How To Prevent Uterine Fibroids? Expert Explains

Uterine fibroids are abnormal growths developing in or on a woman's uterus. Here's how you can prevent and control it. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Jul 27, 2022Updated at: Jul 27, 2022
How To Prevent Uterine Fibroids? Expert Explains

Uterine fibroids are abnormal masses that form in or on a woman’s uterus. These growths are mostly benign, or non-cancerous. In some women, they become quite large and can lead to extreme abdominal pain and heavy menstrual flow. The cause of fibroids is unknown. The different names for uterine fibroids are leiomyomas, myomas, uterine myomas, and fibromas. Onlymyhealth talked to Dr. (Mr) Kiran Rukadikar, bariatric physician and obesity consultant, celebrity nutritionist, and founder of DietQueen App, to get better insights on the prevention and control of uterine fibroids. 

Causes of uterine fibroids 

It is not clearly known as to why fibroids develop, but many factors can lead to their formation, including: 

1. Hormones 

Women experiencing hormonal changes, especially during their reproductive age are at a higher risk of getting affected by fibroids. Ovaries produce the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. They make the uterine lining regenerate in every menstrual cycle and can trigger the growth of fibroids.

2. Family history of fibroids

uterine fibroids

Fibroids may run in the family. If the mother, sister, or grandmother has a history of this condition, then the chances increase. 

3. Obesity (High body fat and weight)

Fat cells make more oestrogen, and sudden changes in hormones can lead to fibroid growth.

4. Pregnancy 

Pregnancy can increase the production of oestrogen and progesterone in your body. Fibroids may develop and grow rapidly in pregnancy. 

5. Vitamin D deficiency

Diets high in red meat can also be a cause of uterine fibroids. Eating too much red meat and not enough green vegetables, fruit, or dairy products. 

Also read: Women Must Know These Things on Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids prevention

Changes that can help prevent and control the risk of fibroids are: 

1. Dietary changes 

Dietary modifications can directly impact the progress of fibroids. Avoid high consumption of meat and high-calorie foods. Instead, opt for foods high in flavonoids, cooked green vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, and green tea. 

2. Losing weight for overweight individuals

Losing weight can help in the prevention and control of fibroids. Eating a balanced meal and walking will help in fat and weight loss. High consumption of fried foods, sweets, milk products, and dry fruits, which are very high in calories, can cause weight gain. Avoiding them is the most important step for weight and fat loss. Visit a dietician and understand the proper diet for weight loss. 

Eat low calorie foods, foods high in flavonoids, cooked green vegetables and salads, fresh fruits, legumes, cereals, and green tea. Egg Whites, chicken, cold-water fish such as tuna or salmon, all will give you good proteins and less fat. Reduce alcohol consumption, if any. Walk 90-120 minutes every day. 

3. Managing stress levels 

It is always recommended and advised to find the best way to cope with fibroids and stress. It can be different and unique for every woman. Getting support from family, friends, counsellors, or support groups can provide emotional assistance if the condition is turning serious. Yoga and Pranayama can be good for relaxation. Meditation and breathing exercises are effective and easy ways to bring stress down on a daily basis. Apart from having healthy balanced meals as discussed, walking and exercising are great for muscles, improving sleep, and metabolising excessive stress hormones.

4. Balancing the oestrogen 

Apart from losing weight as discussed, avoiding hormone-disrupting, natural or synthetic chemicals is an option. It can throw off your endocrine balance, raising oestrogen level by leaching into your body through skin and food. 

Also read: Fibroid Awareness Month: Risk Factors That May Make You Susceptible To Fibroids

5. Lower blood pressure

Balancing blood pressure is vital for your overall health and even for fibroids. Try these tips:

  • Avoid added salt
  • Limit high-sodium processed and packaged foods.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol
  • Increase potassium by having more plant based foods at every meal
  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
  • If you have high blood pressure, take medication as prescribed 
  • See your doctor for regular checkups.

6. Get enough vitamin D 

Vitamin D may help reduce your risk of fibroids by more than 30%. Exposing skin to sunlight for a moderate amount of time can help. Supplements can increase your levels, along with natural sources such as:

• Egg yolks

• Fortified milk, cheese, and dairy products

• Fortified cereals

• Fortified orange juice

• Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel

• COD liver oil

7. Reduce alcohol consumption, if any

Food to avoid if you have fibroids is sugar. Sugary foods and simple carbohydrates can worsen fibroids. These foods spike blood sugar levels. Too much insulin can lead to weight gain and trigger fibroid growth. Avoid refined carbs and added sugars such as:

  • Table sugar
  • Glucose / dextrose/ maltose
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • White bread, rice, pasta, and flour
  • Soda and sugary drinks
  • Fruit juice
  • Potato chips
  • Crackers
  • Packaged energy bars

Having a healthy weight, good diet, regular exercise routine, and stress-free life can help prevent and control many diseases, and uterine fibroids is one of them.

Image credits: Freepik