, their suspected causes, symptoms and who is at risk, I’d like to

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go on to explain what you can do to get rid of these female aberrations. I’ll call
them that because I believe they don’t belong in our bodies and I, along with you,
want to ensure I’m doing everything I can to heal my body naturally and return it
to its normal healthy state.




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Chapter 2
YOUR MEDICAL OPTIONS


I’m assuming you’ve been experiencing some problems, perhaps heavy bleeding,
excessive at times, severe backache, constipation, painful intercourse – any or all
of the symptoms I’ve already listed in the previous section. It’s come to the point
where you stop doing things because your life is revolving around how you feel
due to your fibroids. In other words, fibroids are defining your life. That’s not a
good thing. You decide to see your physician. Remember that no matter what the
doctor tells you, ultimately the decision on how to treat your fibroids (what options
you want to use) remains with you.


What Happens at the Doctor’s Office
The first step is to find out what you’re dealing with. How severe are your fibroids,
what is their location, are they impacting the uterine cavity, how many are there,
and other issues. The doctor will begin with questions about what problems you’ve
been experiencing, taking a thorough history. Then, he’ll do a pelvic exam. The
purpose of the pelvic exam is to examine and feel the uterus in order to gauge its
size. This is a relative determination, as in its relation to the size of your uterus
during previous examinations, or during or after your pregnancy, if you’ve had
one.

I know you may be wondering, just what is the size of a normal uterus? I’ve seen a
number of numerical descriptions but nothing makes sense like a visual, right? A
normal uterus is about the size of a woman’s fist.

The next step may be a blood sample. Your doctor will probably want to order
blood tests, known as a complete blood count (or CBC). This will either show the

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presence or rule out any iron deficiency anemia you may have. Blood tests also
help the doctor determine your body’s reproductive hormone levels and to com-
pare CBC results to rule out other bleeding disorders.

Your doctor may opt to perform a uterine biopsy in order to look for possible other
causes of bleeding, such as uterine cancer. The biopsy, known as an endometrial
biopsy, is performed in the doctor’s office and usually doesn’t require anesthesia.
You lie on the examining table with your knees bent, feet in the stirrups, just like
for your pelvic exam. The doctor inserts a narrow tube into your vagina and cervix
to the uterus and utilizes suction to extract a small sample of tissue that is sent to
the lab for analysis. An endometrial biopsy is particularly important for women
who are older, may be overweight, or are experiencing abnormal or unusual bleed-
ing between periods.

In order to have a clear idea of the location of the fibroids, your doctor may do an
ultrasound of your uterus. Ultrasound also helps the doctor rule out other causes of
bleeding and to determine whether there are cysts and not fibroids involved. Ultra-
sound works using sound waves. For this procedure, you like on an examining ta-
ble and a technician or your doctor moves the ultrasound device (called the trans-
ducer) either over your abdomen (transabdominal) or places it inside your vagina
(transvaginal) to obtain images of your uterus. He or she maps and measures your
fibroids to get a clear picture (he’s actually viewing it on a computer-like screen as
the transducer moves across your abdomen or through your uterus).

If the doctor uses transabdominal ultrasound, you’ll drink several glasses of water
first. Since your uterus sits behind the bladder, it is more easily seen when the
bladder is full. A transvaginal ultrasound doesn’t require any preparation. Because
the transducer moves inside the uterus, it can provide a clearer picture of the
uterus. The transabdominal ultrasound is able to show a larger region.

Beyond these initial tests, your doctor may order one or more of the following:



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   • Hysterosonography – In this test, the doctor or technician inserts a tube (a
       catheter) into your uterus (through the vagina and cervix and into the
       uterus) and injects a saline solution (which is sterile salt water). This saline
       solution works to expand the uterine cavity to make it easier to see any ob-
       structions like fibroids. Then he or she places an ultrasound device into the
       uterus to view images on the screen. Your fallopian tubes can also be exam-
       ined to see if they’re open. Your doctor or technician will first inject saline
       and air into them and then and look for the bubbles as they pass through the
       tubes.

   • Hysteroscopy – Using a hysteroscope (a small lighted telescope on a tube),
       the doctor releases a fluid or gas to expand your uterus. The doctor can then
       view your uterine walls and openings of your fallopian tubes. This proce-
       dure is often performed in the doctor’s office, usually with local anesthesia
       or mild sedation.

   • Hysterosalpingography – Using a small catheter-type device, your doctor or
       technician injects a dye or liquid contrast material into your uterus. The dye
       makes resulting images very clear on the X-Ray images.

   • Computerized tomography (or CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
       – Your doctor may also order these tests to further determine presence and
       severity of fibroids.


What Happens with the Results?
As I’ve previously mentioned, most fibroids are harmless and don’t need to be re-
moved. In other words, they’re not usually dangerous. They can, however, lead to
anemia due to heavy blood loss. And they may interfere with your enjoyment of
life, particularly your sex life. Depending on the size, location and complicating
factors, and armed with the results of your tests, your doctor will outline your
medical options.


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I’d like to stress that, even if you already know (or believe strongly) that you’re
not going to have medically invasive processes to get rid of your fibroids, you at
least need to know what your medical options are. There may be circumstances
where you may need to consider one of them at some point. Knowledge is power. I
want you to be informed.


Medical Treatment Options
I’ll tell you this straight out: there is no single treatment approach that doctors
agree is best in treating fibroids. With that much differing opinion out there, be
forewarned. Here, then, are some of the medical approaches doctors recommend.
I’ll list the possible consequences or side-effects with each as well.

The Wait and See Approach
Depending on your age, the size, shape and quantity of fibroids, and whether or
not they are causing additional problems such as anemia, your doctor could sug-
gest that you come in for regular check-ups and that nothing additional be done.
This treatment is known as the wait and see approach. It’s okay in that it doesn’t
add anything foreign to your body in the form of drugs, or take anything from your
body in the form of major surgery (or any surgery, for that matter). But it doesn’t
get at removing your fibroids from your body. Sometimes your fibroids will shrink
and/or go away by themselves, in which case you don’t need any further treatment.
If they’re small enough and not causing problems, you may opt for the wait and
see approach yourself as the best possible treatment. I’d recommend you keep this
suggestion handy, as you’ll want to read further chapters later on that deal with
managing symptoms and alternative means of dealing with fibroids like diet, Tra-
ditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), lifestyle changes and others.

The Drug Therapy Approach
Your doctor may prescribe certain drugs in an attempt to slow down the growth of
your fibroids, or cause them to shrink. These drugs, and/or synthetic hormones,



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may be prescribed alone or in combination with a surgical approach such as a hys-
terectomy.

I’d like to remind you that these drugs and/or synthetic hormones are used to target
your female hormones, those that regulate and control your menstrual cycle, and to
combat excessive pelvic pain, pressure and bleeding. They won’t get rid of your
fibroids – the best they can do is slow down their growth or shrink them.

That said, here are some of the medications that your doctor may want to pre-
scribe:

   • Oral contraceptives – Believe it or not, the same drugs used to prevent
          pregnancy are regularly used in some combination to treat fibroids. Progest-
          ins help reduce excessive bleeding and overproduction of estrogen which is
          thought to foster growth of fibroids. But oral contraceptives are drugs, nev-
          ertheless, and may have unpleasant side effects. Some of these include
          swelling of the legs and ankles, severe abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea,
          and other symptoms.

   • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – While these are not
          hormonal medications, they are often prescribed to control heavy bleeding
          not caused by fibroids, but due to some other cause. They are not effective
          in reducing bleeding that is caused by fibroids. NSAIDs, like Ibuprofen, can
          cause increased risk of serious cardiovascular problems such as heart attack.
          They also pose increased risk of gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcera-
          tion, bleeding, and perforation of the stomach and intestines.

   • Androgens – These so-called male hormones are produced in your ovaries,
          along with your adrenal glands which are found above your kidneys. Some
          doctors prescribe medical androgen therapy to alleviate symptoms caused
          by fibroids. One such synthetic drug, danazol, which is similar to the hor-
          mone testosterone, has shown some effectiveness in shrinking fibroids. But


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       such a positive comes with a negative – in this case, perhaps several nega-
       tives. Side effects of taking this drug include weight gain, feelings of anxi-
       ety, depression or uneasiness, hair growth in unwanted places (like face),
       deeper voice, acne and headaches. For many women, these side effects are
       enough to preclude taking this type of drug.

   • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists – Don’t let this strange-
       sounding name intimidate you. Your body’s hypothalamus (located at the
       base of your brain) creates GnRH in order to trigger your monthly men-
       strual cycle. After manufacture in the hypothalamus, GnRH travels on to
       your pituitary gland (which is also located at the base of your brain) and
       there it jumpstarts the action that will ultimately stimulate your ovaries into
       the production of estrogen and progesterone. There are some medications
       known as GnRH agonists (like Lupron, Synarel and others) that go to the
       same locations as GnRH. However, when they are taken as a drug therapy,
       they actually produce the opposite effect to your own body’s natural GnRH,
       in that your body’s estrogen and progesterone levels diminish, your men-
       struation stops, fibroids shrink and often anemia improves. Still, they are
       drugs and can carry some side effects which differ from woman to woman.
       These include some reported cases of anaphylactic or asthmatic conditions,
       thrombophlebitis, pulmonary embolisms and risk of cardiovascular disease.
       Women who become pregnant should immediately discontinue taking the
       drug.


Surgical Approaches
Hysterectomy – This is the big H, as familiar to women as the big M (menstrua-
tion), and often with as much confusion, fear and misunderstanding. The fact is
that for generations of women up until the last generation, hysterectomies were
routinely performed without regard to any long lasting consequences – especially
if other abdominal surgery was already going to be performed. As ridiculous as it


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sounds to us today, the thinking went something like this: while we’re in the area,
we might as well remove the uterus and ovaries at the same time. This was espe-
cially prevalent if a woman was past child-bearing years, already had children or
had multiple other symptoms, like heavy bleeding, extreme pelvic pain, etc. How
barbaric! Other times it was the woman herself who’d suggest to her doctor that
she didn’t need her uterus anymore, so go ahead and take it out. I find both scenar-
ios tragic and unnecessary.

I feel it is critically important to realize that a hysterectomy – which is the surgical
removal of the uterus – ends your chances of becoming pregnant. Ever again. No
ifs, ands or buts. If you’re still in your childbearing years and have even the remot-
est desire to have more (or any) children, I’d strongly caution you to not undertake
this procedure without very serious thought.

Hysterectomy may be complete, as in the removal of both the uterus and one or
both ovaries, or partial, with only the removal of the uterus. It’s important to note
that each has potentially serious consequences. Immediately following the hyster-
ectomy, women may experience bowel injury, severe bleeding or difficulty with
their bladder functions. Long term consequences for women who have a total hys-
terectomy (removal of both uterus and ovaries), may include the sudden and possi-
bly intense onset of menopause, with all its unpleasant side effects. In some
women, depending on their age when they have the hysterectomy, this may push
the start of menopause ahead by five years. Furthermore, these women are at
greater risk for heart disease and osteoporosis, and are more likely to experience
feelings of depression. They may also find they have decreased libido, be unable to
achieve an orgasm, or suffer other sexual dysfunction.

There is another type of hysterectomy, called a supra-cervical hysterectomy, in
which only the portion of the uterus with the fibroids is removed. This surgical op-
tion will not maintain fertility (ability to have children), but it does leave much of



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the uterus intact, and therefore the pelvic structure is less impacted. This may mean
less risk of bladder infections and other post-hysterectomy complications.

Myomectomy -- For younger women troubled with fibroids and who still want to
have children, another surgical option is a myomectomy. During this procedure,
only the fibroids are removed, leaving your uterus intact. This allows you to still
have children, a very important consideration for many women – and not only
young ones!

This type of surgery has its own challenges, with issues including excessive blood
loss, scar tissue and restoring the shape of the uterine area where the fibroids have
been removed. To prepare for a myomectomy, your physician may encourage you
to bank blood, take iron supplements and GnRH as a therapy to build up hemoglo-
bin and iron as well as shrink your fibroids.

There are three types of myomectomy performed. The procedure selected by your
physician depends on the size and type of your fibroids. These are an abdominal
myomectomy (or laparotomy), a hysteroscopic myomectomy and a laparoscopic
myomectomy. I’ll describe each of these briefly.

During the abdominal myomectomy, either a vertical or a horizontal (or bikini-
line) incision will be made in your abdomen. While the horizontal incision results
in a much thinner scar, it also limits access to your pelvic area by the surgeons.
The vertical incision allows greater access, but may pose the risk of the scar re-
opening later. It does cause less bleeding. The doctor inspects your exposed uterus
visually and by feel to determine the exact location of the fibroids. He then makes
an incision in your uterus to reach the fibroids, and uses surgical instruments to
separate the fibroids away from the uterus. He finishes up by repairing the uterus
and closing the incision. This type of myomectomy usually involves a 3-4 day
hospital stay and recovery time of about 4-6 weeks.




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If you have fibroids that bulge into your uterine cavity wall, your physician may
suggest a hysteroscopic myomectomy. This procedure requires general anesthesia.
The doctor uses a small instrument with a light on it called a resectoscope (which
means it can cut tissue), to go into your uterus and release a clear liquid to expand
your uterine walls to allow for examination. Then, the surgeon uses the resectos-
cope to shave away the fibrous tissue, or use a laser to remove the fibroids. Parti-
cles of tissue wash out of the uterus in the course of the procedure. A laparascope
may also be used to monitor the outside of your uterine cavity while the fibroids
are being removed from inside the uterus.

During a laparoscopic myomectomy, your surgeon makes small incisions in your
abdomen, inserts a gas to expand your uterus, and then places the laparoscope in-
side your pelvic cavity to get a better picture of your uterus and ovaries and to pin-
point exactly where the fibroids are. He then uses special surgical instruments to
either remove the fibroids from the uterus through the laparoscopic incisions or he
may make a surgical incision through the vagina (called a colpotomy). A laparo-
scopic mymomectomy is considered somewhat controversial for women who wish
to have future pregnancies, due to the fact that the uterine wall repair may not be
sufficiently strong with this procedure. With laparoscopic surgery, you can usually
go home the same day.

There are also variations of myomectomy in which fibroids are destroyed rather
than removed. These procedures include myolysis – in which an electric current is
used to destroy the fibroids and shrink the blood vessels feeding them, and cryo-
myolysis – in which liquid nitrogen freezes the fibroids. These procedures are still
too new for any determination of their overall safety, effectiveness and ability to
prevent recurrence of fibroids.

Hysteroscopic resection – A relatively new procedure, hysteroscopic resection is
being recommended by physicians for women who have smaller submucosal fi-
broids and wish to have children later. It allows for removal of the fibroids without


Fibroid Cure • www.FibroidCure.com • by Shola Oslo                               22
surgical incisions. The procedure is performed in the hospital using general anes-
thetic. A telescope is inserted into the uterus (past the vagina and cervix) and an
electrical knife, wire or laser is fed into the uterus to slice away the fibroids. The
surgeon then repairs the uterus with sutures. This procedure requires about one day
in the hospital and a recovery time of 1-2 weeks.

Uterine artery embolization (UAE) – During this procedure, which requires no
incision and has a shorter recovery time, small particles are injected into the arter-
ies supplying blood to the fibroids in the uterus. This causes the fibroids to shrink
(by eliminating their blood supply) and also relieves the accompanying symptoms.
Complications may occur if the blood supply to either your ovaries or your other
organs is compromised.

MRI-guided forced ultrasound ablation (FUS) – This procedure, which has been
approved by the Food and Drug Administration (October of 2004), is a non-
invasive (no incisions) treatment for fibroids. You are placed inside a specific type
of MRI scanner which allows the doctors to examine your body and pinpoint the
exact location of the fibroids. These fibroids are then destroyed using focused
high-energy and high-frequency sound waves. Just as you might expect from any
previous experience you may have had with an MRI, the process takes several
hours, with the on and off of the sound waves as they are directed toward the fi-
broids. The studies I’ve read indicate that this technology holds promise, but its
long-term effectiveness has not been determined.

Endometrial ablation – This final procedure uses a laser, electrical energy or a
balloon that is inserted into the uterus and expanded using hot water. The proce-
dure removes both the lining of your uterus as well as the fibroids. Use of this
treatment either stops menstruation altogether or reduces monthly menstrual flow
and is effective to stop abnormal bleeding. It does not, however, do anything to fi-
broids positioned outside the interior lining of the uterus.



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Whew! That’s a lot of medical terminology about some pretty scary procedures. At
least, it is to me, and it should be to you as well. It is true that with so many
women (remember those statistics) being diagnosed with fibroids in just the United
States alone, medical researchers and physicians, along with drug companies and
those entities involved in any and all of the machines and devices used in the sur-
geries or treatments, are working hard to discover newer, more effective and less
invasive treatment techniques. That is promising. I wish them all the best.

In the meantime, what should you do if you have fibroids, especially if they are
large and/or interfering with your enjoyment of life? Remember, the medical op-
tions I’ve just outlined are just that. They are choices. Only you can make the final
decision.

If you’re still reading this guide, I know you want more choices than medical or
surgical ones. I’m right with you. Let’s continue.




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Chapter 3
SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT


Now that I’ve discussed what fibroids are and what your medical options are, I’d
like to discuss how you can manage the many and varied symptoms these fibroids
cause. As a former sufferer with fibroids myself, I certainly empathize. I can recall
feeling initially quite confused and fearful after I was diagnosed with uterine fi-
broids, and then a bit desperate at times as my symptoms increased or got worse. I
knew I wanted to learn all I could about fibroids, what all my options were, how to
manage my pain and other symptoms and, most of all, how to get rid of them. Here
I’ll mention ways that you can manage your fibroid symptoms.

