Uterine fibroids are common and they won’t always need treatment. However, if you’re dealing with bothersome symptoms, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to feel better and relieve your fibroid symptoms. There are a number of natural remedies for uterine fibroids, from lifestyle changes you can make to things to add and avoid in your diet. Check out what you can do that may help with fibroids.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are growths that appear in the uterus. They’re typically benign (non cancerous) and are made of the muscle and connective tissue from the wall of the uterus. They can appear alone or in groups, and range in size from as small as a grain of rice to as big as a melon.
Fibroids are quite common, affecting 20 to 50 percent of all women, and they most often affect women in their 30s and 40s. Some fibroids grow steadily during reproductive years, while some stay the same size for many years. If you suspect you have uterine fibroids, you should check with your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment options.
What Causes Uterine Fibroids?
It’s not known what exactly causes fibroids, but genetics and excess exposure to estrogen are thought to increase your risk of developing fibroids. It’s also thought that each tumour develops from an abnormal cell in the uterus and multiplies rapidly when exposed to estrogen, promoting the tumour’s growth.
Women in their reproductive years are most susceptible to fibroids. Other risk factors include a family history of fibroids, obesity, high blood pressure and a diet high in red meat. Fibroids also tend to disproportionately affect Black women, although the reason is unknown.
What Are the Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids?
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Prolonged periods
- Bleeding between periods
- Pelvic discomfort and pain
- Bladder problems – frequent urination or difficulty emptying the bladder
- Lower back pain
- Discomfort or pain with sexual intercourse
- Reproductive problems (infertility, multiple miscarriages, early labour)
How Are Uterine Fibroids Diagnosed?
Fibroids are most often found during a routine pelvic exam. This allows the doctor to feel the size and shape of the uterus and see if any fibroids may be present. If your doctor thinks you may have fibroids after performing the exam, they may send you for an ultrasound to see if fibroids are present.
8 Natural Remedies for Uterine Fibroids
1. Drink Green Tea
Green tea is packed with antioxidants and contains bioflavonoids that may help reduce the number and size of fibroids. Green tea is also known to reduce inflammation and remove toxins from your body, so all of this may work together to reduce your fibroids and symptoms.
2. Avoid Red Meat and Unhealthy Foods
If you eat a diet that’s high in red meat, this could be contributing to your fibroids. This also goes for other foods that are high in calories, fats and sugars. These foods can trigger and worsen fibroids, and also raise blood sugar levels, which may cause your body to produce too much insulin.
Avoid foods like white pasta and rice, baked goods, boxed cereals, chips, processed and packed foods, and replace red meat (beef, ham or lamb) with white meat (chicken or turkey) and plant based sources of protein.
3. Eat a Fibre-Rich Diet
Focus on eating fibre-rich, unprocessed whole foods like veggies and fruits, whole grains, lentils and beans, quinoa and brown rice. Fibre increases satiety, balances hormones and prevents excess weight gain. Fruits and vegetables are also packed with antioxidants, helping to reduce inflammation and lower your risk of fibroids.
4. Try Curcumin
Cucrumin is an active ingredient in turmeric and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It’s thought that curcumin can destroy fibrotic cells or stop them from reproducing. However, more research needs to be done on its efficacy.
Resveratrol is a chemical that plants produce when they’re under environmental stress and infection. It’s found in fruits like blueberries, raspberries, grapes and mulberries. It may help stop fibroid cell growth and reproduction of uterine fibroid cells, however more research needs to be done before doctors recommend it as a treatment. Although, since berries are packed with antioxidants and other health benefits, it can’t hurt!
6. Eat Your Vitamins
Certain vitamins may protect against uterine fibroids, particularly vitamin D3 and animal-derived vitamin A. While few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D3, the best sources are the flesh of fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna) and fish liver oils. You can also take a vitamin D3 supplement. Animal sources of vitamin A include dairy products, fish and meat.
7. Cut Back on Alcohol
Alcohol, particularly beer, has been linked to fibroids. Some women with fibroids have also noted increased fibroid pain after consuming alcohol. This is likely due to the fact that alcohol results in inflammation and dehydration, both of which can make your fibroids worse. Drinking alcohol can increase the severity and duration of fibroid symptoms, so try to cut back on it as much as possible.
8. Regular Exercise
Being overweight can increase your risk of uterine fibroids. Getting regular exercise, along with a healthy diet, can help you get down to a healthy weight and reduce fibroid symptoms. Try to stay away from moves that put tension on your stomach and make symptoms worse. Lifting heavy weights can also push more blood into your abdomen and lower body, which could result in fibroid growth.
Cardio exercises like walking, jogging or swimming are great as they boost your heart rate and help you reach a healthy weight. Tai-chi and yoga can also eliminate symptoms associated with uterine fibroids.
If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, try these remedies to help with symptoms.
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