Hysterectomies, Ovarian Cyst and Naturopathy
Many a times we end up with surgeries because we don’t know what else is possible. Sadly, today, instead of viewing surgeries as the last option, many in the allopathic system of medicine list them as the first! Here is an article about one woman’s journey, in her words, through surgeries, menopause and ovarian cyst and how naturopathy gave her an alternative.
Hi, I am Amrita, 50 years old at the time of writing this account and this is my story.
Last 5 years
My last 5 years have made me realise how little we talk about Menopause. Nobody around us tells us what a hysterectomy ‘really’ does to our body. And there is very little conversation around cancer; there is only fear and dread.
It all started when I was 44 years old. My regular ‘period bleeding’ started showing signs of change: it was lesser in quantity and there was spotting mid-period.
My periods were always troublesome, painful with accompanying diarrhoea. Certain months, I would spend that entire day on the pot! Had a Dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure at age 27, since my endometrium was thick. After my daughter was born at 31, my periods became better, more regular, with no bleeding midcycle.
In May 2017, I bled profusely, non-stop for 2 weeks with huge blood clots. Was prescribed tranexamic acid tablets to control the heavy bleeding. I didn’t like the idea of suppressing something that my body was trying to throw out, and so didn’t take the tablets.
I kept going to the gynaecologist (gynaec) for the next few months and was told that the bleeding was because of an early menopause onset (perimenopause, as it is fashionably called). During one such visit, I met an onco- gynaec completely by chance (since my gynaec was on leave). He recommended a biopsy to rule out certain possibilities.
By Aug-end 2017, my bleeding became continuous. I bled and bled for 40 days non-stop and no biopsy was possible with such heavy bleeding. 13th Oct 2017, I finally had my biopsy, and the report came back with the following:
“Endometrial Hyperplasia with Atypia (EIN) An invasive adeno carcinoma cannot be ruled out on biopsy” (cancer in the glands that line your organs)
The Doctor showed me huge polyps on a screen during the biopsy and I knew I was in trouble.
My surgery happened on 8th November, 2017. It was not a laparoscopic surgery because, according to the doctors, the biopsy report was extremely concerning, and they needed to make sure other organs were not affected.
But I was still lucky. The cell changes were early stage, hence didn’t require chemotherapy or radiation.
A few months later, I saw someone we knew very well die of the same illness.
While the surgery was a ‘success’, my body was a disaster. I had always had an active life, with yoga, cycling, etc. and food and digestion was never an issue. But in 2018, I had to get both a sigmoidoscopy and an endoscopy done as both my digestion and elimination were completely off. I would experience painful spasms around the anus; my entire stomach would be bloated after eating anything. I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and told that some nerves around the rectum and anus had got affected by surgery.
Then came the shin pains. The gynae advised a bone density scan. While the tests were normal, she gave me vitamin D injections. But the pains stayed. For the last 2 years, I have been wearing shin sleeves on the advice of an orthopaedist. Then came the actual menopause with hot flashes and disturbed sleep. I could hardly sleep and felt exhausted all the time. I started putting on weight despite all efforts at eating sensibly and exercising. I am 5 ft 2 inches in height and weighed 48 kgs at the time of surgery. My weight became 54kgs. Not earth-shattering, except that I had never weighed this much in my entire life
All about the Ovaries
It was August 2022 when a dull pain on the left lower side of the abdomen made me get an ultrasound.
“Left adnexal simple cyst seen measuring 3-4 cm” read my ultrasound report. But the cyst was ‘simple’ and Doctor asked me to repeat the ultrasound in 3 months.
Nov 3rd, 2022, the repeat ultrasound showed that the ‘simple cyst’ had become a ‘complex cyst with septation’ (signs of division) and I was once again advised immediate surgery keeping past history in mind and to do more cancer marker tests (CA-125).The CA-125 showed a reading of 6.7(which is within normal range) and I wanted another opinion on the immediacy of the surgery.
The second gynaec tested me for 5 more cancer markers. “While these are within range”, she said, “leaving your ovaries inside in the first surgery was very risky”. I was 45 at the time of my hysterectomy, my ovaries had not been removed.
However, given that my cancer markers were within limits, she was okay with the idea of waiting a little longer, doing another ultrasound and then deciding on the surgery. A third opinion at Army Command Hospital, Pune also suggested that a 30-day period of waiting was okay.
Segue into Naturopath
Life was continuing in parallel: my daughter was settling in college, husband travelling for work and me staying in touch with my sister and a few close friends. I happened to speak with Rupinder (Rupi), an old friend of both my husband and I, who is a practicing naturopath.
Rupi’s journey, her belief and knowledge of naturopathy had always interested me. She had also many-a-times mentioned her guide and mentor Dr SS Goindi and his experience in treating cancer.
I decided to wait for a month before taking any decision on the surgery. Having had two surgeries before (a caesarean in 2003 and a hysterectomy in 2017), I knew the toll that surgeries take, even though they might be completely necessary and lifesaving.
I have a lot of faith in Rupi and agreed to her advice of speaking with Dr SS Goindi and following his naturopathy treatment. I spoke to Dr SS Goindi on 5th Nov 2022. We talked about my history, current situation and the need for a repeat ultrasound after 30 days that would determine whether surgery was needed or not. He convinced me naturopathy would help and I started his diet treatment immediately.
At the time of writing this, I have completed 34 days on the naturopathy diet. These 34 days have been the most remarkable learning experience for me: learning about myself, both my mind and my body. And understanding that disease is as much about the mind as it is about the body!
On Dec 6th 2022, I did the repeat Ultrasound. The radiologist who did the test asked me if I had taken any medications during the month. Why, because the cyst had reduced in size below 3 cm. More importantly, the complex cyst had now become a simple cyst with no septation. And also there was no vascularity (no sign of blood flowing into it), which may have been the normal course of growth of a complex cysts with septation, mandating surgery.
