A Very Common Medical Problem for Women
Do you have heavy periods? Killer cramps? The culprit could be fibroids, which are benign growths in the uterus which are found in more than 30% of women over the age of 35. Although it’s unclear exactly why fibroids develop, there’s strong evidence that estrogen plays a role, so keeping it in check with a few tweaks to your daily routine can help keep you fibroid-free! Here are some ways that you can protect yourself from fibroids.
Keeping estrogen low with walks:
Being active for an hour a day can cut your risk of fibroids by 40%, reveals a George Washington University study. The connection? Physically active women tend to weigh less than sedentary women and since estrogen is produced in body fat, the less you weigh, the lower is your risk of fibroids.
Cutting estrogen as a “flexitarian”:
A flexitarian is someone who doesn’t give up meat and dairy foods altogether, but limits herself to about one serving a week. This reduces your risk of fibroids a whopping 70% for a simple reason: “Conventionally famed meat as well as full fat dairy products, contain excess estrogen,” explains obstetrician/gynecologist Marcelle Pick, R.N.C., author of The Core Balance Diet. Limit the meat and you limit the amount of extra estrogen circulating in your body! When you do eat meat, go for organic, which has lower amounts of estrogen,” Pick advises.
Being cautious when you’re microwaving:
The key is to use only glass or ceramic containers to cook your food. “When plastic is heated, it can release substances that throw the body’s estrogen levels out of whack, contributing to fibroids,” explains Pick.
Shrinking growths with flaxseeds:
Many women have small fibroids that they don’t even know are there and that don’t cause problems. The key to keeping them from growing? Consume lots of lignans, weak plant estrogens found in flax. Studies show that this single step lowers the risk of fibroids up to 20%! “Lignans improve the way that the body metabolizes its own estrogen, which may in turn reduce fibroid development,” explains Pick. He advises that you take 2 teaspoons of flaxseed daily.
Do you already have fibroids?:
Don’t worry! Fibroids only need to be treated and removed if they cause unbearable symptoms such as heavy bleeding, pain, or chronic uncomfortable feelings of fullness and today’s surgical techniques are minimally invasive. “Most fibroids can be removed in under an hour, with the patient back on her feet in two weeks,” assures Richard Guido, M.D., head of the Uterine Fibroid Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
So, try these easy and effective strategies to reduce your risk of getting fibroids. Be proactive in protecting yourself against this common medical problem.