While some women turn to surgery which you definitely can, unless you have a hysterectomy, fibroids may return if you have surgical procedures such as myomectomy, uterine fibroids embolization (also known as uterine artery embolization), etc.
While many women do not regret undergoing a hysterectomy which removes the uterus (no uterus, no fibroids), some do because it ends their ability to ever conceive and causes many other side effects including triggering early menopause. Which is why I love natural solutions and with that in mind, here are some of the natural ways to shrink fibroids many of which are a part of my life to fight fibroids and for overall health and well-being.
What are fibroids?
Before we get into the 10 effective ways to shrink fibroids naturally, we need a brief understanding of fibroids. Fibroids represent solid usually benign (non-cancerous) growths made up of smooth muscle fibers and connective tissue which grow in the walls of the uterus or out from the uterus. There are different types of fibroids which is determined by their location in the uterus.
Uterine fibroids which are also known as leiomyomas, affect most women of childbearing age although most of them don’t cause any symptoms and may go away on their own. The exact causes of fibroids remain unknown but there are certain risk factors that have been identified.
I do have fibroids and while they are common to women of all races, they affect black women in greater numbers not only in occurrence but also in symptomatic fibroids for unknown reasons. So race is definitely a risk factor but also family history, being overweight or obese, whether you have had children or not and how many (women with four or more children seem to be at reduced risk), diet, environmental factors, hormone activity (estrogen dominance), stress, etc.
Symptoms of uterine fibroids
As mentioned previously, most fibroids don’t produce any symptoms but when they do, they include some of the following;
- Pain and pressure in the pelvic region
- Depending on location, they may cause infertility
- Can increase the risk of miscarriage if pregnant
- Can press on the bladder when large causing problems emptying the bowels
- Can press upon the bowels when large causing constipation
- Back and upper leg pain when they press upon the veins
- Depending on location, they can cause heavy bleeding, prolonged periods or spotting between periods
- Can cause pain after intercourse
1. Reduce stress
While stress is a part of life, when it becomes chronic (long-standing) it can increase the risk of developing various diseases and conditions as it weakens the body. In addition, chronic stress can promote hormone imbalance because it can interfere with an area of the brain which affects hormone activity. Hormone imbalance can increase the risk of developing fibroids or worsening the symptoms (estrogen dominance).
2. Fruits and vegetables
Research has shown that women who follow a mainly vegetarian diet are at a reduced risk of developing uterine fibroids. Even if you can’t adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you can start to eat more fruits and vegetables and cold water fish while reducing your consumption of sugar, dairy, meat and poultry.
The vitamins and minerals contained in fruits and vegetables can help to heal the body while promoting hormone balance.
While fruits and vegetables are a rich source of fiber, there are many other sources of fiber such as legumes, grains, etc. Fiber is especially important because not only does it help relieve constipation but it also helps to get rid of excessive estrogen and other waste matter in a timely manner which helps to prevent estrogen dominance which is commonly blamed for fibroids. The daily recommended amount of fiber for women to eat a day is 25 grams.
Fiber is also good for weight management because it helps you feel full faster and remain full for longer which prevents overeating. Being overweight is not only bad for your health but can lead to hormone imbalance because excessive amounts of estrogen will be produced.
Staying well hydrated is another of the best natural ways to shrink fibroids if your fibroid tumors are due to estrogen dominance because water helps with the elimination process including the elimination of excess estrogen which helps to prevent estrogen dominance.
Drinking more water is also important when you start to consume more fiber in order to prevent the fiber from getting “stuck” in your body. Fiber does absorb a lot of water as it makes its way through the body.
Plan on drinking 6 to 10 eight ounce glasses of water a day depending on your level of activity.
Herbs are very popular natural ways to shrink fibroids. There are so many herbs that can be used to shrink fibroids and help with other gynecological issues including vitex (chaste tree berry), dandelion, yarrow, ginger, garlic, bladderwrack, black cohosh, false unicorn root, green tea, turmeric, etc. Some of them such as cinnamon, lady’s purse, yarrow, etc, can also help with uterine fibroids symptoms such as heavy bleeding.