Let’s begin with bleeding issues.


Menstrual Flow, Regularity and Menstrual Pain Issues Due to Fibroids
There are three types of symptoms that I’ll discuss here: heavy menstrual flow or
menorrhagia, painful menstrual flow or dysmenorrhea, or irregular menstrual peri-
ods, including spotting during the month.

I’ve experienced (and read about other women’s) extremely heavy blood flow, par-
ticularly at night, including the passage of large clots due to uterine fibroids. I’m
sure you are aware of the kinds of self-protection methods we women use in times
like this, including wearing multiple pads, using plastic-lined bedsheets or plastic
mattress pads (or both), wearing depends (undergarments to protect against incon-
tinence), getting up often to change bedclothes, pads, sheets, etc. None of these
are pleasant, but they are realities. They only affect the situation after the fact,
however, and don’t get at the cause or lessen the severity.



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First of all, let me reiterate that the symptoms of heavy or excessive blood flow,
painful blood flow and irregular periods or spotting – when they are caused by fi-
broids – can be alleviated. That’s the good news. In fact, if you’re suffering from
any or all of these symptoms, it’s probably great news. What’s the bad news? You
need to be patient and image your body’s healing process. I know it’s sometimes
difficult to be patient, but your body didn’t just grow these fibroids overnight, and
it will take some time to make them go away (or lessen your symptoms).

What can you do to combat these abnormal bleeding problems?

I recommend that you take appropriate supplements (see my Chapter 5 – Supple-
ments), especially the Big Three antioxidants of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin
A. Vitamin E is especially helpful with painful periods. You’ll also want to take
Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, and possibly iron supplements to combat anemia caused
by excessive bleeding.

You can also take Motrin or Ibuprofen to help reduce the severity of the bleeding
and to help with the pain. Motrin and Ibuprofen are both non-steroidal anti-
inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) mentioned in the previous Chapter 2 – Your Medi-
cal Options. These over-the-counter drugs help reduce inflammation and also help
with cramping.

I’ve seen several studies that indicate some women report good success wearing an
estradiol patch to control excessive bleeding.

Women with fibroids often experience excruciating pain or cramping, which may
be the body’s attempt to actually force the fibroids out of the uterus. I suggest you
try one of the following to help alleviate your pain:

   • Lie down. Elevate your legs with a pillow under your knees. Rest for a
       while. This action my help to reduce your pain (it will feel better, I know!).




Fibroid Cure • www.FibroidCure.com • by Shola Oslo                              26
   • Do not use tampons. Use only sanitary napkins. You don’t want to have a
       foreign object in your body if you are experiencing severe pain in that re-
       gion.

   • Apply heat. You can use either a heating pad or a hot water bottle. Hot
       baths with Epsom salts also work well. The application of heat improves
       your flow of blood and may also help to reduce your pelvic pain. Note that
       this tip also applies to pelvic pain, which I’ll cover next.

   • Lie on your side with your knees pulled up to your chest. This stretches
       your lower back, relieves back pressure, and may reduce your pain.

   • Exercise. I find that it is very helpful to exercise, since this improves the
       flow of blood and often helps to reduce pain.


Anemia – How to Prevent it
If you have heavy bleeding, you’re also at risk for developing anemia. In order to
prevent anemia you should eat iron-rich foods such as shellfish (not if you’re aller-
gic to crustaceans), organic green leafy vegetables, organic lean red meat, organic
eggs, beans and iron-fortified breads and cereals. Cook in iron skillets. Ensure you
eat a well-balanced diet and take iron supplements or a multi-vitamin. Avoid con-
stipation by eating enough fiber, lots of organic fruits and vegetables and drink 2-4
more glasses of water each day than you’d normally drink. Also add Vitamin C to
your daily intake. You can take this in the form of a 250 mg capsule. The reason
for the Vitamin C is that it helps your body to absorb iron more easily.


Pelvic Pain
Pressure and pain in the pelvic region caused by fibroids may be chronic or con-
stant or stabbing and irregular in nature. Chronic pain is pain that last for more
than six months. It generally causes pressure or a feeling of heaviness in the lower
abdomen. Rarely does this pressure cause acute pain, except when fibroids begin


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to degenerate or die, after being deprived of nutrients. This pelvic pressure, caused
by the size of the growing fibroids pressing on the uterus, may also cause abnor-
mal bleeding, which may then lead to anemia. So, whether your pelvic pain or
pressure is chronic or infrequent, I know it’s not pleasant.


Abdominal Bloating, Swelling and/or Back Pain
Abdominal bloating or swelling may be caused by uterine fibroids that cause the
uterus to extend above the pelvic bone, creating anything from a slight paunch to
something that resembles a pregnant belly. When fibroids compress the nerves in
your lower back, this leads to pain in the lower back or legs.


Pain or Pressure during Intercourse
If you are experiencing pressure or pain during intercourse, this may be due to
multiple causes, including fibroids that are distorting the uterus.

Here’s what you can do to help alleviate the pressure and pain.

The tips listed above for pain due to heavy bleeding also apply to pelvic pain, back
pain and pressure. Physical therapy can also help. For pelvic or back pain, you
may also wish to apply heat and cold packs. Specific stretching exercises will also
help. A physical therapist can design an exercise program for you or you can create
your own. See my Chapter 7 – Exercises for more information.


Fertility Issues
Women who have difficulty becoming pregnant, have difficult or protracted labor,
labor complications or who suffer frequent miscarriages, often also have fibroids.
The statistics I’ve read state that perhaps 2-3% of all infertility patients have fi-
broids.

Fibroids may be blocking your cervix or the fallopian tube opening. This, in turn,
may cause infertility. If you have a submucosal fibroid, the uterine cavity may be


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distorted to the extent that a fertilized ovum cannot be implanted. This can result in
repeated instances of miscarriage. I have found that experts say there is little evi-
dence to substantiate whether or not subserol or intramural fibroids interfere with
fertility.

I want to stress that most women with fibroids can have a normal pregnancy and
subsequent delivery. The fibroids themselves don’t cause problems in most cases
and about two-thirds of pregnant women with fibroids find that the fibroids either
stay the same size or even shrink.

If your symptoms are not severe, there’s no need to treat the fibroids. You will,
however, want to inform your gynecologist about your fibroids so that he or she
can perform ultra-sound tests to manage your pregnancy and to relieve your mind.

NSAIDs, like Advil or Ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory medications may
help. Ask your doctor for details.

If you are trying to become pregnant and are having difficulty, you may wish to
explore the hormone based treatment gonadotrophin releasing hormone analogues
(GnRH), that I mention in Chapter 2 – Your Medical Options. GnRH analogues
lower estrogen in your body, which can actually shrink fibroids. The treatment is
usually undertaken about three months before surgery to remove fibroids. GnRH
also mimics menopause, so you can expect to have menopause-like symptoms like
hot flashes, night sweats and other conditions. It can also only be taken for about
six months. And, after you stop taking GnRH, fibroids may return, since estrogen
is again being produced in your body. I recommend that you only consider GnRH
after careful consideration and discussion with your physician.


Frequent Need to Urinate
It seems that fibroids cause a woman to feel the frequent need to urinate, often
quite suddenly and without apparent reason. This is due to the pressure of com-
pression of the bladder and urinary tract by the growing fibroids. Managing this

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symptom takes some practice, and a good sense of humor also helps. I also rec-
ommend that you don’t try to hold your bladder to wait for a more opportune time
to go to the restroom. This is just asking for trouble. When you feel the need to go,
then go. If the situation becomes unbearable in that you are going to the restroom
constantly and it’s making your life difficult, you may need to seek medical advice
from your doctor. It could be that the fibroid is so large or in such a position as it is
just making things worse.

However, I recommend you try the methods outlined in this guide to help shrink,
reduce or eliminate fibroids from your body the natural way. See my chapters on
herbal remedies, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), exercise, diet, supplements
and detoxification.


Constipation and Hemorrhoids
The pressure of growing fibroids on the rectum often causes the dual, and uncom-
fortable, symptoms of constipation and hemorrhoids. I’ve learned that some con-
stipation may also be caused by the addition of supplemental iron you may need to
take for anemia (which is often the result of excessive or abnormal bleeding
caused by fibroids). I’ve found that constipation and hemorrhoids are perhaps two
of the most manageable symptoms simply by making relatively easy dietary
changes. First, it’s important to increase your daily intake of water. You need to
flush out your system, and since constipation means you’re system is dehydrated,
you must add water. As you’ll see in my next chapter on diet, water is your number
one fluid for overall optimum health – and a good and healthy step to take to both
manage your fibroid symptoms and help to get rid of them.

Along with the addition of more water to your daily diet, I’d recommend that you
eat more fruit. By eating fruit (and make sure it’s organic), you are giving your
body natural antioxidants it needs, as well as vital nutrients, and they are nature’s
natural friends to a healthy bodily elimination. I also advise that you increase your
daily consumption of whole grains and bran. This will bulk up your waste products

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into smooth and more easily passed movements – not hard, pea-type kernels that
are difficult to pass. The hardness and difficulty to pass nature of stools is what
leads to hemorrhoids as you strain your rectal muscles to pass them. Again, insuf-
ficient water intake can lead to both the hard stools (which means your body is de-
hydrated) and to the creation of hemorrhoids.

You may also wish to take herbal remedies (see the chapter on Herbal Remedies)
for help in jump starting your body’s elimination. Make sure that the herbs are cer-
tified organic.


General Recommendations for Managing your Fibroid Symptoms
Along with the specifics for each type of symptom I’ve listed above, I have some
general recommendations that may help you manage them overall.

   • Managing Stress – Many times stress triggers pain. So, it’s vitally impor-
       tant not to get too stressed out over situations. Use one of many stress man-
       agement techniques to reduce your stress level. These may have the addi-
       tional benefit of reducing your stress-triggered pain.

   • Acupressure – Acupressure, or specific finger pressure on certain body
       points, can often alleviate pain and symptoms caused by fibroids.

   • Biofeedback and Relaxation Techniques – Deep breathing exercises, bio-
       feedback and other relaxation techniques are very easy-to-perform methods
       that may provide considerable relief from pain and other fibroid-caused
       symptoms.

   • Imaging and Meditation – Guided imagery, which is a technique that uses
       tapes, scripts or an instructor, to direct your thoughts to a relaxed state, may
       help with fibroid symptoms. Meditation, which concentrates on either a sin-
       gle sound or mantra (concentrative meditation), or mindful meditation, in




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       which you are aware of everything around you, may provide help in manag-
       ing your fibroid-related symptoms.

   • Aromatherapy and Massage – I find that there’s nothing so wonderful as
       the combination of aromatherapy and massage. This is especially true if you
       have fibroid symptoms that are interfering with your quality of life. The
       aromatherapy itself uses essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus and
       other delightful and therapeutic essences. The massage works through your
       body’s aches and pains, stimulates circulation, oxygen production and pro-
       motes healing. It also just feels good. I highly recommend the combination
       of aromatherapy and massage for your fibroid symptoms.

I hope these suggestions offer you some practical ways to cope with your fibroid
symptoms. As I’ve said before, I know it’s not easy and you wish they’d just go
away. With time and careful attention to the steps in this guide, you may find that
they do just that. Let’s go on now and talk about how diet impacts your fibroids
and how diet can help you reduce or eliminate them.




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Chapter 4
DIET


You’ve heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” That’s so true that I’ve de-
cided to devote an entire chapter to the subject of diet, especially when it comes to
how you can rid yourself of fibroids.

I’ve already covered that fibroids thrive on high levels of estrogen. So it comes as
no secret that I recommend you watch what you eat to avoid ingesting plants and
foods that contribute to higher levels of estrogen in your body. In fact, I recom-
mend just the opposite. I want you to eat foods known to lower estrogen levels.
Let’s help your body say no to fibroids – naturally!

Of course, I’m not just talking about estrogen levels here. It’s also important that
you consume a wide range of nutrients daily in order to keep your hormones in
balance as well as greatly reduce menstrual cramping, inflammation and all-around
to improve your body’s state of health and well-being.

I’ll cover a great deal of information about what you can (and should eat), as well
as foods you definitely want to eliminate (or greatly reduce) from your diet. Don’t
worry! It won’t be a task. I’ll even toss in a few delicious recipes I use for added
benefit. Just to get you started on your healthy eating and your healthy new you!


Water, water, water – and more water!
I’ll begin with something our bodies need in order to be healthy and survive. That
thing is not a food, but water. Do you know that water not only helps quench our
thirst, but that thirst is our body’s way of indicating it’s dying for water! I mean
that literally. Our bodily organs depend on water for hydration.


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Lack of sufficient water causes our organs to shrink and also makes them prone to
disease, malfunction and decay due to accumulated toxins. Yes, toxins. We all have
them. It’s hard to get through the day without coming into contact with toxins in
your environment – from the air you breathe, to the fumes from exhaust, factories,
chemicals you use in cleaning, to toxic or pesticides lingering on foods, dry clean-
ing chemicals on your clothes, and a host of others.

These toxins build up in your body and they’re stored – guess where – in your or-
gans. Water flushes away toxins and purifies your body.

I’d also like to say a word about constipation here. When your body doesn’t have
enough water, and food remains undigested in your large intestine, this leads to the
creation of harmful waste products that may be reabsorbed back into your blood-
stream. By drinking adequate amounts of filtered water each day, you’ll avoid con-
stipation, keep your movements regular and keep your body hydrated.

How much water should you drink each day?

I’ve found as many opinions on this subject as I have fingers and toes – maybe
more. I’ve seen everything from 8 full 8-ounce glasses a day to a couple of gal-
lons. My rule of thumb is that I never want to be too far from a full glass of water.
That includes during the day when I’m at my desk, in the car, taking a hike (espe-
cially during any type of strenuous exercise), and at my bedside when I go to
sleep. Never allow yourself to get to the point of thirst!

Also, don’t drink water with meals.

I hear what some of you are saying to yourselves right now. When I drink too
much water, I retain too much fluid and gain weight. My own mother took diuret-
ics for years because she thought she could lose weight by getting rid of water.
That’s just wrong! When you drink water, your body naturally will eliminate it.
What goes in, comes out, but not before benefiting your body in ways you can’t
even imagine.

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Too many trips to the bathroom, you argue. No way, I’m not buying that excuse
either. When you feel the need to use the restroom, go ahead and use it. Don’t hold
your bladder or bowels back. That’s just asking for trouble. Besides, when your
bladder gets used to holding large quantities of water, and you drink lots of water
on a regular basis, you will find you don’t need to go to the bathroom as much.

In other words, when your body gets used to being regularly and sufficiently hy-
drated, you’ll come to a happy medium of when and how to drink so that you’ll be
able to use the restroom conveniently. If you’re on the road, then pull off for a little
bit. You can probably use the time to stretch your legs as well.

Bottom line, I recommend you drink as much water daily as you think you can –
and then a little more. Make them full glasses or bottles, too. None of this itty bitty
sips type of thing. Your body, including your skin, which thrives on adequate hy-
dration, will look more alive, softer, and more supple. You’ll look younger, too.
Need I say more, ladies? Drink up!


What to Eat
Okay, I’ve covered water, now what about food? This topic is quite broad, so I’ll
break it up into manageable pieces. Pun intended. First, I want you to key in on a
very important word and add it to your reference point whenever you think about
food. That word is “organic.”

Go organic!

Give your body the best possible sources of natural nutrients by selecting and buy-
ing only organic products. By organic I mean they are free of insecticides and pes-
ticides and have been carefully grown in nutrient-rich soil (or fed with nutrient-
rich food). This includes meat and poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables. With all the
organic products available today, there’s simply no excuse not to make these
healthful foods part of your daily diet. Give it a head start, so to speak. I personally
find organic food to taste better as well. Just an added benefit.

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Fat and Carbohydrates – the real story
There are all kinds of diets out there, some claiming that low-fat, high carbohy-
drate are the way to go, while others stress high-protein, high fat and little in the
way of carbohydrates. I find this is all much too confusing. I don’t want to have to
keep a chart in front of me with special weights and measures for everything I put
into my mouth! That’s just too stressful.

What I find most helpful is to concentrate on the essence of what I want to eat:
fresh, mostly whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts, plenty of
fish, and essential oils. I’ll cover each of these in more detail, but the point is to see
the big picture, not to get too bogged down in the details.

While it’s true that all food is made from protein, fat and carbohydrates in varying
proportions, the amounts we ingest as well as the types (alone or in combination)
are what makes the difference in either healing our bodies or contributing to its
overall decline.

In fact, we know that fibroids are made larger by estrogen. So, in order to shrink
fibroids, one way is to switch to a vegetarian diet, or at least increase the amounts
and types of fresh, whole, organic fruits and vegetables as possible.

Plant estrogens, animal estrogens and xenoestrogens

Before I go any further, I’d like to comment on the differences between plant and
animal estrogens and xenoestrogens. I’ll start with xenoestrogens first. The root
“xeno” literally means foreign. So xenoestrogens are foreign estrogens. In other
words, they are not natural. Instead, they come from the chemicals, pesticides and
environmental sources around us. Bisphenol A is one such environmental estrogen
that escapes from the plastic which lines many juice and dairy containers when
subjected to heat. Xenoestrogens are also present in many meats and dairy prod-
ucts as a result of the growth hormones and chemicals fed to the animals. Xenoes-



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trogens and environmental estrogens lead to fibroid growth in women and should
be avoided.

In general, avoid pesticides on your foods. Wash them thoroughly to remove any
traces of these harmful xenoestrogens.

