Fibroids are benign tumours or myomas of the smooth muscle and connective tissue of the uterus and are present in approximately 30-50% of women so they are very common. They can form on the inside or outside of the uterus and can occur in women of any age but are predominantly diagnosed in women in their thirties or forties. Fibroid growth is driven by estrogen and in women with estrogen dominance, they can grow rapidly and become quite large and can lead to symptoms such as pain, bleeding etc. Estrogen Dominance is very common during perimenopause hence fibroids issues are more common at this time.
SYMPTOMS OF FIBROID
Most fibroids remain small and asymptomatic but if they grow outside physiological levels they can cause the following symptoms:
- Heavy bleeding or painful periods
- Feeling of fullness in the pelvic area
- Enlargement of the lower abdomen
- Frequent urination
- Pain during sex
- Lower back pain
- Complications during pregnancy and labour
When working with women with fibroids, I first of all check the size of the fibroids. If they are small, they can be managed by diet and lifestyle factors that can improve estrogen dominance. Balancing estrogen can take the fuel out of the fibroid and reduce the likelihood of rapid growth and physiological symptoms. However, very large fibroids may be out of the scope of nutritional treatment and surgical or medical intervention may be required. In this case, I would support the medical approach by treating the hormone imbalances that may have caused the fibroids in the first place. This would ensure that that no further issues would appear from diet and lifestyle factors.