With the knowledge that about 1 in 4 women will have fibroids at one point in their life before menopause, we can understand that it’s a very common gynecological problem, which some of you may be dealing with right now.
Fibroids are the most common benign tumor in women in reproductive ages, with a size that may vary from less than 1 cm to several cm. While in general they don’t cause symptoms, the most commons ones are heavy menstrual bleeding which can cause anemia, intense pain during periods and infertility depending on the size and position of fibroids. The treatment, when fibroids are causing problems, is usually surgical removal, with some doctors performing hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) in women who already had children. There are also some hormones that can be taken in order to shrink fibroids and relieve the symptoms, but as you can imagine they’re not that innocent, causing side-effects like bone loss.
If your doctor doesn’t suggest immediate surgical removal of the fibroids, talk to them about other alternative natural ways you can deal with them for a while and see how it goes.
For starters… exercise!
According to research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, women who exercise for 7 or more hours a week seemed to have lower risk of fibroids compared to women exercising 20 minutes a day, although this is more like a prevention factor not a treatment.
Learn about herbs
Although there are some Asian herbs that might help, they may contain harmful substances like arsenic, mercury etc, so you need to be extra careful and always talk to a health professional-botanist before taking them.
High estrogen levels are linked -according to research- to greater risk of breast and endometrium cancer, cancers that are directly linked to consumption of beef and pork meat. Furthermore, there seem to be some common risk factors for these cancers and benign tumors like fibroids, which are also linked to higher estrogen levels. On the other hand, a plant-based nutrition with lots of green vegetables and fruits can be protective. Vegetarian women appear to have significantly lower estrogen levels which decreases their risk for breast and endometrium cancer and might be linked to lower risk for fibroids as well. Note that, according to research, consumption of meat during childhood is also linked to early menarche, which in turn is linked to higher risk of fibroids later in life. Consumption of fish, especially those with dark flesh like salmon, is also a risk factor, as well as toxins that come from meat being cooked at high temperatures (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).
Along with your fruits and vegetables, note that green tea can be supportive as well. Green tea extract, according to a randomized controlled clinical study published in International Journal of Women’s Health (2013), is also found to significantly decrease the total fibroid volume (along with symptoms), while the placebo group showed 24,3% volume increase.
Bottom line is that a well-planned antioxidant plant-based nutrition full of vegetables, fruits, whole wheat, herbs, spices, seeds, nuts can fight free radicals and chronic inflammation which is linked to fibroids. It’s best to stay away from meats which are directly linked to high estrogen levels and don’t forget your daily cup of green tea!
Want to learn more evidence-based facts about the benefits of plant-based nutrition? Go to the blog section of www.feedyourimmunity.com and browse through the health articles.