Fibroids

Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors made of muscle and fibrous tissue that grow in a woman’s uterus. They are mainly caused by copper toxicity and hormone imbalances due to adrenal and thyroid insufficiency. 

Symptoms

Fibroids may be as small as a pea or as large as a watermelon. They don’t always cause problems, and many women aren’t even aware they have these growths. The symptoms they cause can depend on the number, size and location of the fibroid. In general, symptoms can include:

  • Pelvic pain, discomfort, or pressure
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Excessive length of menstruation
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Constipation, gas, or abdominal bloating
  • Pain in the lower back or legs
  • Painful intercourse
  • Reproductive problems (such as infertility, multiple miscarriages, or early labor)
  • Rarely, fibroids may grow so large that they cause acute pain and a fever.

Causes

Researchers show fibroid tumors are influenced by hormone levels (estrogen and progesterone appear to promote fibroid growth). Other hormones play a role in the growth of uterine fibroids as well, including prolactin, parathyroid hormone, insulin growth factor, and pituitary growth hormone. They develop when cells of the smooth muscular walls of the uterus proliferate, creating a mass. Fibroids can range in size from too tiny to be seen by the naked eye to several pounds in weight. Although some women may only develop one fibroid, there are usually multiple fibroids.

One of the main causes of fibroids is copper toxicity. Although there are numerous reasons for the prevalence of copper toxicity, the most important cause is adrenal gland insufficiency. Individuals with adrenal insufficiency are unable to utilize copper properly. The reason for this is that copper can only be utilized in the body if it is attached to a protein substance for transport and storage. The major protein that copper is attached to is called ceruloplasmin. Ceruloplasmin is a protein which binds copper so that it can be utilized in biochemical reactions. When the adrenal glands are underactive, they are unable to send out a message to the liver to release ceruloplasmin from the liver and, therefore, copper becomes bio-unavailable. As a result of excessive tissue storage (toxicity) of bio-unavailable or unbound copper, a deficiency of available copper occurs. The following factors are also major contributing factors to copper toxicity: use of birth control pills, copper intra-uterine devices (IUDs), antibiotic use, stress, strict vegetarian diets and processed food diets.

Risk Factors

Fibroids are the most common non-cancerous growth in the female reproductive tract. Fibroids typically occur in women of childbearing age and are rare in those who have passed menopause or who are younger than age 20. This is because fibroids seem to be affected by estrogen. For reasons that are unclear, fibroids that cause symptoms are about two to three times more common in African-American women than in Caucasian women. Women whose mothers or sisters have had fibroids are also at higher risk.

Diagnosis

Physicians often diagnose fibroids based on a routine pelvic exam. To confirm the diagnosis, or in cases when a woman is too obese for a physician to locate fibroids through a pelvic exam, other tests may be used, such as:

  • Ultrasound (uses sound waves to produce an image of the uterus).
  • Hysterosonography (combines traditional ultrasound with saline injection to expand the uterus for better viewing).
  • Hysterosalpingography (uses dye to highlight the uterus on x-ray images)
  • Hysteroscopy (uses a small, lighted telescope to explore the uterus).
  • MRI

Conventional Treatment

Conventional treatment of fibroids depends on whether the tumors are causing symptoms, a woman’s age, and whether she wants to have children. For most women with fibroids that aren’t being bothered by symptoms, no treatment is necessary. Options include:

  • Watchful waiting. If fibroids aren’t causing symptoms, many doctors recommend that women do nothing. Fibroids often naturally shrink after menopause.
  • Medications. Drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories can ease the discomfort of fibroids, while those called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists can lower hormone levels, which helps shrink fibroids.
  • Uterine embolization. This newer, noninvasive procedure relies on substances injected into the uterine arteries to cut off blood supply to fibroids, shrinking them.
  • Myomectomy. This surgical procedure removes fibroids while leaving the uterus intact. New fibroids can form, however, and about a quarter of women undergoing myomectomy may choose to have a hysterectomy within 5-10 years.
  • Hysterectomy. In this procedure, the uterus is surgically removed. This prevents recurrence of fibroids but also eliminates a woman’s ability to bear children. I believe this is barbaric today when there are so many effective treatments. Get a second opinion if your doctor recommends a hysterectomy. Many times doctors will recommend the treatments they know, which may not include all the current treatments available.

