While there is no foolproof way to avoiding fibroids, balancing one’s hormone levels has been known to assist in the management of this common, benign condition. Hormones, particularly estrogen, are one of the leading causes of new fibroid development and growth.
If you are trying to manage your fibroids and maintain or shrink their current size, balancing your hormones naturally is a great first step. Your diet has a strong influence on your hormone levels, which is why it’s one of the first (and easiest) areas to apply changes.
For best results in managing your fibroids, try restricting the following food and drinks from your diet:
- High-Fat, Processed Meats – Red processed meat is known to be high in added hormones, particularly estrogen.
- High-fat Dairy Products – Conventional dairy can contain high levels of steroids, hormones, and other chemicals that promote inflation.
- Foods High in Salt – Highly salted foods are hard on your liver, which is the organ that is most responsible for removing toxins and balancing hormones.
- Refined Carbohydrates – White foods such as pasta, white bread, white rice, cakes, and cookies have been known to alter estrogen levels, causing fibroids to increase in size.
- Refined Sugar – High consumption of sugar can result in inflammation and weight gain; there is an association between weight gain and hormone imbalance.
- Caffeine – Too much caffeine puts additional stress on your liver, discouraging the organ from working the way it should (think: balancing hormones!)
- Alcohol – Over-consumption of alcohol can lead to inflammation of the body and reduced immune function. Reducing or eliminating alcohol can help promote a healthy balance of hormones.
We do realize this puts quite the restriction on your diet, however, there are many options for substitutes in this dietary change. The following foods can help you manage your fibroids:
- Organic foods
- Green leafy vegetables
- Beta-carotene rich foods (such as carrots and sweet potatoes)
- Food high in iron (such as grass-fed beef and legumes)
- Whole grains
Supplements may also help shrink or maintain fibroid size. Vitex, fish oil, B-complex are a few supplements that have been known for creating a better hormone balance. Be sure to speak with your physician before introducing new supplements into your diet.
When Your Diet Isn’t Enough to Control Your Fibroids
Your diet and lifestyle can only do so much in your attempt to manage your fibroids. If you suffer from common fibroid symptoms such as heavy periods, bloating, frequent urination, constipation, and pelvic pain, contact Brigham-Faulkner Ob/Gyn Associates to see how we can help! Our board-certified OBGYNs have extensive experience diagnosing and treating fibroids. Call (617) 983-7003 to schedule an appointment at our office in Boston, MA today!