Can I change my diet to help with fibroids?

A number of people are searching for information on “diet and fibroids” so the topic deserves a post of its own. The discussion started through visitor comments from another thread.

From the original fibroid diet comment:

Nikki: I wondered if anyone else tried altering their diet ….and had any relief, if anything?

Quotes from the thread: (click the links to see the whole comment)

Nikki: The diet change I did helped alleviate a lot of those symptoms. I make every effort to avoid processed foods and eat less meat, particularly red meats.

Nikki: These days, I focus on eating whole foods (non-processed, whole grains). I now can’t stand the taste of white bread/pasta/rice, etc. But the fiber is important in our diet, so I am sure to get it from whole foods. Additionally, I try to eat plenty of raw foods for the enzymes (fruits, veggies). I eat meat, but I try to eat more fish and very occassionally some red meat. Chicken every now and then (I’m just not crazy about it so much). But I shop at Harry’s or Whole Foods when I can so I can get the hormone-free meats and organic foods. When most of my diet is based on these foods, I feel great.

From my response:

EclecticGeek: I will comment on the issue of food. I do believe that there are too many added hormones and antibiotics in the meat supply. Can’t believe these factors wouldn’t affect people over time. The good news: Once again, I am making changes. Paying more attention to what goes in but taking into consideration my dietary needs. Less meat, more soy. Trying to eat more organically. Definitely, fresh over processed. Too much junk out there in stores. I know it’s taking a toll. How can it not? I think there is a connection between meat (esp. meat not organically raised) and fibroid growth.

Did find an interesting paper that discusses risk factors associated with uterine fibroid tumors. Scroll down to the “Diet” section. It talks about red meat consumption and compares vegetarian and nonvegetarian premenopausal women. There is information about how changing your diet can alter estrogen metabolism. Studies show that a high fiber/low fat diet reduces estrogen levels. Also, relates digestion to this whole process.

[Edited to add: I uploaded the PDF file of this paper. If the link listed above does not work for you, try here: Etiology and Pathogenesis of Uterine Leiomyomas: A Review (.pdf). Also, here’s a link to download the free Adobe Reader software to view PDF files.]

Here’s a WebMD link on what to eat if you have fibroids (scroll near the bottom). Talks about a low-estrogen diet and has vitamin information.

Please post what dietary changes you have made, any information gathered, or questions about fibroids and diet.

——————–

Related Posts:
Is there a natural alternative therapy or treatment for uterine fibroids?
If soy contributes to fibroid growth, I’m in trouble…

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37 Responses to “Can I change my diet to help with fibroids?”

  1. Kulvinder Says:

    has anyone tried Vitalzym or Neprionol to shrink fibroids

  2. EclecticGeek Says:

    Kulvinder,

    You had a duplicate post so I deleted one. I hope that’s okay.

    Please see this alternative therapy post in the Forum. One person has posted about Neprinol.

    Is there a natural alternative therapy or treatment for uterine fibroids?

  3. Ankhlife Says:

    I think the issue of diet is very relative to fibroids. Somewhere along the line our bodies have become hyper sensitive and so over burdened by chemical toxicity and /or over processed foods that physical ailments have resulted. To help with my dietary changes I bought, “Healing Fibroids: A Doctor’s Guide to a Natural Cure” by Warshowsky & Oumano, on Amazon.com. There are many others there that may suit you individually as well.
    Keep up the positive support on this site 🙂 It is very much needed. Hysterectomies are not for everyone. Women should carefully research the side effects of it also. The organ wasn’t put in our bodies just to bear children and has connection to other bodily functions.

  4. EclecticGeek Says:

    Ankhlife,

    I agree with you. Modifying the diet is important both with estrogen metabolism and with reducing exposure to toxins. I have a post that discusses fibroid risks factors. I based it on a paper that reviewed clinical studies:
    What are the risk factors or causes of uterine fibroid tumors?

    It mentions diet modifications and exposure to xenoestrogens. I’m hoping more researchers will investigate these areas in the future.

    My advice is always thoroughly research any treatment option. All have side effects and risks. It is up to the individual woman to weigh the risks of any therapy against the benefits and make an informed decision.

    Thanks for contributing your thoughts and kind words! 🙂

  5. sina Says:

    I personally have tried all kinds of diets to get rid of the fibroids. I became a vegan, only ate veggies, fasted, cut out sugars, took Vitalzym tablets, exercised like crazy, etc. But the fibroids still grew 3 times their size. I don’t deny that eating less processed and fatty foods can help, I just don’t believe diet is the answer for healing. there are too many mysteries with this disease.

