Fibroid tumors grow in the wall of the uterus -- the womb -- in women.(2) According to WomensHealth.gov, 20 to 80 percent of women develop fibroids by the age of 50.(2) Although, these tumours are almost always benign, they can still cause painful symptoms in some cases. Fibroids are usually treated with medications and surgery if necessary.(2) However, diet and lifestyle changes may help to reduce fibroids.(1,2,3,) Consult your doctor to determine the best treatment plan for you.
Estrogen and Fibroid Growth
Author and physician Christiane Northrup M.D advises that women with high levels of the hormone estrogen have a greater risk of developing fibroids.(3) Estrogen levels fluctuate naturally and are affected by diet. Plant and chemical compounds in your environment can also raise your estrogen levels.(1) Restrict these external hormones by eating organic foods, avoiding exposure to pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilisers and limiting the use of plastics.(1)
Increase Dietary Fiber
Fiber-rich foods such as fresh fruit, legumes, whole grains and seeds help to sweep excess fats and cholesterol from your body. They also lower high estrogen levels, which may in turn, help to reduce the size and number of fibroids. A 2007 study published in the "International Journal of Cancer" found that increasing dietary fiber from fruit and cereal played a role in lowering estrogen levels and reducing the risk of hormone-related disease.
Weight loss is beneficial for your overall health -- excess weight increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and other disorders. The extra pounds also affect your hormone levels. Estrogen is produced by the ovaries -- testicles in men, adrenal glands and fat cells. (Susan G. Komen) Too many fat cells can cause an overload of estrogen. Losing weight is one way to balance estrogen levels and may help to reduce fibroids. (Susan G. Komen)
Blood estrogen levels are affected by a number of other factors that you can control to some degree.(Susan G. Komen). In addition to diet and weight loss, being more physically active and limiting how much alcohol you drink can help lower your estrogen levels. (Susan G. Komen) If you are taking hormone replacement therapy after menopause, speak to your doctor about stopping their use to lower your estrogen levels. (Susan G. Komen)