Fibroid tumors are abnormal, benign lumps that grow on the muscle tissue of the uterus. Not all fibroids cause symptoms. Many women might not know they have them. But those who do and have symptoms are often presented with treatment options ranging from medication, fibroid surgery like hysterectomy and myomectomy, to non-surgical options like uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). As a result, some women may choose to take control of their health naturally through holistic remedies or lifestyle changes. But can diet and herbal supplements really make a difference in fibroid tumors?
While we all benefit from making healthier choices, doing so may not be enough to significantly reduce fibroids or cause quick fibroid removal. With that said, most experts believe diet and herbal supplements are worth a try. These new habits may reduce your risk, help manage painful symptoms, reduce the speed of fibroid tumor growth, and possibly even slowly shrink them.
Making A Case for Herbal Supplements in Fibroid Treatment
Traditional Western approaches to treating many symptoms and diseases include prescription drugs, physical therapy, radiation, and/or some form of invasive or non-invasive surgery. While they may be effective, these treatments can have temporary or lasting side effects, not to mention potential downtime for recovery. Herbalism is the tradition of studying and using herbs for their healing properties. Rather than treat symptoms (in herbalism, fibroids are considered to be a symptom), herbal supplements address underlying body imbalances to restore health holistically.
According to the traditional Chinese medicine theory, fibroid tumors are caused by yin-yang imbalance in the body. This can be interpreted as disturbances in the endocrine system and blood circulation. While there are not a significant number of recent studies that back this up, a six-month pilot study states that herb, acupuncture, and mind-body healing treatments shrank fibroids in patients and reduced common symptoms such as the following:
- Prolonged periods and/or abnormal menstruation
- Pain during sex
- Abdominal distension or cramping
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Anemia, which can lead to fatigue
- An urge to urinate
- Back or leg pain
What Herbal Remedies Can Be Used for Fibroids?
Current evidence does not support or refute using herbal supplements for fibroid tumors, but some practitioners do point patients in that direction. Below are a few common herbal remedies for fibroids.
- Green tea — Studies have shown that green tea may help with a range of ailments, including fibroids, liver disorders, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, weight loss, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Resveratrol — This plant-based chemical can be found in blueberries, mulberries, raspberries, and grapes. It can also be taken as a supplement at mealtime and may help with fibroids.
- Curcumin — This phytochemical has been shown to limit fibroid growth and possibly shrink them slowly.
- Monk’s Pepper — This herb, which is also known as chasteberry, helps with heavy bleeding, a common and inconvenient symptom among women with fibroids.
- Guizhi fuling — This herb has been known to balance hormone levels, improve uterus health, and slowly shrink fibroids.
Dietary Changes to Help Fibroids
Some women do not experience fibroid symptoms but that does not mean they will not eventually. According to The Office on Women’s Health, about 20 to 80 percent of women develop fibroid tumors by the time they reach age 50. Therefore, it is important to remain diligent in showing up to your annual visits with your gynecologist or family doctor and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Red, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, salty foods, potato chips, boxed cereal, soda, baked goods, and certain carbohydrates are shown to have a link to fibroid growth. Drinking alcohol, primarily beer, increases your risk. Conversely, fiber-rich and unprocessed foods balance hormones and prevent excess weight gain. Fruits, vegetables, and other brightly colored foods reduce inflammation. Research has confirmed that improving your Vitamin D and Vitamin A levels will reduce fibroid tumor growth and/or ease symptoms.
Ways you can reduce your risk of fibroids through dietary changes and lifestyle changes include:
- Eating more fruits, especially citrus, and vegetables. This includes dried fruits.
- Get more exercise
- Drink more dairy
- Additional vitamin support (B-1, B-6, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids)
- Reduce stress levels
How to Shrink Fibroids If Diet and Herbal Supplements Aren’t Enough?
Yes, it is possible to make a complete lifestyle change through exercise, diet, and herbal supplements and still be adversely affected by fibroid tumors. At Fibroid Institute Dallas, we do not believe you need to decide between suffering in silence or having invasive, life-altering surgery such as hysterectomy. That is why we are dedicated to treating fibroids using uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), the gold standard in non-surgical fibroid treatment.
At Fibroid Institute Dallas, UFE is performed through the radial artery, at your wrist. X-ray guidance is used to locate the vessels that supply blood to your fibroids. Small particles are injected into the vessels, blocking the blood flow to the fibroids causing them to shrink and die. After uterine fibroid embolization, more than 90% of women notice an improvement in their symptoms. This includes reduction of pelvic pain and heavy periods.
As a specialized interventional radiologist, Dr. Suzanne Slonim performs the procedure outpatient, so there is no hospital stay. The procedure will last about one hour, during which you will be asleep. During recovery, you can resume light activities as soon as you feel up to it. Most women return to work or regular daily activities in 7-10 days.
Other benefits of the UFE procedure include:
- Non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment option for fibroids
- Uterus remains preserved
- No abdominal (belly) incision
- Tiny wrist puncture, no need for vaginal access
- All fibroids may be treated at the same time
- Avoids side effects of hormone therapies typically used to treat fibroids
- Fibroid symptoms improve dramatically
Schedule A Consultation to Learn More
If diet and dietary supplements are not enough, or you have questions about shrinking fibroids, schedule a consultation today. At Fibroid Institute Dallas, we are dedicated to treating fibroids and helping you live the life you deserve.
Dr. Suzanne Slonim is an interventional radiologist specializing in uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), a non-surgical procedure that shrinks fibroids and makes symptoms disappear. She founded Fibroid Institute Dallas and the #FibroidFree movement to relieve women of painful fibroid symptoms and educate them on treatment options other than surgery.
With over 25 years and 30,000 cases, Dr. Slonim is the #1 most experienced fibroid doctor in North Texas for UFE. She is a national advocate for fibroid treatment without surgery and a Dallas Business Journal Women in Business award honoree. Dr. Slonim is voted Best Doctor in D Magazine and listed in Super Doctors by Texas Monthly. For more information on fibroids and how to treat them, request a consultation by calling 214-838-6440 or completing the form below. Telehealth and/or in-office appointments are available.
Fibroid Institute Dallas serves the North Texas area, including Dallas, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Cockrell Hill, Grand Prairie, Arlington, Hutchins, Irving, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Addison, Carrollton, Plano, Allen, and all of DFW.
Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.