  6. EclecticGeek Says:

    Hi sina,

    That’s why I think of diet modifications in terms of modulating estrogen metabolism and not in terms of “shrinking fibroids”. Unfortunately, until more researchers study and publish credible data on diet and fibroids, it will remain somewhat speculative. I’m hoping in the future to see more articles on this topic in peer-reviewed medical and science journals.

    You are right about the mystery. I think the more people we get to look at this fibroid problem, the more of the enigma will be understood.

  7. Pam Says:

    You are all so right about the mystery. I’ve read that meat feeds fibroids. I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years. I have never been overweight. I exercise. Sounds like I am NOT a candidate for huge fibroids, yet I have them. Plus, I hate to say, I have been smoking like a chimney for over 20 years. Smoking is supposed to suppress fibroids. Well, hasn’t with me. Truth be told, they know NOTHING about our hard, round, white, ugly lumps.

  8. EclecticGeek Says:

    Hey Pam,

    I mentioned this in another thread but there’s some pretty decent research going on out there. Of course, not nearly enough because of the small funding budgets for this medical problem. Some things will never get the attention they deserve because there’s always someone willing to come up with an untested “miracle pill”.

    I’m hoping to eventually develop some type of online Journal Club to discuss fibroid research in all areas (surgical, non-surgical, alternative). This way, we can look at the science-based possibilities on the horizon.

    I know it’s frustrating but I think if we all start demanding good answers, people will take notice, non-profit funding will increase, for-profit companies will see the market and work on stuff, changes will happen. It won’t occur overnight but it will get the ball rolling.

  9. Tina (1/24) Says:

    Hi there,

    I thought I’d share my experience with diet changes I made due to fibroids as these changes made a HUGE difference with how I was feeling.

    I was diagnosed with a 10 cm fibroid in May 2005. An MRI later that month confirmed this. Needless to say, I freaked out, not fully knowing what it was that I had and decided right there and then, in the dr.’s office, to change everything. I stopped coffee immediately and switched to organic produce that very day. I also consulted a naturopath who had helped me many years ago. He proposed a 3-step program to cleanse my system that would last an entire year.

    Step 1 – cleanse the colon. I took special liquids in the am and pm to help regulate my system and get my bowels working efficiently. I switched to a 75% veggie / 25% protein diet. I drank lots of water and had to do some physical movement 30 minutes a day. Avoid sugar, white flour, and milk. I did this for a couple of months.

    Step 2 – cleanse the liver. Continue with the above foods but added special liquids to assist with cleansing the liver. Idea here is that fibroids are formed because of excessive estrogen that our bodies are unable to get rid off. Our liver plays a paramount role in ridding our bodies of toxins, including this estrogen surplus. Cleanse, fortify the liver and ensure my digestion is working properly and my body will expell this estrogen.

    Step 3 – Fortify the liver. Same diet, more liquids.

    Results: somewhat AMAZING!
    Prior to this regime, my abdomen would bloat out to the point I thought I would explode. I had intense cramps, constipation and was lathargic for approximately 10 days every month. I spent so much time sleeping on the couch. My dh must have thought I was the laziest person ever. But he stuck it out!
    After about 4 months on this regime, my life had completely turned around. No more bloating. Energy through the roof. My 3 day period still had 2 heavy flow days but it was more fluid (more liquidy) than before. I was completely regular. I was upbeat and happy, and even lost 10 lbs in the process. In fact, even without wings, I felt I could fly. Things could not be better.

    There was one catch, though. My naturopath had told me he could not only help me with my symptoms but also with dissolving the fibroid. A second MRI at the 1 year mark should that it had not shrank. Instead, it had grown just a smidge, and that was dissappointing to me.

    This growth was insignificant and my dr. still felt comfortable continuing our wait and see approach. But I felt that if this fibroid continued to grow, my options for removing it may lessen. And that’s when I decided to have an AM back in January.

    Today, I continue to follow Step 1 of this regime, although not as rigidly. My body feels strong and energetic when I pay attention to what I put into it. So, why change such a good thing.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share.

