Diets To Shrink Uterine Fibroids
How to Shrink Uterus Fibroids
Uterus Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that form on your uterus. Fibroids are very common, as up to 70% of women will experience them at some point in their lives. In most cases, fibroids don’t cause any symptoms, but they can cause pain and heavy bleeding in some women. Additionally, they will eventually resolve on their own.Your best option for shrinking your fibroids is using medications or a medical procedure. If you prefer a natural treatment, you can make lifestyle changes to help manage your fibroids.
Shrinking Fibroids with Medications
Get relief with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonist.These medications limit your body’s production of the hormones progesterone and estrogen. This will temporarily stop your period, which allows your fibroids to shrink. You'll also experience less cramping. Since you won't be having your period, your body can also recover from anemia caused by heavy periods.
- Take your medication as directed.
- Gn-RH agonists are the best medication for shrinking fibroids. However, you do have other options for managing your symptoms.
- You may experience side effects like severe hot flashes while you’re taking this medication. Your doctor can help you decide if it’s the best option for you.
- If your doctor prescribes a Gn-RH agonist like Lupron or Synarel, you can take it for as long as 3 to 6 months.
Ask about ulipristal acetate (Esmya) to help shrink your fibroid.This medication may reduce the size of your fibroid. Additionally, it can help relieve your heavy period, as well as cramping. Your doctor may prescribe it for you if you're at least 18-years-old and are experiencing moderate to severe pain because of your fibroid.
- Always follow your doctor's instructions for taking your medication.
- Rarely, ulipristal acetate can cause liver damage. Symptoms of liver damage include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, yellowing of your eyes or skin, itchy skin, dark urine, or pain on the right side of your torso. If you experience these symptoms, call your doctor and stop taking the medication.
Use tranexamic acid (Lysteda) to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.This is a non-hormonal medication that you only need to take on your heaviest period days. It will relieve your heavy bleeding, which reduces your other symptoms. While it won't shrink your fibroids, it will help you manage your symptoms so you may feel better.
- Ask your doctor if this medication is right for you, and take it exactly as directed.
Use OTC NSAIDs to reduce your fibroid pain.NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, and Naproxen, cannot shrink your fibroid, but they do help relieve your pain. They can help you minimize your fibroid symptoms while the fibroid resolves on its own.
- These medications are available over-the-counter.
- Talk to your doctor before taking any medication. Keep in mind that NSAIDs aren’t right for everyone.
- Take the medication exactly as directed on the label.
Take a combination birth control pill to relieve heavy periods.Birth control pills that contain progesterone and estrogen can relieve heavy period bleeding and reduce your other period symptoms. It won’t shrink your fibroids, but it can reduce your symptoms. Birth control isn’t a good option for someone who wants to become pregnant soon, as it prevents pregnancy.
- Talk to your doctor about whether or not birth control is right for you. Always take it as directed.
- Like other medicines, birth control can cause side effects like headaches, nausea, fluid retention, and breast tenderness. In rare cases, it can also cause blood clots.
Get a progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) for symptom relief.Though it won’t shrink your fibroids, a progestin-releasing IUD can reduce bleeding and relieve the other symptoms of your fibroids. However, it’s not a good option if you plan to become pregnant soon, as it prevents pregnancy.
- Talk to your doctor about all of your options.
- As with any medical device, progestin-releasing IUDs can cause side effects. You might experience cramping or a backache right after the IUD is inserted. For a few weeks, you may experience bleeding. Additionally, IUDs can increase your risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.
Undergoing Medical Procedures
Use a MRI-guided focused ultrasound for a non-invasive treatment.This outpatient procedure can help shrink your fibroid without hurting your uterus. An MRI scanner will locate your fibroid, then your doctor will use an ultrasound transducer to send targeted sound waves through the fibroid. This heats the fibroid and reduces the size.
- This procedure can cause discomfort but shouldn’t be painful.
- You will need to remain immobile while you’re in the MRI scanner.
Get a uterine artery embolization injection to shrink your fibroids.Your doctor will inject you near your uterus with tiny particles that are called embolic agents. These particles will flow into your fibroid, blocking off its blood supply and causing it to shrink.
- This treatment can result in complications, especially if the particles block your blood flow to your ovaries or organs.
- This treatment usually causes minor discomfort but shouldn’t be painful.