Phytoestrogens (phyto, meaning plant) are actually naturally occurring compounds
that are in many plant foods such as seeds, grains and beans. They are like estrogen
mimics in that they break down estrogen in the body. They are also weak estro-
gens, unlike the real estrogen, HRT (or synthetic estrogen) or xenoestrogens.

If you don’t have too much estrogen and want to supplement your diet with estro-
gen due to menopause, fibroids or hysterectomy, you can obtain this through foods
that contain phytoestrogens. Some of these foods include legumes (isoflavonoid
phytoestrogens), beans (lignan phytoestrogens) and split peas, lima and pinto
beans (coumestan phytoestrogens).

Animal estrogens are those that come from meat and poultry. In general, avoid all
non-organic meats and poultry and stick to hormone-free and organic products.

Back to Food

Our bodies need energy that comes from food. I want to make sure that you, as
well as me, consume more of the foods that contribute to my overall health and
well-being, and help get rid of fibroids, and less of the foods that have a negative
impact and/or foster growth of fibroids.

According to the American Heart Association, most people benefit from a diet that
includes about 30% or less in daily fat intake. Seriously obese individuals may
even take that down to 10% fat intake per day of the worst kind of fats. I’d rec-
ommend a 30-25-20 rule of thumb (with allowances for individual body type). By
this I mean a daily intake of about 30% (up to maybe 55%) carbohydrates, 25%
(no more than 40%) protein and 20% (top end of 30%) in fats.


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Is this difficult to do? Not at all, once you take a look at specific types and kinds of
foods that are known to be beneficial to overall bodily health and well-being, as
well as to reducing, preventing, or getting rid of fibroids.

Let’s start with my personal favorite.


Fresh fruits
I love fresh fruit, no doubt about it. Just picture a bowl of freshly picked, organic
strawberries. Can’t you just smell their tangy sweetness! Big, luscious, ripe red
berries at the peak of freshness. They’re loaded with vitamin C and bioflavinoids
that contribute to your body’s overall health – and they do great at lessening pain
from menstrual cramps that often accompany fibroids.

How about a bowl of blueberry, raspberry, marionberry and blackberry compote?
How wonderful is that! These fresh and organic fruits have the added benefit of
being potent anti-oxidants and loads of other nutrients your body needs in order to
fight fibroids.

Apples are not only delicious, but they also contain pectin, which is vital to assist
your body in eliminating waste.

When I eat fruit, I want to make sure I eat as much of the whole fruit as possible.
This means eating the skin of the apple, fuzzy exterior of the peach, etc. I always
thoroughly wash the fruit first, of course, to remove any residual traces of sub-
stances it may have come in contact with on the way to the market. Again, I buy
only organic. But even organic foods have been handled by other people, so wash,
wash, and wash.

With so many fruits to choose from, you can start your day off with fresh-squeezed
orange juice, grab an apple or piece of fruit as a snack, and have fruit for dessert.
Why not? They’re a great way to give your body the natural sweetness it craves as
well as benefit your overall health.


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Fresh vegetables
Next on my grocery list – and yours – is fresh vegetables. Of course, they need to
be organic. The more leafy and green they are, the better they are for you.

When you make a salad and this is something I recommend you have daily, try a
mixture of lettuces like red or green leaf, escarole, and spring mix and baby ro-
maine. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new greens either. Try some chard, kale,
maybe even some dandelion leaves (cleaned and washed, of course). Add some
chopped radicchio, grated carrots, bean sprouts, chopped red or sweet onion, sliced
cucumber, tomatoes, any kind of pepper (red, green, yellow or orange), and maybe
even some sliced beets (ones you have parboiled and kept in the refrigerator, not
out of a can). Take a teaspoon of oregano and pinch it between your fingers over
the salad greens, then toss with spoons or your clean hands. Top with a little olive
oil and balsamic vinegar or sprinkle with lemon juice and, voila – instant nutritious
salad!

Another great tip for vegetables is the darker they are in color, the better they are
for healing your body. This includes beets, sweet potatoes, squash, yams, pumpkin,
radishes, the aforementioned red, yellow, orange and green peppers, carrots, broc-
coli, bok choy, cabbage (red or green or Chinese) – the list goes on. They are deli-
cious cooked just enough to be tender but not so much they turn to mush. For the
sweet potatoes and yams, you can even eat the skins – in fact, the skins are a
source of excellent nutrients that are usually tossed in the trash.

Root vegetables (all those vegetables with a root) like the onions and carrots men-
tioned above, along with potatoes, yams and turnips, and the leafy green vegeta-
bles, all contain vital phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc and other necessary
trace minerals your body needs to fight fibroids.

Make sure to give yourself ample variety of delicious and nutritious vegetables
that contribute to your health (and the elimination of your fibroids).


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Now, I’d like to say a word about onions and garlic. I can’t think of one good meal
that doesn’t contain them. Really! Breakfast, for example. When I poach eggs (or-
ganic, of course), I like to place them on a bed of spinach that I’ve wilted in the
steamer with a sprinkle of minced garlic in them. Next comes a nice slice of raw
onion, then a juicy slice of tomato and finally the egg. I do try to limit my intake of
eggs each week, as I do with all dairy. More on this later.

Lunch and dinner, same thing – I have to have my garlic and onion. Not only are
these terrific flavor enhancers, they’re good for your body in that they contain
powerful antioxidants. This is an absolute must to keep your gynecological health
(your female hormones and functioning) in proper order. Any relative of the onion
family is included here as well, like leeks, chives, scallions as well as all parts of
the garlic (bulb and shoots).

Come to think of it, I’ve even seen dessert recipes that add onion and garlic. That
may be taking it a bit too far, but if you like it, why not?


The Good Oils
Before I launch into the meat (or fish and poultry) category, I want to say a word
about the good oils – or the good fats. Our body needs fat in order to function
properly. But it needs the good fats, or the good oils, not the bad ones.

What are the good oils? Olive oil tops the list in terms of cooking and salad oils.
Other oils include the rich Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon
and mackerel. Omega 6 is found in safflower, sunflower and other vegetable oils
Stay away from saturated fats and butter as much as possible.

Try healthy cold-pressed oils or butter buds flavoring as a topping for vegetables if
you are desperate. Or, and even better yet, squirt some lemon juice over your broc-
coli, asparagus, or other vegetables.




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Protein Sources
If you’re like me, you love a great piece of fish cooked just right. My favorite fish
has to be salmon, maybe because my husband is a chef and he ceaselessly amazes
me with all the healthy variations of salmon dishes he brings to the table. Not that I
don’t cook, but he’s the true artist. In fact, one of the recipes I’ll share below
comes right from him.

Salmon, like mackerel, is a cold water fish. It’s rich in protein and essential
Omega-3 fatty acids that your body craves. It’s these fish oils that your body also
needs in order to manufacture natural anti-inflammatory prostaglandin. And pros-
taglandin is nature’s own way of combating fibroids and the associated pelvic pain
they cause many women.

When you buy fish, make sure you’re getting fresh-water fish. Don’t settle for
farm-raised fish. You never know what type of food or additives they’ve been
given!

Eggs are also a good source of protein and DHA, another essential fatty acid.

As far as poultry is concerned, stick with chicken and turkey and steer clear of
duck. Duck, while very tasty to some (I believe it is an acquired taste), contains
much too much fat.

For meat, I recommend you leave red meat alone – to the extent possible. If you do
consume meat, make sure it’s organic and as lean as possible. You really need to
watch out for all the artificial hormones that are pumped into meat. These nega-
tively affect your body, particularly if you have fibroids, since they increase pro-
duction of bad prostaglandins and excess estrogen. And estrogen that comes from
most animal products enlarges fibroids.

If you do eat meat, stick to that which is hormone-free and organic. These meats
are available at your local health food store and in most upscale supermarkets. I’ve


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noticed a great influx of organic and hormone-free meat and poultry products in
just the last year alone. This is the power of the media at work! Thank goodness!

For hamburgers, try a turkey burger or soy burger instead. It’ll taste just as good
over time (again, if you’ve been used to beef, you’ll need to re-train your body to
adjust to turkey), and it’s so much better for you.


Legumes, Nuts and Seeds
There’s an old saying about beans being the magical fruit… Well, beans aren’t a
fruit, but they are pretty magical when it comes to a woman’s bodily health. These
legumes (beans and peas), along with nuts and seeds, contain phytoestrogenic lig-
nans – this is the good estrogen that your body needs. They’re also great sources of
help to balance your body’s hormones.

Nuts and seeds are also great sources of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).

Do you know that seeds are one of the best sources of essential fatty acids and vi-
tamins you can consume? The list of good seeds includes flax, pumpkin and sun-
flower seeds. You can add flax seed to muffins (they’re great in a banana muffin
mix), or sprinkle some on your salads or whole grain cereal. Pumpkin seeds are a
good source of zinc, which, in turn produces testosterone. And your body needs
testosterone to boost your libido and to keep your muscles toned.


Whole Grains
When you make a sandwich, make sure it’s with whole grain bread. None of this
white bread, sorry! Banish white bread, and white rice and white flour from your
shopping list and cupboards entirely. Bad, bad, gone!

Lignins, which are found in whole grains and whole grain products, are actually
anti-estrogenic. What are these whole grains? These include flaxseed, millet, oats,
buckwheat, rye, corn, rice, wheat and barley.



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Rice dishes are delicious and tasty, especially when made with organic chicken
broth, but make sure the rice is brown, long or whole grain. No white rice which is
completely non-nutritious.


A Word About Fiber
Most of us don’t consume enough fiber to do the good our bodies need. Your body
requires fiber in order to properly eliminate waste and to allow your food to digest
properly. By eating fiber, you can help your body maintain a healthy digestive
tract. This allows your body to absorb the nutrients it requires to combat fibroids.

Lack of fiber also causes your body to become constipated. Did you know that a
normal bowel movement is between 1-3 times per day? Due to our fiber-poor di-
ets, many American women erroneously believe that a bowel movement every 3-4
days is normal. This is very bad. Why? When food remains undigested in the large
intestine, the greater the likelihood that it will putrefy. Putrefaction leads to the
creation of harmful waste products which then may be reabsorbed back into the
blood stream.

The headaches accompanying constipation are caused by these toxins and their ir-
ritation.

I’ve already covered the importance of drinking water in your daily routine. Just an
additional 2 glasses of water can help alleviate constipation, keep your body regu-
lar and assist in your natural treatment of fibroids.

Fiber-rich diets assist your body to extract excess estrogen – and excess estrogen
feeds fibroids, so you definitely want fiber on a daily basis!

You can add fiber to your diet with about 7 grams per day of fiber products avail-
able at your local health food store or Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or other organic
food and produce market.




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Foods to Avoid
I’ll cover these briefly, since most of them you’re probably pretty familiar with al-
ready, or you can tell just by looking at them that they’re something you need to
stay away from.

First up, I recommend you watch your alcohol intake. Alcohol doesn’t do one good
thing for your body (don’t give me that argument that it loosens you up and puts
you in a good mood). A good hike can do that. So can deep breathing or medita-
tion. Nope, alcohol is just plain not good for your body, especially a woman’s
body. Especially a woman who has fibroids. Why? Because it stresses the liver
and directly affects the way your body can metabolize your hormones.

Decrease your salt intake. Sure, it may make your food taste better right now, but
in the long run other things make it taste just as good and are better for you. In-
stead of reaching for that salt shaker, try salt substitute or sprinkle lemon juice on
your food. Salt increases bloating and fluid retention – neither of which are good
things when you’re trying to combat fibroids.

Too much sugar robs your body of essential B vitamins and minerals. This, in turn,
can make any muscle tension and soreness, anxiety and irritability due to fibroids
even worse. Try sugar substitute instead. Cooking with Splenda is a wonderful al-
ternative to refined sugar.

High on the list of no-no’s is saturated fats. These contain a nasty thing known as
arachidonic acid (sounds just as bad as it is) that stimulates your body to produce
prostaglandins that not only increase pain in your pelvic area, but also inflamma-
tion.

Limit your intake of dairy products, including milk, cheese, yogurt and cottage
cheeses. Too much of these can cause women problems because they are another
chief source of arachidonic acid. Instead, consume organic milk, cheese, yogurt
and cottage cheese that are made from organic soybeans, rice, almonds and oats.


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I did promise you some recipes, didn’t I? Here are just a few you can try. Once you
try them out, you can experiment with other variations using different ingredients.
Enjoy!



Lemon-Herb Baked Chicken
Benefits to women with fibroids: Organic chicken contains essential iron and pro-
tein, garlic

Start with a nice-sized young chicken (organic). Thoroughly wash the chicken in-
side and out and pat dry with paper towel. Place in a glass rectangular dish and as-
semble your other ingredients. Pour a tablespoon of good extra virgin olive oil
(cold pressed) into your hands and rub all over the bird, picking up the skin flap
and rubbing underneath. Don’t forget to rub inside the cavity as well. Next, sprin-
kle some minced garlic into a bowl and then rub some rosemary and a little thyme
into it. You may wish to add a dash of kosher salt or salt substitute as well, but go
lightly! Get this mixture on your hands and thoroughly rub the entire bird with it,
being careful to get it nice and thick beneath the skin flap. Wash your hands.

In a 3500 preheated oven, bake the chicken uncovered for about one hour (or until
the juices run clear). Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes,
then slice and serve.

You can easily peel aside the skin before you serve it or at the table. You don’t
want to eat the skin. I just leave it on because the skin, with the olive oil and herbs
mixture, adds so much to the chicken’s flavor and natural juiciness. You’ll never
taste a juicier bird!

P.S. You can try this recipe with capons, or Cornish hens, as well. Also, instead of
flat in the pan, you can stand up the chicken or bird on one of those cute little
perches they sell in stores like Williams-Sonoma or your department store’s
kitchen department.

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Flash-seared and broiled Herbed-Dill Salmon
Benefits to women with fibroids: EFAs (essential fatty acids, including Omega 3)
in the salmon, antioxidants with the herb dill.

Begin with a nice filet of lean wild Coho salmon (wild is best). Wash and pat dry.
Rub a tablespoon of olive oil all over the fish (front and back sides). Sprinkle a
teaspoon of dill, maybe a little thyme in your fingers and pinch to release the es-
sential spices over the fish, and then rub the mixture into the fish on both sides.

Quickly sear the fish in a cast iron skillet and baste with a ginger-garlic or teriyaki
glaze. Then transfer the fish to the broiler to finish off with about five minutes
broiling time. Bring to the table immediately. By the way, as you’ll see in the fol-
lowing chapter on supplements, women with fibroids need daily intake of iron.
Cooking with a cast-iron skillet improves your body’s ability to absorb the iron
available in foods.

This fish is excellent with a sweet potato and fresh tossed salad.


Baked Cinnamon Apple
Benefits to women with fibroids: Pectin, a natural digestive agent and antioxidants
from the apple.

Start with one medium sized organic Fuji apple per person. I like the Fuji because
it holds together nicely when baked and has just the right amount of sweetness and
tartness. Wash them thoroughly in a mild detergent (or fruit cleaning agent now
sold in supermarkets) to completely free them from any residual traces they may
have from their travels.

Core the apples using an apple corer. This handy little device doesn’t cost much
money and is available everywhere they sell kitchen supplies. It sure beats trying
to cut out the core and seeds with a paring knife, although that is an alternative.

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Place the cored apples in a round glass baking dish. You can line the dish with
aluminum foil if you like. Next, prepare a mixture of ¼ cup Splenda per apple, ½
teaspoon of cinnamon per apple and mix together. Chop up a good supply of or-
ganic walnuts (about a cup total), and measure about a cup of raisins (golden taste
the best). Sprinkle half of the Splenda/cinnamon mixture into the apple cavities
and then fill the cavities with the walnuts and raisins. Then top the apples with the
rest of the Splenda/cinnamon mixture. Bake in an oven covered with aluminum
foil for about an hour at 3500 and then remove the aluminum foil for the last 10-15
minutes to brown. The reason you cover them at first is to make sure the Splenda/
cinnamon mixture doesn’t burn. Remove from the oven and let them cool until
warm. Then serve immediately. This is one dessert you’ll want to make over and
over again. It’s absolutely wonderful!

Okay, that was fun! I’m hungry myself. But beyond food, there are still more ways
we can help our bodies to become healthy and to rid ourselves of fibroids.




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Chapter 5
SUPPLEMENTS


Now that I’ve covered food – and wasn’t it delicious – you might think that you
have everything you need, nutritionally speaking, with food alone. That’s so not
true! Not when you’re dealing with the issue or presence of fibroids in your body.
Oh, you could go without taking any supplements. Lots of women do. But I cer-
tainly wouldn’t recommend that as a course of action. I think you’ll agree – and if
you’re still reading this guide, I’m almost positive of it – that you and I want
what’s absolutely best for our bodies. That best includes taking supplements. Not
just any and all supplements, but the appropriate supplements in the right amounts
in order to do the job.

The key vitamins you want to make sure to include are Vitamins A, C and E. These
vitamins are also potent anti-oxidants which help rid your body of free-radical
damage. What’s the big deal about free radicals? And what are they, anyway? Well,
free radicals are groups of atoms that contain an unpaired number of atoms (that
means they have an odd number of atoms). When oxygen and certain molecules
mix in your body, free radicals are formed. The problem is that free radicals are
highly reactive – they build upon each other creating a chain reaction throughout
the body. When they start to react with your body’s cell mechanisms or your
body’s DNA, they really cause trouble. The cells will either function poorly or die.
Yes, I said die. I’ve thoroughly researched this subject and find a great deal of sci-
entific evidence that supports the fact that free radicals cause our bodies to age.
That includes our organs, especially our reproductive organs, which need to be
healthy for optimum efficiency.



