THE HEALTH AND FITNESS BLOG
Natural Treatment of Fibroids: Does It Work?
June 02, 2022 – By Dr. Haider Khalid
Do you know that the most common benign tumor in women is fibroids? (1). About 4 in every five women will have fibroids during their lifetime (2). But fortunately, in 20 to 50% of the cases, fibroids resolve spontaneously.
There is also scientific evidence that better lifestyle habits and natural treatment may play a significant role in decreased incidence and spontaneous treatment of fibroids. Therefore, please read this article carefully to better understand fibroids and their natural remedy.
What are Fibroids?
Fibroids are abnormal muscle growth that forms in or around the uterus wall. It may be small as a pea or can grow to a size of a tennis ball. The exact pathological cause of fibroids is not correctly understood, but being overweight or obese increases your risk of fibroids (3).
Fibroids – also known as leiomyoma – are not cancerous. However, their growth can damage the female reproductive tract leading to several health problems that need proper care and attention.
How Does a Patient with Fibroids Present?
Signs and symptoms of fibroids are highly variable. They typically depend upon their size, number, and location. However, irrespective of these features, patients with fibroids usually present with the following symptoms (4).
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding between the periods
- Pain in the pelvis and lower abdomen
- Increased urinary frequency
- Inability to get pregnant
What are Different Types of Fibroids?
Fibroids are classified into three main types depending upon the place they grow.
- Intramural fibroids grow inside the uterine wall.
- Sub-serosal fibroids grow on the external surface of the uterus
- Sub-mucosal fibroids grow on the internal lining of the uterine cavity
Natural Treatment of Fibroids
There are several natural treatment approaches that you can adopt to reduce your risk or treat fibroids.
Fibroids usually are mild in their early stages. Therefore, any factor that improves your overall health may play a significant role in reversing these benign growths. One of the important lifestyle modifications includes the addition of herbal remedies.
Two of the important herbal products for fibroids are chaste berry and castor oil packs. Castor oil packs are well-known for their effects on the lymphatic system to reduce inflammation. Their anti-inflammatory effects help a lot in the treatment of fibroids.
The use of chaste berry as a female fertility moderator has a long history. Extracts of this plant help balance the hormones, which ultimately results in the treatment of fibroids.
Scientific literature relates the incidence of fibroids with alcohol consumption. Alcohol, after its ingestion, causes the release of certain hormones in the body that promotes the growth of fibroids. Moreover, alcohol also triggers inflammation that further aggravates the condition.
Women who drink alcohol are twice at risk of fibroids than women who don’t drink (5). Thus, if you don’t want to have fibroids, you should focus more on quitting your habit of drinking.
Balance Your Estrogen Levels
Estrogen is a hormone that boosts fertility in women. However, too much estrogen can lead to the development of fibroids (2). Therefore, you must keep estrogen levels balanced to have healthy fertility. Doctors usually prescribe medications for that purpose. But there are several methods through which you achieve this goal.
Besides ovaries, fat cells also make a good amount of estrogen. Those who are obese contain more than usual fat cells in their body. Therefore, their body has more than the usual amount of estrogen, which increases their likelihood of fibroids. Thus, losing unnecessary fat is an important step that helps to limit estrogen levels within the normal range.
Moreover, certain medications can influence the levels of estrogen. Therefore, you should consult with your healthcare provider before using any medicine.
Control Blood Pressure
There is also significant evidence of the association between high blood pressure and fibroids in women. Therefore, you should also consider controlling your blood pressure. Some of the ways through which you can maintain blood pressure include
- Restricting high salt containing foods
- Eating foods low in fats
- Regular exercise
- Reduce weight
- Consult a doctor if your blood pressure is not improving with lifestyle changes
Consume enough Vitamin D
According to a clinical study conducted in 2013, sufficient vitamin D levels in the blood are one of the key protective factors against the formation of uterine fibroids (6). Vitamin is naturally synthesized in the body on exposure to sunlight.
Women with darker skin or those residents of cooler environments need to take vitamin D supplements to fulfill their requirements.
Smoking is an evil that damages multiple organs in the body. However, most of your health problems will spontaneously disappear if you quit smoking.
Foods that You Should Eat More
There is limited evidence on whether dietary factors influence fibroids or not. But one thing is clear: a balanced diet improves your health in multiple ways. First, it helps you achieve a better defense mechanism against the formation of fibroids. There are certain foods that you must incorporate into your daily diet.
- Fiber-rich food products such as fruits and vegetables
- Potassium-rich foods such as bananas and citrus fruits
- Chaste Berry tea contains antioxidants that help in reducing the growth and shrinkage of tumors.
When to See a Doctor?
Fibroids can lead to infertility. Therefore, you must be cautious of any symptoms related to fibroids. You should not neglect even the milder symptoms. It would be best to visit your doctor to get expert advice. Follow-up monitoring of your uterus is also necessary to look for the progression or regression of the fibroids.
1. Marsh EE, Al-Hendy A, Kappus D, Galitsky A, Stewart EA, Kerolous M. Burden, Prevalence, and Treatment of Uterine Fibroids: A Survey of U.S. Women. Journal of Women’s Health [Internet]. 2018 Nov [cited 2022 Jun 2];27(11):1359–67. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6247381/#:~:text=Uterine%20fibroids%20are%20the,study%20population%20and%20diagnostic%20methodology.
2. Katz TA, Yang Q, Treviño LS, Walker CL, Al-Hendy A. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and uterine fibroids. Fertility and Sterility [Internet]. 2016 Sep 15 [cited 2022 Jun 2];106(4):967–77. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27553264/
3. Abdel Aziz N, Mohamed S. Relationship between Diet, Physical Activity and the Development of Uterine Fibroids. Alexandria Scientific Nursing Journal. 2016 Dec 1;18(2):15–32.
4. Stewart EA. Uterine fibroids. The Lancet [Internet]. 2001 Jan [cited 2022 Jun 2];357(9252):293–8. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140673600036229
5. Dalton-Brewer N. The Role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for the Management of Fibroids and Associated Symptomatology. Current Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports [Internet]. 2016 Apr 25 [cited 2022 Jun 2];5(2):110–8. Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13669-016-0156-0
6. Baird DD, Hill MC, Schectman JM, Hollis BW. Vitamin D and the Risk of Uterine Fibroids. Epidemiology [Internet]. 2013 May [cited 2022 Jun 2];24(3):447–53. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23493030/