Can Supplements Shrink Fibroid Tumors?

Fibroid tumors are benign, or noncancerous, tumors that manifest in a women's uterus. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that about 20 percent of women will develop uterine fibroids between the time they begin menstruation and the time they experience menopause. Fibroid tumors often develop in women over the age of 30. Certain supplements may be helpful in treating your fibroid tumors, although supplements should always be used under the guidance of a licensed health care professional.

Uterine fibroids are a relatively common condition among women. (Image: Siri Stafford/DigitalVision/Getty Images)

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are growths comprised of muscle and fibrous tissue. Uterine fibroids vary in size and usually develop in women between the ages of 16 and 50. They are associated with estrogen production. The five principle types of uterine fibroids include intramural, subserosal, submucosal, pedunculated and cervical. Common signs and symptoms associated with uterine fibroids include heavy or painful periods, abdominal pain, constipation, frequent urination and painful intercourse.

Helpful Supplements

Several herbal and non-herbal supplements may be helpful in treating, and possibly shrinking, your uterine fibroids, although more scientific research evidence may be required to support the use of these supplements for this condition. Phyllis A. Balch, a nutrition researcher and consultant and author of the book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," touts several supplements for retarding fibroid tumor growth, including garlic, L-arginine and extracts of maitake or shiitake mushrooms. Other helpful supplements for uterine fibroids may include coenzyme Q10, zinc, vitamins A and C and Chinese skullcap.

Featured Supplement

L-arginine is a frequently prescribed dietary supplement to halt the growth of your uterine fibroid tumors. L-arginine, notes Balch, may boost your immune system function and arrest tumor growth. Balch recommends taking 500 milligrams of this supplement daily, on an empty stomach and with water or juice. L-arginine should be taken with L-lysine, another dietary supplement that helps balance L-arginine. Before you use this supplement to treat your uterine fibroids, discuss the appropriateness of L-arginine for your condition -- as well as the proper dosage -- with your doctor.

Considerations

Uterine fibroids should always be treated by a licensed health care provider. Although dietary supplements may be helpful in treating this condition, you should never use supplements in place of other more efficacious treatment strategies for this common ailment. A clinical nutrition specialist can counsel you on what supplements may be most appropriate for you and your condition, what supplements to avoid and when to discontinue your supplementation. Some supplements may interfere with the action of other pharmaceutical agents you might be taking.

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