Fibroids are extremely common. In fact, about 75 percent of women experience them at some point in their lives. (1) Ranging in size from a few millimeters to the size of watermelons, fibroids are responsible for more than 200,000 hysterectomies each year.
What are fibroids? They’re non-cancerous tumors found within the uterine walls, often resulting in a change in the size or shape of the uterus as well as several unpleasant symptoms. However, they can also be symptomless. So whether you know you have fibroids or not, it’s a great idea for any woman to do things to naturally prevent these common growths in the uterus.
Studies have shown that avoiding high blood pressure lowers the risk of developing them. According to research from the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, there’s a strong and independent association between blood pressure and risk for fibroids in premenopausal women. (2)
Some risk factors for fibroids are out of your control, but there are many you can manage. These includes things like eating higher-quality beef, working more leafy green vegetables into your diet and drinking less alcohol. There are also a lot of things you can do to balance your hormones naturally, which is a key part of natural fibroid treatment.
Natural Treatments for Fibroids
1. Avoid Foods that Make It Worse
High-Fat, Processed Meats. High-fat, processed meats are some of the worst food choices for women when it comes to fibroids. Foods high in unhealthy fats like non-organic meats are processed meats can increase inflammation levels and often contain chemical additives. (Think hamburgers and processed breakfast sausages.) When you eat beef, you should always opt for grass-fed beef.
Conventional Dairy. Non-organic dairy is very high in steroids and other chemicals that can alter hormones and encourage the development and growth of fibroids.
Refined Sugar. Consuming refined sugar can increase pain and reduce immune function in the body. It may also lead to weight gain and hormonal imbalance, two factors that encourage the development of fibroids. Studies have even shown that a high dietary glycemic index is associated with higher risk of uterine fibroids in some women. (3)
Refined Carbohydrates. Managing hormones not only involves the elimination of sugars from the diet, but also refined carbohydrates. Refined carbs cause insulin levels to spike and hormones to become out of whack. Consuming processed grains like those in instant hot cereals and commercial breads causes a sharp rise in insulin. These refined carbohydrates have been stripped of everything but starch, so they offer negative health consequences and no good nutritional value.
Alcohol. Overdoing it in the alcohol department increases inflammation throughout the body, reduces immune function and encourages hormonal imbalances. By reducing or eliminating alcohol, you can help to get your hormones back on track and hopefully shrink those fibroids fast.
Caffeine. Too much caffeine is taxing on your body, especially your liver. When you give your liver more work to do than it ideally should have, it isn’t going to do as good of a job at keeping your hormones in check. Drinking more than two cups of coffee daily may boost estrogen levels in women and could worsen conditions with a hormonal basis like fibroids. (4) The more you can keep your alcohol and caffeine consumption down, the easier it is for your liver to detoxify your body and keep your hormones in proper, fibroid-discouraging balance.
2. Eat Foods that Heal Fibroids
The following foods should be included in your diet to keep your fibroids at bay:
Organic Foods. Eating organic foods can help to prevent and shrink fibroids. Pesticides impact estrogen and other hormones levels. Since hormonal balance is key to natural fibroid treatment, you want to reduce your pesticide intake as much as possible.
Green Leafy Vegetables. Green leafy vegetables discourage the growth of fibroids in a woman’s body. These vegetables are vitamin K-rich foods. This vitamin aids in clotting and helps control control of menstrual bleeding.
Cruciferous Vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables support detoxification of your liver and balance estrogen levels. Research has shown that high consumption of broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, tomato and apple seems to be a protective factor for uterine fibroids. A greater intake of cruciferous vegetables (and fresh fruits) is believed to be capable of reducing the incidence of uterine fibroids in women. (5)
Beta-carotene Rich Foods. Upon digestion the human body turns beta carotene into vitamin A, which promotes the growth of healthy tissues as well as the repair of tissues, which can both be very helpful for healing fibroids. Some foods high in beta-carotene include carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and spinach.
High-Iron Foods. Fibroids sometimes cause some women to lose more blood during their monthly menstruation. This can lead to anemia. To replace the excessive loss of iron, include high-iron foods like grass-fed beef and legumes in your diet to help replace that lost iron and prevent anemia.
Flaxseeds. Flaxseeds help balance estrogen levels in the body, which can help to shrink fibroids. You should aim for at least two tablespoons per day if you have fibroids. You can sprinkle flaxseeds on oatmeal, in your smoothies or simply eat the seeds by themselves.
Whole Grains. Instead of refined grains, opt for healthier whole grains like millet, spelt, brown rice, buckwheat, rye and oats.
3. Try Supplements that Aid in Fibroid Reduction
Be sure to check with your doctor before introducing new supplements into the mix. These supplements have a strong reputation for creating better hormone balance:
Vitex (4,00mg 2 times daily). Vitex or chasteberry reduces estrogen levels by promoting the production of progesterone. For best results, vitex should be taken for at least six months.
Fish Oil (1,000 milligrams daily) or Flaxseed Oil (1 tablespoon daily). The essential fatty acids found in fish oil and flaxseed oil can help reduce inflammation in your body, which may play a part in fibroid growth.
B-complex (50 milligrams daily). If B vitamins are lacking in the diet, the liver is missing some of the raw materials it needs to carry out its metabolic processes and regulate estrogen levels.
Progesterone Cream (1/4 teaspoon, days 6–26 of cycle). Applying progesterone cream topically can help balance out low progesterone. When treating fibroids, it’s important to work with a doctor who has tested your hormone levels so you can be best advised if natural progesterone cream is the right option for your body.
Milk Thistle (150 milligrams 2 times daily). Aids body in liver detoxification, which can balance hormones.
4. Turn to Essential Oils
Thyme, clary sage and frankincense are the best essential oils for natural fibroid treatment. They all have the ability to help balance hormones naturally. Clary sage oil has also been shown by researchers to significantly lower cortisol levels as well as have an anti-depressant effect on mood. This is just one of several studies that show clary sage oil’s ability to benefit a woman’s hormones. (6)
Rub two drops of these essential oils over your lower abdomen two times daily; put two drops of frankincense oil on the roof of your mouth two times daily