  10. sk Says:

    i saw my chines doctor yesterday and he reminded me that if the symptoms change the size of the thing is not so relevant.
    great story, there are so many layers and levels to what these symptoms mean to all of us. how they change our lives, what they ask of us, how we dream into them and are moved by them.
    i recently dreamed, literally, that i gave birth to my fibroids and they were a huge 28lb river rock, shaped and formed by centuries of river flow. when i worked on it with my therapist this intensely dreamy and deep part of me emerged, a piece of me that lives in wonder, in awe at the moments of everyday.
    living this more, dreaming more, being shaped and formed by the river of life…. getting creative with how the body is dreaming, this is also part of my journey

    thanks everyone for what and how we share with one another

  11. EclecticGeek Says:

    Tina:
    Thanks for the detailed comment on your diet. I agree that making dietary changes go a long way in improving your health. I know once I started eating better in preparation for my fibroid procedures, I felt better and lost weight. Several months post-op, I’m still following what I started.

    I always appreciate seeing the process of anyone making medical decisions. Best wishes with your recovery!

    sk:
    You are right. The fibroids do have an impact. That’s why I created this post:
    What makes you mad, sad, or glad when you think about your fibroids?

    I am blessed now to be able to focus on the “glad”.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Take care.

  12. Tina (1/24) Says:

    EG, have you ever consulted a naturopath, homeopath, nutritionist or other such soul to guide you in your nutrition? Would you mind sharing what changes you have made to your diet? Or, if you’ve already posted this, where can I find the thread? This is an area of personal interest to me as I continue to work towards bettering my health now after the AM. Thanks for all your input!

  13. EclecticGeek Says:

    Hey Tina,

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to this page. I really plan on posting more about what I’m doing but I can’t seem to find the time. I promise I will.

    I haven’t consulted anyone about my dietary changes. I’m doing it on my own and have shed close to 50 pounds in about a year. Everything in moderation. I eat three meals a day. These are portion controlled because I eat just about everything out of a beautiful Japanese soup bowl. I also snack. I don’t allow myself to get hungry during the day.

    So, major changes:

    * oatmeal for breakfast
    * not adding any additional sweetener (artificial or otherwise) to anything except a little honey in my oatmeal
    * drinking hot decaffeinated green tea (unsweetened) during the day
    * cutting back on meat and eating mostly soy and beans for protein
    * lots of fruit and vegetables
    * limit fried foods and use olive oil

    My normal dietary habits anyway but they help:

    * I don’t have a sweet tooth so limiting sweets (cakes, pies, ice cream, etc.) is not a problem. I do occasionally have a little chocolate, especially dark.
    * Not really a bread person either so limiting that also wasn’t a problem. I do occasionally have whole wheat pasta. I haven’t cut out white rice because I like the taste. I will substitute barley sometimes. I replaced white potatoes with sweet potatoes.

    Balanced diet. Everything in moderation. When I do splurge, I don’t beat myself up about it. Food was put here to enjoy not to stress over. I don’t even count calories. Food is a blessing to me and I treat it that way.

    I know you saw that soy post I left on the alternative therapy page. I’ll add it on this page in another comment since it’s directly related.

    Thanks for the questions. I’m also trying my best to stay healthy post-procedure. We’ll talk about this more.

  14. EclecticGeek Says:

    This comment was originally posted by me on the alternative therapy page:

    Ahhh, the controversy of soy. As Jess stated, there is evidence to support both arguments. Some feel since it is estrogenic (binds to estrogen receptors), soy would contribute to the problem. Others feel it acts as a weak estrogen. Therefore, soy would bind to the receptors, block your estrogen from binding, and be beneficial.

    I found a great paper a few days ago put out by the UK Food Standards Agency. It discusses everything you would ever want to know about soy and phytoestrogens.

    UK Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) Phytoestrogen Report

    This report of the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) considers the public health implications of exposure to phytoestrogens in the diet. The report was drafted by a specially convened Working Group of the Committee with the following terms of reference:

    To advise on the health implications of dietary phytoestrogens through review of published scientific research and the Food Standards Agency’s phytoestrogen research programme.

    The paper is pretty long (a few hundred pages and no, I’m not kidding) but worth digging through if you’re interested in soy. It’s the most complete report I’ve found so far. Definitely, a geek’s dream! 🙂

    After reviewing the published scientific data, the group concluded that more studies are needed. There is some evidence emerging in these areas but we need more:

    1. Just how is soy digested? What is the role of the gut microflora in the metabolism and bioavailability of phytoestrogens?