Wendy’s Recommendations for Natural Treatment

Be wary of a doctor that automatically wants to do surgery to remove your fibroids. Natural treatments can shrink or eliminate fibroid tumors by addressing their cause and utilizing remedies which create an environment in which fibroids are no longer welcome. Wendy recommends the following measures to reduce fibroids:

Lifestyle

  • Weight. Maintain a healthy weight, because high levels of body fat are associated with elevated estrogen.
  • Exercise. Get plenty of aerobic exercise to help your body metabolize excess estrogen.
  • Reduce estrogenic substances. Reduce all estrogenic substances in the body. A short list includes pesticides found in nonorganic food, plastics, phthalates found in common beauty products like shampoos and body wash, soy and beer. For a complete list of estrogenic substances, see my article Estrogen Dominance Syndrome.
  • Use organic cotton tampons. Tampons and napkins bleached with chlorine or perfume can also mimic estrogen. Organic tampons will not be doused in pesticides, another estrogenic toxin.
  • Cleanse the liver. Supplement with milk thistle (sylmarin) extract to cleanse the liver. It can be used indefinitely. Coffee enemas are very effective at reducing estrogen levels in the body by detoxing and healing the liver. The liver is responsible for removing excess estrogen from the body. If its function is impaired, you may not effectively rid your body of excess estrogen. For more information and instructions, see my article Coffee Enemas. You can find equipment to do coffee enemas in the Live to 110 Store.
  • Check for low thyroid function. Parathyroid hormone can be out of balance, contributing to fibroids. Low thyroid function may not always show with standard tests. Tests done by your doctor are usually not comprehensive or sensitive enough. Treat your thyroid if you have thyroid symptoms. Mineral Power (formerly called Nutritional Balancing) with Hair Mineral Analysis, mentioned below, will completely heal your thyroid if it is sluggish or under autoimmune attack.
  • Control high blood pressure. Women with elevated blood pressure are at increased risk of developing fibroids. Hypertensive women were 24 percent more likely to develop clinically symptomatic fibroids than non-hypertensive women, and the risk increased with duration of hypertension.
  • Heal adrenal fatigue. Check your adrenal gland functioning and get them under control. They must be functioning properly to reduce copper toxicity, a common contributor to fibroids. For more information, see my article Epidemic Adrenal Fatigue.
  • Castor oil packs. Warm castor oil packs placed on the stomach is another effective method of relieving pain. Castor oil packs are an ancient therapy that helps to cleanse and heal the body where they are placed. The castor oil has a drawing power the clears the body of excess tissues and toxins. Castor oil packs stimulate the lymphatic and circulatory system. The lymphatic system removes toxins and waste from the area stimulated by the castor oil pack. The promotion of circulation by the castor oil pack will also bring in fresh oxygenated, nutrient rich blood to the reproductive organs, including the uterus. Do not use during menstruation. Soak a cloth in castor oil, place over abdomen, and cover with a hot water bottle or heating pad.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption may be a contributing factor to fibroid growth because it is estrogenic. The least estrogenic alcoholic beverage is wine, while the most estrogenic beverage is beer (hops). Alcohol also prevents the liver from detoxing while it is dealing with the alcohol, which can indirectly lead to estrogen dominance.

