lifestyle clinic, charlotte, nc, fibroids

Uterine Fibroids

Nearly 70 percent of women will suffer from uterine fibroids in their lifetime, although they will only cause symptoms in about 25 percent of women. Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow on the walls of the uterus. Fibroids can grow as a single tumor, or there can be many of them. They range in size and quantity from being as small as an apple seed to as large as a grapefruit. Those women who do have symptoms from fibroids often find it very difficult to lead a normal pain free life. In extreme cases, surgery is necessary. Fibroids are responsible for more than 200,000 hysterectomies each year.

Some risk factors are out of your control, but there are many you can manage. There are a lot of things you can do to balance your hormones naturally, which is a key part of natural fibroid prevention and treatment before considering surgery. No one knows exactly what causes uterine fibroids, but it is generally known that hormones, particularly estrogen, are known to play a part.

Four things you should know about uterine fibroids:

1. Certain groups of women are at a higher risk

Age– Fibroids become more common as women age, especially during the 30s and 40s through menopause. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink due to the change in hormone levels.

Family history– If your other female blood relatives have fibroids, this dramatically increases your risk of also developing them.

Ethnic origin– African-American women have a much higher risk of developing fibroids than women of other races or ethnicities.

Obesity– Women who are overweight are two to three times more likely to develop fibroids compared to women who maintain a healthy weight.

Eating habits– Eating a lot of red meat, fish or poultry that is non-organic and raised with the use of hormones can significantly increase the risk of developing fibroids.

Early menstruation– Women who began menstruation prior to the age of 10 are at a higher risk for fibroids than those who started after the age of 10.

Birth control– Taking birth control pills can make fibroids grow more quickly because of the increased estrogen level in the body. Foods that are high in estrogen, and chemicals that mimic estrogen may also play a role in the development of fibroids.

2. Many women have no symptoms or side effects

Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms, but some women with fibroids may have issues such as:

Heavy bleeding (which can cause anemia)
Painful menses
Feeling of fullness in the pelvic area
Swelling of the lower abdomen
Frequent urination
Pain during sexual intercourse
Lower back pain
Complications during pregnancy and labor
Reproductive problems such as infertility

3. Fibroids do not always lead to infertility

Fibroids affecting fertility really depends on the number, location, and size of the fibroids. Less than three percent of cases of infertility are solely due to fibroids (without any other factors).

4. You don’t have to have surgery

In the past, when you found out you were suffering from fibroids that caused very heavy bleeding and pain, it was thought that a hysterectomy was the only option. Now there are other options such as working with a Naturopathic Doctor to balance your hormones naturally to help shrink and decrease the symptoms associated with fibroids. You can balance your hormones by avoiding foods that promote the development of fibroids such as processed foods and meats, refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine. As always, a healthy and well balanced diet is the best way to keep fibroids at bay. You should eat a nutrient rich diet with organic foods, green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, beta-carotene and iron rich foods to help minimize your risk of developing fibroids. You should also avoid excessive exposure to environmental toxins that act as estrogen in the body, these include pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, bleach, food preservatives, harmful cleaners and food dyes. If possible you should also use natural, unbleached feminine care products as well as organic body care products and makeup to minimize your risk.

If you or someone you know is suffering from uterine fibroids, call us at (704) 334-3761 to schedule your free phone consultation with one of our Naturopathic doctors to learn more about your natural and holistic options.


Bonus Tip- Reasons to shop at Farmers Markets

Imagine this: in an ideal world, you could walk leisurely to your backyard to pick your fruits, vegetables and herbs for the day and spend the day laboring over your garden under the warm sun. Unfortunately, for most of us this is not our reality but we still want to make healthy choices. Our lives are filled with obligations that keep us busy. Your local farmers market is the best place to meet your local farmers and food producers and feed your family the healthiest foods. You can find a variety of things at your local farmers market, ranging from produce and eggs to local handmade gifts and flowers. Before visiting your local market, take some time to research and ask for recommendations. Some booths do not provide bags, so it is a good idea to bring your reusable shopping bags.

Seven reasons to shop at your local farmers markets

1. Freshly picked, in season produce is at its peak (in flavor and nutrition).
Because your food is being grown locally, there is a good chance your produce was picked within a few days. Shopping at a grocery store, this is impossible due to processing and transport time.

2. Support your local farmers.
One of the greatest benefits of shopping at your local farmers market is being able to talk to the farmers. Most of us know that when buying food we should buy organic and non-gmo to avoid ingesting harmful chemicals, but did you know that a lot of small local farms are actually using organic practices even if it might not be displayed? The USDA organic label is a very lengthy and expensive process, so many times only large high-profiting farms are able to go through this process. Talk to your local farmer and ask about their farming practices to make the best choice for your family.

3. Fresh fruit and vegetables are healthier.
When you can, it’s a good idea to purchase local produce to minimize your risk of ingesting heavy pesticides or chemicals. When you cannot buy local produce, frozen produce will suffice as long as it is certified organic.

