Uterine fibroids are common in women of child-bearing age. They are benign (non-cancerous) growths that appear in the uterus, usually do not cause any symptoms and are the result of excess estrogen production. If the fibroids grow larger, however, they might cause pain and heavier and longer periods. Certain medications and self-care strategies can help shrink them, which will alleviate symptoms.
Talk to your doctor about medications. They act on estrogen production to shrink fibroids. Medications like Lupron and Synarel stop the chemical processes that trigger menstruation. This causes estrogen levels to drop and your period to stop as long as you are taking the medicine.
You can also use Danazol, which mimics male hormones. Like the above medications, it decreases estrogen production and eliminates menstruation. Danazol might cause certain side effects like weight gain, depression, anxiety, acne, headaches and masculinizing effects like hair growth and a deeper voice.
Watch what you eat. Certain foods can contribute to excess estrogen production, while others can counteract it. Stay away from foods with added hormones; this includes conventionally produced meat and dairy products. If you want to continue eating these foods, look for organic versions that do not use these hormones in their animals. Increase your consumption of foods with phytoestrogens, like whole soy foods and beans. Phytoestrogens act similar to estrogen in your body and can help keep regular estrogen from attaching itself to receptors in the fibroids, which fuel their growth.
Maintain a healthy weight and exercise. Our hormones are metabolized in body fat. The more fat you have, the more estrogen will be produced. If you are overweight, losing those extra pounds can decrease the amount of estrogen in your body. Work out regularly; this also lowers estrogen levels. This applies to aerobic activity like walking, running and biking, not strength training or things like yoga.
Consider using alternative medicine as part of your treatment strategy. Several traditional Chinese medicine formulas work to decrease estrogen levels, which will shrink your fibroids. The following treatments have a long history of use for this purpose: Augmented Rambling Powder, Dong Quai and Peony Powder, Cinnamon Twig and Poria Pill and Four-Substance Decoction. Take as directed on the product label.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) bases treatments on many individual factors apart from the medical condition. Visiting a licensed practitioner is the best way to find the formulas most appropriate for you personally.