Supplements

  • Fibrin Enzymes. FibroVera contains fibrin eating enzymes specifically selected to address excess fibrin buildup; the primary components of endometriosis or fibroids. FibroVera contains Serrapeptase, Protease, Bromelain, Papain and Nattokinase. FibroVera also provides fibronolytic (fibrin eating) enzymes and cofactors specifically selected to address excess fibrin buildup; the primary components of endometriosis or fibroids. Certain hormonal imbalances are linked to the activation of excess fibrin which may lead to abnormal cell formation in the breast and uterine tissue. FibroVera may be taken to safely regulate hormonal balance and modulate inflammation while promoting the reduction of fibrin.
  • Enzymes. Proteolytic (aka systemic) enzymes have been known to break down all kinds of fibrous tissue including uterine fibroids. Protease, in a class of pancreatic enzymes, has shown to dissolve fibroid tumors. Pancreatic enzymes are in part of a larger group of enzymes called proteolytic enzymes. Proteolytic enzymes may be helpful in reducing the size of uterine fibroids, healing and preventing scar tissue damage from existing uterine fibroids, promote healthy circulation and detoxification of tissues, while reducing pain and inflammation.  Innate Response Proteolytic Enzymes is a recommended brand.
  • Turmeric (Curcumin). Studies have shown an inhibitory effect of curcumin on uterine fibroid tumor cell proliferation. I really like Integrative Therapeutics Theracurmin. Standard curcumin is poorly absorbed. Theracurmin is a unique preparation of turmeric that enhances bioavailability and dramatically increase curcumin levels in the blood.
  • Green tea. In an animal study published in 2010, scientists discovered that eight weeks of treatment with green tea extract led to a significant decrease in the volume and weight of uterine fibroids among a group of mice. EGCG found in green tea effectively inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis (cell death) of fibroid tumors. Drink green tea or supplement with DaVinci’s Green Tea Extract.

Alternative Treatments

  • Focused Ultrasound. This newer treatment seems the most hopeful to avoid surgery. It’s not necessarily ‘alternative’ but it’s something that many doctors may not know about or recommend because they’re not trained in the procedure. Noninvasive ultrasound waves blast the fibroid tumors without cutting. You simply lie down inside an MRI scanner, which generates images of the fibroid. Then a technician treats the fibroid with focused ultrasound. Side effects are very few and no hospital stay is required. You’ll normally feel warmth in your abdomen. After treatment, the fibroid shrinks and gradually disappears. Of course, the conditions that caused the fibroids will still remain so you are at risk for developing more. Mineral Power serves to balance your body’s biochemistry so fibroids do not return.
  • 110_mineralpower_graphic_sidebarMineral Power with Hair Mineral Analysis. You may not need to have surgery to remove your fibroids. You can do it naturally by balancing your body chemistry and removing the underlying cause of your fibroids. I highly recommend a Mineral Power program using hair mineral analysis to determine if you have estrogen dominance, thyroid dysfunction of any kind, adrenal fatigue, or copper toxicity that could be contributing to your fibroids. I have had several client’s whose fibroids have disappeared on this program. However, if your fibroids are large you likely will need to have them removed and do this program to prevent more fibroids. Fibroids are mainly caused by estrogen dominance and copper toxicity, which is very common in women today. Your doctor will not have any methods to reduce these two subtle issues in your body. The only I way I have found to accomplish reducing estrogenic substances in the body and balancing copper properly is with a Mineral Power Program. This is the program I use to heal my health issues. It is an incredibly powerful tool in diagnosing causes of illness and will provide a comprehensive program to recover from fibroids. Based on your test results, you will be given supplements to balance your hormones, replenish mineral deficiencies, and detox heavy metals and copper and a healthy Modern Paleo diet. Once you know and provide the exact nutrients your body needs in the exact combinations to properly balance your body chemistry, your body starts to heal itself. When toxic metals and chemicals are removed naturally and safely, cells can make more energy and symptoms start disappearing. For more information, see Mineral Power with Hair Mineral Analysis.
  • Increase progesterone to reduce unopposed estrogen. Natural progesterone cream may stop fibroid growth by balancing the excess estrogen (which makes the fibroids grow) with 25-40mg of natural progesterone treatment for 2-3 months on days 14 – 28 of the cycle (day 1 being the first day of your period). This can be a good start with at least helping to control fibroid growth until your Mineral Power program can begin to work. Natural progesterone has been shown safe to use and is the same molecule that your body produces. Many of the synthetic estrogens and progestin creams are chemically modified from the natural molecule and are dangerous to use. Natural progesterone supplementation may also help regulate menstrual cycles, which is necessary to reducing fibroid growth and preventing new fibroids from forming. I like Kanuka Pure Progesterone Cream. Please note this will only provide symptomatic relief and may only stop fibroid growth. Only a holistic complete program like Mineral Power will dissolve fibroids and heal the underlying causes.