    2. How are phytoestrogens absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted (pharmacokinetics)?

    3. What is involved with the receptor interaction? Estrogen receptors are transcription factors so what’s happening when pytoestrogens bind? Which genes are turned on?

    4. What else are phytoestrogens doing in the body besides binding to receptors?

    Since there are so many questions, I eat soy. It has not caused me problems and I really like the taste. I’m limiting my meat these days so soy and beans are good substitutes for me. Having said this, because there are still so many questions, I understand being cautious. Tina, thanks for the recommendation. At least now I have a guideline for comparison. One of these days, I’m hoping to write a separate post about soy because it is a fascinating topic.

    A couple of other links if you don’t have time for the long paper:

    USDA-Iowa State University Database on the Isoflavone Content of Foods
    Pretty neat because it allows you to compare the isoflavone (phytoestrogen) content in various foods.

    If that link doesn’t work, you can grab the data table here:
    USDA-Iowa State University Database on the Isoflavone Content of Foods, Release 1.3 – 2002

    Medline Plus entry for Soy

    (Remember you need Adobe Reader to view the PDF files. It’s a free download.)

    Whew! I’m done… for now. 😎

  15. Be careful Says:

    I vere between healthy eating and gorging on processed foods but i’m slowly trying to improve, so your comments are really useful….

    have you seen this web article:
    http://www.drlam.com/opinion/firboids.cfm#fibroid_Protocol

  16. Elocine Says:

    I surely hope the answer to this question is “yes”!!! I’m 30 years old (no children) and found out last March that I have seven fibroids (the largest of which is 7 cm), primarily on the outside of my uterus. I’ve heard of several instances where women have reduced the size of their fibroids by eating primarily organic fruits and vegetables, reducing meat, and eliminating dairy. Of course, there’s also not much room for alcohol in this equation.

    As someone who drank a glass of wine daily for the last 3 years, had meat (beef, pork, and chicken), yogurt, and canned vegetables about 5 times a week, and ate cheese at will, I can’t help but think that my diet played a role. Both my mother and grandmother had fibroids, but neither one of them drank or consumed large amounts of meat or dairy products. It also bears mentioning that neither one of them had fibroids as large as mine (especially not at my age).

    For the past two months, I’ve swapped beef, pork, and chicken for salmon (a few times a week). I can’t remember the last time I touched a can opener to prepare vegetables and have been getting a TON of use out of my steamer. I occasionally eat non-dairy yogurt and have made high fiber cereal and fresh fruit breakfast staples. I also eat sandwiches (on high fiber bread, of course) made from almond or cashew butter or fresh vegetables.

    For the most part, I’m optimistic about being able to halt the growth of my fibroids (or maybe even shrink them), but I have moments where I feel like I’m wasting my time. It’s very frustrating when all you can do is turn your body into a science experiment and hope for the best. Oh well, at the very least, I can look at my little “experiment” as a chance to get myself ready for surgery (which will be some time next year!!!).

  17. Kim Says:

    Wow! Stumbled upon this site using Delicious. After reading everyone’s comments, I feel like I’m not alone. I am 40 and have about 8 fibroids, the biggest golf ball size that have caused all the crazy similar symptoms as mentioned over and over again on this blog! My invitro specialist recommends surgical removal so they won’t interfere when I want to have kids. I’m trying to not have to have surgery so I’m doing research online. Going to try drastically changing my diet like Tina above. If it doesn’t reduce the fibroids, at least prevent them from growing bigger. Also, the other plus is perhaps changing my diet will prevent other growths in the future and cancer. I’m on Advil as I am type this due to the bad, bad cramp. Staring at possible surgery and being in pain a lot, I appreciate good health so much that I’m desperate to make food changes! So happy to have stumbled upon this blog.

  18. Ginger Says:

    I have recently started only eating organic fruits and vegetables and cut dairy out of my diet. I don’t have any symptom except that my belly is getting larger and larger. Has anyone tried the following 2 products to remove fibroids?

    One is the Fibroid Clear http://www.fibroidclear.com/
    The second is Fibroid Buster http://www.dherbs.com/store/fibroid-buster-cleanse-and-regimen-p-318.html

    Has anyone used these? What were your results? Which one would you recommend?

    • Dee Says:

      hi Ginger ,

      I have tried both , but see no results, buti can’t afford to take them continuosly, so maybe that’s why.

