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Holistic Treatments for Ovarian Cysts

Monday Feb 11, 2013 | BY |
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Ovarian Cysts

If you’re suffering from painful ovarian cysts, talk to your doctor—
and consider natural hormone balancing therapies.

If you listen to women who have ovarian cysts, be ready to hear some difficult stories.

“I have polycystic ovaries,” says one sufferer. “When the cysts finally rupture, it feels like death.”

“I have never ever felt pain like this before in my life and I was sick to my stomach,” says one young woman. “I was diagnosed with a cyst on my right ovary.”

“After many tests they found that I had an ovarian cyst that bust,” says another. “It sent me to the hospital in pain and I thought I was dying.”

Standard treatments for ovarian cysts include “watchful waiting,” birth control pills, and surgery. If none of these options sounds appealing to you, there are natural therapies you can try.

What Are Ovarian Cysts?

The Mayo Clinic defines ovarian cysts as fluid-filled sacs or pockets (like blisters) within or on the surface of an ovary. They can form anywhere on the body, but when they form on the ovaries, they can cause symptoms like pain, aching, a sense of fullness, and pressure in the abdomen.

Most ovarian cysts are harmless and cause few if any symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that most premenopausal women have them at one or more times in their lives, while up to 14.8 percent of women have them after menopause.

The most common type of ovarian cyst is the “functional cyst,” which is formed during ovulation because either the egg is not released, or the sac (follicle) in which the egg forms does not dissolve. These types of cysts are usually short-lived and go away on their own.

The other main type of ovarian cyst is the pathological cyst, which grow in the ovaries. These can be either harmless or cancerous.

What Are the Symptoms?

The majority of cysts cause no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Menstrual irregularities or pain during your period
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during bowel movements or sexual intercourse
  • Nausea, vomiting, or breast tenderness
  • Fullness or heaviness in the abdomen
  • Pressure in the rectum or bladder—the need to urinate

More serious symptoms may include pain accompanied by fever or vomiting, faintness and dizziness, rapid breathing, or sudden, severe abdominal pain. Cysts that rupture can cause severe pain and lead to internal bleeding, while those that form after menopause may be cancerous, which makes regular gynecologic examinations important.

Standard Treatments

Your doctor may diagnose ovarian cysts through a pelvic exam, pregnancy test, pelvic ultrasound, blood test, or laparoscopy. Standard treatments include the following:

  • Wait: Most cysts go away on their own within a few months, so as long as you’re not having difficult symptoms, your best bet is to wait.
  • Birth control pills: These can reduce the risk of more cysts developing because they stop ovulation. Birth control pills also reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Surgery: If the cyst is large and painful, your doctor may recommend removal through surgery.

If your doctor discovers the cystic mass is cancerous, he will likely recommend a hysterectomy to remove the ovaries and the uterus.

Natural Treatment Options

Though scientific studies on alternative treatments for ovarian cysts are few, many people have found natural remedies that worked. You may need a bit of trial and error to see what may be effective for you.

  • Balance hormones naturally: One theory is that excess estrogen or other hormone imbalances may be to blame for the formation of ovarian cysts. To reduce estrogen, avoid soy foods, eat only organic meat and dairy, avoid BPA in plastics, and use natural personal care products and detergents. You may also consider going to a holistic doctor and talking to him or her about other ways to balance your hormones.
  • Herbs: Herbs that have helped regulate the menstrual cycle and assist with hormone imbalances include black cohosh, chasteberry, dong quai, wild yam root, and red clover.
  • Detox: If you’re exposed to a lot of toxins in your daily life, you may need a detox. Try dandelion or milk thistle to support the liver in cleansing out toxins from the body, which may help lessen your symptoms. Milk thistle can also balance a women’s estrogen and progesterone levels.
  • Consider a vegetarian or raw diet: Some studies have suggested a correlation between diet and ovarian cysts, particularly in women that regularly consume fat from animal sources (meat and dairy). Try cutting back on these foods and see if that helps, or consider working with a dietician.
  • Help the body break them down: Natural therapies for helping the body break down the cysts include systemic enzymes, which can break down foreign tissues in the body; and castor oil packs, which you apply to the skin to promote healing.
  • Supplements: Evening primrose oil is rich in gamma-linolenic acid, which helps regulate hormonal imbalances. Supplements like vitamin E and fish oil can also aid in healing.
  • Homeopathy: Apis mellifica helps treat ovarian cysts, and bellis perennis is an anti-inflammatory that may help shrink cysts.
  • Drink more water with lemon: It helps to flush the system of toxins and help return the body to a more healthy overall function.

Do you have natural remedies that work for ovarian cysts? Please share!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Emma says:

    “Consider a vegetarian or raw diet: Some studies have suggested a correlation between diet and ovarian cysts, particularly in women that regularly consume fat from animal sources (meat and dairy). Try cutting back on these foods and see if that helps, or consider working with a dietician.”

    Can you mention what some of these specific studies are/how they were conducted please? Thanks!

  2. Kevin, you present yourself as an expert and I read your material all of the time and sometimes I am overwhelmned by you lack of knowledge about metabolism. Any women that developes any cyst or fibroid in the ovaries or breasts always has low thyroid and low Iodine and you did not even mention this in the article. You cannot cure orarian cysts without lots of iodine. This was known by all doctors before 1973. Look at the Periodic Table of Elements from any high school chemistry book and look at column VII B the Halogen group of metals and look where Iodine is.

    All of those metals act alike and where the metal appears on the column is how strong they are. Iodine is near the bottom so bromine, chlorine and fluorine are all stronger than iodine and displace the iodine on the cells.

    You give a lot of information and yet I feel you are not knowledgeable in the basic sciences. Raw food is good for getting over any sickness and disease yet even Dr Herbert Shelton who I studied with ate cooked food and even organic egges and organic chicken all cooked. Raw food is not the be all and end all.

    Call my radio show any Saturday am. I would be glad to discuss this subject on the radio live.

  3. Melissa says:

    i don’t think i can add to this discussion much though i’ve noticed that medical supplementation with synthroid does not handle all the symptoms of thyroid imbalance. When i take the chemical, i find my ovarian health decreases – difficult ovulation and more tiredness around this time of the month – more weird symptoms like insomnia.

    The use of Iodine in natural sources should be discussed here. Dulse powder, all seaweeds and some other foods contain iodine and perhaps they are the ones that should be consumed with high quality vegetarian proteins such as quinoa and hemp. I have found with pharmaceuticals that the dosage will either override your natural energy cycle – making it more difficult to even out and even more suceptible to greater ups and downs than just utilizing all of the natural ways to boost overall bodily strength to support optimal metabolic function. All of the herbal rememdies should be tried by a woman with cysts to see which are effective for her. Then use that against the synthroid as optimal support. Also, i have found acupuncture to be absolutely a fabulous option in stimulating the adrenals to work better.

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