Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Uterine Cramps and Pelvic Pain

Fibroids cause pelvic pain, here's what I know about uterine cramps and their physiology from a variety of sources...

From an RE...
Prostaglandins cause uterine contractions. Ibuprofen can be taken regularly to reduce prostaglandin formation but won't help if contractions and pain are present since the prostaglandins are already causing problems. If you are trying to conceive though you shouldn't be taking ibuprofen or other NSAIDs as they can impair ovulation and possibly implantation (there's no winning is there?).

From naturopathy...
Arachidonic acid is involved in the production of prostaglandins and is found in animal products. Reduce animal products consumption such as meat and dairy products, increase essential fatty acid consumption (such as flax seed oil). As ibuprofen interferes with the liver it is not advised.

From acupuncture...
My acupuncturist says that the weird crampy fullness in my belly is related to blood flow not going the right direction. Acupuncture can stimulate blood flow to go in the correct direction.

From my personal experience...
Ibuprofen won't stop cramps from fibroids. Hot water bottles do help with the pain and discomfort. Food and gas passing through your colon that is having to negotiate around the fibroid can also feel like cramps or cause uterine area discomfort -- as can a full bladder. Acupuncture can help with pain. I just had an amazing treatment this morning BTW, and I can't feel my fibroid at all right now and I feel really energized, almost lightheaded and lighthearted. My practitioner said that my blood was swirling around the fibroid and that instead of flowing in the right direction it was coming back around where it wasn't supposed to.

From the web...

There are links between progesterone and ararchidonic acid but I haven't totally made sense of them yet (I'll continue to research and see if I can make more sense of it for us).

I do know that progesterone stops contractions of smooth muscle (see: http://www.rnceus.com/hormone/progest.html and http://arbl.cvmbs.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/reprod/placenta/endocr

Arachidonic acid is also linked to tumor formation as well (scary but here we all are with our tumors):

The Role of Essential Fatty Acids in Cancer

Skin carcinogenesis, inflammation, arachidonic acid metabolism, cancer prevention
Susan M. Fischer, Ph.D.
(note that they are interested in applying this research on skin tumors to prostate cancer)

This page has links to a bunch of studies that are available through Amazon.com about arachidonic acid:

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