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The body has its own natural defense system against free radicals in the form of
antioxidants. What are antioxidants? They are actually molecules that can combat
the free radicals (like the front line of an army) and stop the damaging free radical
chain reaction. Your own body has specific enzymes that help scavenge free radi-
cals (destroy them), but the best additional sources of antioxidants come from Vi-
tamin A (Betacarotene), Vitamin C and Vitamin E. More about this in a minute.

The most up-to-date scientific and medical thinking encourages women to take
supplements for about three months, and then have medical follow-up to evaluate
the success of the supplementation. In essence, what you will be doing with the
supplementation is taking vitamin supplements in conjunction with dietary and
lifestyle changes you undertake in order to effectively deal with your fibroids.

There are other vitamins and minerals, and I’ll discuss each of them in turn, but for
now, I’d like to dive into the big three.


Vitamin A
Vitamin A, also known as Betacarotene, is of vital importance when it comes to
fibroids for a couple of reasons. Not only does it protect cells against damage, it
also assists cells to reproduce normally. And red blood production is dependent on
adequate supplies of Vitamin A.

If you have heavy bleeding, I’ll almost bet that your doctor will diagnose you with
a Vitamin A deficiency. One study I found showed that about 92% of women who
suffered heavy bleeding enjoyed significant improvement or a cure when they took
prescription supplemental Vitamin A. As you know, heavy bleeding is one of the
symptoms of fibroids.

So, Vitamin A needs to be on your list of supplements. But how much should you
take? The usual dosage for this supplemental vitamin is 25,000 IU per day. Please
note that if you’re pregnant, do not take Vitamin A.



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Vitamin C
Another potent anti-oxidant and water soluble vitamin, Vitamin C helps a woman’s
body to absorb the mineral iron. Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids can help strengthen
your body’s capillaries (or small blood vessels), which can lead to reduced heavy
bleeding caused by fibroids.

Bioflavonoids are plant-based natural compounds. Bioflavonoids also inhibit fi-
broid tumor growth by regulating your body’s estrogen balance. Coupled with the
Vitamin C, they are a valuable addition to your daily supplement routine.

One study I found detailed excellent results (about 82% successful) with women
who had heavy bleeding when they took 200 mg of Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids
three times per day.

Vitamin C is also beneficial in combating stress and/or emotional difficulties.

Dosages for women with fibroids: 1,000 mg of Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids per
day.


Vitamin E
The last of the big three, Vitamin E has come under a great deal of scrutiny in re-
cent years. Some studies have claimed no benefits to anti-aging, while others, per-
haps even more scientifically sound, offer proof of Vitamin E’s ability to keep your
body younger looking.

What’s the real truth? What should you believe when it comes to fibroids?

The truth is that symptoms caused by high levels of estrogen in the body can be
alleviated by a treatment of Vitamin E supplements. How the vitamin works is that
it equalizes the level of the estrogen hormone in your body.

Vitamin E is often called the “golden capsule” for its potent abilities to promote
healthy immune systems, heart and brain. Cornell’s Weill Medical College Center


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for Women’s Healthcare lists Vitamin E’s many benefits including those for suffer-
ers of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, asthma and diabetes and improving immunity.

In addition, there is a great deal of evidence that low levels of Vitamin E are linked
to early stages of cervical cancer.

But the most important finding from the study, in my opinion, centers on Vitamin
E as a supplementation regime for treatment of peri- and post-menopausal women
and their related symptoms – which can include fibroids. Symptoms such as vagi-
nal dryness and hot flashes, so common to peri- and post-menopausal women, ap-
pear to be greatly or somewhat relieved by Vitamin E supplementation.

But you don’t have to be approaching or in menopause to benefit from taking Vi-
tamin E. In fact, fibroids can cause painful periods (dysmenorrhea), lasting for 1-3
days and during which you may suffer a great deal of pain (okay, make that almost
unbearable, I’ve been there) in the lower abdomen, lower back and inner thighs.
Dysmenorrhea can be primary or secondary to another condition like endometrio-
sis or fibroids. Women also may feel bloated, nauseous, experience breast tender-
ness, diarrhea and headaches.

Dysmenorrhea is believed to be caused by prostaglandins, which cause the uterus
to contract and thus decreasing blood flow and causing pain. Vitamin E acts as an
inhibitor of the synthesis of prostaglandin.

Most recommended dose is 400-800 IUs per day, taken with meals. This is because
Vitamin E is an oil-soluble vitamin that your body absorbs better with food.




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Other Supplements – Vitamins and Minerals

B-Complex Vitamins
The range of B Vitamins offer a woman’s body effective means of combating fi-
broids. These can be taken together in one B Complex capsule, or by themselves in
order to obtain maximum effect of the higher dosages of that particular B Vitamin.
What I’ll list here under B Complex Vitamins is what is recommended you take
daily for your fibroid condition.

I hear you asking how B Complex Vitamins heal your body of fibroids? The an-
swer is in a number of ways: they help your body to resist infection, improve your
energy and overall well-being, and most important, they regulate your body’s hor-
monal balance.

Vitamin B1 (or thiamine) , Vitamin B2 (also called riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin
and niacinamide), Pantothenic Acid (also known as Vitamin B3), Vitamin B6, and
Vitamin B12 are all considered part of the B Complex Vitamins.


Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B1 helps your nervous system maintain balance. It also helps detox your
body and boost energy production.

Most recommended dose is 10-150 mg daily.


Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Many women, who suffer migraine headaches caused by heavy bleeding due to
fibroids, can benefit from taking Vitamin B2. This vitamin also assists the body to
boost energy, overcome chronic fatigue, and, for prevention of cancer, it regulates
glutathione.

Most recommended dose is 10-30 mg daily.



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Vitamin B3 (Niacin and Niacinamide)
Niacin helps to lower your body’s total cholesterol, and when taken in amounts of
200 mcg per day, will prevent the niacin flush that most women find uncomfort-
able (even if it doesn’t last very long). Niacinamide has been shown to alleviate
joint pain and stiffness as well as its key benefit of assisting in the regulation of
your body’s blood sugar levels.

I have seen studies that state that higher levels of niacin and niacinamide may
cause a risk to your liver enzymes that may ultimately result in liver damage. A
healthy liver is essential to fighting fibroids. Therefore, I recommend a lower dose
of each, depending on what your doctor recommends for your particular condition.

Most recommended dose is 200 mg of niacin daily and 100-500 mg per day of nia-
cinamide.


Pantothenic Acid (also Vitamin B3)
Your body needs optimum adrenal gland health in order to combat fibroids. Panto-
thenic Acid (also a Vitamin B3) helps promote healthy adrenal glands as well as to
boost your body’s energy.

Most recommended dose is 500 mg taken 3 times per day.


Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 has a whole host of benefits for women who have fibroids. It not only
helps relieve the water retention and breast tenderness that women with fibroids
often have, it also regulates hormonal balance that is so critical in eliminating fi-
broids. One way Vitamin B6 does this is that it helps your liver break down estro-
gen.

Most recommended dose is 200 mg daily (unless your physician advises you take a
greater amount).


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Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 should be taken along with folic acid daily by women who have fi-
broids – as well as women without fibroids. Why? It’s because your body needs
B12 for overall bodily health as well as reproductive health. B12 also works to
prevent anemia in women.

Food sources of B12 include clams and oily fish, as well as meats (which you
should steer clear of), dairy products (which you should limit) and eggs. So, the
sources are fairly limited. Daily supplementation with Vitamin B12 will give your
body what it needs.

Most recommended dose is 2.4 mcg per day.


Folic Acid
Folates, which are found in many foods such as green, leafy vegetables, fruits, ba-
nanas, avocados, asparagus, dried peas and beans and yeast, are helpful to control
anemia in women. In synthetic form, the folate is called folic acid. Folic acid, a B
vitamin, is twice as strong as natural folate that comes from foods.

While anemia isn’t necessarily connected with fibroids, it often occurs due to
heavy or excessive bleeding that fibroids do cause. Taking folic acid daily is rec-
ommended for all women, especially women with fibroids.

Most recommended dose is 400+ mcg daily.


Iron
Many American women who experience heavy bleeding due to fibroids may also
be diagnosed with an iron deficiency. During the heavy menstrual flow, their bod-
ies lose iron and red blood cells. Iron is also lost from slowly bleeding fibroids.
These women will need iron supplementation in order to bring their required iron
levels back into balance – as well as have the underlying causes of the bleeding
treated.

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The best way to increase iron levels in your diet is to eat foods rich in iron. These
foods include iron-rich oysters and clams, organ meat, and beef, poultry and fish.
It’s also true that about 60% of iron in meat is poorly absorbed in your body, so
you can also find iron in eggs, vegetables (especially green, leafy vegetables) and
dairy products.

But for women with anemia caused by fibroids (heavy bleeding, for example), iron
from their diet isn’t enough, and it isn’t absorbed adequately in their bodies to do
much good.

I’ve seen a number of studies that recommend daily supplementation with iron in
order to restore iron levels. The reason is that the heavy bleeding those fibroids of-
ten causes may lead to severe iron deficiency anemia – which must be treated. I
recommend that you consult your doctor about the need for and required dose of
supplemental iron – before you start taking it on your own.

Iron supplements are available in both ferrous and ferric forms. Your doctor will
prescribe which type is best for you and in what dose. Since the amount of iron
your body absorbs decreases with increased doses, I’ve found that it’s best to space
out your iron supplementation during the day. Taking iron pills may also cause
some discomfort such as constipation, heartburn and stomach upset. To alleviate
the discomfort, try these tips: make sure you take the pills with food, start slowly
with the dose (one pill a day for 3-5 days, then increase to 2 pills daily if you aren’t
showing symptoms), never take the pill at bedtime if it upsets your stomach and
discuss changing to a different brand with your doctor if all else fails.

Most recommended dose varies, depending on your condition and your physician’s
advice. According to the CDC, for adult women who are not pregnant, and who are
menstruating, and may have iron deficiency anemia, about 300 mcg per day may
be taken with your doctor’s recommendation. Most common side effects include
gastrointestinal issues such as constipation, dark stools, nausea, diarrhea and vom-
iting.

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Calcium
In my research for this guide, I found an interesting fact. Did you know that the
uterus, which is basically muscle, is susceptible to a deficiency of calcium? This
also pertains to the next mineral, magnesium. Both minerals, if deficient in your
body’s muscles, will cause your uterine muscles to become hyperactive, most
likely followed by cramping. By taking a calcium supplement daily, you are help-
ing your uterine muscles to maintain their good tone – and helping out with uterine
fibroids!

Most recommended dose is 800 mg per day (if you’re menstruating) and up to as
much as 1,500 mg daily for postmenopausal women.


Magnesium Citrate
Here is a wonderful supplement. Why do I say that? It’s because it offers so much
benefit that I find it’s like the hidden Christmas present underneath the tree. You
don’t expect it and therefore, it’s a delightful surprise.

Magnesium, as I mentioned in the calcium segment, if deficient in your body’s
uterine muscles, can lead to hyperactivity and cramping. Magnesium is ideal for
relaxing the uterine muscles, thus avoiding the hyperactive and cramping states.
Magnesium is also a prime motivator to detoxify your liver of excess estrogen, as
well as to produce the prostaglandin your body does need. Here are some of the
bonus benefits: magnesium helps alleviate tension caused by nerves, it stabilizes
blood sugar, greatly benefits the functioning of your heart and is a tremendous aid
in the prevention as well as treatment of osteoporosis.

Most recommended dose is 400-800 mg per day. Since calcium may interfere with
the absorption of magnesium, most doctors recommend about half as much mag-
nesium per calcium per day. So, if you’re taking 800 mg of calcium daily, you’d
take 400 mg of magnesium as well. If your dose of calcium is 1,500 per day, you’d
take 750-800 mg of magnesium with it.

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Selenium
Selenium is a trace mineral, and another potent antioxidant that a woman’s body
needs to fight the damage of free radicals. Our body produces energy by breaking
down sugars and proteins into fuel (metabolism) and this metabolic process also
creates excess electric molecules – which can damage your body’s internal organ-
isms. Selenium supplementation provides an effective shield against this damage
and is particularly advisable for women with fibroids.

Most recommended dose is 200-400 mcg taken daily.


Chromium Picolinate
Taking chromium picolinate daily assists your body to regulate its blood sugar lev-
els. It is also believed to be beneficial in preventing diabetes. Chromium picoli-
nate has an additional benefit you may find helpful. It helps to curb cravings for
sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, this is right up your alley!

Most recommended dose is 200-400 mcg daily (although I’ve seen as high as 600
mcg in some studies).


Zinc
Zinc supplementation assists the woman’s body to absorb enzymes, thus allowing
it to function at peak efficiency. Zinc also helps decrease inflammation that comes
with fibroids, boosts the immune system, regulates hormones and boosts the pro-
duction of white blood cells.

Most recommended dose is 30-60 mg daily.


Quercetin and Bromelain
I love these two names. Don’t they sound exotic? Perhaps that’s because bromelain
is a pineapple-derived enzyme (it comes from pineapples). Quercetin, a naturally



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occurring polyphenolic plant compound, supports the body by increasing its resis-
tance to allergic response.

Bromelain counteracts inflammation in the body’s mucous membranes and helps
with persistent inflammation problems.

I recommend that you take quercetin with bromelain as a supplement.

Most recommended dose is 300-500 mg of quercetin 3 times daily along with
2,000-3,000 MCU (or milk-clotting units) of bromelain. I’ve found many brands
offer the two together, so this is ideal if you’re worried about too many supple-
ments to carry around with you (especially if you’re traveling). Take these before a
meal, not after.


Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) can be one of your most powerful elements in com-
bating heavy bleeding caused by fibroids. Since red meat and dairy products con-
tain arachidonic acid, which promotes the production of bad prostaglandin (also
known as PGE2), by taking EFAs, you can help your body to counter production
of bad prostaglandin with production of good prostaglandins. Sound complicated?
It’s really not. Let me simplify it a little.

Bad prostaglandins tend to lead to increased blood flow, with a resulting lowered
blood clotting ability. Good prostaglandins, created by consuming EFAs, help re-
duce normal blood clotting and blood flow. This is particularly important for
women with fibroids who have excessive or heavy bleeding.

EFAs are Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 oils and are found in a number of
sources as well as commercial supplements (oil or capsules).

EFAs are found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel (richest in Omega 3 oils),
and in nuts and seeds and oils such as linseed and flaxseed. Safflower oil is rich in



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Omega 6. Flaxseed oil contains both Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils, and is therefore
very beneficial.

I’d like to point out that most EFA oils have a nutty taste. They should be kept
cold, or refrigerated, so they retain their potency. If it tastes bitter, it has gone ran-
cid and should be thrown out. Also, I don’t recommend you keep EFAs for longer
than 3-4 weeks after you first open them, so it’s best to buy in small quantities.

Most recommended dose is 1,000 mg of linseed oil daily or between 1-3 table-
spoons of oil daily. Liquid offers more intense benefits at less quantity than do
capsules, and is therefore preferred.




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Chapter 6
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE & ACUPRESSURE


Now I’d like to talk about a very popular alternative approach to the issue of fi-
broids – one that comes from a respected body of medicine practiced for thousands
of years in China – traditional Chinese medicine (or TCM) and acupressure. In
fact, TCM and acupressure are very valuable natural and holistic-approach weap-
ons in your arsenal to fight the presence (and recurrence) of fibroids.

Before I get too far into the issue, and because the topic of TCM and acupressure
could easily fill an entire book just by itself (I don’t want to lose you!), I’d like to
clear up a few points and define some terms -- to set the stage, so to speak.


What is TCM?
According to TCM philosophy and practice, the person’s entire life needs to be in
balance. This means the patient’s physical well-being, as well as emotional and
spiritual. TCM does not preclude traditional medicine. It actually works in concert
with it. Many TCM practices are very similar to those utilized by traditional physi-
cians. For example, no TCM practitioner would prescribe a set of procedures or
practices without first conducting a thorough interview and examination. Also, the
emphasis of the practitioner is as a facilitator to the patient’s health – since it’s the
patient who actually takes charge of his or her well-being. The emphasis of TCM,
therefore, is on prevention and makes use of non-invasive and natural medical ap-
proaches.

TCM – an ancient healing system based on rich insights and well-established prac-
tices over thousands of years



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Holistic – TCM focuses on the entire body, mind, emotion and spirit – since all are
connected and must be in balance for the individual’s well-being

Multifaceted – The TCM approach includes a number of various modalities –
such as herbal medicine, acupuncture and acupressure, massage and others – to
help the individual restore balance to their body.

Comprehensive – In TCM, the causes of the condition are addressed as well as the
actual condition itself.


What Causes Fibroids?
According to the TCM view, fibroids are caused by two recognizable patterns of
illness and imbalance: liver qi stagnation and blood stasis.

Qi (pronounced as chee), is the energy that flows throughout the human body.
There is congenital qi – that which we are born with – and acquired qi – which
comes from what we eat, our lifestyle, etc. There are different types of qi through-
out the body, and the actions and consequences of this qi reflect the person’s over-
all well-being, or lack of it. In other words, to be healthy, your qi must be in bal-
ance. Qi governs everything.

But, back to the cause of fibroids: liver qi stagnation and blood stasis. I’ll begin
with liver qi stagnation.


What is Liver Qi Stagnation?
I know this may seem tough, but it gets better – and it will all make sense, I prom-
ise you. If we’re talking about qi as the energy that moves through the body, then
stagnation in any part of the body is not good. Let’s look at the liver and what its
functions are in order to understand liver qi stagnation.

