Last week, we interviewed Dr. Shawn Tassone, an integrative gynecologist about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for fibroids. Read what he had to say and learn about his insights on the current state of the medical field below!
What are fibroids and how could they impact your body?
Fibroids are muscular tumors in the uterus, and can vary in size. They are rarely cancerous, but can cause a lot of pain, pressure, and bleeding. About 80% of women will have fibroids in their lifetime. Depending on their size and location, fibroids could increase the risk of infertility and miscarriage. They could also result in painful intercourse, which may make pregnancy a more difficult journey to navigate.
What factors make fibroids more likely to develop?
Estrogen stimulates the tissue growth, so estrogen dominance can make women more likely to develop fibroids. Obesity, a poor diet that contains a lot of processed foods, conditions or foods that promote inflammation, or high sugar intake could make women more likely to cause fibroid pain as well. Following a Mediterranean diet that is anti-inflammatory, includes healthy fats and fish, and has a lot of fruits and vegetables is often recommended to combat fibroid pain.
How can fibroids change through a woman’s lifetime and what are the available treatment options?
Most fibroids tend to grow very slowly, and many women might develop fibroids in their teens but only experience pain in their 30s. Treatments are not usually required, but if the symptoms are preventing you from living your day-to-day life, it may be wise to consider treating fibroid pain. A lot of doctors will prescribe the birth control pill, because it can stabilize estrogen swings. However, it does not prevent the growth of fibroids. When fibroids get bigger, the chances of them responding to medical management are more unlikely.
Surgical options such as a hysterectomy, which removes your uterus, or a myomectomy, which can remove fibroids without removing the uterus, are more invasive treatment options, but are more likely to ease pain in the long term. Acessa is a new procedure used to treat fibroids, in which radioactive signals heat fibroids to kill the fibroid tissue, essentially shrinking the overall size and preventing them from growing further.
What are your top holistic tips to treat fibroids?
Nutrition is a key component of inflammatory diseases. Low carb diets, diets with a lot of whole foods, taking quality natural supplements, and trying HIIT workouts can be great holistic tips for hormonal balance.
What are your thoughts on the women’s health field?
Women have been consistently overlooked in medicine, and their pain is often minimized. While the healthcare field is changing, there is still a lot of progress that needs to be made. Birth control pills are often not the answer, but preventatives that fail to see the root cause. Find a physician that aligns with your philosophy and listens to your experiences.