I showed the report to my gyneac (from the second opinion) who was very happy seeing it and advised that a repeat could be done after 2-3 months now and surgery was not on the cards anymore!
Then I called the two people who made it all possible – Dr Goindi and Rupi. Rupi was of course thrilled for me but also said she knew this would happen. Dr Goindi, with the wisdom of a 93-year-old said, “we have a long way to go to ensure that the nature of cells in your body completely change, the cyst will completely dissolve itself then”.
I suddenly remembered what he had said to me the first time we spoke: “You have already got your Uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix removed. Now it is the ovaries. What will you remove next? While you are doing all these removals, you are still not dealing with the underlying reason: the tendency in your body towards atypia (atypical) cell changes, which caused your polyps earlier and complex cyst now. To fully heal or be cured would mean to change each cell, and that is what we are doing here together, he assured me!”
I am assured!
Q & A with Rupinder
What is the naturopathy treatment you have been following? What have you been eating since 5th Nov 2022?
The main idea was to make my body completely alkaline and make sure my Gut functions well.
I would talk to Dr Goindi everyday at a fixed time and depending on how my body was behaving, he would recommend the food items. But broadly this is what I ate for the 32 days before my repeat ultrasound:
First 6 days: Apple + whey made of milk (half a litre). Whey was increased to 1 litre after day 4.
Next 3 days: Apples + pears (soft pear/babugosha) + whey
Next 12 days: Soft pear/babugosha + whey
22nd day- 34th day: Soft pear/babugosha + whey + boiled potato and boiled sweet potato (without any salt or spices)
What changes have you noticed in your body other than what the Ultrasound revealed?
Mental clarity: From the 3rd day onwards, I have been feeling very clear. Can deal with things more calmly, have a greater acceptance of everyone and everything around me. Not irritated in any way because of the diet.
Sleep: My sleep quality has greatly enhanced. I sleep like a baby and wake up around 5:30 am, fully charged and energised. Don’t feel the need for having anything warm like tea or coffee. Earlier, I always needed a cup of hot milk on waking up.
Energy levels: I struggled a bit with energy in the first week of starting this diet. Would get a bit tired and drained. But after a week, my energy levels have consistently been high. In fact, after potatoes were added, I really feel very energised. I stay on my toes all through the days and feel no need to rest or sleep.
Skin: Everyone around me has noticed how much my face has cleared up. I have had pigmentation since about 6 years, it is so much lighter now and my face literally shines!
My mouth and teeth feel so clean that I sometimes have to remind myself to brush.
IBS: I mentioned earlier that after my hysterectomy, my colon and bowel movement became an issue. I was diagnosed with IBS in 2018 and used to go to the loo 2-3 times a day and even then, my stomach would not fully clear. Now I go once, first thing in the morning and my stomach clears in one go.
Shin pains: These started reducing after 21 days on the diet and I have since stopped wearing my shin sleeves. Feel no need for them anymore.
My allergic rhinitis, something that I have had since childhood has cleared. I no longer have sneezing attacks or watery eyes.
Backache: Both my surgeries, the caesarean and the hysterectomy made 6-inch deep cuts on my abdomen. This weakened my stomach muscles and resulted in me having a lower back ache since the last 4 years. On day 10 of the diet, I got a muscle spasm in my usual back area, which cleared over time. I was asked to give heat and stay warm by Dr Goindi and I also did some gentle yoga to stretch the back.
What has been the highlight for you?
Other than the changes in the cyst, my shin pains and IBS clearing have been amazing.
What was the tough part of this diet?
After my first day, I had an awful headache. I felt like the top of my head would just burst. My ears and neck were also feeling an intense pressure and I found it difficult to put one foot in front of the other during my evening walk.
But this passed as soon as I had my 2 cups of whey and a good night sleep.
On day two, I had a bit of metallic taste in my mouth and a slight headache by afternoon. My gums hurt from chewing so much fruit. But all this cleared soon. I also felt a bit tired during the afternoon/evening the first week, but all this cleared after the first week.
Now that you have seen the report, what are your immediate thoughts?
My immediate feeling is one of ‘relief’ that I no longer have to go through another surgery.
Given that the cyst has reversed from a complex to a simple one and the gynae opinion is also to do another ultrasound in 2-3 months’ time, I will continue with my naturopathy diet under Dr Goindi. Dr Goindi also told me that we should continue our treatment till the cyst is completely cleared and that is what I intent to do.
What would you say to others, who are hesitant to follow naturopathy?
For me Dr Goindi’s treatment has done wonders and I will continue on this path.
I have never met Dr Goindi in person but have spoken to him twice every day since we began. Our conversations are sometimes just a quick check-in and sometimes much longer. He is a ‘benign’ presence in my life.
Today, allopathic medicine, procedures and surgeries are our ‘normal’ and in this pursuit of normal, we don’t even try to look for anything that provides an alternative. Even when we come across them, we are sceptical because they don’t conform to our conditioned ideas and often dismiss them without every experiencing them.
When Dr Goindi and Rupi explain the philosophy of naturopathy, it makes complete sense to my logical mind.
To all those reading this, I would end by saying: don’t let fear enter your mind. There is wisdom out there. It may not always present itself in the garb of what we consider ‘normal’.
Amrita continues to live in Pune with her husband Lt Col (retd) Samir Khare. Her naturopathy treatment continues to evolve with more food items getting added: carrot juice, spinach and fenugreek were added post her 34th day. Will do a follow up after 2-3 months on her state of health.
She is happy to talk to anyone who wants to know more about how she is healing or how she has adopted naturopathy in her daily living. Please write at Rupinder78@gmail.com for Amrita’s contact details.
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