Uterine fibroids affect 30–40 percent of women by age 50. However, fibroids rarely cause symptoms, so they’re often overlooked. Their growth is triggered by estrogen dominance, since estrogen is a growth-stimulating hormone. Estrogen dominance is a common hormonal imbalance during perimenopause, and fibroids often disappear on their own after menopause.
The problem with fibroids occurs when they get big enough or numerous enough to cause pain or increased bleeding during or between periods. Some women also experience more frequent urination or changes in bowel habits because of the enlarged fibroids pressing against the bladder or colon.
Many doctors recommend a hysterectomy to remove fibroids and prevent new ones from forming—after all, if you don’t have a uterus, you can’t have uterine fibroids. But hysterectomies can cause so many other problems in the long term, that I truly believe that they should be reserved only for extremely severe cases that cannot be resolved with any other treatments. Today and in the days to come, I am going to give you my top 5 recommendations for safely, naturally, and effectively dealing with uterine fibroids.
#1: Eat for hormonal balance. One key to bringing estrogen levels back into balance is to avoid foods that stimulate estrogen production and raise estrogel levels, such as alcohol, sugar, and saturated fats. Let your meals revolve around phytoestrogens—substances that are chemically and functionally similar to a woman’s own natural estrogen, except that natural plant estrogens are much weaker and less potent. Phytoestrogens soften estrogen’s effects. Fibroid tissue is studded with estrogen receptors, and phytoestrogens bind to those receptors, displacing the more potent estrogen.
Colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as buckwheat and ground flax meal are great phytoestrogen sources that are also rich in the vitamins and minerals needed to balance estrogen levels, strengthen capillaries, and reduce uterine bleeding. As for supplements, I recommend 4–6 tablespoons of ground flaxseed, or 700–3,000 mg of bioflavonoids taken in divided doses.