Fibroids can be considered as benign tumors in the uterus, which are composed of fibroid tissues and muscles. When the uterine cells grow abnormally, a non-cancerous (benign) tumor may develop. Fibroids are also commonly known as leiomyomas, myomas or fibromas. They don’t have any relation with uterine cancer, as a matter of fact; it’s very rare for fibroids to develop into cancerous tissues.
Uterine fibroids are very common on women and it is affected by the activity of estrogen and progesterone. They don’t grow until women enter puberty and often appear after 30 years of age. However, on women with menopause, the lack of estrogen usually makes fibroids shrink or disappear entirely.
What Are Fibroids?
All fibroids have the same composition, which are uterine muscle cells that grow into a tight mass. Fibroids are classified based on their location:
Intramural or myometrial fibroids: They are the most common type of fibroids and develop on the uterine muscular wall.
Submucosal fibroids: They develop under the surface of uterine wall, however on more severe cases they can project above the surface.
Subserosal fibroids: They are very large in size and develop on the outer uterus wall, in some cases; they can protrude to the pelvis.
Pedunculated fibroids: They attach and grow by a narrow stalk on the outer uterus wall.
Cervical fibroids: They develop in the cervical wall.
Often, uterine fibroids are considered as asymptomatic and treatment may not be needed. However, depends on the location and size, the fibroids can be symptomatic. Common symptoms of fibroids are pelvic pain, prolonged or heavy menstrual bleeding, leg or back pain, difficulty emptying the bladder, abnormal urination frequency, painful defecation, abdominal discomfort, painful defecation, pain during intercourse or the sensation of fullness. Anemia can happen as the complication of abnormal menstrual bleeding. When fibroids occur along with endometriosis, infertility may occur. Gastrointestinal and urinary problems are likely when the fibroids physically disturb the nearby organs. In very rare cases, fibroids can develop into leiomyosarcomas, a malignant type of cancer.
When the above symptoms occur, it’s important for women to immediately see a doctor. Pelvic examination can detect most types of fibroids; however, at the present the doctors prefer to use ultrasound or hysterosonography to determine the location of fibroids. Asymptomatic fibroids are often accidentally discovered during a pelvic examination. Since they don’t produce detectable symptoms, the best course of action is to continue the observations. However, on women with symptomatic fibroids, non-surgery and surgery treatment options are necessary depending on the severity.
Many women prefer to avoid prescribed medications and surgery to avoid side effects and complications. Some home remedies are proven to be effective in treating fibroids on women. These are some home remedies you can easily do at home.
1) Reishi mushrooms are proven to effective in treating hepatitis B, weaknesses, fatigue and uterine fibroids. It is believed that reishi mushrooms can limit the histamine level and reduce the bFGF (basic fibroglast growth factor), which can stop the fibroids growth. Reishi mushrooms are often taken as tablets, tincture and tea.
2) Garlic contains an active ingredient called allicin, which can relieve tumor growth, bacterial infections and uterine fibroids. If you have fibroids, it is advisable to take 5,000 mg of allicin supplement each day, or equal to one clove of raw garlic.
3) Wild yam exhibit progesterone-like properties and can help to treat estrogen-induced fibroids.
4) Dandelion reduces the size of estrogen-induced fibroids and helps our body to use estrogen more efficiently.
5) Chasteberry can be used in tincture form and works well in regulating our pituitary gland. Because chasteberry can regulate the hormones, it may also reduce the size of fibroids.
6) When warmed and used as a compress, it can significantly reduce the pain caused by fibroids.
7) Milk thistle, just like dandelion, can reduce the size of fibroids and improve the efficiency of estrogen utilization.
8) Heavy menstrual bleeding is a common symptom of fibroids and it is important to find ways to re-balance your cycle. Herbalist advises the use of an herb called dan shen and vitamin E to restore your estrogen level to the normal level. Dan shen can improve the effectiveness of vitamin E. Use dan shen as directed by the herbalist and take about 400 UI of vitamin E each day.
9) Lady’s mantle can help you regulate hormones and control abnormal menstrual bleeding, you can take it as herbal infusion (in an 8-oz cup) to control the heavy bleeding.
10) Meditation, yoga and tai chi are general relaxation practices that can re-balance your physical functions, including hormonal levels and menstrual cycles.
11) Heavy bleeding requires you to replenish the depleted blood and nutrients. Vitamin A, B-complex, C and iron can help to prevent anemia while replacing deficient vitamins and producing new bloods. Each day, women with anemia should take:
- Vitamin A: 25,000 UI
- Vitamin B complex: 100 mg
- Vitamin C with bioflavonoids: 1000 mg
- Iron: 50 mg
12) Only a healthy liver can process the abnormal estrogen level and supplements such as amino acid methione and choline can maintain the liver functions. However, consult your doctor before taking supplements. Regular exercise can also restore poor blood circulation and improve your overall health.
13) Whole grains, vegetables and fruits contain fiber that can control estrogen level by binding it inside the digestive tract. Consuming fibers can flush your body of excess estrogen. To get the best benefits, eat them raw.
14) Soybeans can also control your estrogen level. They contain daidzein and genistein, which can occupy the spots where estrogen usually fill the spaces inside cells. Both compounds are also known as phytoestrogen and can help to prevent excess estrogen from entering the cells. Soybeans can be used in stews and soups. You can also get the estrogen-controlling benefits from soy milk, tofu and tempeh. If soybeans are unavailable, you can obtain phytoestrogen from split peas, fava beans, lima beans, mung beans, black beans and kidney beans.
15) Fish can help you control inflammation, a common symptom of fibroids. Consuming fishes such as mackerel, tuna and salmon regularly can provide some relief.
16) Drinking plenty of water can maintain your hydration level and push the excess waste out of your system. If you have fibroids, drink twelve instead of eight glass of water per day, especially after eating fiber-rich foods to help maintain good bowel movements.
17) Women with fibroids should avoid eating red meats, white bread and dairy products as the may increase the estrogen level. Certain herbs such as fennel seed, cordyceps, licorice and peony shouldn’t be taken by women with fibroids.
This article is very informative!
Wanted to know if garlic is effective to shrink fibroids, so therefore very helpful!
Can you explain a bit why each of the herbs you mention at the end are contraindicated for fibroids? Thanks!
I am a woman living with uterine fibroids. I was informed, by my doctor, that soy isn't good to take, for fibroids. There are several articles that also warn women with fibroids, not to consume soy. Overall, good information, though!
Great article! I appreciate all the home remedy options: I didn't know about reishi mushrooms and am going to get some tablets/capsules and give them a try.
Comprehensive article, I appreciate all of the good information here. I didn't realize that fennel and licorice, which help with digestion/ stomach issues are contraindicated with fibroids. I drink fennel tea almost daily and was taking a supplement for irritable bowel to sooth the bowel that included fennel. I will stop that now. Is fennel estrogenic? Please advise, thank you.
Thank you so much for all these precious info!