6. Castor oil packs
Using castor oil packs is another of the best natural ways to shrink fibroids as castor oil is a powerhouse natural healer. A castor oil pack applied to the abdomen/pelvic area, helps these healing properties to be absorbed into the skin.
Simply soak pieces of cotton flannel or wool in organic, cold pressed castor oil and squeeze off any excess. Lie down on your back with pillows placed underneath your knees and place this flannel or wool over the abdomen/pelvic area.
Use a plastic wrap or plastic bag to cover the flannel or wool. Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad on top of the flannel or wool. Cover this heat source with a towel or blanket to insulate the heat. Remain in this position for 45 minutes to an hour.
Use this pack for four days consecutively each week for up to a month and rest for the rest of the week. After a month, evaluate the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the castor oil pack.
Do not use a castor oil pack when you are on your period or when you are trying to conceive because the heat can affect your ability to conceive.
Exercise is another of the best natural ways to shrink fibroids as well as prevent their development. The importance of exercise for fibroid treatment is supported by research which has found that women who maintain active lifestyles are less likely to develop fibroids when compared to women who lead sedentary lives. Choose whatever exercise works for you for the long run.
Exercise can also help relieve some of the symptoms of fibroids such as pain and pressure in the pelvic region.
Exercise also helps for weight loss and as we mentioned previously, being overweight increases your risk of developing fibroids.
8. Apple cider vinegar
I love apple cider vinegar (ACV) and always drink a tablespoon or two of ACV daily diluted in about 8 ounces of water (you must dilute ACV because it can be very corrosive and damaging to teeth enamel as well as the mouth and throat if you drink it undiluted.)
I only drink ACV which is made from organic apples, which is raw, unfiltered and fermented using traditional methods (unpasteurized) and states that it contains the “mother” which is where most of the healthful properties of apple cider vinegar reside.
The vitamins and minerals found in ACV are what is believed to help promote healing and wellness in the body which is why it is recommended for many diseases and conditions besides fibroids such as diabetes, obesity, yeast infection, warts, dandruff, dry scalp and hair, high cholesterol, etc.
9. Blackstrap molasses
Blackstrap molasses is another of the popular natural ways to shrink fibroids. This is actually used in combination with acv by many women with fibroids as it is also a rich source of many healing vitamins and minerals. Combine a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses and a tablespoon of acv in 8 ounces of water and drink this daily.
10. Serrapeptase enzymes
Enzymes in the body are important for breaking down proteins, carbohydrates (sugar and starches) as well as fats in the small intestine. Supplementing with pancreatic enzymes is usually done when the pancreas does not produce enough enzymes.
Serrapeptase is identified as a proteolytic enzyme due to its ability to break down protein like many other enzymes into smaller components (peptides and amino acids) which the body can use as necessary but serrapeptase is considered one of the most powerful enzymes that you can use compared to other enzymes especially for fibroids which is why it is one of the top natural ways of shrinking fibroids.
Serrapeptase is derived from the digestive system of the silk worm and results from the silk worm regurgitating this enzyme as a way of escaping its cocoon. Based on its effectiveness in breaking down this fibrous cocoon, researchers in India tested this enzyme for use in the human body to astonishing results when it was discovered that this enzyme is a very powerful anti-fibrotic.
This is important for fibroids are well as many other conditions that result from fibrosis (which represents the abnormal thickening or scarring of fibrous connective tissue.) Because uterine fibroids are one of the conditions that result from excess fibrous growth, the enzyme serrapetase can help.
Serrapeptase has no effect on normal healthy cells but the way it works on uterine fibroids is that it sees fibroid tumors as dead protein material and proceeds to digest the fibrous/smooth muscle tissue in order to stop the cell division which allows fibroids to grow bigger and accumulate. This helps to shrink the fibroids which explains why serrapeptase enzyme is one of the best natural ways to shrink fibroids. For a source for this enzyme and many other fibroid shrinking ingredients, click here.
These are just a few tips on the best natural ways on how to shrink fibroids. For step by step guidance as well as a fibroid healing natural regimen to incorporate into your life if you want to avoid risky and expensive surgery, this proven holistic guide may be helpful to you.