No fuss over fibroids

Last week, we discussed one of the common problems than women above the age of 35 face, fibroids.

health and fitness Updated: Jul 24, 2012 18:23 IST
Hindustan Times

Last week, we discussed one of the common problems than women above the age of 35 face, fibroids.

They are benign tumours that grown within the muscle tissues of the uterus. While we’ve discussed its symptoms and causes previously, we look at dietary changes to help cure it this time:

* Weight loss: Women should avoid weight gain after the age of 18 and maintain an ideal body weight according to their height. Body fat is a secondary production site for estrogen, so excess weight contributes to estrogen-progesterone imbalance.
* Avoid dairy: To prevent fibroid growth, eliminate red meat, dairy products and eggs. This helps alleviate symptoms since they come from animals that feed on hormone-added grains.
* Eat soy and flaxseed: A good addition to the diet to help manage overproduction of estrogen is phytoestrogens. These are plant-based estrogens, found in soy and flaxseed.
* Go green: Eating an anti-inflammatory diet with lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, beans and fish, while avoiding sweets and pastries could help reduce risk of uterine fibroids.
* Stress-free life: Emotional factors in one’s life can contribute to fibroids. But many women with fibroids reported improvement from their efforts to resolve relationship issues and stress.
* Consume whole grain: Constipation and haemorrhoids are some symptoms caused by growing fibroids. Women can avoid this by eating more whole grains, bran and fruit and by drinking plenty of water or trying natural laxatives.
* Be fit: Exercise can help women decrease hormone production. According to a study, the more exercise women get, the less likely they are to get fibroids. Also, exercise helps ensure regular ovulation.
* Improve diet: A good diet can help decrease heavy bleeding, menstrual pain and bloatedness caused by fibroids, while poor dietary habits (eating junk, excess salt), and sedentary lifestyle can elevate estrogen levels.
* Detox:
Detoxifying the liver with natural whole foods and raw juices helps the liver metabolise estrogen. So excess of it can be converted to estrone and estriol — a weaker form of estrogen that has lesser ability to stimulate fibroid growth.
* Reduce saturated fats: Excess intake of saturated fat, non-vegetarian food, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and junk food interfere with the body’s ability to metabolise estradiol to estrone, estriol, thus increasing fibroids.
* High fibre: Increasing fibre in your diet by eating whole grains, taking isabgol, eating more raw food, fruit and vegetables, helps excrete excess estrogen.

First Published: Jul 24, 2012 13:09 IST