The liver’s main function is to store blood and to regulate blood volume circulation
back to the body as required. Did you know that when you rest, your liver stores


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blood and that when you move about, your heart circulates blood? Therefore, it
follows that if the liver’s blood storage function is abnormal or impaired, this will
affect other parts of the body.

Are you with me so far? Great!

The liver also harmonizes the emotions. When qi is normal, there is good circula-
tion of blood and qi, and the person’s emotions are in a harmonious state. Liver qi
stagnation may bring about a number of symptoms including irregular menstrua-
tion, feelings of unhappiness or crying, feeling of fullness in the chest or hypo-
chondria. Any sudden emotional change, like intense anger or deep depression, can
affect the liver-qi function and result in pathological changes or liver qi stagnation.

Some symptoms of liver qi stagnation include:

   • Poor appetite

   • Churning stomach sensation

   • Irregular or painful periods

   • Pain or discomfort anywhere about the sides of your body

   • PMS, along with swollen breasts and/or irritability

   • Abdominal discomfort and pain

   • Constipation

   • Stomachache that gets worse with anger

   • Stomachache that lessens in intensity (seems to get better) with massage

   • Mood swings

   • Frustration

   • Depression

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   • Inappropriate anger

   • Hiccupping

   • Sighing

   • Difficulty in swallowing

   • Sensation of a lump in your mouth

   • Bitter mouth taste


What is Blood Stasis?
Blood stasis – or zue yu -is actually a pathological blockage of blood circulation
somewhere within the body. In a normal and well-functioning individual, blood
flows to the vessels propelled by the heart-qi. A number of factors may cause stag-
nation or flow of blood which ultimately leads to blood retention (blood stasis) in
the vessels or viscera. Another term frequently used is micro clots.

Some symptoms of blood stasis include:

   • Limb or body numbness

   • Extremities showing purple (lips, fingers, toes)

   • Bleeding – blood in urine and/or stool, heavy bleeding during menopause,
       coughing out or vomiting blood, nose or gum bleeding or general bleeding
       from some body part

   • Tumors or swollen body parts

   • Purple, bruised tongue

   • Tongue veins (the veins under the tongue) swollen, puffy and twisted

   • Nose and face capillaries showing



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   • Depression

   • Dementia

   • Persistent hiccupping

   • Anxiety

   • Chest pains

   • Mild fever that appears gradually, beginning at dusk

   • Persistent fullness feeling in body, head and limbs

   • Skin that’s rough and scaly

   • Dark eyes and/or lips

   • Inability to sleep – insomnia

   • Pulse that’s uneven or tight and tense

   • Needle-prick pains at fixed points on the body

In general, problems that are associated with blood stasis include hematological
(blood-related) changes as well as tissue-related changes.

I know what you’re thinking. What does all this have to do with fibroids? Well,
I’m getting there. In fact, I’ll begin now.


What Is The TCM Protocol For Getting Rid of Fibroids?
I’ve found lots of supporting evidence that TCM has had good success in the
elimination (and/or reduction) of fibroid tumors less than 2 cm in size (about 1
inch). These tumors seem to respond very well to TCM treatment with Chinese
herbs, exercises and acupuncture/acupressure.




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Women with fibroids and anemia may also have anemia that requires their red
blood count to be increased in concert with TCM. In any event, TCM protocol for
removing fibroids goes right to the essence of the cause – treating the pattern of
imbalance, invigorating the patient’s blood and removing any blood stasis and
other precipitating factors. A unique (to the patient, according to the causes) course
of herbal medicine is prescribed. Acupuncture and acupressure are also recom-
mended to address and stimulate points associated with blood stasis, the uterus and
hormonal factors, among others.


TCM Suggestions to Get Rid of Fibroids

Diet
It should come as no surprise that a healthy diet lowers your risk of fibroids. And,
eating wisely can help you reduce the severity of ones you may have, according to
some studies I’ve seen. Some studies show a link between women who regularly
consumed beef and ham to instances of fibroids. Avoid red meat, but do eat lots of
fish as fish are rich in Omega 3 oils that are a fantastic tonic for your body. What-
ever meat or poultry you do eat, try to eat organic as much as possible.

Other studies indicate that women who consumed alcohol (especially beer) had
higher incidences of fibroid tumors. On the opposite spectrum, women who ate
fresh fruits and green vegetables were less likely to develop the condition. Again,
make sure these are organic!

Garlic, spearmint, peppermint, rosemary and thyme, oregano, sweet basil, saffron,
turmeric, mustard and caraway seed are not only great for cooking delicious meals,
they’re also powerful food ingredients to help you move the qi and combat fi-
broids. In addition, chicken is terrific. Just think of the different kinds of chicken
dishes you can make with the spices I just mentioned. Um-mm good!

Soy and soy products like tofu, along sweet potato, squash, red and black dates and
cherries are also excellent foods.

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Eat lots of walnuts. Not only are they delicious, they’re very good for you.

To resolve blood stasis, eat plenty of lemons, limes, onions and kelp.

Drink milk thistle tea as well to help your body heal!

Bottom line, you should eat as much fresh fruit and vegetables, raw or uncooked,
as possible. Stay away from red meat and limit your alcohol consumption.

These dietary changes are easy for you to accomplish and to make a part of your
everyday routine. Just think of how healthy you’re making your body!


Lifestyle
In TCM, lifestyle changes are recommended in concert with diet, exercise and
massage, herbal remedies and acupressure. Why? Again, the whole focus of TCM
is on balance and free-flowing qi (energy) throughout your body. If I find myself
stressed out, on edge, irritable, it’s a sure sign that my qi is blocked somewhere
and I’d better take steps to unblock it – quick!

Lifestyle changes in accordance with TCM include meditation – to relax the body
and mind, free the spirit and chase away negative ideas, actions and states of mind
that lead to unbalance.

Dietary changes are a means to help the patient address some issues. These
changes not only cover what you eat, but how you eat it, when and what method
you use to prepare it. For example, if I have frequent headaches, I may eat cooler
foods rather than hot foods (to eliminate the heat) from my body.

Tai Chi helps move qi (energy) along the body. Actually a martial art, tai chi is a
structured form of exercise that promotes and facilitates healthy changes in blood
pressure, immunity, protection from osteoporosis and bodily stability, among oth-
ers. I find it very enjoyable as well.




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Qi Gong is another practice of moving energy and is also an exercise. When I
practice qi gong, my focus is on my breathing and slower movements to promote a
relaxed state and improve the flow of energy throughout my body.


Acupressure
Ah, this is a subject I love! Just the thought of writing these words gives me pleas-
ure. Why, you ask? It’s because I know the immense relief acupressure can bring,
given the right practitioner. You want to have a TCM practitioner who’s had a great
deal of experience in healing people with your condition. Don’t be afraid to ask
them about their success rate. In fact, ask lots of questions! You’re trying to heal
your body – they are instruments you use in your journey.

Now to the nitty-gritty of acupressure and healing fibroids. I’m not going to go
through each meridian step by step to detail exactly how the acupressure works. I
will provide an overview to give you insight into how the acupressure may work in
your case.

Acupressure, based upon the same principles as acupuncture, is an ancient Chinese
technique that utilizes finger pressure on specific body points in order to treat vari-
ous ailments. These may include stress, anger, and many other conditions as well
as various female-related problems like menstruation, menopause and fibroids.

The acupressure points run along your body’s meridians (pathways or channels)
and they carry your body’s qi or energy. There are 12 meridians and eight extraor-
dinary meridians located about your body. When energy is blocked or restricted in
any area of the meridians, disease and pathological conditions occur. The goal,
then, is to remove blockages to jumpstart the flow of healthy qi.

I’d like to point out here that you can perform self-acupressure or you can have a
friend assist you by applying the pressure to the appropriate body meridians. I’d
recommend a quiet and warm room and that the person applying the pressure have



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clean hands with manicured nails (no long fingernails, please!). Cold hands may be
first warmed with water to be more comfortable to the touch.

On the subject of acupressure to reduce, shrink or eliminate fibroids, there are six
main points to concentrate on:

Liver 3 or LV3 – Located on your big toe and second toe (between your 1st and
2nd metatarsal bones). To stimulate this point, position your right heel between the
bones attaching to your large and second toes and knead that point gently for a pe-
riod of approximately 30 seconds. Then switch sides so that you can stimulate Lv 3
on your other foot. This point will move liver qi stagnation.

Large Intestine 4 or LI4 – on the padded area of your hand between the thumb
and index finger (between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones). Use your thumb to
massage this point for 30 seconds on both hands. This is another point to move
liver qi stagnation.

LV14 – Located between your ribs and nipple

CV4 – Located between your navel and pubic bone

Spleen 6 or SP6 – Located above your ankle and just off to the side of your shin-
bone

SP10 – Located on the inside of your knee, just a bit above the fleshy part of your
kneecap bulge

The art of acupressure is like regular massage, but with a twist. You are applying
pressure in a circular motion – to get your energy (qi) moving and remove block-
ages along the meridians. As such, it also helps remove toxins and cleanse the
blood. No needles are required and you may begin to feel your energy moving
freely rather quickly. You will certainly experience a sense of relief. If resistance is
encountered, I’d recommend you or your acupressure practitioner apply a bit more
pressure – resistance means blockage – but not too much! You want to stimulate

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the meridian, not overwhelm it. And, your level of pain tolerance may need to in-
crease gradually. Perform the acupressure for about 5-10 minutes per session.

I’d also like to stress that there are no side effects to acupressure. No drugs to
purge from your system. No uncomfortable needles or invasive procedures. Any-
one can do it, and you benefit from experience. In other words, the acupressure
therapist gets better by performing acupressure!

There are any number of books on the subject of acupressure that will teach you
the specific areas and techniques. You can even sign up for classes. You can also
Google for how to perform acupressure to find a list of reference sites. One good
book that has a lot of information and techniques is Acupressure’s Potent Points: A
Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments by Michael Reed Gach. The book is just
one example I found in a Web search, and it is available through Amazon.com.

Want to feel relief? Try acupressure. As a strong believer in acupressure’s natural
healing ability, I guarantee you will feel better!


Herbal Remedies
Chinese herbal remedies to reduce, shrink or eliminate fibroids can be very effec-
tive when used properly. I’d strongly recommend that you research thoroughly (or
consult your TCM practitioner) to find the right remedies for your own body con-
dition. You don’t have to go to a TCM practitioner to realize benefits from herbal
remedies. However, if you do, he or she will take into account your entire history,
current symptoms and severity, and outline a personalized treatment plan that in-
cludes herbal remedies, among other techniques and procedures.

That said, we already know that liver qi stagnation and blood stasis are primary
culprits in the creation and intensity of fibroids. So, I’d like to suggest that any
herbal remedies you do undertake will most likely include herbs to get your qi
moving again – as a primary motivator. But, depending upon your particular condi-
tion, I know that you’ll want to take other Chinese herbs as well. For example, if

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liver qi stagnation is due to cold, your remedy will more than likely need to first
address herbs to get the qi moving and also warming herbs. If your pain and symp-
toms are due to blood stasis and qi stagnation, you will probably need herbs to
move the blood and qi.

Cyperus is considered by many to be the primary as TCM’s primary qi regulating
herb. Cyperus, also known as purple nutsedge or purple nutgrass, is quite invasive
in more than 92 countries as it spreads via rhizomes underground. In China, the
roots are collected in fall, and boiled or steamed so that the fibrous roots are
burned off. Then the rhizomes are cut in two and left to dry in the sun. In Chinese
herbal formulas, cyperus is used to treat blood stasis and liver qi stagnation. There
are many different herbal formulas containing cyperus. One is called Yueju Wan
(or Pills to Relieve Stagnancy of all Kinds). Another is Liang Fu Wan (actually a
combination of two herbs: cyperus and galangal). You can find what you need by
asking your Chinese herbal pharmacist about them.

Xiao Yao Wan is also used to assist with liver qi stagnation.

Some blood stasis herbs will most likely contain an ingredient familiar to Western-
ers by the name of turmeric. The Chinese versions have different names, including
Tuber Curcumae, Rhizomu Curcumae Longea and Rhizomu Curcumae Ezhu. But
you get my point. Turmeric helps alleviate the problems caused by blood stasis.
It’s also listed under diet as a potent spice to add to your foods for the dual benefit
of its excellent taste and healing powers!

A combination of tao ren and hong hua in an herbal tea remedy has been shown to
reduce tumors according to one recent account. In addition, three Chinese studies
have demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in treating women’s tumors with Xiao
Liu Pian (Tumor Reducing Tablet). Again, if you do have tumors, it’s wise to have
your physician and/or TCM practitioner prescribe tumor reducing herbs.




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I want to stress that herbal remedies taken alone will not solve your problems with
fibroids. This is but one step in a comprehensive and inclusive treatment plan that
will be unique to your circumstances. As such, I encourage you to feel confidence
and comfort in the fact that your treatment plan will work for you. After all, envi-
sioning your healthy state of well-being is all part of the process!


Exercises & Massage
Also known as bodywork, exercises and healing massage are among the most
soothing parts of TCM. At least, I find that to be true. There are many different
kinds of bodywork, including the following:

Massage Therapy – I find this category probably the most recognizable to both
western and TCM adherents. Everyone loves a good massage, me included! The
fact that it stimulates your body functions and alleviates stress and tension is not
just an added benefit -- it is the primary function of TCM massage therapy. Among
the many techniques are deep tissue, scalp, tendon/muscular massage, and many
others. In fact, practitioners often specialize in multiple techniques in order to be
able to assist their clients with specific blockage problems. I’ve found massage
therapists at high-end resort properties that have a whole list of services they pro-
vide that include many TCM massage techniques.

Craniosacral Therapy – This area focuses on the cranio (brain) and sacral (spine)
areas of the body and involves applying very gentle pressure to specific areas. This
adjusts the body’s biorhythm and improves its function.

Shiatsu – This technique falls under the category of acupressure in that it stimu-
lates the acupuncture points of the body using your hands and thumbs. But shiatsu
also has a very refined mapping that allows it to pinpoint areas of imbalance in the
body, specifically the abdomen. It also uses stretches and other generalized mas-
sage techniques to work in conjunction with the stimulation.



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Rolfing – These practitioners work to realign your posture and body structure
through a series of treatments. Rolfing focuses on the connective tissue (the body’s
fascia).

Tuina – Closely aligned to the Western version of massage, tuina actually works
along with acupuncture to facilitate removal of blockages caused by tension and
misalignment.

Reflexology – This practice holds that the entire body is represented in your hands
and feet and that any bodily condition can be treated by manipulating the corre-
sponding point in those extremities. It may be used alone or with other bodywork
or acupuncture.


How to do Self-Massage in the Chinese Fashion
If you’d like to give yourself the gift of massage, here are some self-massage exer-
cises that you can do too – in the Chinese fashion.


Abdominal massage
Lie flat – You might want to place a small pillow behind your knees first. This will
take the strain off your back.

With eyes half-closed (like a cat) – Inhale slowly and deeply.

Place right palm on stomach – just above your navel. Point your right thumb up
toward your chin, and place your left hand atop your right. (If you are a lefty, place
your left hand on your stomach first, then the right on top of it.)

Breathe in and out deeply – Try to feel the warmth radiating through both of your
hands.

Rub stomach in clockwise motion – Gently, with both hands in place. Repeat 20-
40 times.



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Now place hands on lower ribcage edge – on either side of your abdomen. Now
move your hands in a smooth, massaging motion down into your pelvic area. Do
this 5 times.

Return both hands to center of abdomen – just below the navel -- and repeat the
previous exercise 5 times.

Sit up, facing forward – Inhale and turn your head and neck (not your whole body)
to look back over your left shoulder. Then exhale. Now inhale as you turn your
head and neck to look back over your right shoulder. Then exhale.

Put right hand on left side of your waist – Inhale. Now slowly exhale while you
move your hand toward the middle of your navel. Then switch hands and repeat
the exercise.

Rub both palms – slowly down over both hip bones and to the tops of your thighs.

Return to position one – both hands flat on top of your stomach. Now gently mas-
sage clockwise to the count of three while you inhale. Exhale on the count of six.

Now that I’ve given you a basic understanding of the theory and practices of TCM
with respect to fibroids, I hope you’ve learned some helpful techniques that you
can get started on right away. It really is up to you! You are the architect of your
own body. So, I wholeheartedly encourage you to take aggressive steps today, us-
ing TCM as one of your avenues of healing, to return your body to a healthy state
of well-being.




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Chapter 7
EXERCISES


I mentioned exercise in the previous section on TCM and acupressure. But I be-
lieve that exercise is such an important healing mechanism that it deserves its own
section here.

Apart from TCM practices, exercise has numerous benefits for anyone who wants
to feel and look better. Add to that its ability to heal your body from the inside out
and you’ve got one fantastic natural healing prescription – one that doesn’t involve
drugs or any invasive procedures!


How Can Exercise Heal?
Just think about this for a minute. Exercise stimulates blood flow and circulation,
gets your heart pumping, increases oxygen to starved tissues and organs. All of this
is good for your body. Beyond this, exercise helps promote hormonal balance –
essential to healing fibroids!

I’d like you to imagine a submerged log. It’s heavy, sluggish, and prone to decay.
That’s what your body is like when it becomes inactive and full of toxins from the
environment, food, stress and other elements. Your body becomes heavy, sluggish
and prone to disease and pathologic changes.

