Sometimes, the only way to treat uterine fibroids is with medicine or surgery. But some people may improve their symptoms simply by making changes in their diet, exercise, and stress management routines.
By understanding all of your options, you might be able to reduce, or even get rid of, pain and other symptoms you have from fibroids. Here are some easy do’s and don’ts you can follow that may make a difference in helping you feel better.
Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables. A recent study found that eating plenty of fruits like apples and tomatoes, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, could lower the risk of developing fibroids. And, eating healthier choices like organic fruits and vegetables and whole-grain foods could help improve your symptoms.
Keep an eye on your blood pressure. Researchers have shown a strong link between fibroids and high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about how to manage your blood pressure, either with diet, lifestyle, or medication.
Manage your stress level. While researchers are still examining the impact of stress on fibroids, some studies suggest the two may be linked. Try relaxation techniques like yoga, massage, and tai chi to help manage your stress. Some women find that alternative therapies like acupuncture can help relieve their period pain, too.
Make yourself comfortable. If you’re having painful periods because of your fibroids, try lying down and elevating your legs with a pillow. Or lie on your side and bring your knees into your chest to take the pressure off your back.
While some alternative medicine practitioners recommend supplements like raspberry leaf tea to support pregnancy and treat issues like PMS, it’s not recommended for fibroids. That’s because the tea can have an estrogen-like effect on the body and make your problem worse. That’s why it’s always important to discuss all medications and supplements -- even if they’re natural -- with your doctor. They could have side effects you’re not aware of.
Don’t eat a diet full of processed foods, red meats, and high-fat dairy. Studies show that eating these foods can make your fibroids worse. The same goes for alcohol and caffeine.
Don’t skip your workouts. One study found that women who exercised the most (about 7 hours per week of activities like running, dancing, or walking) had the lowest chance of developing fibroids. Exercise can also help keep your blood pressure down.
Don’t overdo it on the sugar. A study found that eating a high-sugar diet could be linked to a higher risk of fibroids.
Don’t smoke. Experts believe that smoking can increase your period pain because it reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to your pelvic region.