4. It’s a great way to get your kids involved and interested in food.
You can let your kids pick out something new to try that they’ve never seen before. Then they can help prepare a new meal. This is a great way to add variety to your families meals.

5. Eat seasonally.
Grocery stores have too much variety and the food is picked before it has ripened due to transport times, therefore decreasing the vitality. By eating what is in season locally, your food will be fresh and ripe with a lot of nutrients.

6. Farmers often have recommendations.
If you frequently find yourself bored of the same old meals, your local farmers many times can help you by providing recommendations on how to cook their products.

7. A variety of payment methods.
Many farmers markets are cash only, but more and more are accepting debit and credit cards. Each booth may be different, it is generally a good idea to carry cash just in case (although most farmers markets do have ATMs on site). Benefits such as SNAP and WIC are also being accepted at more and more farmers markets around the country. Contact your local market to find out more about their payment methods.

For a list of local farmers markets in the Charlotte area, please visit the following link:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/food-drink/article73968667.html

A few of our favorites are :

Atherton Market (http://athertonmillandmarket.com/retailers/mill/atherton-market/)
Charlotte Regional Farmers Market (https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteRegionalFarmersMarket/)
King’s Drive Farmers Market (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kings-Drive-Farmers-Market/166507480078156)

 

Resources:

https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a7187/what-you-need-to-know-uterine-fibroids

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/food-drink/article73968667.html

https: //draxe.com/fibroids/

https://www.nutrition.gov/farmers-markets

https: //www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/uterine-fibroids

the lifestyle clinic, charlotte nc, holistic health

Holistic Healthcare

Holistic Healthcare. We’ve all heard it, but do you really know what it means? Holistic healthcare is actually more of an approach to life than it is a system of healthcare. In contrast to conventional western medicine, it does not end when your symptoms are alleviated; it is an ongoing process to make healthy choices everyday. Holistic means considering the whole person in the prevention of disease; physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Instead of focusing on a specific illness or part of your health, it emphasizes the connection of mind, body and spirit. It is based on the belief that these three parts are inseparable and when one is not working at its best, it impacts the entire person. When all the parts are balanced, the result will be optimal health and well-being.

Ancient healing traditions, as far back as 5,000 years ago, stressed healthy living in harmony with nature. These holistic concepts declined during the 20th century when germs were identified as outside sources causing illness and sickness. Western medicine became a process of killing outside invaders using pharmaceutical drugs, thus leading to the belief that people could get away with unhealthy lifestyle choices, and modern medicine would “fix” them as problems developed. Many people are turning back to the holistic approach to health and healing because they are realizing that modern medicine and pharmaceuticals are merely masking symptoms, and not treating the true concern.

In addition to a holistic approach to your health, a team approach is also extremely important. Building your healthcare team is an important step in the process of achieving a whole body balance. It is also very important to ensure that your healthcare team works together and have open communication with one another to work on one common goal: to empower you to become the healthiest you; mind, body and spirit. Each member of the team should know his or her own abilities and limitations and make referrals to another holistic practitioner when needed. A holistic approach means that the doctor is informed about a patient’s whole life situation, not just the small pieces that are relevant to their treatment.

A holistic practitioner is one who may use different forms of treatment, ranging from lifestyle modifications to alternative therapies. When a person is suffering from severe migraines, generally the holistic practitioner will take a look at all of the potential factors that may be causing the symptom, such as diet, hormonal imbalances, a stressful job, marital issues, etc. The treatment plan will usually include lifestyle modifications to help prevent the symptom from recurring instead of simply masking or numbing the symptom through the use of medication.

In holistic healthcare, a symptom is considered an alert that something needs attention. Thus, the symptom is used as a guide to look for the root cause so that the real problem can be addressed. Holistic practitioners recommend treatments that support the body’s natural healing system and are gentle on the body. There are many different types of holistic practitioners but they are generally someone who believes in the following principles:

All people have inherent healing powers that you are born with;
The patient is a person, not just a disease, illness or symptom;
Appropriate healing treatment needs a team approach addressing all aspects of a person’s life using a variety of health care practices;
Patient and physician are partners in the healing process;
Treatment involves fixing the cause of the condition, not just relieving the symptoms.

Holistic practitioners emphasize patient education on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellness. Many times this includes diet, exercise, psychotherapy, relationship and spiritual counseling, and more. Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, and massage therapy also fit into the scope of holistic healthcare. Your team should include a variety of practitioners to help balance the different aspects of your life. For example, you may see a naturopathic doctor for your hormone imbalance and nutritional counseling, a massage therapist for your tight shoulders and stress relief, and a mental health therapist to discuss your marital and career concerns. Together, with the help of multiple holistic practitioners, you will soon be on your way to the happiest, healthiest version of you. When you first begin, your protocols and appointments may be intense and frequent, but with the help of your holistic practitioners, you will soon be equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to reach your optimal health. Then, you will enter a maintenance phase where you possess the resources to lead a healthy life, all while having a team of holistic providers who will be available should anything arise in the future.

