I get asked a lot to advice women on how to shrink their fibroids without surgery. So in the next couple of posts I’ll address this topic. But first, a bit of background on the issue.

A fibroid is a benign (non-deadly) tumour of the smooth muscle cells of your uterus (womb). A woman can have just one or multiple fibroids as you can see in the image below, and the sizes can vary.

Image showing Fibroids in multiple locations in the womb.

Image showing Fibroids in multiple locations in the womb.

However the point of this article is not to tell you all about what a fibroid is – the focus is to tell you how to get rid of it without getting rid of your womb!
Symptoms of fibroid include these main ones: (if you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor to make sure there’s no other cause for them)
– Heavy periods
– Painful periods
– Pelvic pain
– If large and pressing on your urinary bladder you may experience the feeling of going to pass urine often, and not emptying your bladder completely

The main problem in fibroids is an excess of oestrogens in your system.
The basis for shrinking fibroids naturally therefore, without surgery, is controlling oestrogen levels in your body because one major factor in fibroids is excess oestrogens and oestrogen-like effects. This is why fibroids naturally shrink when a woman reaches the menopause: her oestrogen levels drop at that time.

Note that the specific reasons for (oestrogenic effect and thus) fibroids in your case may be different for the reasons in another woman, as you will see below from the lists of causes of increased oestrogens. So you’d need to have a discussion with a Healthy Lifestyle Medicine practitioner to ascertain what is the cause in your case, if it’s not clear to you after reading this post :

Raised Oestrogens in the body can be due to either increase in actual estrogen levels or increase in oestrogenic effects or actions

Causes of increased oestrogens
– Stress
– Overweight/obesity (which is in turn driven mainly by excess sugar/fructose in the body…among other factors)
– Contraceptive pills
– Pregnancy
– Sugars such as those found in sodas and commercial fruit juices

Causes of increased oestrogen effect
– Alcohol and other forms of processed Sugars
– Substances that mimic oestrogens in your body such as
– Pesticides used in non-organic foods,
– Hormones used in non organic beef, poultry, etc.

shrinking fibroids naturally(First make sure your doctor has assessed you to confirm there is no other gynaecological condition you’re suffering from, apart from the fibroids. Always seek medical advice before embarking on any new treatment or lifestyle change).

The 8 Pillars of A Healthy Life, when practised diligently,will guarantee you to be free from symptoms of fibroid, because it takes care of these components:

a. A Renewed Mind (Stress Management)
This is the very first pillar of A Healthy Life, and it really is foundational to all the others. High level of stress appears to impair your body’s ability to get rid of xenoestrogens (substances which mimic oestrogens – the main female hormones).

What is your source of stress? Are you aware that ‘stress’ is your (chosen) response to an event? Yet this chosen response triggers the release of chemicals which, if release is prolonged, lead to disease.

Stress leads to release of cortisol. Cortisol increases fatty tissues and fat cells. Fat cells store excess oestrogens. Stress management is a way to manage your weight also.

Be aware of your emotional state and seek help if you need it, to optimise it. You can help yourself by realising that ‘stress’ is your choice. Take responsibility for this response to an event, however unpleasant the event is. This empowers you to make deliberate choices that promote peace even in the midst of a stormy situation. Future posts will share specific stress management strategies so stay tuned on this blog.

b) Ensure you have a Healthy Liver: Eliminate Toxins, Empower Your Organ of Detox
This includes avoiding things which not only contain oestrogens, but also things which mimic oestrogens (‘xenoestrogens’), such as certain toxins (such as the pesticides used in non-organic foods) and pollutants and toxins such as those formed when you heat plastic in the microwave – ceramic is a healthier option when it comes to microwaving food – if you must, heating plastic wrap with food makes it highly toxic.

Coffee worsens fibroids because it has activity that mimics estrogen activity (it’s a known plant-based xenoestrogen) – this includes decaff coffee as well. So if you suffer from fibroids you want to stay away from this.
Meat from commercially farmed animals (which have often been fed hormones and other chemicals to fatten them and hasten their growth) – contains phytoestrogens so if you do eat meat (minimise your intake in any case), either choose lean cuts or choose meat from animals that were reared grass-fed, hormone-free and antibiotic-free, and free range.

A healthy liver is essential to your total health: it helps your body get rid of these toxins, thus contributes to shrinking your fibroids if this is the cause in your case.)
Practising the 8 Pillars keeps your liver detoxified. In addition, if you suffer from fibroids, I would recommend that you take a high quality supplement that contains nutrients (eg milk thistle, alpha-lipoic acid, n-acetyl cysteine, etc), that support your liver function.

c) Healthy Weight
Excess oestrogens are stored in fat cells. Fibroids have been shown to occur more often in overweight women. If this is the cause for your fibroids, then when you lose weight by shedding excess fat, your fibroids will shrink.
An overweight body is an unhealthy body. The whole point of The 8 Pillars of a Healthy Life is to empower you to transform your body into a healthy body: weight loss is a ‘side effect’ of this process.
Bear in mind that ‘overweight’ also includes the ‘skinny fat’ person – skinny arms, fat tummy. All that excess fat, wherever you’re carrying it around, provides a home for excess oestrogens to be stored. So if you have fat around your belly you need to work on getting rid of it.

d) Anti inflammatory state
If your fibroids are due to your being in a hyperinflammatory state (which can be the case if you’re, among other things, eating the wrong types of food)…eating naturally anti-inflammatory foods may help, eg purified fish oil capsules, cumin, rosemary, hops, oat.

