Potential psychological cause for fibroids in "whole-istic" medicine?

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I was wondering what your thoughts are on the potential links between psychological state and uterine fibroids.

I saw a discussion on this topic dated 2 years ago in this site while searching the internet because for medical ailments where science is not clear on causes I usually see a potential correlate with states of the mind.

Fibroids are associated with a growth that can give the impression of being pregnant when large. Periods can become very noticeable with often heavy and sometimes prolonged periods.

There could be an association between a growth and an obsessive thought; there could be an association between periods and a time when a woman feels "alone" - no pregnancy, no sexual intercourse. Could there therefore be an association between conflicting views on loneliness and symptomatic fibroids? I use the word “conflicting views” because it seems to me that habits or obsessions are usually sustained by conflicting views on something.

When I looked at the time my fibroids became symptomatic and when they got worse, I could see the association with times when the topic of loneliness was most relevant (an important relationship ended ; the growth of children to adulthood) .

I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts.

Many thanks and kind regards

Fatou

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  • Posted

    For me the psychological effects were noticeable...even a year after my procedure I'm depressed often and mood swings ...its like the fibroids were affecting me psychologically ..even now there is a connection

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    • Posted

      Thank you torlina62947, this is the reason for me to look into causes of ailments in order to then hopefully address the cause rather than focusing on symptoms. You suggest that the cause of your emotions is not yet exposed. I'd encourage you to look into it. Sending you a big hug, Fatou

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  • Posted

    I do believe there is a link between the mind and the body. If all is not well psychologically then the body can be affected. For me I do believe the fibroids grew and came to a crisis when I was holding a grudge. I had withdrawn from a family relationship. The scan of the fibroids worried me as I didn't know if there was a cancer ( as sister of mine sadly passed from ovarian cancer). I found myself thinking about what was important and who I loved. I resumed that relationship and that person came with me to have the MRI Scan etc. I will not hold grudges in that way anymore. I will try to work through matters or accept people for who they are whilst of course protecting my own boundaries. I think that unforgiveness can cause growths of some kind in the body as we are just punishing ourselves.  Sadly my sister who had ovarian cancer (a more serious growth) did hold some grudges before she had her diagnosis. This is just a theory and what I have noticed it may not be the same for everyone.

    There are some writers who as you say think fibroids of the uterus are linked to not feeling loved. In answer to your question I was single throughout the development of my fibroids and when they became acute. Some people are in relationships but they may still feel unloved or even feel they are unlovable. Of course this should be overcome as we are all deserving of love.

    Kind regards

    Shell   

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    • Posted

      Dear Shell, thank you for kindly sharing your insight into this. Anger with a person we care about is an example of what I call "conflicting emotions about something" but I hadn't thought about it and my fibroids too did grow at a time I distanced myself from family members. The fear of loneliness which you put to me as craving for being loved" is also a very helpful way to look at it as it seems very much related to the conflicting emotions we mentioned beforehand. There is something about the womb that I think we associate with womanhood, motherhood and possibly sexuality which, for the last two at least are linked with the idea of companionship, intimacy, protection. Thank you for sharing. Kind regards, Fatou

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  • Posted

    Dear Fatou,

    Thank you for starting this discussion. It feels really helpful for me personally to approach this from a more wholistic, psycho-spiritual as well as physical and biological angle, particularly as I have other chronic health concerns to manage alongside fibroids. I know instinctively that they are all connected and I have been studying Ayurvedic approaches to restoring health and well-being, which I am finding helpful generally. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the uterus is also a woman's creative centre, where we hold all of our creative power, and one theory is that fibroid tumours develop in response to a creative or emotional blockage, which could be linked to fear and/or loss (or fear of loss?). Tumours may develop in an attempt to create something to 'hold' or to 'fill the void' (when we are feeling unheld, emotionally empty or creatively blocked, for example). 

    If we do accept this theory, then it does support a more wholistic approach to health and well-being - in addition to taking care of our bodies through optimum nutrition, it's important that we allow ourselves to fully grieve any losses we may have experienced, and to feel our emotions - to honour our sadness and our anger, and to hold ourselves through it. I have found talking to other women immensely helpful, and this forum has been invaluable.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Diana x

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    • Posted

      Dear Diana, thank you for your kind reply. A filled uterus says something as you said, and it is a way of being interested in one’s actual being to show interest in what we are today. We are our symptoms and simply eliminating them may leave us with unresolved issues. Thank you for sharing. I am sure your story is an important one to listen to particularly if, as you said, it expresses itself in many creative ways. Let’s pay attention. Sending you a big hug and a warm thank you, Fatou
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  • Posted

    An addendum to my original post. This is what I think happened.

