Fibroids are non-cancerous muscle tumors that grow in the uterine wall during a woman’s childbearing years.
It is also known as a Myoma. Fibroids can also vary in size, and quite often start to shrink after a woman reaches menopause. Suspected to affect as many as 70% of women by the time they reach age of 50 years, fibroids may have symptoms including:
- heavy of prolonged periods
- period pain
- swelling in abdomen
- lower back pain
- pressure on the bladder or bowel
- painful sex
According to western medicine, the cause for fibroids to grow is unknown, however, there is a correlation between an imbalance in hormone levels (ostrogen and progesterone), as women on anti-hormone medications see their fibroids shrink. Other factors include genetic predisposition.
Fibroids are generally treated if they cause problems. If they cause pain, then a pain-killer is often prescribed.
Likewise, as they are hormone sensitive, doctors may suggest low-dose birth control pills, progesterone injections or IUDs to manage heavy periods. Surgery is also considered for those with moderate to severe symptoms.
Chinese Medicine and Uterine Fibroids
Chinese medicine views any masses in the body as an obstruction or imbalance to vital energy (qi) flow. The organ disharmony often associated with fibroids is the Spleen and Liver.
In Chinese medicine, the spleen is considered the principal organ for digestion. It draws nutrients from food, and transports the nourishment and fluid to the rest of the body.
If the spleen function is sub-optimal, there may be residue from incomplete digestion manifesting as dampness which invades the channels and collaterals of the energy body.
If the dampness is not addressed, it will create phlegm in the body, which if not addressed then congeals into a tumor inside the uterus.
Fibroids are thus considered to be accumulations resulting from a weakened spleen and oftentimes liver function.