Hormonal therapy are the most commonly prescribed medicines to shrink fibroids. But are you satisfied with the results? Do they treat your condition in real or just give a temporary sense of relief? Have you ever thought how these therapies can cause long-term problems with hormonal imbalance? For sure, these questions often haunt you. Unfortunately, not many can answer. This is because you are left alone with very few options when you have fibroids. Fortunately there are growing number of natural remedies that may be very beneficial at minimizing discomforts from uterine fibroids. Keep reading to learn more.
What Study Says About Hormonal Therapy For Fibroids
According to an NIH report, hormone replacement therapy which is frequently used to manage fibroids, may be ineffective in breaking down the fibroid tissues. In this article we explore other alternatives to managing fibroids.
Diet For Fibroids: The Ultimate Natural Solution
Luckily, amidst all these gloomy scenes, there is something to feel happy about. Changing your diet can actually give you the much-needed relief. Most importantly, the diet for fibroids, over time, helps to restore your natural hormonal levels.
This article will give you an insight of which foods are your friends and which are the foes when it comes to treating fibroids.
A Quick Overview of Fibroids
Fibroids are muscular growths (tumors) that develop on the walls of the womb and its opening. Though they do not transform into cancer, the symptoms can be hard to bear. Fibroids are very common affecting up to 70% of whites and 80% of African Americans. In fact, almost all the American women will develop fibroids at least once in their lifetime.
Scientists are yet to find an exact cause but they believe it has some links with high estrogen levels in the body. Depending on the severity, treatments include hormones, surgery, and OTC pain medications.
Untreated fibroids can lead to various complications. For example, reduced fertility, miscarriage heavy periods or even kidney failure.
Diet For Fibroids: You Can Choose Your Food and You Know It Well!
No doubt, you are what you eat. This makes, even more, sense when you are constantly fighting with the symptoms of fibroids. It is because certain foods can help to treat or even prevent these painful growths. On the other hand, some foods can wreak havoc on the hormonal balance thus making the symptoms worse.
To sum it up, I would say, the choice is always yours. But make sure to choose the healthy foods and avoid the unhealthy ones. Just like balancing the hormones, life is about balancing the goods and bads that are around you.
Top 5 Foods To Take When You Have Fibroids
Diet can play a key role in relieving the symptoms as well as providing a long-term solution to many health issues. A healthy diet not only suppresses the disease but also enhances your body’s own healing powers.
The following list consists of the foods that are effective in treating or preventing fibroids. While we can expect you to drastically change your habits overnight, a small but consistent effort will surely pay off.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits And Lots of It. Without a hint of doubt, one can say that a vegetarian diet is good for many ailments including fibroids. According to a 2016 study, women who take more fresh fruits and cruciferous vegetables have a low risk of fibroids. Still, need more reasons to enjoy your favorite salad? Do not wait, feast on broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, tomato, and apple.
- Drink Green Tea And Lots of It. With every passing day, the popularity of green tea seems only to be scaling new heights. The chemicals in every cup are so powerful and effective that they can shrink the fibroids. Interestingly, there are more benefits than previously thought. Green tea chemical Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) also relieves the symptoms and enhances the quality of life. You can reap all these benefits without having to bear any side effect. A quick reminder: To avoid taking more calories, you may use a sugar substitute.
- Take Turmeric. You are wrong if you think the yellowish substance is just another herb. Turmeric, the main spice in your curry, works wonders to heal fibroids. The active chemical curcumin blocks the growth of tumors by promoting the destruction of cells in fibroids. Moreover, it may also prevent the fibrous tissues from multiplying.
- Enjoy a glass of Wine? Wine is rich in resveratrol. Like curcumin, resveratrol also reduces tumor size by blocking cell multiplication and promoting tumor cell death. Found another excuse to gulp down a glass? Just make sure not to overdo on it as alcohol in wine increases your blood pressure. Many studies suggest high blood pressure could significantly increase the risk of fibroids. Thus, talk to your doctor to know how many glasses you can drink in a week.
- Berries are the best to heal fibroids. Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and blackberries contain a fibroid-healing molecule called Ellagic acid. It cuts down the chemicals that cause inflammation. Moreover, it prevents the multiplication of fibroid cells and thus helps to shrink the tumor.
Besides these wonderfully healthy foods for fibroids, take generous amounts of:
- Zinc-containing foods such as low-fat milk, yogurt, beans, cheese, and poultry. If you think you need a supplement, talk to your doctor first.