Use myolysis or cryomyolysis to destroy or freeze the fibroid.These laparoscopic procedures can eliminate your fibroids and reduce blood flow to them without surgery. During a myolysis treatment, your doctor will use an electric current or laser to target and destroy your fibroid using heat. Then, the doctor will use the electric current or laser to shrink the blood vessels that were feeding the fibroid. As an alternative to the heat treatment, your doctor can use cryomyolysis to freeze the fibroid and shrink the blood vessels leading to it.
- These procedures can cause discomfort, but they're minimally invasive.
Get your fibroids surgically removed if they interfere with your life.You have several surgical options if you want to have your fibroids removed. However, surgery often comes with added risk, such as damaging your uterus. Your doctor can help you decide which surgery is right for you:
- Laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy: You can get a minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy to remove fibroids around your uterus. Your doctor will make small incisions in your abdomen to access the fibroids.
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy: If the fibroids are inside your uterus, your doctor can do a hysteroscopic myomectomy to access and remove them through your vagina and cervix. These procedures can cause a lot of discomfort, but the may give you relief from your symptoms.
- Abdominal myomectomy. An abdominal myomectomy is a traditional surgery, during which your doctor will remove the fibroids. Although it’s often an option for women who don’t want to get a hysterectomy, it can still reduce your fertility.
- Hysterectomy: You may consider a hysterectomy if your fibroids are significantly impacting your life. This surgery will remove your uterus and effectively end your fibroids. However, you won’t be able to have any more children.
Making Lifestyle Changes
Drink green tea or take green tea extract daily to shrink your fibroids.Green tea can relieve or lessen your fibroid symptoms. It can also limit the growth of your fibroids.If you don’t like to drink it, you can take a green tea extract, which offers the same benefits of the tea.
- Green tea contains caffeine, which can cause agitation, restlessness, nervousness, and nausea in people who are sensitive to it.
Maintain a healthy weight to help minimize your fat cells.Fat cells produce estrogen. Since estrogen fuels the growth of fibroids, excessive fat cells can increase the size or number of your fibroids.
- Build your meals around non-starchy vegetables, along with a serving of lean protein like fish, chicken, turkey, beans, or lentils. Eat fruit for dessert.
- Increase your activity by taking the stairs, walking more throughout your day, and exercising daily.
Exercise for 30 minutes each day.Being active can help reduce your fibroid symptoms, though it won’t reduce their size. Light to moderate exercise will help you get relief without stressing your body. Here are some exercises to try:
Eat a high fiber diet to keep your digestive system regular.Fiber helps your body produce healthy bowel movements. This helps your body naturally remove hormones like estrogen from your body. Additionally, foods that are high in fiber also contain antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in your body.
- High fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
Opt for organic meat and dairy to avoid synthetic hormones.Some conventional foods, especially meat and dairy, contain synthetic hormones. These hormones can fuel your fibroid growth. Choosing organic options allows you to avoid these hormones.
- Read the label to make sure the meat or dairy you're purchasing is organic. Keep in mind that "natural" is not the same as "organic."
Eat a serving of organic dairy each day to reduce your fibroid risk.Regular consumption of dairy products may reduce fibroid growth in some women. This includes any dairy product, such as milk, yogurt, or cheese.
- For example, you could start your day with organic Greek yogurt to easily work dairy into your diet.
Limit your consumption of red meats.Red meats contain a lot of dietary cholesterol, which can cause your fibroids to grow faster. Replace red meat in your diet with fish, lean meats like chicken or turkey, or plant-based proteins like beans or lentils.
- Beans and lentils are a great option because they also include antioxidants that reduce inflammation, as well as fiber.
Avoid soy products, which contain estrogen.Estrogen can also fuel your fibroids, causing them to grow. Cut out soy dairy products, tofu, soy nuts, and items that list soy as an ingredient.
- Read food labels thoroughly, as soy is often an ingredient in packaged foods.
- The amount of estrogen in soy is very small, but it can affect you if you're sensitive to it.
- Your fibroids will eventually go away on their own.
- Most women do not experience fibroids after menopause. They are most common during your childbearing years.
- Some medical treatments that reduce the size of your fibroids do so by breaking them up. In rare cases, this can spread cancer if the fibroids have cancer cells. Your doctor can advise you about this risk and how you can reduce it.
Video: Preventing and Shrinking Uterine Fibroids Naturally - Hormonal Balance #7
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