Exercise can change all that! Yes, believe it or not, engaging in vigorous exercise
on a regular basis (daily is ideal) will completely transform your body. I’m not
talking about becoming a perfectly proportioned, knockout movie star, but, hey –
anything’s possible! The point is that, with a concerted effort and discipline to
stick to it, you can change your body. That means you can change flabby, fat ab-


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dominal muscles to lean, hard and taut. You can alleviate that shortness of breath
that prevents you from taking more than a half-block at a snail’s pace to improved
breathing and renewed energy that leaves you feeling exhilarated and ready to go
on after a half-mile walk (and even more)!

I guarantee you will find it easier to stretch in your yoga, tai chi, qi gong classes.
You’ll feel more balanced and less irritable. Your attitude will change to more
positive. How can it not when others will comment on how great you look, and ask
what you’ve been doing differently?

After a vigorous round of exercise – strength training, Pilates, a good hike, even
the stationary bike – I find that I feel just plain wonderful. Why is that, you might
ask? It’s the body’s natural endorphins – those feel-good, natural painkiller-
hormones – that kick in. My aches and pains seem to disappear (or at least become
minimized) and I’m thankful once again that I made the time in my daily schedule
to do something that’s just right for me – exercise!

After a few weeks of your exercise lifestyle (and I do mean lifestyle, since exercise
needs to become part of your life), your body will feel different, look different and,
most of all, be different. Do you want to become that healthy new you? Of course,
you do!


What Kinds of Exercises Should You Do?
I, along with many advocates of natural healing processes and medical doctors,
recommend three types of exercises to assist with your fibroid healing program.
These are exercises designed to stimulate circulation, those to strengthen your
muscles and overall body tone, and exercises designed to promote hormonal bal-
ance, get energy flowing throughout your body and cleanse toxins. These latter are
generally Eastern medicine (TCM), rather than Western exercises. But there has
been such a widespread acceptance of yoga, tai chi, qi gong and other Eastern ex-
ercises that they’re becoming fairly mainstream in America.


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Exercises to Stimulate Circulation
I don’t want you to get bored with the whole subject of exercise! There are really
lots of different types of exercise to stimulate circulation – these are called aerobic
exercises (aerobic means oxygen) – and they require that the lungs and heart work
harder to meet your body’s need for increased oxygen. This increased oxygen con-
tributes to your overall circulation and improves your body’s well being.

Aerobic exercises include: bike riding (outdoors, uphill, stationary, etc.), swim-
ming, walking, hiking, running. Key here is that your body is overcoming resis-
tance (wind, terrain, and water, gravity) to move forward. As you exercise, your
body is consuming calories and using carbohydrates and sugars for fuel. You
should exercise to the point of rapid pulse. The point is to get your heart pumping!
But don’t overdo it. If you feel faint, stop and lean over. Breathe deeply and rest or
quit for the day.

Build up your sessions gradually. I find that when I haven’t been able to hike for a
week or two and then resume my ideal early morning walk along the trails by my
home, I have to ease back into it. The first day, I’ll just go around the neighbor-
hood – a mix of uphill, downhill and flat terrain, all on sidewalks. I console myself
that I’m breathing right, I’m out in the fresh air, getting natural vitamin D from the
sun, and I’m getting back into the swing of things. The next day, I take one of the
easier trails – and I walk there. No copping out by driving the car to the trailhead.
That extra few blocks means I’m gradually adding to my hiking ability and within
a couple of days, I’m back to doing my full 45 minute to one hour daily hike.

I’d recommend that you use a variety of aerobic exercise to keep yourself inter-
ested, excited and eager to continue. In the summer months, try walking in the
early morning. Why not reward yourself with a swim in the afternoon (and get in
another stint of aerobic exercise) if there’s a lake or pool nearby? Take a bicycle
ride with your friends or children in a local park or at a rest stop during a picnic.
Invest in a stationary bike so you can do aerobic exercise at home anytime.

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Additional benefits of aerobic exercise include stabilization of hormonal imbal-
ance and cleansing your body’s systems – both key to healing fibroids.


Exercises to Strengthen Muscles and Overall Body Tone
These exercises are known as anaerobic exercises (meaning they do not use oxy-
gen). Weight training is an anaerobic exercise. By utilizing the body’s own fat, an-
aerobic exercise helps women who may have additional weight during menopause
or after pregnancy, to eliminate the undesired weight and strengthen their muscles
and overall body tone.

I don’t recommend that you try to be Ms. Universe here! It’s not advisable to pile
on as much weight as possible. Did you know that it’s not the amount of the
pounds you use but the repetition that burns your body fat? If you do weight train-
ing at your local gym (memberships are reasonable and they have all the latest
equipment), the gym’s trainers can work out a weight training program and sched-
ule for you that will allow you to gradually increase your weights to a manageable
(and desirable) level. I’d start with a small set of hand weights in the 2-3 pound
range. You can buy these at almost any sporting goods store. Do various hand lifts
and stretches with these weights, alternating each side for a count of 10 and do
three sets each. You can add knee squats holding the weights and turning from side
to side holding the weights as well.

The best part of exercises that strengthen the muscles is that you’re strengthening
your abdominal muscles that support your uterus. This is critically important in
healing fibroids.

So, go to it, girl!


Eastern Exercises for Energy Flow, Hormonal Balance




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Yoga, tai chi, qi gong – whatever type you choose, embrace it! Within each type
I’ve found many variations that are bound to keep your interest and surely there’s
just the right one for you!


Yoga
Part of the Hindu religion, the practice of yoga is well established in the United
States today. Many thousands of women (and men) practice yoga daily as a means
to relax, manage stress, improve body health and well being, and improve flexibil-
ity. While there are many different versions of yoga, most people in the United
States practice Hatha yoga.

In Hatha yoga, you focus on specific poses and prescribed controlled breathing
techniques. And, within Hatha yoga itself, there are several different types. The
type you choose depends on personal preference, but they all include from 10-30
poses and breathing.

Yoga assists in other ways as well. I’ve found that it not only greatly reduces my
stress levels, but that I’m better able to manage chronic back pain and it also
strengthens my abdominal level (all those poses and controlled breathing!). Any-
thing that strengthens your abdominal area is a terrific asset when you’re healing
your body of fibroids!

There are videotapes, books, magazines and classes available to teach you yoga.
Check your Yellow Pages, local directories, or look for available classes online in
your community.


Tai Chi
Tai Chi is often called the meditation in motion exercise. Practiced in China for
thousands of years, tai chi was originally developed as a self-defense technique. It
is self-paced and self-practiced form of exercise in which you perform a series of
graceful postures in a flowing motion. Tai chi helps alleviate stress, increase


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strength, flexibility, well-being, muscle mass and stamina. It has also been shown
to alleviate chronic pain, stiffness, anxiety and depression, to reduce bone loss and
high blood pressure, to improve sleep quality, balance and coordination, and im-
prove heart fitness (cardiovascular health).

There are six types of Tai Chi (at last count!) to choose from including, zhai bao,
yang, chen, hau, sun and wu. You don’t need any special clothing. You can do it
alone or with others, anytime or place and you can add more movements as you
progress. Tai Chi instruction centers are easy to find. Just check out your Yellow
Pages or city directory or Google it online with your zip code.


Qi Gong
Qi gong (also qigong) is another ancient Chinese technique that involves breath-
ing, meditation, postures and exercises. While its origin is difficult to trace, it is
thought to date back 5,000-7,000 years! Tai chi, yoga and other practices seem to
have branched off from qi gong and its principles.

Qi gong helps in disease prevention and adding years to your life, as well as in-
creasing energy, well-being and overall health.

There are literally thousands of different qi gong exercises and the type you do will
likely be determined in concert with your qi gong master. These masters are re-
nowned for their ability to assist in healing by prescribing the sets of exercises de-
signed to transfer energy (qi or chee) from one person to another. This is a pro-
found benefit of qi gong when pertaining to fibroids.

There are basic components of qi gong, and all sessions (which are to be per-
formed every morning and evening) require warm up and concluding exercises. Qi
gong consists of postures (sitting, standing, or lying down, for example), move-
ments (like bending, jumping, slow motion, quick thrusts, or stretches), breathing
techniques (relaxed, holding, deep abdominal, and chest), and mental exercises
(meditation, mind healing and visualization).

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Where do you find a qi gong master? I’ve researched the subject of qi gong and
found many books and periodicals devoted to the art. Good resources to begin with
include the following organizations:

International Chi Kung / Qi Gong Directory. 2730 29th Street. Boulder, CO 80301.
(303) 442-3131.

Qigong Magazine. P.O. Box 31578. San Francisco, CA 94131. (800) 824-2433.

Qigong Human Life Research Foundation. P.O. Box 5327. Cleveland, OH 44101.
(216) 475-4712.


Other Exercises
I haven’t exhausted the list of exercises that promote healing of fibroids. Some of
these you may find amusing, odd or just different. But they’re all wonderful addi-
tions to your exercise portfolio.


Dancing
Yup, dancing. Whether it’s ballroom, belly dancing, island music, club dancing –
you expend energy and feel great by dancing.


Stretching
I always watch my cat when he gets up from a nap. The first thing he does is
stretch his body all over. I swear he smiles when he does it! I know it feels good
because I can hear him purring even before I pick him up. Animals, especially fe-
lines, know it’s important to release the kinks you get from being stationary for a
period of time. They stretch out their limbs and become limber before they start to
move.

So, before you do any exercise (walking, hiking, weight training, dancing, etc.),
make sure you limber up your body with some basic stretches.



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Pilates
Founded by Dr. Joseph Pilates in Germany, the practice of Pilates is now a full-
force exercise craze in the United States – and worldwide. I, myself, practice Pi-
lates (okay, I’m a newbie, but I’m quickly loving it!). I find it seems to combine
some of the techniques of the Eastern practices of yoga and tai chi (maybe even qi
gong) with Western-flavor movements.

Basically, here’s what I’ve learned about Pilates and why I find it so beneficial in
healing fibroids. It’s based on the principle that our physical and mental health is
intertwined. Now I find that just makes sense. Supporting Dr. Pilates’ philosophy,
he designed his program around the techniques of breathing, flowing movements,
concentration, precision and control. Pilates can be performed in two ways: mat
exercises and machines.

It’s also fun.

Anybody can do Pilates. You can find classes offered by your YMCA (or YWCA),
fitness centers or with private Pilates instructors.

Primarily about strength and flexibility, I recommend you pair your Pilates work
with other forms of exercise such as swimming or hiking (a brisk walk will also
do).


Abdominal Crunches
I’ve mentioned abdominal strengthening as a means to combat fibroids. I also rec-
ommend that you add abdominal crunch exercises to your daily routine.

What are abdominal crunches? It’s quite easily the simplest exercise you can do to
strengthen your abdominal region. It also promotes faster healing, improves circu-
lation and helps with back pain.

How to do it:



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Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent. Or, and this is one I prefer, lie back on a
large (or medium-sized, depending on your weight) inflatable exercise ball with
your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.

Place your hands crossed on your chest. Or, hold your hands at the sides of your
head or by your chest. If you put your hands behind your neck, don’t lock them.
And, definitely don’t pull on your neck!

Make sure you breathe all during the exercise. Don’t hold your breath! If you do,
you’re limiting the work your abdominal muscles can do.

Start by gently rolling your torso forward. Don’t jerk! This will only result in in-
jury and/or pain. You want to crunch your abdominal muscles while you do this.
By crunching, I mean think of squeezing your muscles inward (as if someone were
going to hit you and you want to harden your muscles). Don’t tilt your neck and
keep your lower back flat throughout the exercise motion.

Hold at the top of the movement for a second. It’s this holding that strengthens the
abdominal cavity. Do not sit all the way up!

Slowly return to the original position. It’s important that you move slowly on the
way back down. It’s this movement that really burns into the abdominal fat and
creates strength. (It also results in some soreness until you get used to the exercise,
so don’t overdo it at first.)

Repeat the exercise. Try for at least 15-20 sets of crunches.


Kegels
Kegels, or Kegeling, is an exercise rather unique to women. After all, we’re the
only ones with a vagina! Before you think this is too radical to consider, I’d like to
remind you that the pubococcygeus muscle or PC muscle (the area between the
opening to the vagina and the rectal opening) must be strengthened in order to
promote overall women’s health in the gynecological area.

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What you’re basically doing with Kegel exercises is to strengthen the pelvic region
– so important to healing fibroids.

The name Kegel comes from the doctor who first created the exercise, Dr. Arnold
Kegel, as a means to correct involuntary urination or incontinence. The technique
involves a rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the PC muscle. Regular Kegel
exercise promotes increased blood flow and circulation in the pelvic region,
stronger bladder and richer blood and nerve supply.

You can Kegel anywhere, anytime. You can do the exercises in front of people or
alone. No one will know you’re doing it, so you don’t have to be embarrassed.

How do you Kegel?

While there are several forms of Kegel exercises – bear-downs, pumps and pulses
-- I find it beneficial to incorporate all of them into my routine. Start by practicing
starting and stopping your flow of urination so you get the idea of how the PC
muscle works in your body.

In the pump version, you want to squeeze your PC muscle while you hold it for a
count of three seconds. After that you relax the PC muscle for another count of
three seconds. Do this exercise in repetition and gradually work up to 30 sets of the
complete exercise (squeeze, hold for 3 seconds, relax for 3 seconds).

When you do pulse Kegels, you will squeeze and relax your PC muscle in a quick
motion, like quick breaths or flutters. You’re not looking for speed but rather regu-
lar contractions at a rapid and even pace. This will come with practice, so I really
wouldn’t worry. You can’t go wrong by practicing. Remember, this is beneficial to
your overall health and will help you heal fibroids!

The last Kegel exercise is the bear-down in which you’ll also be toning your lower
abdominal muscles. In this exercise you add a contraction of your lower abdominal
muscles as you perform your contraction and relaxation routine. Think of it as if


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you were pushing out a bowel movement (or a baby, if you’ve delivered one). You
get the point. Then hold and release for a count of three seconds and repeat, work-
ing up to 30 sets.

Make it Fun!

I’d like to stress here that the most important part of your exercise routine is that
you make it fun. When I enjoy what I do, I get more out of it. I’m also more likely
to stick to it than if I regard exercise as a chore, something to be avoided.

Think of the healing properties of exercise as just one more powerful tool in your
quest to heal yourself of fibroids.

You’ll be well on your way with a positive attitude!




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Chapter 8
DETOXIFICATION


Now, armed with your brand-new positive attitude, it’s time to tackle the issue
(and necessity) of detoxification.

A woman’s total load of estrogen is composed of three types: estradial, estriol and
estrone. There is some evidence that, given certain circumstances, an excess or im-
balance of estrone and estradial are carcinogenic, while there is also ample docu-
mentation that estriol is not only not cancerous, but anti-cancerogenic (fights
against cancer) as well.

The liver is your body’s most active metabolizing center, working hard to detox
and get rid of estrogen by first converting it to estrone, and then to estriol – which
doesn’t overly stimulate the uterus. If the liver is not able to metabolize the estra-
dial, the uterus, which is now over stimulated with estrogen, may respond by pro-
ducing fibroids.


How do toxins damage our bodies (and lead to fibroid growth in
women)?
Once toxins enter your body, they make their way to your liver – which is your
body’s cleansing storehouse. Do you know that your liver is your body’s most im-
portant mechanism for cleansing toxins and purifying your blood? Furthermore, all
your body’s blood goes through your liver every three minutes. With that stagger-
ing statistic in mind, it’s easy to see why I say that you really have to keep your
liver strong.




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Without a healthy-functioning liver, all those accumulated toxins give off harmful
waste products that seep out into your bloodstream and make their way to vital or-
gans, thus damaging them. Your liver also creates estrogen, the so-called good es-
trogen, metabolites that have great importance in cardiovascular protection and
healthy bone maintenance. The bad estrogens create the ripe opportunity for fi-
broids to form and continue to grow in size in and around your reproductive areas,
including inside and outside the uterus and fallopian tubes.

Where do these toxins come from? Actually, from a number of places. Read on.


Our toxic environment
I’m afraid we live in an imperfect world. By that, I don’t mean to imply there’s no
beauty in the world – far from it. This world is an incredibly wondrous and beauti-
ful place. But, mostly through human intervention, we’ve also allowed this beauti-
ful world to become a vastly toxic environment.

How so?

There are literally thousands of environmental toxins that can (and do) interfere
with our body’s normal hormonal functioning. These include xenoestrogens, diox-
ins, PCBs and a host of others. This can lead to the development of abnormal cell
growth – in other words, fibroids, among other conditions.

Women, who have hormonal especially fibroid problems, and those in technical
professions, often have very high levels of cadmium and mercury in their bodies.
Heavy metal and pesticide pollutants may affect a woman’s thyroid gland, with the
result being uterine disorders or stimulation of the uterus by mimicking estrogen.


Air pollution
We’ve polluted our air with greenhouse gases caused by carbon monoxide from
our insane dependence on automobile transportation, for one. And, I know, the
automakers are doing great improvements (spurred on by government regulations

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and public opinion) in reducing carbon emissions and other nasty pollutants from
their new product offerings.

Factories also cause air pollution. So does mining, your gardener’s leaf blower, air
conditioners, improperly maintained furnaces, almost all machinery, including
light household appliances.


Chemicals and household cleaners
Chemicals are nasty and toxic to the environment. I know that seems like a no-
brainer, but I caution you to think about all the chemicals you have right in your
own home. All those cleaners and household chemicals, your hairspray, deodorant,
air fresheners – the list goes on and on! I did a test in my own home just to see
how many different examples I could find. What an eye-opener!

