Many women are trying to avoid traditional drug therapy when treating menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, depression, sleeplessness, and dry vagina. Hormone replacement therapy with either synthetic or bio-identical hormones can significantly reduce these symptoms however are not without side effects. IF you have female diseases that are reliant upon estrogen like Fibroid tumors, Endometriosis and Adenomyosis these replacement therapies can and will fuel your disease process. There are a few herbs on the market that can be effective at mitigating the above symptoms…..pine bark (pycnogenol), black cohosh, and St. Johns wart have shown some effectiveness. Herbs are not without side effects so check with your doctor prior to taking them…..but they may be an effective alternative to traditional hormone treatments.
We recently had a patient in the office who was diagnosed and treated 10 years ago for fibroid tumors and endometriosis. She had experienced early menopausal symptoms of hot flashes and mood swings. At that time her naturopath recommended a bio-identical estrogen supplement. She was told that hormone therapy would NOT have an effect on any possible remaining fibroids. Sadly, this is not true. She now has a 7cm fibroid producing serious low back pain. IF you have any female disorder that requires estrogen to proliferate: fibroids, endometriosis, or adenomyosis, you run the risk of recurrent disease once you begin hormone supplementation.
As we approach the end of this decade, I am sad to report we are still performing almost 700,000 hysterectomies annually; 500,000 are for non-cancerous diseases like Fibroid Tumors, Endometriosis, and Adenomyosis. Many side effects associated with hysterectomy are irreversible and/or negative like: bladder incontinence, constipation, hormone imbalance and sexual dysfunction-no desire or feeling, as well as emotional and psychological damage. If you are interested in a holistic medical approach and want to keep your organs, please do your research. Our practice as been offering women a laser surgical holistic alternative to hysterectomy for over 15 years. Do not agree to a surgery unless you know it is right for you…..
Endometriomas are pelvic masses or cysts that arise from the ovary. They are often blood filled and have a thick dark chocolate consistency, hence their name “chocolate cyst.” They are made up of abberent endometrial cells that bleed during the monthly cycle, as a result of hormone changes. These cysts are often seen in conjunction with surrounding endometriosis. If left untreated they can become quite large and engulf or overtake the ovary. Symptoms include pelvic pain, and painful periods. Surgery for removal is the treatment of choice.
This past week in the LA Times there was an article in the Health Section regarding the increased reliance upon alternative therapies ie accupuncture, herbs, supplements, massage therapies etc. These therapies can be excellent for treating many ancillary symptoms but often do not get to the core problem behind the diagnosis. Always keep in mind, treating the root of the problem is the best way to go. Many women call our office with symptoms of heavy bleeding, painful periods, back pain who have been offered medications and/or therapies that do not address the reason for the symptoms….(ie fibroids, adenomyosis or endometriosis. ) Remember, seek out the solution that has the best outcome for your diagnosis, not just the symptoms….and dont delay treatment.