  19. Veronica Says:

    Here’s an article on diet and fibroids, pretty much follows what you are saying, but added drinking enough fluids – I know that’s the one thing I probably don’t do as well, I am not sure wine counts, anyway check it out. http://ezinearticles.com/?Foods-That-Shrink-Fibroids—Components-of-a-Fibroid-Diet&id=2407580

  20. Amy Says:

    Hi Everybody! YAY!!!

    FYI — I contacted WordPress and they were able to fix the blog!!! Still no sign of Eclectic Geek herself, but at least most things seem to work.

    I’ve asked if it was an actual malfunction or the domain mapping wasn’t paid up or whatever…. and will continue to follow through on this is just in case.

    I really hope the whole thing is working again and all the regulars come back!

    (for those who get ALL the comments emailed to them, sorry for all the repeat posts, but I want the message to get through to everyone!)

  21. Lovlee Says:

    I just found out two days ago that I have two uterine fibroids and on cyst on my right ovary. Still adjusting to the news. I originally thought I was expecting my second bundle of joy…but instead…two tumors :0! LOL! They are not too large at this point… anxious to learn all I can learn. Very excited about this blog. Lots of good info. on it. I am a little stressed because I hope to have another baby in the near future…I don’t know how my new diagnosis will affect my chances. I have read some pretty scary stuff about tumors growing with the baby etc. Oh well…I do know that God is in control…but it is still a little scary. It is not even 6am, and I have been up since 4am. Not able to sleep… too much on my mind. Thank you all for your stories and the links…I will check them out soon.

    Best of luck to you all…

    LT

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  23. Darlalou Says:

    Well I am 53 years old. I was just diagnosed with crohns disease..my Dr. Sent me for a cat scan and the nurse informed me that I have some “major fibroids”. I have battled with fibroids from my mid 30’s First the Dr. gave me injections of Lupron which puts you through temporary menopause.. they grew back..then they were lasered out..they grew back.. and the last procedure I had was similar to a c section surgery in the hospital for 3 days and now i find out they grew back again. I do have to wonder ..I am a vegetarian since the age of 14 and I probably eat a soy product in some form every day. This is all new news and I am trying to get my head wrapped around the Crohns dianosis. I am wondering if their is any connection between the 2..crohns and fibroids????

  24. Marketing Guidebook Says:

    Fairly amusing post. Couldn’t be written much better. Browsing this post reminds me of my old friend. She constantly kept talking about this. I will forward this post and I’m pretty sure it will be a good read for ’em. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Tesha Setser Says:

    Fleets Phosphate ! I have to have colonoscopys regularly and find the foul taste can be mitigated drinking ice cold ginger ale. That and the fact it works pretty well. Provided you are doing it for a medical exam. Otherwise….you are in for a night of pain.

  26. Donna Says:

    last year i was diagnosized of uterian multiple fibroids. i have symtoms like heavy and long bleeding with clots, heavy vaginal discharge immediately after my periods, urine urgency and even l was feeling that the fibroid was in my cervix, in short i felt it with my finger. l am 39 years old and want a family as soon as i get married, which may be in August. pls does any one have similar symtoms

  27. fav Says:

    heyy

    has anybody heard of Apple Cider vineger and baking soda, if yes, did you try it and what do you think. please who has a definite answer of get fibroid away naturally, i will pay the charges to do it. help help help plsssssss.

  28. buy pharmaceuticals Says:

    I’ve been visiting your blog for a while now and I always find a gem in your new posts. Thanks for sharing

    • Jane Says:

      I heard of drinking apple cider vinegar and black strap molasses. I tried it, but I found both quite disgusting. I couldn’t continue to drink them even though I heard they way were good for people with fibroids.

  29. Health Care Professionals Says:

    Very interesting issue that after a very successful. Nicely written article good work !

  30. Health Consultant Says:

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  31. Estella Polinick Says:

    Years of researching…but no avail. I’m still looking for answer& trying to stay motivated daily. Although, excercise,diet,spiritual&mental state play a huge role.

  32. this moment Says:

    this moment..
    thank you all for sharing, recently i had seen a Bio-magnetic therapists, who treated for 3 times and said that the fibroids will not grown, its gone.. Very glad to hear this, and felt very positive after.
    Since i have also been having loose motion (diareea) i decided to check out the Blood Group diet, and after being a vegetarian for 25 yrs, i started to eat meat(mostly organic)! today i felt the lump bigger, still have to check up..but fear is definitely there…. so my beloved friends pls do check out Bio Magnetic therapy…love n luck


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