By Ryan Velez
Fibroids may not be something you hear about often in health discussions, but these smooth muscle tumors that form in the uterus can affect 80% of Black women by age 50, with potentially serious consequences that can hinder their quality of life. Fibroid and fertility coach Gessie Thompson recently shared her story with Black Enterprise, and for her, this is both a personal and professional cause.
Thompson is not shy when it comes to sharing what it took for her to get over the fibroids hump. While this may not be the case for every fibroids sufferer, her 14-year healing journey included:
• 10 surgeries—five of them for fibroids
• 5 in-vitro fertilization cycles
• 1 heart-wrenching miscarriage
• 120+ days combined in the hospital
• a high-risk pregnancy that resulted in her unborn baby fighting the fibroids that were siphoning off her blood supply at 21 weeks in utero
• her heart stopping on the delivery table
• and a miracle baby, being born at 2.5 lbs and 14 inches.
For those who still live with fibroids, there can be many issues that leak into your personal and professional lives, including infertility, hemorrhaging, life-threatening anemia, debilitating cramps, embarrassing incontinence, and much more. Thompson found herself frustrated with gynecologists who were unable to find a root cause, but ended up discovering one common link in her own research: estrogen. Estrogen may not be the singular cause, but many doctors agree that it plays a role in fueling fibroid growth.
Working with Aboriginal Medical Association naturopathic physicians Dr. Amsu Anpu and Dr. Amun Neb, Thompson created the Holistic 90-Day Hope Beyond Fibroids Elimination Program. This program is designed to combat estrogen dominance and fibroid growth through coaching, diet, herbal supplements, and medical qigong.
Some of the things that play a role in estrogen dominance may not be what you expect, like diets. In some cases, foods that we have come to trust, like green tea, flaxseed, spinach, and others, may grow fibroids. Stress also plays a role, with the hormone cortisol playing a role in overabundant estrogen. Another thing to consider is pollutants from the environment, ranging from prescription drugs to pesticides to even certain beauty and cleaning products.
Holistic programs aren’t for everyone, and you should always consult with your doctor before embarking on such a plan. However, fibroids are a very real problem that often doesn’t get the exposure it should, so there’s no need to struggle in silence any longer.