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Uterine Fibroids: Facts, Views & Options (Part 3: The Role of Estrogen)

by Kidada N Fields, M.Ac., L.Ac.

The presence of fibroids has increased in women today as compared to women 20 years ago.   One reason for this is the amplified presence of harmful environmental chemicals (eg. pesticides and insecticides from OFF! and Roundup, lingering PCBs found in our water, growth hormones added to meats, and plastics). Their ability to mimic hormones in the human body creates imbalance and dis-ease.

Naturally occurring hormones travel in the bloodstream as “keys” looking for their site specific “lock”. Once key and lock are in place, a host of intricate reactions occur driving skin and bone repair, cell growth, and sexual health to name a few.  The presence of artificial hormones, acting as “key copies”, throws this complex yet delicate system off wreaking havoc on our bodily systems.

Estrogens are a category of hormones and are specific to ovarian, uterus and breast tissue. Their imbalance proves to be a major culprit in the increased incidence of gynecological issues among women, including fibroids.  In his co-authored book, “Healing Fibroids: A Doctor’s Guide to a Natural Cure” gynecologist, Dr. Warshowsky explains the effects of hormones on uterine fibroid tissue. Not only does the uterus have receptors for estrogen and progesterone but so does fibroid tissue. Women in estrogen-dominant states (ie. before her menses, during pregnancy, the time directly before menopause, overexposure environmentally) tend to have large and rapidly growing fibroids.

Progesterone works to keep estrogen levels in check. However, with an increase in environmental estrogens it may seem like an uphill battle. Monitoring the food you eat (discussed below), reducing your use of plastics, filtering your water and avoiding use of pesticides and insecticides are habits that can help protect you and your family.

The liver helps metabolize and removes unwanted estrogen. Keep it healthy, cleansed and strong by doing yearly cleanses, eating unsaturated foods, and drinking less alcohol.  Full body cleanses work to clean the whole body of accumulated toxins including the liver.  Standard Process offers an excellent purification program.

Dr. Warshowsky, along with other health practitioners, suggests fibroid patients reduce or temporarily eliminate meat and dairy products from their diet. Red meats contain saturated fats that need to be broken down by the liver, momentarily taking away from its ability to metabolize estrogen. In addition, most animals (unless stated on the package) are given growth hormones, which cause rapid growth not just in animals but also in fibroids, tumors or cysts!   Read your meat labels and be sure you are purchasing meat from animals that were not given growth hormones.  Purchasing organic meat is always the best option.

Eat a diet consisting mostly of organic vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and good quality water.  Organic vegetables are highly encouraged as they contain less chemicals and higher levels of vitamins and minerals to support a healthy uterus. Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, chard, and kale) help metabolize hormones, particularly estrogen, helping them transform into beneficial by-products. Root vegetables (turnips, parsnips, beets, and carrots) contain bioflavonoids that move harmful estrogen away from estrogen receptors. Garlic is especially beneficial in the prevention and growth of fibroids because it prohibits the development of new blood vessels, which fibroids need to grow.  I personally do not recommend tofu, soy milk, or other highly processed soy products because of their high estrogen content.

Fibroids seem to thrive in more acidic environments so work to keep your system alkaline by eating non- gluten grains like rice, millet, buckwheat and quinoa. Beans and peas also have an alkalizing affect on the blood and provide the body with needed protein that you are missing with a reduction in meat.

For more information, please read the first two parts in this series on Uterine Fibroids:

Uterine Fibroids:  Facts, Views & Options (Part 1) 

Uterine Fibroids: Facts, Views & Options (Part 2: Addressing Blocked Energy/Emotions)

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss your uterine health, you can reach me at kidada@womeninwellnessmd.com or 410-296-4028.

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