Some containers (like those for products like scrubbing agents containing bleach)
list warnings that include language like this: “Physical and Chemical hazards –
contains bleach. Avoid contact with clothes, fabric or carpet. Do not mix with other
household chemicals as hazardous gases may result. Causes eye irritation. May
cause skin irritation….” They can also damage your liver and kidneys.

Other spray cleaners include words to the effect that “Hazards to humans and do-
mestic animals. Caution: causes moderate eye irritation. Avoid contact with eyes,
skin or clothing. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling…” The cul-
prits here are hydrochloric acid, linear alkylate sulfonate or sodium hypochlorite,
ammonia, formaldehyde – all of which cause damage to liver and kidneys and/or
tissue damage.

After examining all my cleaning agents, sprays, pastes and other household items
I’ve determined that soap and water is probably best to clean everything! No, I’m
not kidding. But, at least, examine all the labels before you buy any cleaning agent
to ensure that it contains safe, biodegradable materials, no phosphorus and no
bleach, if possible. Use only in well-ventilated areas (open the windows), wear

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gloves, and don’t breathe in the fumes. You can even purchase inexpensive masks
to wear to protect yourself from accidentally breathing in this toxic mixture.


Plastics
Plastics are another source of great toxicity. The worst forms of toxins are the es-
trogenic toxins in petrochemical products (plastics) that we store so many things in
today. Bisphenol A is the environmental estrogen that is released from plastic that’s
heated. Think for a minute how much we’ve come to depend on plastic. Food con-
tainers, food wrap, toys (don’t get me started on toys), cleaning supply containers,
garbage and trash bags, components of machines (levers, handles, etc.), picture
frames, dishes, cups and utensils and flatware, tablecloths, place mats – even pot-
holders and trivets – and I’m just getting started!

Never microwave your food in a plastic container or covered with plastic wrap.
While I’m at it, don’t microwave anything, ever! It releases harmful radiation into
the home that’s toxic to our bodies – especially women with fibroids!

Those water bottles that come in plastic? Dump the water into glass containers and
store in the refrigerator. Never, ever allow plastic water bottles to sit in the sun
(like in your car). This allows gases to form from the effects of the sunlight and
heat on the plastic – releasing, you guessed it, more xenoestrogens (Bisphenol A)
that you breathe in when you drink the water. Also, don’t save leftover water in
plastic bottles. If you haven’t consumed it in one sitting, throw it away. You’re not
doing yourself any favors by using up those last few drops. On the contrary, you’re
allowing toxins a chance to get in your body and mess with your cell structure and
your body’s DNA – and that’s particularly bad for women with fibroids.


Food
I hear you saying right now, “Food? How can food be toxic? We have to eat food!”
Correct, we have to eat food. And some of that food can kill us – or contribute to
the toxins in our bodies that cause fibroids, among other things.

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Pesticides, herbicides used on foods contain harmful estrogens (xenoestrogens). I
mentioned this in chapter four on diet.

A high-fat, low-fiber diet affects estrogen production in a negative way. This kind
of diet jumpstarts the production of too much cholesterol (excessive cholesterol),
which, in turn, causes your body to create more estrogen. Without enough fiber to
bind these excessive estrogens to the molecules that would inactivate them, and by
sidetracking or stopping healthy bacterial balance in your intestines, some estro-
gens begin to circulate back into your bloodstream.

Animal protein is the worst – how do you think those livestock growers raise such
fat and hefty specimens? They inject them with chemicals and artificial hormones,
and they feed them chemically-treated food. The animals graze on land that’s been
loaded with pesticides, herbicides or other nasty chemicals – all of which are
stored in the animal meat that is ultimately ingested by humans. This residue of
toxins makes its way through our body and gets stored in our liver – building up
toxicity to dangerous levels.

And, animal protein (especially meat products) leads to the development and
growth of fibroids in women.

The supplements found in dairy products also increase your body’s estrogen levels.

The good news is that proper diet and nutrition can positively influence estrogen
exposure and metabolism and help treat or prevent reproductive system disorders
such as fibroids. In treating fibroids, it is critically important to eat only certified
organic foods. Your liver function (and its ability to detoxify your body and me-
tabolize fat) will be greatly assisted by consuming the bitter green leafy vegetables
– endive, chicory, dandelion, rapini, escarole and mustard -- as well as fresh raw
fruits, especially lemons.

What can we do to detoxify our bodies and prevent fibroids?



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I recommend a cleansing of your liver and gallbladder, kidneys and colon at least
once a year. You can, and should, cleanse more often if your doctor recommends it,
or if you are ill. This is according to the best detoxifying experts I’ve read, and it
makes a lot of sense to me.

We lead lives in our otherwise imperfect world. We do the best we can. Some-
times, that isn’t enough. So, we need to detoxify.


Detox Methods
Before I talk about the detox methods, I want to specifically address the bodily or-
gans we need to detoxify. These are your liver and gallbladder, your kidneys and
colon. To detoxify them, we need to both flush and cleanse.

Think about a toaster that accumulates crumbs in the bottom. How many times do
you clean out your toaster tray? Maybe you’re an incredibly meticulous home-
maker and you do this on a regular basis. More power to you! However, if you’re
like most of us, we don’t think about it until we move the toaster to another spot on
the counter and a ton of burned, cinder-like crumbs fall out all over the floor.

Toxins in your body’s organs are like those burned crumbs. But, they’re a lot
worse. They accumulate in your organs and putrefy to the point where they cause
seepage back into your bloodstream of life-threatening chemicals and poisons.

Another analogy is the L-trap in your kitchen (or bathroom) sink drain. If you’ve
ever cleaned one of these out by yourself, you know the gunk and muck that solidi-
fies into a mass. And, does it ever smell! This analogy is probably better than the
burned toast crumbs in that it consists of a variety of food and other elements – all
of which end up confined in one area, rotting together, causing damage.

In the human body, these accumulate in the liver and colon. They must be removed
for healthy overall functioning – and to prevent or help eliminate fibroids.




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Liver and Gallbladder Detoxification
Take your liver, for example. Without a healthy-functioning liver, you’d be dead in
less than a day. A healthy liver gets rid of toxins that enter your body, including
poisons and other harmful substances. It performs the magic of turning them into
harmless substances that are then excreted (eliminated) through your bile, which is
created by – you guessed it – your liver.

Your liver also stores Vitamin B12, one of your body’s vital nutrients that it needs
to not only maintain overall health, but also to combat fibroids. Other vitamins
your liver stores include Vitamins A, E, K and D. And, it makes beneficial amino
acids, clotting factors and additional vitamins itself.

A healthy liver requires a detoxifying program that allows it to flush away toxic
waste. You also want one that cleans out garbage (literally, in the form of sludge,
perhaps even gallstones) from your gallbladder. And one that provides protection
for your liver and gallbladder from future damage.

Before you begin to cleanse your liver, and depending on what detoxification pro-
gram or regimen you will be following, you’ll want to first flush your liver.


Flush Drinks for Liver and Gallbladder
In about two minutes’ time, you can create a healthy and good-tasting drink that
will flush (purge) your liver and gallbladder in preparation for your five-day detox
or cleanse.

Using fresh and organic oranges, limes, lemons, ginger and garlic, plus a bit of or-
ganic and cold-pressed olive oil and filtered water, you’ll blend it all together and
drink down the flush concoction. It’s the oil in the drink that will prompt (stimu-
late) your gallbladder to empty itself. This process also eliminates any stored tox-
ins, cholesterol and fat. You’ll want to follow the flush drink with a special detox
tea.


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There are many herbal detox teas for the liver commercially available. Make sure
you purchase those that are certified organic herbs. Some or all of these herbs
should be included: dandelion root, cardamom seed, black peppercorn, burdock
root, juniper berry, clove berry, fennel seed, sassafras and ginger root, licorice root,
orange peel, parsley leaf – and others. You will soak 2 tablespoons of the dried
herbs in 32 ounces of pure water for 4-8 hours. Then boil the mixture, reduce heat
and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and allow tea to cool before drinking. This tea
makes a great substitute for coffee and you can drink it throughout the day!


5-day Detox Programs
There are several detox programs available today that take just five days to per-
form at home. Some include eating raw foods for two days followed by three days
of juice fasting. Now, that doesn’t sound too difficult, does it? We can handle
something like that.

I like the fact that it’s all-natural, all-organic. As I’ve said before, organic food is
our best choice for consuming nutrient-rich and healthy meals.

Included with many 5-day detox programs are herbal broths, detox tea (see above),
and other herbal formulas that are specially created to do the job of cleansing and
flushing your liver and gallbladder.


Liver Cleanse
You’ll need about 12 hours of fast before you start your liver cleanse. This is easy
to do. Just don’t consume any food the night before your cleanse. In the morning,
drink an 8 ounce glass of pure water. This cleans out your digestive tract.

Ingredients:

   • 1-5 Tbs organic oil (cold-pressed, may be olive oil or flax seed oil). Use
       only 1 Tbs the first day and build up to 5 Tbs on the 5th day.



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   • 8 oz of organic grapefruit or lemon and orange juice (freshly squeezed)

   • 8 oz of filtered, mineral or distilled water

   • 1 small piece (about 1 inch) of fresh, organic ginger root (Note: Ginger
         makes the drink taste good and also prevents vomiting.)

   • Add 1-5 garlic cloves for even greater potency. Use 1 on day 1, working up
         to 5 cloves on day 5. (Note: Garlic has several medicinal properties that
         help you expel toxins.)

Place all ingredients in your blender and process for a few seconds. Then pour into
a large glass and drink.

About 20 minutes after you take the liver cleanse, you must follow it up with a de-
tox tea. Again, see the detox tea listed above for herbs that should be included.
Many brands are available commercially, but be sure they are certified organic
herbs.

I recommend that you supplement with Vitamin A and the antioxidant beta caro-
tene. Eat green vegetables, bitter dandelion and parsley.

You may eat as you normally do throughout the day. Just be sure to fast for 12
hours that evening before you begin your cleanse the next morning.


Colon Detoxification
Remember that everything you put into your mouth (food and drink) has to go
somewhere. It travels through your body in a long (and circuitous) route that starts
with your mouth and ends with your rectum and anus. Along the way, it passes
through your small and large intestines. The large intestine (or your colon or
bowel) is where fecal matter collects. When it becomes compacted, filled with pus,
blood or parasites, this is not a good thing. But it is able to be remedied.




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There are obviously colon detoxification formulas that you will take in any colon
cleanse. They all include some form of fiber. Your body needs fiber in order to
process out waste and fecal matter. In a colon detox program, you’ll be consuming
certain amounts of additional powder (or liquid, depending on the program), and
eating more fiber-rich foods. You’ll also eat more foods that are natural laxatives,
including prunes, apples, dates, figs, bananas and almost any fruit. And, you have
to drink plenty of fluids – filtered water included. You can’t move out waste with-
out enough liquid. In fact, during a colon cleanse, you’ll probably be drinking
more fluids than you ever thought you could hold. But, trust me, you won’t be
holding it. The truth is, you’ll be eliminating literally years of accumulated waste
from your body – and helping to heal your body of fibroids in the process.

It’s also important that you exercise your body during the colon cleanse regimen.
This helps to move things along – literally.


Colon Cleanse
I’d like to stress that colon cleanses are meant to be only a temporary measure.
They are not to be continued indefinitely as they can harm your body. The purpose
of the colon cleanse is to stimulate your colon into working normally, providing
you with a minimum of three bowel movements daily. I recommend that you per-
form a colon cleanse 2-3 times a year at the most.

I also recommend that you utilize a commercially-available, safe and effective co-
lon cleanse product rather than trying to mix up one yourself (and possibly using
too much, too little, or the wrong type of herbs).

Most colon cleansers containing oat bran, prune juice and/or ground flax seeds are
generally considered safe and effective. These are found naturally in foods and
work to bulk up your stools (as a result of absorption of water in the intestines) for
elimination. Another generally safe ingredient in a colon cleanse is a naturally oc-
curring magnesium and organic Germanium-132 (these are found in a colon


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cleanse called Oxy-Powder® which also is oxygen-based), available commer-
cially.

It’s important that you avoid harsh herbs which can prove caustic to your colon,
permanently damaging the nerves and muscles of the intestines. And prolonged use
may mean that you won’t be able to have a bowel movement without the use of an
enema. So, I recommend you read the colon cleanse ingredients very carefully.
Avoid senna and any synthetic ingredients with unrecognizable names.

Ingredients to look for include flaxseed, slippery elm, bentonite clay, cascara
sagrada and aloe vera juice.


Juice Fasting Detox
Another popular detox method is the juice fast, typically lasting for 1-3 days.
Longer periods of juice fasting are not advised due to the potential for dehydration.
Also, juice fasts should not be undertaken without medical supervision, if you have
certain medical problems like anemia, ulcerative colitis, terminal illness or are
pregnant or nursing.

Since the process of fasting creates changes in your blood proteins, this can affect
the way prescription drugs interact with your body. So, if you’re taking prescrip-
tion drugs, don’t do a juice fast. Also, don’t do a juice fast right before or after sur-
gery.

Now to the specifics of the juice fast.

Before you begin the juice fast (one week to 10 days prior), gradually eliminate
coffee, cigarettes, fish, eggs, dairy, meat, sugar and wheat. Your diet should consist
mainly of organic fruits and vegetables, along with beans.

Only use organic fruits and vegetables for the juice fast. If you don’t have organic,
wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly and peel the skins. If using organic,
wash and use the entire fruit or vegetable. (Except, don’t use pits of fruits like ap-

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ricot, cherry, peach. Or apple seeds, citrus peels, carrot or rhubarb tops or skins
like those from pineapple, banana, mango, kiwi or avocado.)

Between 32 and 64 ounces of juice should be consumed per day, each day of the
juice fast.

Best fruits and vegetables to use include: cabbage, kale, celery, apple (especially
green apple), spinach, beets, greens, pineapple and cranberry. It’s often advisable
to avoid citrus fruits during the juice fast.

Green, leafy vegetables and sprouts are excellent to juice. They contain beneficial
chlorophyll.

It’s best to vary the combinations of fruits and vegetables during the juice fast.
This keeps it interesting and changes the taste.

Some variations of the juice fast involve the addition of one meal per day.

Once you return to normal eating, reintroduce solid foods gradually to avoid stom-
ach or intestinal distress.

Side effects of the juice fast may include headache, cramping, diarrhea, fainting,
dizziness, low blood pressure, weight loss. If these symptoms increase or worsen,
discontinue the juice fast.

After your Colon Cleansing

Once you’ve cleansed your colon, you’ll be free of accumulated waste and toxins.
Your body will be better able to absorb nutrients and vitamins from food. You’ll
feel lighter – because you’ll be pounds lighter from eliminated solid waste! You’ll
also feel terrific!




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Kidney and Bladder Detoxification
What’s the big deal about kidneys and bladder? Your kidneys do the job of regulat-
ing your blood’s acid-alkaline balance as well as filtering the blood. The reabsorp-
tion of nutrients occurs through your capillaries. The excess fluid goes out through
your bladder in the form of urine.

Did you know that the average person eliminates about 1-2 quarts of urine every
day? And healthy urine is odorless and has a slightly tinted color. It should not be
dark, or strong-smelling, both of which are indications of unhealthy conditions in
the body (or lifestyle, or both).

To cleanse the kidney and bladder, you’ll need to first flush it and then follow up
with a few days of cleanse.

Kidney Cleanse

Ingredients:

   • 1 organic lime or lemon that is juiced

   • 16 oz of pure water

   • Cayenne pepper (a pinch)

Prepare by mixing all ingredients in a blender for about 15 seconds. Drink it down.

Drink a tea about 20 minutes later that contains one or more of these herbs: hy-
drangea, uva-ursi, marshmallow root, gravel root and parsley. You can mix the
herbs with a quart of pure water and drink throughout the day.

I recommend that you eat normally throughout the day after you take the kidney
cleanse and tea, but avoid mixing fruit and vegetable juices for the week of the
cleanse.

Some Detox Program Specifics


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Here’s what you’ll find you need to do with any detox program, specifically detox
programs to reduce and/or eliminate your fibroids.

   • Drink lots of filtered water – At least 10 full glasses daily (and more if
       your detox program calls for more)

   • Consuming an herbal detox tea – to clear out your gastrointestinal tract

   • Use fiber supplements and probiotics – to aid in cleaning out and restor-
       ing bowel optimum functioning

   • Plenty of exercise – this stimulates your body’s detoxification of its lym-
       phatic system and lungs. It also benefits your body with the addition of
       oxygen. You should exercise in the early morning. This brings your blood
       out of your liver and into your circulation system. Symptoms of excess
       blood in your liver include stiffness or numbness in your fingers, dizziness
       due to lack of blood circulating.

A Word About Colonics

Maybe you’d rather not involve yourself with an at-home process. You may wish
to try colonic therapy. I’ve actually done this process myself with very good re-
sults. I consulted with a health care practitioner specializing in colonics, read all I
could about it and made an appointment. In essence, it’s a process that involves a
prep stage (starting to cleanse your body in preparation for the colonics therapy by
eating certain diet for a prescribed period of time, adding fiber to your body), and a
colonic therapy series of treatments.

Colonics, colonic irrigation, colon hydrotherapy involves the gentle use of filtered
water into the rectum to flush out the colon. This is a gradual process, but you will
start to notice results immediately. And, I’m not just talking about the fecal matter
that comes out (literally) during the colonic hydrotherapy. Your bowel movements
will start to become normal (3-4 movements daily, with solid, good-sized stools


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that don’t contain blood, pus or mucuous) with the improvement increasing over
the course of the treatments.

Of course, some people should not have colon hydrotherapy. Check with your phy-
sician to see if it is advisable for you.

