Uterine fibroids are common, painful and hard to treat. Half a million American women end up having hysterectomies each year never realizing that their risk of heart attack or angina is now 7X greater than before or that there are many safe and effective natural alternatives. If you have uterine fibroids, are considering a hysterectomy and are desperately looking around for help, read Healing Fibroids by Drs. Allan Warshowsky and Elena Oumano.
Warshowsky is a gynecologist who after a few years in practice recognized the "lack of effectiveness of conventional medicine in treating fibroids". As he explored natural medicines, he incorporated the basic philosophy of natural medicine into his obstetrical practice - "You cannot heal a fibroid condition without addressing the underlying imbalances and dysfunction in your entire system". And those imbalances and dysfunctions include your mental, emotional and physical well-being and lifestyle.
That means if you want to heal your uterine fibroids, there is no magic bullet. You will probably need to change your diet, exercise, deal with stress better, and yes, take some vitamins and herbs.
Why diet? Over ten years ago, all one heard about in the health food stores was yeast overgrowth. Candida was running amok throughout our bodies. If we could get rid of the candida, we would have a very healthy life and may even win the lottery. Well, maybe not the lottery. Yes, the candida craze went overboard, but in treating uterine fibroids, it did have a legitimate basis. Intestinal yeast overgrowth leads to increased estrogen levels which result in hormonal imbalance and many medical conditions, including uterine fibroids. In addition, non-organic foods are sprayed with insecticides and pesticides that interact with our hormone receptors contributing to excessive estrogen levels. And its all that extra estrogen that may be causing the uterine fibroids.
Besides getting your yeast under control, Warshowsky suggests decreasing sugar, caffeine, non-organic foods and to avoid all meat, dairy and poultry for at least 6 months. Meat, dairy and poultry can be problematic on two fronts. First, unless it's organic, meat, dairy and poultry contain the hormones given to the animal to increase its size. And these hormones pass right on to you again leading to excess estrogen - and fibroids. These three food groups also contain arachodonic acid - a substance that increases inflammation and pain.
After discussing the importance of a healthy diet, exercise and ways to reduce your stress, Warshowsky tackles vitamins, minerals, various nutrients and herbs - one by one. He is thorough and remembers not only to put in various cautions with the herbs, but to discuss quality of the products. Don't skimp on cost if you want results. He forgets, however, to remind the reader to alternate the herbs from month to month as to avoid potential side-effects. He also neglects to mention that monthly daily use of Black Cohosh and Chamomilla may lead to depression and irritability. And that hops can lead to infertility and too much panax ginseng can worsen the fatigue of many women if not taken in tiny doses.
Except for those few things, this is a wonderful
and extremely valuable book. The challenge is to get the reader to get
past the overwhelming question of "do I really have to change my
diet, start to exercise and handle my stress better in order to get rid
of my uterine fibroids?". Isn't there a magic bullet? Remember the
magic bullet of a hysterectomy isn't so magic if it increases your risk
of a heart attack. And if you follow Warshowsky's advice, not only will
your fibroids most likely decrease in symptoms and size, but your overall
health will dramatically improve as well. If you have uterine fibroids
and are really serious about a natural alternative, then Healing Fibroids
is the book you want.
Something strange happened the other day. My best friend's teenage child, a shy and quirky kid that I have known for virtually all her life, was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Asperger's is a neurological disorder similar to ADD and AD(H)D. I thought at first there must be some mistake. The child was doing academically well. So when I saw Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence at the library, I decided to read and review it. It was a good decision. Teresa Bolick writes an excellent book for the parents of and the teenagers with Asperger Syndrome.
Asperger Syndrome affects approximately 1 out of every 500 people in the US. The real number is probably closer to 1 out of 400 as it is often under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed as ADD. It affects males about 6X more than females. You many recognize these children by the following characteristics. They have trouble in unstructured settings such as malls, physical education classes, and school cafeterias. They don't understand the normal give and take in conversation. Instead they have a few set interests that they tend to talk on and on about. They have trouble looking others in the eye and have poor social skills. They seem immature and naïve. They don't get jokes and tend to misinterpret words and gestures of others. They often seem as if they aren't motivated. (In reality, organization seems overwhelming to them). They are increasingly left out, misunderstood, teased and persecuted (bullied) by peers. At home they have frequent power struggles with their parents and fail to understand consequences and repercussions of their own behaviors. And they have to stick to certain rituals - no matter what.
Okay, you may say, this is like every kid. No, not every teenager gets into a panic attack at being in a mall for more than 5 minutes. And most kids get jokes. And most kids don't read 40-50 books and watch documentaries on reptiles or mummies or the Civil War. And most kids don't think they "almost were killed" and tell you about it for 2 weeks because they were within 300 yards of an accident. And most kids can alternate between eating their breakfast first or taking a shower. Not the Asperger kid.
Bolick gives example after example of real life situations of her Asperger patients. Then she gives practical advice on how to both help them deal with their current life and how to ease these kids into their adult life. With their naiveté and social immaturity, these individuals may do poorly living outside the home environment, unless they are coached. For example, when an Asperger child is upset (near hysteria), speak in a low and calm voice. A loud, firm "adult" voice will send them over the edge. Teach them words that have double meanings - they won't figure it out on their own and will become the center of ridicule. Help them organize. And explain gestures, body language and idioms. They tend to misinterpret or take things literally.
What's this book have to do with natural medicine?
Not a whole lot. But I included it because I treat a lot of behavior disorders
in my practice. And while natural medicine doesn't "cure" them,
it does help the person moderate their behavior and lead a happier and
more productive life - as my best friend's daughter will attest.
Herbal and Health Tip
This month I am very happy to tell you the following news about the herb Kava Kava. Analysis of several of these "toxic products" that resulted in liver failure or death revealed that the wrong part of the herb was being used. The only part of the Kava plan save for use as an herb is the root. Some pharmaceutical companies were using the liver toxic leaves and stems - because they are considerably less expensive.
If you have an old bottle of Kava lying around
and are afraid to use it. Check to see if it says root on it. If it doesn't,
throw it out; if it does, then you have a great anti-anxietic and muscle
relaxant in your hands.
2003 Dr. Suzanne C. Lawton, LLC