Aug 29, 2014

Suffering from Chronic Ovarian Cysts & How I Found a Preventative Cure

"2cmleftovariancyst" by James Heilman, MD - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

As some of you know I suffer from chronic ovarian cysts that leave me doubled over in pain and unable to get out of bed for hours -- or at least I used to. Allow me to explain...

A few years ago I sought out medical specialists for help. I was experiencing a plethora of pains including abdomen pain but also stomach pain, back pain, as well as other ailments like frequent urination and severe moodiness. Everyone treated these symptoms as separate issues. I was given all sorts of pills that only seemed to make me feel worse. They gave me birth control pills for the cysts, which resulted in me acting like a crazy person, they gave me an assortment of painkillers that destroyed my stomach, they gave me Cymbalta, which made me go literally insane (an experience I've been writing a book about called Medicated) and they gave me Detrol for the frequent urination that, well, you can read about that here if you want. Then I discovered some non-western medical guidance that steered me onto a new path, but it was only the beginning...

That guidance came from a constitutional acupuncturist who told me about the 8 body types and a restricted diet (see this blog here for more on that), but while that helped with some stomach issues, once a month I'd still experience excruciating pain as well as all my other symptoms all together like some perfect storm.

Also, somewhere around this time I got my medical marijuana card to help with the pain because I couldn't stomach pain killers like Vicodin or Percocet. The medical marijuana helped ease my pain some and give me my appetite back, but after awhile I felt like it overtook my life. I'm not saying I became addicted, because it's not that kind of drug, more like it made me even more antisocial than I already was, it made me second guess everything I did and eventually started making me paranoid. I knew I couldn't keep it up and that I had to quit. After all, it was only a bandaid. What I really needed to do was find out why I was experiencing the pain in the first place and fix it rather than cover it up with pot bliss.

So I scoured the internet night and day reading various blogs and forum discussions. What I discovered is that many women suffer from chronic ovarian cysts and have all the same symptoms I had: abdomen pain, back pain, leg pain, stomach pain, constant urination (from the cyst pressing against the bladder), severe mood swings, fatigue, and more.

I was not alone.

Also, many of them experienced the same frustrations at the doctor's office as I did -- doctor's would toss pain killers at them or, in some cases, even tell them that it was all in their heads! I had one doctor try to suggest that to me once, but after surgery he gleefully told me I was right, my body was riddled with cysts and a large one had burst leaving a bunch of fluid everywhere that was wreaking havoc on my body. Great. It's so awesome to be proven right but what would be even better is to be taken seriously from the get go and receive preventative care, not just metaphorical bandaids and surgery, especially since ovarian cyst surgery only drains the cysts you have, it doesn't prevent more from happening.

After months of research, I collected everything that helped these women suffering from chronic ovarian cysts and tried them out for myself -- from herbal remedies like Vitex (chaste tree berry) to exercise to avoiding certain foods or drinks.

And while, of course, I must recommend exercise because, if nothing else, it lifts the spirit, the only remedy that really worked for me? Avoiding caffeine.

I experimented in the past with cutting it, wherein I'd stop getting cysts, then having it again, and the cysts would return. However, it's been about 8 months since I've consistently avoided caffeine and 7 months since my last cyst pain. (I also quit medical marijuana 4 months ago since I no longer needed it really and I've got tons more energy, get more work done, and feel loads more social -- well, I mean, for me. I'm still a loner at heart.)

My life has taken a 360 degree turn. I haven't felt this happy, healthy and pain-free in a long time. Once I stopped getting cysts, I also stopped getting all the other symptoms. They were obviously all connected. I'm so grateful to all those women who shared their woes on the internet. Had it not been for them, I may have never stumbled onto a preventative cure for my ovarian cysts. It's just a shame I had to discern it that way. It would have been so much easier if there had been some sort of medical study done on preventing ovarian cysts resulting in a cure that did not require taking medicine so that a doctor could have said to me years ago, "Quit caffeine. See what happens." Oh well, better late than never!

I decided to blog about this in case anyone else out there is also suffering from ovarian cysts, feeling frustrated and seeking a cure. You are not alone! The answers are out there. Google "ovarian cysts alternative treatment." There are so many pages listing so many options that don't require surgery or for you to pollute your body with more toxins. (Speaking of toxins, I even found taking bentonite clay baths to help lessen cyst symptoms, though it was 100% quitting caffeine that finally prevented them for me.)

Good luck and stay strong. You can beat this! I'm living proof.