    My second child was born within a domestically violent relationship I couldn’t ignore anymore.

    Our first-born wasn’t, I felt, as exposed as this second one was.

    The only time his dad wanted to hit our first-born as a baby, a voice I had never known existed in me spoke with such strength and passion and “you walk over my dead body first” kind of scream, that it fully stopped violence towards him. And he cared for his son.

    The second pregnancy was much more difficult than the first. I am petite and this second child was huge – as his dad is. I needed B12 injections throughout. And when I delivered this beautiful baby I was overwhelmed with the emotion of gratefulness for two splendid children and the guilt that the father I had chosen for them was not the right one. He came drugged with cannabis at the time of the birth - I am not even sure he stayed throughout.

    The domestic violence had escalated over the years. I knew I had to leave.

    It is the children who were giving me a strength I did not have to stand up for myself – I always had the strength to stand up for them. And they over-joyed me with their beauty, beauty in its infinite sense. 

    And this is probably why I had galactorrhea for possibly at least 8 years after the birth of my second son. 8 years of leaving this abusive man I also greatly loved, through escaping to far away countries, lengthy divorce battles, relationships with other men – many subsequent years of violent physical and emotional abuse from my ex-husband that went unabated.  

    It is for the children that I was breaking away from a relationship I could I have died from.

    And I think the galactorrhea said something about me nourishing my children in all circumstances and being worthy of life as a provider for them.

    And I think the fibroid said something about my womb was occupied and that I would never trust myself again to be pregnant. I hadn’t chosen the right father for them and I had had a termination of pregnancy in my 20s I felt guilty for all my life. It was a form of self-castration. I fell pregnant once around 7 years after my second son’s birth from a man I did not fear, and quickly miscarried . Domestic violence made me choose men who were small-built (except once - he really seemed so kind!) – they did not look frightening although I was less attracted to them than I had ever been for my ex husband.

    I ignored the heavy periods and the anaemia, than a check up for a new job made me face reality and I had a scan which diagnosed the fibroid – 6 cm of diameter then.  

    The heavy periods got progressively worse over time and took me to casualty with an ambulance twice in these last two periods. I think this has something to do with my second son’s spur growth, deep voice and moustache growing suddenly over the last two months – he is becoming a man.

    I think there is something about being OK to disappear now that the children are becoming men. I am not talking of an "active" disappearance of course, but a passive one. 

    This is what I saw this morning. I thought I’d share it with you. Thank you for listening.

     

     

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  • Posted

    Thank you Fatou for starting this discussion, I also think it's a very important one.

    We live in a world where women/the feminine is undervalued at best and abused at worst. Unfortunately you have experienced abuse first hand but on some level all of us have so it's no wonder that the parts of the body most associated with being female suffer . There is a sense in which they (we) are only valued for our role in birthing and nurturing children. We aren't taught to love ourselves as women, different to men, or live in harmony with our cycles. Instaed we are expected to fit into a masculine, linear way of being. How many women do you know who truly love their cyclical natures with all its powers and understand menstruation as a gift? To truly heal we have to fall in love with being women and our fluid, feminine natures. Falling in love with our feminine natures will help us to heal, to reclaim our power and so start to restore balance to the world.

    Love, strength and healing to all my sisters. If you're not yet in love with your cycles take a look at the books Code Red and Wild Power , also the Red School online material.

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    • Posted

      Thank you ever so much for this Jessyh. A utilitarian view on human life is definitely ascribed to women but also to men and unfortunately often also to children. I agree with you that this then becomes a painful way to identify oneself with a role one finds "worthy" of praise, recognition. Again, a warm thank you. Fatou

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  • Posted

    Thank you Fatou for your reply to my comment, and for your raw and honest addendum to this post. I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of that, and at the same time grateful and humbled by your willingness to be vulnerable, also inspired by your strength and courage.