In order to understand you as a whole person and not just a symptom or illness, be prepared to answer lots of questions you may not have been asked before. These could range from questions about your diet, exercise, and sleep habits to your frequency and consistency of bowel movements, how you feel emotionally, your religious beliefs and practices, close relationships, and more. Sometimes you may hear a holistic practitioner being called an “alternative practitioner”. This simply means any form of medicine outside the mainstream of western or conventional medicine.

If you are interested in seeing a holistic or alternative practitioner, below is a list of well-known therapies you may have heard of:

Acupuncture
Fine needles are inserted at specific points to stimulate the flow of Qi (vital energy), and restore a healthy energy balance.

Aromatherapy
Using “essential oils” distilled from plants, treating a wide range of concerns. Oils can be massaged into the skin, inhaled, diffused, digested or placed in baths. It is often used complementary with massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, herbology, chiropractic, and other holistic treatments.

Chinese Medicine
Chinese medical practitioners are trained to use a variety of ancient and modern therapeutic methods – including acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, heat therapy, and nutritional and lifestyle counseling – to treat both chronic and acute illnesses.

Chiropractic
Chiropractic medicine views the spine as the backbone of human health: misalignments of the vertebrae caused by poor posture or trauma cause pressure on the nerves of the spine, leading to illness. Through manipulation of the spine, optimal health can be realized.

Counseling/Psychotherapy
This broad category covers a range of practitioners, from career counselors to psychotherapists who treat depression, stress, addiction, and emotional issues. Sessions can vary from individual counseling to group therapy.

Herbalism
An ancient form of healing still widely used, herbalism uses natural plants or plant-based substances to treat a range of illnesses and to enhance the functioning of the body’s systems.

Homeopathy
A medical system that uses extremely small doses of natural substances to stimulate a person’s immune and defense system. A remedy is individually chosen based on its capacity to cause, if given in overdose, physical and psychological symptoms similar to those a patient is currently experiencing.

Massage Therapy
Massage therapy involves the practice of manipulating a person’s muscles and other soft tissue with the intent of improving a person’s well-being or health.

Midwifery/Childbirth Support
Midwives provide education and support during pregnancy, assist the mother during labor and delivery, and provide follow-up care. Practitioners of childbirth support include childbirth educators, assistants, and doulas.

Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic physicians work to restore and support the body’s own healing abilities using a variety of modalities including nutrition, herbal medicine, and homeopathic medicine. It is a primary health-care system that emphasizes the healing power of nature.

Osteopathic Medicine
Osteopathic physicians provide comprehensive medical care. In diagnosis and treatment, they pay particular attention to the joints, bones, muscles, and nerves and are specially trained in using their hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness.

Reflexology
This modality is based on the idea that specific points on the feet and hands correspond with organs and tissues throughout the body. The practitioner applies pressure to these points to treat a wide range of illnesses.

Reiki
Reiki practitioners use light hand placements to channel healing energies to the recipient. Reiki is commonly used to assist the recipient in achieving spiritual focus and clarity.

At The Lifestyle Clinic, we have a variety of holistic practitioners. Check out our website and call the office today at (704) 334-3761 to learn more about how we can help you or someone you know becoming the happiest, healthiest version of you!

 

References:

https ://ahha.org/selfhelp-articles/holistic-health/

http ://altmedworld.net/alternative.htm

http ://www.signavitae.com/2016/06/holistic-and-team-approach-in-health-care/

http ://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/what-is-holistic-medicine

Health and Freedom - Discover the Path to You

Women’s Health Month

March is National Women’s History Month. It is a time when the contributions of women to society are highlighted and celebrated. It is also a time when the multiple roles that women play in everyday life become even more apparent. Women juggle the hats of being teachers, nurses, entrepreneurs, wives, mothers, caretakers and many other things.

It is hard for a woman to keep up all the demands of a multitasking lifestyle and still make time to take care of herself. However, the results of neglecting vital areas of health can result in unnecessary stress, fatigue and unfortunately, preventable illnesses.

So, how can a modern woman stay on top of her health and wellness?

5 Tips for Staying Healthy

1. Schedule time alone. Regular time away from work, children and other demands can re-energize and invigorate!

2. Get regular preventative screenings like, pap smears, breast exams, blood glucose and cholesterol checks.

3. Exercise. Studies show that women who exercise consistently are generally healthier than those who don’t.

4. Cook! Making time to prepare meals can make sure the entire family has better nutrition.

5. Get accountable. Since the concept of wellness is still somewhat optional in today’s society, having a wellness coach or an accountability partner can help when it comes to achieving wellness goals.

Schedule a visit today to learn more ways about how to stay healthy and happy!