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    Uterine Fibroids – Part 3

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | April 21st, 2024

    Uterine Fibroids – Part 3

    I was excited when I read the following headline: Keeping Blood Pressure Under Control Could Prevent Uterine Fibroids in Middle-Aged Women, Study Finds. I immediately thought, this may lead to a potential strategy to prevent uterine fibroids.  It came just in time for the third part of this series. Is there a natural approach to prevent and heal uterine fibroids?

    This study was published in JAMA Network Open on April 16, 2024. In this study, 2570 individuals aged 42 -52 were followed. The study found that individuals who were untreated or were newly diagnosed with high blood pressure were at increased risk of developing fibroids. Those individuals taking their blood pressure medication and whose blood pressure was under control had a lower risk of developing new fibroids. Although why this occurs is not fully understood, we have the potential to control our blood pressure as a strategy to lower our risk of fibroids and possibly prevent uterine fibroids. 

    Is there a natural approach to prevent and heal uterine fibroids?

    This is a very difficult question to answer because I am often not clear on what it means. Are you asking whether there are special herbs that can make the fibroids go away? The research is just not available, so I do not have an answer. I am not aware of any special herbs.

    Are you asking about doing something to avoid the medical interventions discussed last week? It depends on your symptoms. If you are bleeding heavily to the point that you are feeling drained, having accidents, and your blood count is low, you should seek care. If your abdomen is enlarged, where people are saying that you look pregnant and you are having a lot of pelvic pressure, lower back pain, frequent urination, severe menstrual cramps, and pain with intercourse, you should seek care. It is essential to seek care so that we can make sure that you do not have another problem other than fibroids causing your symptoms.

    Talking with your doctor and discussing your concerns and fears is essential. You are allowed to have them, and you should never be forced to make a decision that is not comfortable for you. Make sure that all your questions are answered.

    Based on limited research, we know what increases and decreases your risk of fibroids. Based on that knowledge, there are things that we can do, whether or not we have symptoms. These things may also be helpful in preventing uterine fibroids.

    1. Diet plays a role. We want to find ways to decrease environmental estrogen. Some of the foods are sprayed with xenoestrogens to stimulate quicker growth. We want to avoid these foods. We also want to eat food that keeps our liver healthy. The liver helps removes toxins from our body.  Beef and other red meats and ham increase the risk of fibroids. Avoid alcohol, soy products, animal fats, cheese, or butter. Fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products decrease the risk. Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower, are great for liver health.
    2. Weight plays a role. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing fibroids. Fat cells in our bodies produce estrogen, which plays a role in the development of uterine fibroids. Maintaining an appropriate weight is helpful. This would be the time not to gain any extra weight. Start exercising regularly to the point where you are working out 4 – 5 hours a week.
    3. Maintain an adequate vitamin D level. Low vitamin D levels increase the risk of uterine fibroids, so it is helpful to know your levels. 
    4. Do not start birth control pills before age 16.
    5. Reduce stress—try techniques to manage stress. One example is Mindful Meditation, which was described in a previous blog.
    6. Get your blood pressure under control – This is based on the new study discussed earlier.

    If you have had uterine fibroids and had a myomectomy, you should follow these strategies to decrease your risk of having your fibroids come back again.

    This ends the three-part series on uterine fibroids. If there are additional questions you have on uterine fibroids, feel free to ask.  I hope that the information provided so far can help start the conversation with your relatives, friends, and healthcare providers regarding uterine fibroids.

    2 Responses to “Uterine Fibroids – Part 3”

    1. Linda Alanla Jackson says:

      Excellent, excellent, excellent information!!!!!!

    Leave a Reply

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    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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