    Reading jessyh's response on this thread too, it does make me wonder how many of us on this forum have experienced dishonouring of our feminine selves through disrespectful or abusive relationships, in our childhoods and beyond, with family members, lovers, partners, organisations, institutions and systems we are part of. I can certainly relate to a lot of what has been shared on this thread. As jessyh suggested, I have been reading empowering literature that is putting me back in touch with my feminine centre (thanks for these suggestions! I would also add Lisa Lister's Love Your Lady Landscape and Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent :-)) and learning to honour my menstrual cycle. I've realised that as I grow older, the linear, driven, masculine-led way of living does not work for me, and as a result, my adrenals are shot to buggery. Now, rather than trying to fit my body into the rhythms of the modern world, I'm trying to fit my lifestyle to match my body's changing needs. It's not easy, but I am already noticing changes in my bleeding pattern, and in my health overall. I know there are no quick fixes here, and adopting a new, more cyclical, feminine-led way of life requires a lifelong commitment to oneself, but hey, if we don't look after ourselves, we can't expect anyone else to, eh sisters?

    Much love to you all, and here's to healing mind, body, soul and spirit as we continue our fantastic journeys.

    Diana xx 

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    • Posted

      Dear sisters,

      Thank you for sharing your kindness and thoughts.

      I will try explaining why I question books or theories meant at empowering.

      This is clearly surprising as we tend to value power.

      English isn’t my first language (lame excuse) and most importantly I am not sure I have it all clear in my mind enough to share clearly.

      So apologies if the below seems unclear.

      We are trying to understand what is happening to our bodies because without a cause, treatment will be symptomatic only and the cause might express itself differently. 

      Conventional medicine dissects - blood tests, scans etc. allow us to see smaller and smaller parts of us.

      My question is, do we look enough at what anyone can see with bare eyes first?

      And this is were “seeing” is not just what we see with biological eyes (the lump, the blood) but also what one can see pyschologically with one’s own mind.

      No-one will ever know better than I what thoughts are in my mind. Same with your knowledge of your mind. 

      We can be encouraged to look into it. But our mind is known best by ourselves.

      Where this is important I think is in the associations we make.

      All of us will produce saliva when thinking of a green lemon if we ever tasted one. Not if we never did taste one and have no idea how bitter it tastes.

      There is no lemon. Only its memory made conscious through thought. Salivary glands respond.

      There is an association between a thought and a biological correlate.

      This means that biology responds to thought. It also means that the biological response depends on the associations made between thought and biology via memory.

      Women are usually defined as such by biological organs, particularly so those of the reproductive tract.

      It makes sense that memories related to topics around maternity, femininity may affect organs we associate these thoughts with - uterus, breasts.

      Now back to the power issue.

      When one says “I” want to get rid of the “fibroid”,

      One says that “I” and “fibroid” are different things.

      The fact is this person is one with a fibroid.

      The fact is that in the past this person did not have a fibroid and that this person hopes not to have a fibroid in the future. These are thoughts, not actuality.

      So when “I” says it is not the fibroid, “I” is past and future, not actuality.

      And “I” hopes with “power” to realise its wish of being other than what one actually is. 

      And this is where “I” enters in conflict with what the person is.

      And this is where, it seems to me, all hurt starts.

      I’ll stop here for the time being. 

      Much love to all

      Fatou

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  • Posted

    Fatou, I have never looked up or seen research linking psychosocial factors with fibroids. However, based on the relationship between these factors and health I won't be surprised. Psychosocial factors trigger a physiological stress response that places a high demand on the adrenal gland to produce cortisol hormone. this whole production process uses progesterone as a precursor. In other words, stress triggers a reproductive hormone imbalance (this is why some people become infertile during stressful times.

    Since fibroids are hormonal tumors it's possible that stress and fibroi d growth are related.

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    • Posted

      Dear may49858 a warm thank you for your reply and for so elegantly explaining the relationship between stress hormones and progesterone (the latter as a precursor) which I hadn't grasped fully when I yesterday came accross an article from 2011 documenting evidence of a possible correlation between child abuse and fibroids 

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4137864/ ;

      Donna Baird and Lauren Wise

      Childhood Abuse and Fibroids

      Epidemiology. 2011 Jan; 22(1): 15–17.

      I wasn't aware of the studies mentionned in the article and haven't yet looked at them but I thought that the proposed endocrinological basis for a relationship between chronic emotions and biological growth in areas of the body associated with those emotions made sense. 

      Again, a warm thank you,

      Fatou

       

       

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