Uterine fibroids are extremely common! In the journal Fertility and Sterility, Texas A&M University Health Science Center researcher Tiffany A. Katz, Ph.D. shares this eye-opening statistic, “Uterine fibroids (UFs) affect 70–80% of women during their lifetime, and are the leading indication for hysterectomies in premenopausal women, with over 200,000 per year in the US…”Uterine fibroids are benign muscle growths that can be found in multiple locations in the uterus. They can impact fertility by way of interfering with proper implantation of an embryo, especially if they are protruding into the uterine cavity.
While doctors understand there needs to be an event that causes fibroids to develop, the exact cause of this initial uterine fibroid formation is unknown. What is known is that hormonal factors appear to play a role in their growth. Uterine fibroids are estrogen-sensitive, meaning that they respond to estrogen in the same way that the lining of your uterus does – growing in response to the estrogen circulating in the body. Excess estrogen is one of the main culprits in causing not only fibroid growth, but also creates a hormonal imbalance, which then causes disordered ovulation and may affect a woman’s ability to conceive and sustain pregnancy.
There are ways to support the body in maintaining a healthy environment within the uterus, and thankfully these 3 simple lifestyle changes may offer great support in healthy estrogen metabolism. Poor estrogen metabolism is a contributing factor to fibroid growth making it important to support healthy estrogen metabolism every day.
3 Things To Do Daily to Encourage Estrogen Metabolism
Beyond starting your natural fertility program for uterine fibroids with a Fertility Cleanse, you should also consider…
1. Liver Health Support
The liver helps to filter excess hormones and toxins that lead to hormone imbalance within the body. Two commonly known liver health herbs are milk thistle seed and dandelion root and leaf.
- Milk Thistle Seed (Silybum marianum) encourages cell renewal through gentle cleansing to ensure optimal liver health. In addition, Milk Thistle seed stimulates the secretion of bile which aids in digestion. We know Milk Thistle Seed as one of the most protective plants for liver health.
- Dandelion Root & Leaf (Taraxicum officinalis) provide liver support for improved hormonal balance. Dandelion leaf is high in vitamins and minerals and is nourishing to the entire body. The root aids in liver health and stimulates digestion for improved estrogen metabolism.
2. Nourish Your Endocrine System
The endocrine system is affected not only by the stress in our daily lives, but also the toxins in the environment. Following the Natural Fertility Diet to nourish and support this system will help it function at its best and keep hormones balanced. It is also important to limit or avoid foods that may contribute to estrogen dominance.
Foods to Eat:
Dark green leafy vegetables
FertiliGreens or Spriulina
Flaxseed- freshly ground
Foods to Limit:
Note: Choose organic sources
Lifestyle Products to Avoid
This list of lifestyle products and foods is known to disrupt the proper function of the endocrine system (responsible for hormone production and function, as well as cause undue inflammation. Katz also shares, “EDC [endocrine-disrupting chemical] binding to nuclear receptors can alter hormonal functions by mimicking naturally occurring hormones in the body, blocking the endogenous hormone from binding or interfering with the production or regulation of hormones and/or their receptors.”
Endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure (namely the chemical diethylstilbestrol) and risk of developing uterine fibroids has been clearly linked in two large prospective studies, the 20-year Nurses Health Study II (2015) and the NIEHS Uterine Fibroid Study (2014). Because of these and other studies, practitioners of all modalities feel it’s important to avoid the following:
Hormone replacement therapy
Non-natural body care products
Unsaturated vegetable oils
3. Consider Supplement Support
- Fibro Defense – a powerful blend of herbs known to help the body reduce excess estrogen that fuels abnormal growths, stimulate liver activity for improved estrogen metabolism, and promote the health and function of uterine tissues.
- DIM – a nutrient found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale and rutabaga with the ability to balance hormones and aid in the breakdown of estrogen.
Uterine fibroids, while mysterious, are known to be fueled by estrogen from not only the body, but also from our food, lifestyle products and environment. Working to decrease daily exposure to contributors of estrogen dominance and support the body in healthy estrogen metabolism are ways in which woman dealing with this fertility issue can support their bodies and work toward achieving natural pregnancy.
- Mayo Clinic – Uterine Fibroids http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/basics/definition/CON-20037901
- Katz, T. A., Yang, Q., Treviño, L. S., Walker, C. L., & Al-Hendy, A. (2016). Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and uterine fibroids. Fertility and sterility, 106(4), 967-77. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5051569/#R1
- Gladstar, R. (1993) Herbal Healing for Women: Simple Home Remedies for Women of All Ages, Simon & Schuster, New York
- Rodriguez, H., (n.d.) The Best Natural Remedies for Uterine Fibroids, http://natural-fertility-info.com/the-best-natural-remedies-for-fibroids.html
- Romm, A. (2010) Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, Churchhill Livingstone