Traditional Chinese Medicine Information Page
Expert Advice-Treatment of Uterine Fibroids in Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM):|
Chinese Medicine Approach to Uterine Fibroids
After a few treatments, Susan asked me if her condition could be associated with emotional stress. Before her tumor was diagnosed, there had been a lot of stress at work, and anger with her family. A traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis and treatment can give a clear answer to this question.
Statistics indicate that uterine fibroids develop most commonly in women who are in their 30s and 40s. About 30% of all women will develop fibroids by the time they reach 35. If the fibroids are surgically removed, there is a 10% chance they will grow back. This might be the reason that hysterectomies are so widely favored by doctors to treat uterine fibroids. Actually, uterine fibroids are the most common reason for hysterectomies in the United States. About 30% of all the hysterectomies performed in this country are for uterine fibroids. Some complications of hysterectomy include hemorrhaging, eventual ovarian failure, loss of bladder function, urinary incontinence, depression, and infections. Some studies estimate that up to 70% of all hysterectomies performed in this country are either unnecessary or can be avoided by using alternative approaches. Traditional Chinese medicine therapy for uterine fibroid tumors, using acupuncture and herbal medicine, is the oldest known form of medicine which is still in wide use today.
Chi Stagnation and Blood Stasis. Emotional stress or physical trauma are the most common causes of Chi stagnation. Blood stasis can be caused by abnormally heavy bleeding with menses, blood loss during and after childbirth, or an "improper" sex life (excessive sexual activity, or having sex while menstruating). Symptoms include: regular cycles with heavy bleeding, or scanty but long-lasting bleeding; breast distention; abdominal swelling or pain; a pulling sensation in the anus; a dark-red tongue body with purple dots; and a soggy-thin, deep-wiry, or thin-choppy pulse. The fibroid tumors are felt as masses that are either fixed (not moving), or moveable on palpation. Susan falls into this pattern. Cnidium (Chuan Qiong), angelica (Dang Gui), red peony root (Chi Shao), and corydalis (Yan Hu Suo) are important herbs for this pattern, and BlockagEASE (Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang) is the leading formula used to address this combined pattern.
Yin Deficiency and Empty-Fire Blazing. Deficiency of Kidney energy or chronic illness is the origin of this pattern. It is an advanced stage of Yin Deficiency. Symptoms include: early periods with heavy or scanty, long-lasting bleeding; a hot sensation in the chest or abdomen; a sensation of itching in the breast, or a feeling of sharp or distending pain in the breast; blood-streaked white discharge or yellow-white vaginal discharge after periods; a red tongue, dry or with a yellow coating; and a wiry-thin or thin-rapid pulse. Anemarrhena (Zhi Mu), and phellodendron (Huang Bai) are the leading herbs used to address this pattern. Water Fire Balance (Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan) is a widely-used herbal formula in China.
Liver Chi Stagnation and Spleen Deficiency. Deficiency of Spleen energy is the origin of this pattern. Symptoms include: regular or late periods with heavy bleeding; a pulling sensation of the lower abdomen; loose bowels; thin vaginal discharge after periods; a pale tongue or thin-white tongue coating; and a soggy-thin or thin-wiry pulse. The fibroid tumor is a soft mass. Buplerum (Chai Hu), and peony (Bai Shao) are widely- used herbs, and Liver Spleen Harmonizer (Xiao Yao San) is a leading formula to address this pattern.