Diet

  • Eat a whole foods diet. The supplements and natural treatment suggested will not work unless your diet is healthy. For the best diet to follow, see The Modern Paleo Diet.
  • Reduce carbs. High carbohydrate diets lead to higher insulin levels, which are linked to higher levels of other hormones thought to encourage fibroid growth. Yes, this means eliminating sugar and flour!
  • Go organic. Minimize consumption of foods containing added growth hormones, such as nonorganic beef and dairy products, as these will increase estrogenic substances in the body. Organic veggies do not contain pesticides that are proven to have estrogenic effects in the body and encourage fibroid growth.

This material is for educational purposes only. The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

in Articles/Health Conditions/Survive

Wendy Myers, FDN, CHHC, is a functional diagnostic nutritionist, certified holistic health coach and founder of Live to 110. Her passions include getting you healthy, Modern Paleo, retoxing and detoxing. Discover her Mineral Power Program and enjoy freedom from fatigue and brain fog with metal detox.

  • These are really great tips for helping people to naturally reduce fibroids.

  • Jeanine Taylor

    HELLO WENDY MYERS AND THANKS FOR THE HELPFUL INFO. I’m getting ready to go to the pharmacy but I need to know if it’s ok to take the milk thistle and the enzyme together? IF I TOOK THE MILK THISTLE, THE ENZYME, A MULTIVITAMIN AND A PROBIOTIC( for my bv issues) lS THAT OK????

    • Oh yes, no contraindications there. But be warned. You need to take a TON of the enzymes for them to be effective. I’m talking 15-25 per day. You have to take a lot to break down those proteins in the fibroids. You can take milk thistle forever.

  • Jane Hardy

    Hi can you take hair vitamins when you have fibroids. If so which one would you eecommend

    • Yes, but I would not generally recommend vitamins marketed specifically for the hair. They usually have more biotin or silica that will strengthen the hair. I would be thinking more along the lines of just taking basic supplements that we know your body requires – like a multivitamin, calcium/mag, zinc, fish oil, vitamin D.These are what everyone requires. If you have thinning hair, it’s more likely that you have a thyroid issues – most people do. That needs to be addressed separately.

    • Yes, but I would not generally recommend vitamins marketed specifically for the hair. They usually have more biotin or silica that will strengthen the hair. I would be thinking more along the lines of just taking basic supplements that we know your body requires – like a multivitamin, calcium/mag, zinc, fish oil, vitamin D.These are what everyone requires. If you have thinning hair, it’s more likely that you have a thyroid issue – most people do. That needs to be addressed separately.

  • Cetana

    Hi Wendy–
    Thank you for this wonderful site! I have not heard about the copper connection before.
    I have tried the enzymes along with zinc , calcium, and DIM pro but the effects were thinning hair at a rapid rate. A naturopath I contacted said it was due to detoxing too fast and the 50 mg of zinc (recommended with this treatment) . Should I detox before I start the enzyme treatment? I would like to try the enzymes again but am afraid of thinning my hair further.
    Thank you

    • It’s not the enzymes that are causing thinning hair. the enzymes just break down the fibroids. it’s the copper detox that’s doing it. The thinning hair is only temporary. It will grow back. But it is part of detoxing copper for some people. You have to decide at what pace you want to go, but must rationalize and weigh this against how fast your fibroids are growing and if they are causing you health issues. For some, they must detox copper quickly. It is not harmful, but can be uncomfortable. When you take zinc or eat red meat, you will start detoxing copper because zinc opposes copper.

      No, you don’t have to wait to detox before taking the enzymes. You can do both at the same time. You must detox the copper to get rid of the fibroids and there is no easy way around that. You must walk through the fire. here is a great article on copper toxicity. https://liveto110.com/copper-toxicity-syndrome/ And another one on copper elimination symptoms. http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/copper%20elimination.htm

      Coffee enemas are also very, very helpful to aid the liver in helping to process the breaking down of the fibroids and helping to clear excess estrogens in the body. Estrogens rise with copper levels. So, anything you can do to assist the liver in eliminating toxins, estrogen and copper is a must for you. The coffee enemas are also great to relieve the nausea and headaches that comes along with copper detox.

      I always recommend a nutritional balancing program as I feel this is best thing you can do for your body to balance your body’s biochemistry, but you’re certainly on the right track with what you’re doing.