- Vitamin D-containing foods such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, fortified dairy products, cheese, and eggs.
Top 5 Foods To Avoid When You Have Fibroids
After reading the “good” health effects of diet for fibroids, it’s time to learn about the other side of the story. Not every food is healthy and some of them can even worsen the symptoms of fibroids. Thus, you should avoid them as much as possible.
- Red meat. Several studies have shown that consuming high amounts of red meat can make you more prone to develop fibroids. Thus, limit the intake of meats like beef, pork, lamb, and others. Also, make sure to cut down on processed meats like ham, sausages, bacon, salami, and hot dogs. Instead, replace these unhealthy meats with poultry and fish. You are safe if you are a vegetarian.
- There is enough evidence to show that an excessive alcohol intake negatively affects your health in many ways. By the same token, when you drink “too” much alcohol, fibroids become worse. Moreover, alcohol increases blood pressure and causes inflammation. Both these effects increase the risk of fibroids. Therefore, it is very important that you give up your drinking habit or consume alcohol in moderation.
- There seems a direct link between an excessive caffeine intake and the risk of fibroids. While a cup makes a perfect start of the day, it’s not all good for fibroids. When you drink 3 or more cups in a day, the risk goes up by a huge margin. Notably, if you are under 35 years of age, you should not drink more than 2 cups in a day. Choose decaffeinated version if you cannot give up your fetish for coffee.
- High-fat foods. Taking high-fat foods, in no way, can be called healthy whether or not you have fibroids. Bad fats are not good for your heart health and waistline. High in calories with very little essential nutrients, they are sure to add inches to your belly. Considering obesity is a known risk factor of fibroids, it is better to avoid them and replace with good fats. Some good fats are olive oil, fish oil, peanut oil and canola oil.
- Foods that cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. These foods are said to have a high glycemic index (GI). Some high GI foods are potatoes, white bread, and short-grain rice. These foods increase fibroid risk, especially among African American women. Thus, if you have fibroids, consider taking low GI foods such as beans, fruit, milk, pasta, grainy bread, porridge, and lentils.
Points To Remember When Fighting Fibroids Naturally
A wealth of research has explored that diet for fibroids could be a better option than hormonal therapies. Also, many studies are currently being carried out to bring out more details. In many cases, hormones fail to provide expected outcomes. Thus, the dietary approach seems a more viable and natural approach to treating fibroids. Not to forget that surgeries are reserved only for the severe cases.
When taking diet for fibroids, try to maintain a balance between the good and bad foods. For example, if you cannot completely give up drinking, try to limit the intake. Similarly, if you think living without cola and burger is impossible, balance the ill effects with a healthy option. It could be as simple as an apple a day or glass of plain water.
We would love to hear your thoughts. What natural remedies or foods have been helpful in managing fibroids and symptoms? Please share in the comment box below.
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Shen, Yang., et al. “Vegetarian diet and reduced uterine fibroids risk: A case-control study in Nanjing, China.” The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research 2016 Jan;42(1):87-94.
Islam, Md. Soriful., et al. “Dietary phytochemicals for possible preventive and therapeutic option of uterine fibroids: Signaling pathways as target.” Pharmacological Reports 2017 Feb;69(1):57-70.
Islam, Md. Soriful., et al. “Use of dietary phytochemicals to target inflammation, fibrosis, proliferation, and angiogenesis in uterine tissues: Promising options for prevention and treatment of uterine fibroids?” Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014 Aug; 58(8): 1667–1684.
Sahin, Nurhan., et al. “Zinc picolinate in the prevention of leiomyoma in Japanese quail.” Journal of Medicinal Food 2009 Dec;12(6):1368-74.
Chiaffarino, Francesca., et al. “Diet and uterine myomas.” Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1999 Sep;94(3):395-8.
Al-Hendy, Ayman., et al. “Can vitamin D reduce the risk of uterine fibroids?” Women’s Health (Lond Engl). 2014 Jul; 10(4): 353–358.
Khan, Aamir T., et al. “Uterine fibroids: current perspectives” International Journal of Women’s Health 2014; 6: 95–114.
Radin, Rose G., et al. “Dietary glycemic index and load in relation to risk of uterine leiomyomata in the Black Women’s Health Study.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010 May;91(5):1281-8.
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