Here at the Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy (MINT), we’re often asked the question “Can fibroids shrink with diet?” In truth, diet alone cannot cure fibroids, however, a well-balanced diet can and does help to ease many of the symptoms and complications associated with fibroid growth.
So what exactly are fibroids and how do they occur?
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that form in and around the walls of the uterus. While they are not life-threatening, they do affect somewhere between 70% – 80% of all women at some point during their lifetime. Consisting of a combination of muscle and other tissue, they can be as small as a seed or as large as a watermelon. Women can also develop multiple fibroids.
Unfortunately, doctors cannot universally agree on what causes fibroids. However, it’s thought that being overweight can trigger them, as can having low levels of certain nutrients.
While only around 20-50% of women develop physical symptoms such as:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Difficulty in becoming pregnant &
it’s suggested that certain foods and balanced diets may play a role in reducing any risk or easing possible symptoms.
So, in answer to the question “Can fibroids shrink with diet alone?” the foods you eat may contribute towards alleviating some of the symptoms. More importantly, the right foods can assist in balancing hormones that may or may not trigger fibroid growth in the first place.
So, what foods should you consider and why?
A Mediterranean diet
This is not so much of a food type but a lifestyle change. It’s well-documented that a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks, type II diabetes and of course, weight gain. In addition, some studies found that Vitamin D contained in many foods that typically make up a Mediterranean diet, including sardines, may help to prevent fibroid cells from producing fibrous tissue.
As such, you may want to eat more:
Fresh vegetables – including, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, and the healthiest vegetable of all – kale. These are all great for your iron intake and therefore can help to tackle anemia, so often a bi-symptom of fibroids – but also, kale is high in Indole 3 Carbinol which is thought to help prevent the development of estrogen-driven fibroid production.
Fruits – such as tomatoes, apples, grapes, figs, melons, peaches and avocado can also help to lower the risk of fibroids. Pears and apples particularly contain a flavonoid known as phloretin which is an estrogen blocker. In some cases, this can also help to impair fibroid growth.
Wholegrains such as nuts and seeds – some of these food varieties are part of a group known as ‘selective estrogen receptor modulators’ – Flax seeds, in particular, can inhibit estrogen sensitivity in the uterus. Nuts and seeds are also a great source of fiber.
Oily fish – like sardines, mackerel, salmon, and tuna, are rich in vitamin D but also contain essential fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties. Seafood like shrimp, clams, and mussels are rich in vitamin B12 which can help to alleviate the symptoms of anemia – often a condition of fibroids.
Olive oil – a Mediterranean diet wouldn’t be complete without olive oil. Olive oil – particularly extra virgin varieties – contain high levels of polyphenol oleocanthal. This is thought to inhibit the production of prostaglandin – an inflammatory molecule – and may, therefore, help to prevent or ease fibroid inflammation in some cases.
The key takeaway – Can fibroids shrink with diet?
Eating a balanced diet – particularly a Mediterranean diet, is great for shedding those extra pounds and can play a part in maintaining your overall health. So while fibroids may not always be prevented, adopting significant lifestyle changes along with a healthy diet are some of the first steps you should take in treating fibroids and alleviating any symptoms or conditions.
The next step if a patient is experiencing conditions like those listed earlier, is to undergo treatment.
Here at the Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy (MINT), we carry out a process known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization. UFE is a revolutionary non-surgical treatment that allows patients to undergo a pinhole incision to remove troublesome fibroids while still retaining the uterus. Recovery takes just 1-2 days and no stay in hospital is needed. The main advantage apart from a speedy recovery is that because the uterus remains intact, women are still able to conceive naturally if they wish.
If you suffer from symptoms or conditions relating to uterine fibroids and need advice on what to do next, then don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Akinwande and the team. Call today on 314 255 2204 and book a no-obligation consultation.