Nutritional Support for Uterine Fibroids
by Ronald Steriti, ND, PhD
Uterine fibroids are a fairly common benign tumor composed primarily of smooth muscle tissue. Fibroids are associated with excessive estrogen levels and may grow rapidly with the use of oral estrogen (i.e. birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy). It is not uncommon for fibroids to appear in women that have had disturbed menstrual function for several years, which indicates hormonal imbalance.
The first step in addressing uterine fibroids is identifying the precise cause. Levels ß-estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone should be measured over the 28-day menstrual cycle. More in-depth tests of estrogen metabolism would include measurements of the estrogen metabolites 16-alpha-hydroxy-estrone and 2-hydroxy-estrone. The former is strongly active and stimulates tissue growth, whereas the latter is a weaker metabolite and may slow cell proliferation.
Recent news has focused on the adverse health effects of Premarin, which contains estradiol derived from pregnant horses. There are actually three types of estrogen: Estrone, Estradiol, and Estriol. A normal ratio of estrogens would be 80% estriol, 10% estrone and 10% estradiol, (which is the ratio used in TriEst products). Estriol (the weakest estrogen) is normally the most abundant. Both estrone and estradiol have been associated with increased risk of cancer. A comprehensive approach to hormonal problems would measure all three estrogens and design a customized program to balance them.
Phytoestrogens are the primary nutritional supplements used for balancing women’s hormones. These are plant-derived estrogens that, although they are not identical to human estrogens, weakly stimulate estrogen receptors. The most well-known phytoestrogens are black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) and soy isoflavones. Interestingly, phytoestrogens can help with both low estrogen (by acting as a weak estrogen) and high estrogen (by competing with stronger estrogens for the limited receptor sites). Black cohosh has a long history of use for hot flashes, the most difficult symptom of estrogen-deficient menopause.
An interesting situation, however, arises when there are excess amounts of hormones, particularly progesterone. How does one remove excess hormones? The answer lies in the cytochrome P450 enzyme system which helps remove toxins from the body. The P450 system is the first phase of detoxification. The second phase involves attaching the toxin to a carrier molecule for elimination. Phase II molecules include glutathione, glycine, sulfur and glucuronidate. Hormones are usually conjugated with glucuronidate, available in the supplement Calcium-D-Glucarate.
The naturopathic approach to uterine fibroids begins with tests of the hormone and detoxification systems described above, and includes several other powerful therapies, such as classical homeopathy. Perhaps the most effective technique, however, comes from the mystic healer Edgar Cayce.
Edgar Cayce’s Castor Oil Packs involves placing a flannel cloth soaked in castor oil over the abdomen for one hour a day, typically for three days each week. Although the scientific explanation for how this works may not be known, many women report that this is indeed a very powerful therapy and recommend care when using it.
What's your next step?
The next step, after you have been diagnosed with a disease, is to find out what is the specific cause, and then choose supplements that address it. Phone consults are my specialty. Please call my at (239) 659-2684 to schedule a consultation.
The choice is yours
I recommend that you make an informed choice, and the goal of this web site is to provide you with the information to make a wise choice when it comes to your health and wellness.
As you can see, I don't sell any vitamins on this web site. There are thousands of vitamin stores that will sell you whatever vitamin you want, and many of them offer discounts.
If you are interested in some high-quality basic nutritional supplements, I recommend visiting the Store You will find my recommendations for a multiple, tasty chewable fiber wafers, high-potency probiotics, and fish oils.
Good luck in your journey towards health and wellness!!
Why don't you tell me what vitamins to take for this disease?
Unfortunately, that would be a clear violation of FDA regulations. Also, one of the most important aspect of naturopathy is: "Treat the person, not the disease". This is a profound statement, and many people have spent thousands of dollars on vitamins listed in books or web sites for a specific disease. This is what I call "vending machine medicine". It rarely works! The solution is to find a naturopathic physician, such as myself, to assist you.
Fantastic new books!
CAM Therapies has studies on natural therapies for over 100 diseases.
CAM Labs lists lab tests for 100 diseases.
Nutritional Genetics is a fantastic resource.