Certain lifestyle habits keep your body in a hyperinflammatory state. For instance eating a lot of processed foods, e.g. refined carbohydrates, commercial juices, sodas, french fries, processed meats, etc contribute to this.
Lack of physical activity also contributes to this because then your body is unable to produce the substances that protect you from this effect.

Stress, chronic stress, contributes also, to a hyper-inflammatory state.
Taking a high quality, purified, fish oil supplement helps combat the hyper-inflammatory state, and is often safer than eating fish as you don’t then have to worry about possible mercury contamination. But if you do eat fish, go for the wild, not the farmed, variety, if possible.

Because Oxidative Stress (lots of free radicals in circulation) is closely linked with inflammatory states – and both states cause disease – be sure to also take high quality anti-oxidant supplements to combat this and improve your chances of shrinking that fibroid.

e) Healthy NutritionBoth Internal (what you put into your body) and External (skin health: what you put on your body)

As described in the healthy nutrition guidelines in The 8 Pillars of A Healthy Life, you need to:
– Avoid food that has been injected with hormones e.g. meat, poultry.
– Minimise processed foods especially processed carbohydrates and fried foods
– Aim for a raw food: cooked food ratio of 80:20. Meaning, eat lots of fresh vegetables, some fruit (don’t overdo it), nuts, seeds. Raw. This helps increase your dietary fibre, which is also useful in shrinking fibroids.
– Eat only (or wherever possible) organic foods as these are free from pesticides.
– Include non GM soy isoflavones (about 80mg/day) in your diet. Fermented soy is healthier than non fermented variety.
– Take complete, balanced, bioavailable, comprehensive, high quality nutritional supplements daily.

Pay attention to what you are feeding your skin. Your skin is your body’s largest organ. What you put on it either feeds its cells or harms its cells. When you put something on your skin, it bypasses your liver – so if it’s a toxic chemical you are putting on your skin the liver doesn’t get a chance to get rid of the toxin- it goes from your skin to your blood then all over your body.

What’s this got to do with fibroids? Plenty! Most cosmetic skin products contain parabens, which are known xenoestrogens and have been implicated in some cases of breast cancer for this reason. Anything you rub on your skin gives you a dose that’s at least 10 times the dose if you’d taken it orally – it’s all absorbed, without the protective influence of going through your liver. This means that when you use these paraben-laden skin products you are receiving high doses of oestrogen-like substances into your body.

Look for paraben-free cosmetics (skin and hair products) and reduce this very common source of estrogen-mimic.
Your skin is also a major organ of detoxification or elimination of toxins so it pays to keep it healthy – at a cellular level. Saunas help your skin do its job of detoxifying you quite well actually.

f) Sunshine! Vitamin D – One of Nature’s Anti-Tumour Champions
Vitamin D has been shown to halt the growth of fibroid cells, which could explain why fibroids are commoner in black women – dark skinned people make less vitamin D and thus have insufficient levels in their bodies for it to do its protective work.

Vitamin D helps your immune system suppress tumour activity. Fibroids are tumours (benign ones)
So take a blood test with your doctor (ask for ‘Serum (25,OH) Vitamin D levels) and if your levels are insufficient, take a good vitamin D3 supplement at a dose of 2000IU per day. Or 10000IU per day if your levels are deficient.

g) Miscellaneous
Needless to say you must stop smoking and other such unhealthy habits, and keep your alcohol intake to the barest minimum, as these contribute to your worsening fibroids.

This is an overview that has been aimed at showing you that YOU CAN overcome fibroids without resorting to drugs or potentially dangerous surgery. Hopefully you have seen some things you need to change or do differently, to help you win this fight.
You CAN beat this, ladies!
You CAN shrink your fibroid!
You CAN avoid needless surgery!

Give your body a chance to do what it does best: heal and restore itself. It can’t do this if it is receiving less than optimal treatment from you.
That’s why I’ve written this overview on The 8 Pillars of a Healthy Life to challenge your thinking and stir you up to treat your body the right way – when you do, your body will reward you with health.
No more fibroids!
No more dis-ease!
Here’s to your Total Health!

Dr Kem (Nkem) Thompson (MBBS, Dip. Performance Coaching, MRCGP)
GP, Author, Award-winning Speaker
“Changing the Way You Think About Health & Life”

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