Many women diagnosed with fibroids—non-cancerous tumors in the uterus—want relief from symptoms like painful, heavy periods. But many women would also prefer to avoid medical interventions, especially right now, during this time of coronavirus uncertainty. So, as Houston area fibroid specialists, we are often asked: can everyday changes help me find relief from fibroid pain?
Well, here’s the deal: changes in diet, exercise and self-care won’t cure your fibroids. But, there are some tweaks you can make to your everyday routine that could keep your fibroids from getting bigger. And others may make your fibroid symptoms more manageable. Let’s take a closer look.
Dietary Changes to Manage Fibroid Symptoms
While the science on this matter is still not conclusive, evidence suggests that some foods can help shrink your fibroids, while others will potentially make them worse.
Research suggests that highly caloric diets full of red meat, sugar and fats can increase your risk of developing fibroids. In order to minimize your risk, then, you could try replacing red meats with leaner cuts like chicken or turkey. Better yet, you could try getting your protein from plant-based sources like beans or the new and widely-beloved Impossible Burger.
Which Vitamins Can Help my Fibroid Symptoms?
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, getting Vitamin A from animal sources may help reduce your fibroid risk. Also, they found that eating more fruit can help lower your fibroid risk factor. The study further noted that African American women are far more likely to develop fibroids, and tend to have diets lower in these fibroid-fighting foods and vitamins.
If you want to add fibroid-fighting vitamins to your diet, try including:
- Salmon, tuna, mackerel and other fatty fish
- Blueberries, plums, apples, cherries and other flavonoid-packed fruit
- Broccoli, lettuce, spinach and other green veggies
- Lemons, limes, oranges and other citrus fruits
- Broad beans
Food-based vitamin sources are best for absorbing your fibroid-fighting vitamins. But, if making changes to your diet isn’t an option, vitamin supplements are still a great choice.
Exercise and Fibroids
Exercise in and of itself doesn’t stomp out fibroids. But getting your sweat on can reduce your BMI (body mass index.) It will also help eliminate fat stores in your body. And both of those factors will make it easier for your body to process estrogen hormones. Which, in turn, can help lower your fibroid risk, since high levels of estrogen in the body can increase your risk of developing new fibroids, or of seeing your existing tumors get larger.
When you live with fibroids, you may develop anemia, severe pain, or problems when you pee. And you will need to address those issues with your doctor, But, when it comes to managing your chronic pain before fibroid treatment, The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has some helpful suggestions. Some top tips include acupuncture, which is an ancient Chinese therapy that uses small needles, inserted to your skin at specific accupoints. Another suggestion? Try yoga, a flowing, low-impact exercise that can boost your fitness while also offering you helpful breathing exercises. Additionally, deep breathing, meditation and therapeutic massage can all offer temporary relief. Still, in order to find permanent fibroid pain relief, you’ll need to treat your fibroids, not just your symptoms.
When fibroids are small, lifestyle changes can certainly help you keep fibroids in check so you can live your normal life. But when tumors grow large, or your symptoms are severe, targeted fibroid treatment will be a better option. Contact our Houston fibroid specialists today to see if our minimally invasive treatment protocol is your best option.