I’ve got a very special message for my female readers today. And guys, you can pay attention, too, so you can share this essential info with the women in your life. A few months ago, a very good friend of mine was experiencing some pretty severe back pain, but had no idea what was causing it. Turns out it might have something to do with growths along the walls of her uterus.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Until then, I’d never heard of uterine fibroids, and most women who experience them are unaware they even have them. But they are a health epidemic that roughly 75% of women experience to various degrees. They are non-cancerous growths in the uterus that usually appear during childbearing years.
Some women—black females in particular—experience debilitating effects from uterine fibroids. The fibroids can grow very large and result in back and stomach pain, intense pressure in the stomach and pelvic area, heavy menstrual bleeding, prolonged menstrual bleeding, constipation, and difficulty emptying the bladder. This condition not only results in severe discomfort, but also in missed work days, depression, and lower quality of life.
Mainstream Medicine’s Uterine Fibroid Treatment: Surgery
Unfortunately, there is no real known cause of fibroids and current medical treatments are expensive and invasive. One of the most common treatments, for example, is a hysterectomy.
Uterine Fibroids & Hormones
However, it does appear that the hormones estrogen and progesterone play a role in the development of fibroids. Fibroids contain more of these hormone receptors than the uterine walls do, lending some potential for natural anti-estrogen treatments.
This means that if you can limit your intake of additional estrogens while taking in foods or nutrients that limit inflammation and remove harmful estrogens, there’s a chance you could relieve the symptoms associated with fibroids and improve your quality of life.
How to Reduce Fibroid Symptoms Naturally
So here are some things you can do to improve your symptoms if you have these fibroids that don’t involve surgery or other drastic measures:
- Wash your fruits and veggies thoroughly and eat organic when you can; pesticides have estrogenic properties that may cause fibroids to grow
- Get moderate exercise daily; exercising can help metabolize and remove harmful forms of estrogen
- Limit soy intake because it has high estrogenic properties
- Limit intake of red meat and increase intake of fruit and vegetables
- Limit alcohol intake
- Increase your intake of foods with anti-inflammatory properties; I recommend walnuts, leafy greens, squash, lemons, limes, onion, seaweed, and fish
- Drink green tea; it has epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which can reduce the amount of harmful estrogens in your body
- Take an omega-3 supplement to reduce inflammation
If you’re struggling with back pain or uncomfortable pressure in the pelvic region, it could be a result of uterine fibroids. And if you make these lifestyle changes, you should notice—and feel—a difference!
Sources for Today’s Article:
Stewart, E. A., et al., “The Burden of Uterine Fibroids for African-American Women: Results of a National Survey,” Journal of Women’s Health, 2013, Oct; 22(10): 807–816. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2013.4334.
“Uterine fibroids fact sheet,” Office on Women’s Health web site, January 15, 2015; http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/uterine-fibroids.html.
“Lifestyle Recommendations for Fibroids,” White Lotus Naturopathic Clinic and Integrated Health web site, http://www.whitelotusclinic.ca/; last accessed December 16, 2015.