Personally, I swear by it, especially if you’ve never had one. I actually lost 20
pounds over the course of my treatment period. Most of that was impacted fecal
matter. But the best part? I felt absolutely wonderful! All that toxic debris gone
from my body!

Okay, it’s been several years since I had one, and I’m thinking as I write this that I
need to make an appointment for another treatment. But first, I’ll check with my
doctor.


Foods to avoid (that make fibroids worse)
If I’m serious about giving my body the opportunity to heal itself, there are certain
foods I know I have to avoid. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but it cer-
tainly does cover the following:

   • Caffeine – especially caffeine in coffee

   • White Flour – white flour breads, pastas, muffins (anything with white flour
          is taboo!)

   • White Sugar – just eliminate white sugar from your diet entirely

   • Chocolate – sorry, chocolate is also a no-no

   • Deep Fried Foods – high in saturated fats, all deep-fried foods are just ask-
          ing for trouble. Stay away from them!

Whatever You Decide




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I can’t stress this enough. We have to take care of our bodies. This includes being
aware that we cannot avoid all the toxins, poisons, pesticides and harmful envi-
ronmental stuff that’s everywhere around us. Sometimes we have to detoxify our
bodies. If we have fibroids, we absolutely have to detoxify to ensure our liver and
gallbladder, kidney, bladder and colon are functioning properly.

Whatever you decide, decide to do something today to cleanse your body!




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Chapter 9
HERBAL REMEDIES


Herbs are a very powerful weapon in your fibroid-fighting arsenal. They do their
work by helping to balance your body’s hormones and to reduce heavy bleeding
caused by fibroids.

In addition, herbal remedies can alleviate the pain and cramping that accompanies
your menstrual cycle. Some herbs and herbal concoctions (herbal cocktails) act as
anti-inflammatory agents, while others help eliminate water and aid in relaxation.

I firmly believe herbal remedies offer you an incomparable opportunity for natural
healing of your fibroids and alleviating any of the pain and symptoms you may be
experiencing.

Whether you take your herbs in the form of herbal teas or broths, infusions, cap-
sules, extracts or tinctures, it’s never been easier to find a safe and herbal solution
to help with your fibroids.

Some herbs are known as tonic herbs and aid in treating fibroid conditions. Others
work directly on the fibroid itself to shrink it. Or the herbs may work on the uterus
or ovaries.

Still more assist with adrenal glands (that help promote hormonal balance), liver
functioning, immune system and bowels.

The question is what herbs and herbal remedies should you use? And in what dos-
age?




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Vitex
Vitex is also known as Chaste Tree Berry or Chasteberry.

This herb increases women’s luteinizing hormone (LH) production. LH triggers
ovulation during your midcycle and also promotes the production of progesterone.
In addition, during the first half of your menstrual cycle, it reduces release of the
follicle-stimulating hormone that promotes the production of estrogen. Its primary
purpose is to bring into balance your body’s estrogen and progesterone as well as
normalize your hormone secretions during perimenopause.

Vitex (or Chasteberry) is also reported to shrink fibroids and to help prevent excess
bleeding.

Caution: Pregnant women should not take this herb.

Most recommended dose: Take 225 mg daily of Chaste Tree Extract. Or 1 capsule
of 400 mg Vitex fruit 2-3 times daily for 8-12 weeks; then take one 400 mg cap-
sule daily thereafter.


Black Cohosh
Black cohosh is a tonic herb for the uterus. If you are in menopause, or perimeno-
pause, you may be experiencing mild to very uncomfortable symptoms, including
hot flashes, which are made worse by your fibroid condition. It works to suppress
luteinizing hormone (LH) which triggers hot flashes. Some women report that it
permits a good night’s sleep by easing night sweats. It also works to lessen the
pain and cramping of heavy bleeding during menstruation.

“Cohosh” is a Native American word meaning “rough” and symbolizes the black,
rugged root from which it is taken.

Caution: Pregnant or nursing women should not take this herb. Also, side-effects
of this herb may include nausea, dizziness, headaches and pain in the abdomen
when taken in large doses.

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Most recommended dose: Take 40 mg daily of a standardized extract. If you use
Black Cohosh root, take 1 capsule of 450 mg three times daily with food or water.


Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil, a tonic herb, is a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid
(GLA), which a woman’s body needs for two reasons: hormonal balance and over-
all gynecological health. Evening primrose also increases the production of prosta-
glandins (PGE). And prostaglandins assist with reducing cramping, breast tender-
ness and inflammation, along with their role in regulating blood pressure, choles-
terol and tone of your body’s blood vessels.

This herb is considered safe and effective for long-term use.

Most recommended dose: Take one 1,300 mg softgel two times daily with food.


Red Raspberry
Another tonic herb, red raspberry works to strengthen and tone a woman’s uterus.
This is particularly important for women with fibroids who are experiencing heavy
or abnormal bleeding. The astringent plant-tannin properties of the red raspberry
also help with reducing heavy menstrual flow and cramping. It also helps treat di-
arrhea.

This herb is considered safe and effective for long-term use.

Most recommended dose: Take two 750 mg capsules of red raspberry leaf 1-3
times daily with water.


Siberian Ginseng
This herb is a great reliever of stress and tension and also strengthens a woman’s
overall gynecological health and hormonal balance. Because it also works to boost
the functioning of the adrenal gland, Siberian ginseng is also considered a healing
herb for fibroids.

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This tonic herb is considered safe and effective for long-term use. Pregnant or
nursing women can even take this herb.

Caution: When taken in large amounts, this herb may cause diarrhea or sleepless-
ness.

Most recommended dose: Take 2-3 capsules of Siberian ginseng from root, two to
three times daily. You may also drink ginseng tea or use liquid extract in bever-
ages. Take for about 8 weeks and then cease taking it for 2 weeks before resuming
the cycle.


Licorice Root
A great anti-inflammatory herb, licorice root tones and energizes the body and
normalizes estrogen balance. This means it reduces estrogen production when lev-
els are too high and increases it when estrogen levels are too low. It is ideal for
both the prevention and treatment of fibroids.

Licorice root also aids the liver and digestive system and helps cleanse the colon.

Caution: Licorice root can raise blood pressure and increase retention of water. Do
not take if you have hypertension or any history of kidney failure.

Most recommended dose: Available in health food stores in whole form, licorice
root is also taken in capsule, tea and tinctures. In capsule form, take 3 capsules of
l.35 grams, 2-3 times daily.


Red Clover
Red clover is especially effective in controlling estrogen levels. That is because of
its natural plant hormones (phytoestrogens) that work to combat harmful estrogens
in the body. It is also considered effective in stopping the growth of fibroids.

It is also an internal cleansing herb that benefits the liver.



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Caution: High doses may interfere with fertility.

Most recommended dose: In extract form, take one 125 mg capsule 1-2 times daily
with water. In red clover blossom form, take two 860 mg capsules 1-3 times daily
with water.


Echinacea
Echinacea comes from the Purple Coneflower, a delightful plant that beautifies
gardens (although it can become invasive – I know, since I used to grow them!).
For women’s health, Echinacea herb is extremely effective as a toner for the im-
mune system and for stimulating the lymphatic system. Once fibroids are shrink-
ing, the use of Echinacea helps rid the body of the fibroids’ toxic substances. Echi-
nacea may even help shrink fibroids (according to some studies I’ve seen).

Caution: Do not take if you are pregnant or nursing. Consult with your physician
before taking if you have an autoimmune condition.

Most recommended dose: Take one 300 mg capsule 3 times daily with food. Take
only for 8 consecutive weeks. Use periodically (for 8 week segments at a time) af-
ter that for maintenance.


Goldenseal Root
Goldenseal, which contains berberine, is helpful to relax the muscles of the uterus.
Used by Native Americans for many years, goldenseal root provides potent im-
mune support.

Caution: Do not take if you are pregnant or nursing. Consult with your physician if
you have an autoimmune condition.

Most recommended dose: Take one 500 mg capsule of goldenseal root powder 2
times daily with water.




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Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is considered an accepted herbal product to improve the liver’s func-
tioning. It also is a healing herb for fibroids. Milk thistle major active component
is silymarin, which works as an antioxidant and exerts a protective effect against
substances that are potentially harmful to the liver.

Most recommended dose: Take one capsule (175 mg milk thistle dried extract, 180
mg of blessed thistle, standardized to 80% silymarin) 3 times daily with food or
water.


Dandelion
Dandelion has also moved beyond folklore into established herbal pharmacopeia
and used to help strengthen and improve liver function. It also detoxifies the liver.

Caution: Do not take this herb if you have obstructions in the bowel or bile ducts.
Consult your physician if you have had gallbladder issues before taking this herb.

Most recommended dose: Take two 1.03 gm capsules 3 times daily with water. The
herb may also be taken as a tincture or tea.


Yellow Dock Root
A traditional bitter herb, yellow dock root is especially helpful as a natural support
for healthy blood and liver functioning. English herbalists have also recommended
it for years as a mild laxative.

Caution: Consult your physician before taking this herb if you have any history of
kidney stones.

Most recommended dose: Take two 1 gm capsules 2 times daily with food.




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Artichoke
Artichoke joins milk thistle and dandelion as an effective herbal product to im-
prove the function of the liver.

Caution: Do not take this herb if you have obstruction of the bowel or bile ducts.
Consult with your physician before taking.

Most recommended dose: Take one 250 mg capsule 1-3 times daily with water (or
as prescribed by your physician).


Ashoka
Ashoka is one of India’s sacred trees. Its bark and flowers contain haemotoxylin, a
fair amount of tannin and catachin. Since the bark is strongly astringent as well as
sedative, it acts directly on the uterus’ muscular fibers. It is used to treat ovarian
and uterine fibroids, as well as heavy bleeding caused by fibroids.

Ashoka can be taken as a decoction, capsule or powder.

Most recommended dose: For heavy bleeding due to fibroids -- Decoction. Pre-
pare by boiling 4 oz of bark in 16 oz of water and 4 oz of milk until the water
evaporates. Take with milk in 2-3 divided doses throughout the day from the 4th
day of your period until bleeding ceases.


General Tips on Herbal Teas, Capsules, Tinctures and More
Herbal Teas -- Many herbs are most effective when steeped in boiling water. Al-
though herbal teas are the least concentrated of all the herbs, they are most easily
absorbed into the body. Heat releases the herbs’ potency and volatile oils and thus
provides a flushing action that helps rid the body of toxic wastes. Boil roots and
bark for about 20 minutes. Never boil leaves or flowers. Instead, steep them in wa-
ter that has been brought to a boil and then removed from the heat.




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   • Capsules – Capsules are usually 4 times stronger than teas. Take capsules
       with warm water (not ice cold or water with ice) for faster absorption. Take
       with water or food.

   • Herbal Extracts (Tinctures) – These are 4-8 times stronger than capsules.
       You usually place drops under the tongue and hold there for as long as you
       can.

   • Abstain – To give the herbs a cleaner environment in which to work in your
       body, it’s best to stay away from alcohol, caffeine, red meat and cigarettes.

   • Citrus and Ginseng – Do not drink citrus juice when taking any form of
       ginseng.

   • Medicines and Herbs Interactions – Make sure your doctor has a complete
       list of all the herbs and medications you take. Some herbs are not advisable
       to be taken because they interfere with prescription drugs. Also, do not mix
       herbs and drugs. This means don’t take them at the same time.

   • Don’t Keep Old Herbs – Destroy all herbs that are older than 6 months.
       You want to have the freshest, most potent herbs.

   • Follow Directions – Don’t play with doses. Always follow the directions
       on the package or bottle (or your physician’s advice) when taking herbs.
       Like prescription drugs, many herbs may have side-effects that you don’t
       want. If you do experience a negative effect, stop taking the herb immedi-
       ately.

   • If you are Pregnant or Nursing – Don’t take any herbs unless your physi-
       cian okays it first.

   • Naturopathic Doctors – If your physician discourages you taking herbs,
       you can seek out a naturopathic doctor or a doctor who uses natural medi-
       cines.

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Now that I’ve covered this important area of herbal remedies, I hope you’ll use it
as a springboard to really get motivated to heal your fibroids!




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Chapter 10
CONCLUSION


I know I’ve touched on some complex issues in this guide. I’d like to recap some
of the highlights here.

Fibroids are quite common, affecting nearly three out of every 4 American women.
But, just because they are common does not mean they don’t cause us problems.
As I can attest, being a former fibroid sufferer, quality of life often deteriorates to
such a point that we feel we’ll do anything to be rid of them!

Although benign (not cancerous), uterine fibroids, which are medically known as
uterine leiomyomata, come in three types: intramural, subserosol and submucosal,
depending on where they attach in or around the uterus.

They cause a variety of symptoms. Some are merely a nuisance, while others are
highly disruptive to our daily lives. These include pressure and pain in the pelvic
region, painful intercourse, excessive bleeding, anemia, frequent need to urinate
and/or constipation or trouble with hemorrhoids, fertility issues, miscarriages,
bloating, swelling and pain in the back or legs.

Your medical options include everything from the watch and wait approach, to
non-surgical medically-prescribed drug therapy, to various non-invasive to inva-
sive surgical procedures. These include full hysterectomy, myomectomy (abdomi-
nal, hysteroscopic or laparoscopic), hysteroscopic resection, uterine artery emboli-
zation (UAE), MRI-guided ultrasound ablation (FUS), and endometrial ablation.

I also covered how you can manage your fibroid symptoms while you work
through your healing journey, along with some general tips and recommendations.


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For bleeding issues, there’s exercise, heat, taking antioxidants Vitamins C, E and
A, along with folic acid, Vitamin B12 and iron to combat anemia.

Motrin or Ibuprofen can help stop excessive bleeding and help alleviate pain. For
back pain, pain or pressure during intercourse, specific pelvic stretching exercises,
heat and cold packs and physical therapy are great.

For constipation, the addition of fiber and organic fruits and vegetables works
wonders. Massage and aromatherapy, acupressure, meditation, imagery and man-
aging stress are always good antidotes to fibroid symptoms that seem to get out of
hand.

Dietary changes are essential to healing fibroids, so I strongly recommend that you
re-read everything I’ve written on this topic. Then, get to work creating delicious,
nutritious and healing meals using only organic foods! It’s vitally important that
you buy and consume only organic foods because you want to give yourself the
healthiest choices possible – and avoid xenoestrogens (or foreign estrogens) that
come from chemicals, pesticides and environmental sources around us.

You’ll also want to drink lots of water daily – to hydrate your body and to flush out
toxins. Fresh fruits contain essential antioxidants – which your body needs to
combat fibroids. Eat green leafy vegetables (the darker in color, the better), root
vegetables. Make sure you eat Omega-3 rich fish like salmon and mackerel and
use Omega-6 rich safflower, sunflower oil. Get sufficient protein from organic
meats. Eat whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Avoid alcohol, decrease salt,
sugar and go easy on dairy products. It is not only possible, but absolutely easy to
create wonderful, delicious meals using appropriate dietary choices. I’ve even
given you a few tasty recipes to try!

Along with diet, I want to stress that you do need to take certain supplements – to
add the vital nutrients that you may not get enough of with food alone. These in-
clude the Big Three key antioxidants of Vitamin A, C and E, along with folic acid,


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B Complex Vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium citrate, selenium, chromium pico-
linate, zinc, quercetin and bromelain and essential fatty acids (EFAs).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers centuries of wisdom and healing tech-
niques to rid your body of fibroids. TCM treatment includes the use of Chinese
herbs, dietary changes, acupressure, exercise and massage. Bodywork includes
massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, shiatsu, rolfing, tuina and reflexology. Self-
massage can also be performed.

Exercise is a critical component in your healing process. The practices of yoga, tai
chi, qi gong and other exercises are not only beneficial, they make your overall
body toned and gets your energy flowing.

The three types of exercise you should do are those for circulation (aerobic exer-
cise like hiking, bike riding, walking, etc.), strengthening muscles and overall body
tone (anaerobic exercises like weight lifting and strength training), and those for
energy flow and hormonal balance (yoga, tai chi, qi gong).

Other helpful exercises include Pilates, dancing, stretching, Kegels. I want to em-
phasize this again: exercise helps you heal yourself of fibroids!

It’s important that, along with eating right, taking daily vitamins and supplements,
exercise and TCM, that we eliminate toxins from our body. I’ve covered the im-
portance of flushing and cleansing our vital bodily organs: liver, kidney and blad-
der, and colon. I also advise how to do these flushes and cleanses, with recipes you
can prepare. Be sure to drink lots of filtered water, exercise and take fiber and pro-
biotics to stimulate your colon during these cleanses.

Finally, I covered the important area of herbal remedies. These are natural reme-
dies you can use at home to help heal yourself of fibroids and fibroid symptoms
like balancing your hormones and preventing excessive bleeding.




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Key herbs (along with recommended doses) are vitex (or chasteberry), black co-
hosh, evening primrose, red raspberry, Siberian ginseng, licorice root, red clover,
Echinacea, goldenseal root, milk thistle, dandelion, yellow dock root, artichoke
and ashoka. Herbs are available in capsule form (probably the easiest to take), tinc-
tures, extracts and herbal teas.

As a fervent practitioner of natural healing methods, I want to encourage you to
explore all of these methods to embark on your own healing journey to rid your
body of fibroids. Remember that most of all, we heal our bodies from the inside
out. This includes spiritual, emotional and physical aspects. We assist in this heal-
ing process by only ingesting healthy, organic foods, having a positive attitude, ex-
ercising regularly, detoxing, taking appropriate supplements, vitamins and healing
herbal remedies, and using TCM.

I wish you a blessed and successful healing journey!




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