      • egel egel

        http://www.authenticshilajit.com

        What’s you’re view on this herb its natural multimineral ionic metal with fulvic acid .is it good? if I use it for mineral programming.as I know fulvic acid and humic acid is neccesary .this acids helps to deposit in erals even synthetic ones!in to cells ..

        • My only concern with fulvic acid contain metals like aluminum. It does contain minerals but it also contains metals, which can become toxic over time. I would not take this long term.

          • egel egel

            But isn’t this herb in natural form.so it wont contain any aluminium?

          • It doesn’t matter if it’s in it’s natural form. This does not mean it is automatically healthy. Many herbs are toxic. Fulvic acid is not an herb. Many so-called health products also contain toxic metals, such as azomite, montmorrilinite, fulvic acid, and humic acid.i would not take it long term. I would rather someone take a mineral product like Anderson’s Trace Minerals that does not have heavy metals. http://store.liveto110.com/supplements/andersons-trace-mineral-drops/

      • egel egel

        What is chelated zinc?isn’t its dangerous to take it if suppose I don’t have mineral defficeincy if I take it won’t this will be deposited in other part of the body?pls answer

        • Chelated zinc is a zinc that has been attached to an amino acid. It makes it more absorbable by the intestines. No, it’s not dangerous. Most people are deficient in zinc as they don’t eat enough red meat or liver.

  • Beaut

    Hi Wendy,

    I’ve been doing castor oil packs and coffee enemas to shrink a fibroid for about 5 weeks now (thanks for the great info, by the way), and my uterus is hurting quite a lot, especially at night. Any tips on what I can do about this? I’m beginning to worry whether I’m doing something wrong…..

    • If your uterus is hurting it’s likely because you’re detoxing copper. The reason you have fibroids is due to copper toxicity. It is painful when this begins to detox and shooting pains in the female reproductive organs are normal when you’re detoxing copper. Coffee enemas are a good first step. I would also recommend a Nutritional balancing program and taking TONS (up to 25 a day) of proteolytic enzymes to break down the tumors.

      • Beaut

        Thank you, I will look into that! I’m already feeling better but it’s good to know the likely cause of the pain. Will go on full steam ahead. Pesky copper, gone with you 🙂

  • Veronica

    Hi Wendy,
    So glad I found this site! I currently have a 20+ week size uterus and want to heal my fibroids naturally without surgery. I purchased Vitalzym enzymes, do you recommend that brand? Also, how often should coffee enemas be performed? Thanks!

    • The natural route is a long road. It will takes at least a couple years of balancing your body chemistry to detox copper, taking 25 of the proteolytic enzymes a day and daily coffee enemas. It won’t come easy, but it can be done. I think the main thing one must do is detox copper that is causing the fibroids. The only way I know to do this is with a Nutritional Balancing program that I offer.

  • Sarah

    Amazing site! thank you, finding it is a miracle! I am going to do all I can to use your information. I would love to have your hair analysis, but am not able to finance that just yet. In the mean time, please could you comment on my situation: I have some medium sized fibroids that I started having sympoms of a couple of years ago (heavy bleeding, long periods, and irregular). I think I was very low in progesterone, as I started to feel at one point that the menses I was producing at that time would never end (it had been weeks) and so I took a lot of extra omega 3 (to make the progesterone) and low and behold the period finally ended… Now i am pretty much at menopause, I don’t think I will have bleeding again. For the past 6 months I have been experiencing hot flushes (just during day from time to time, nothing too extreme). I figure that this means my estrogen levels are lower now. However the fibroids are still there. At the same time, I am experiencing pain during sex with very sensitive, easily damaged labia! (Damn) ., that would mean low estrogen? It probably means low availability of Cu too! (if I understand your articles properly) and I am not producing enough collagen to maintain the tissues. so, my best bet, short of a hair analysis, would be to use enzymes, and work on my adrenals? At any rate…any comments that you have, Wendy, I would be delighted to hear. thank you so much

  • Hm. I was not aware this systemic enzyme had soy???? That’s very strange for a proteolytic enzyme to contain such an ingredient. I will look it over and revise my recommendations.

  • A hair mineral analysis shows only mineral and metals. You can do other blood testing with your doctor for your vitamins if you wish. I can advise on which tests to take.

  • calcium can be in a supplement to aid zinc absorption. It’s a cofactor