Fibroids are benign growths that often build on uterine walls. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, many women develop uterine fibroids by age 50. Symptoms of fibroid growth include heavy menstrual bleeding, enlargement of the lower abdomen, lower back pain and painful sex. The cause of these growths is unknown; however, the illness may run in families. Hormone levels, specifically estrogen and progesterone, control the size and origin of the fibroids. One risk factor for uterine fibroids is diet and weight. A healthy lifestyle that includes a change in eating habits may be one way to prevent or shrink growths.
Eliminate or reduce the quantities of red meat and ham in your diet. According to the U.S. Health Department website Women's Health, consuming these animal products puts you at a higher risk for the development of fibroids.
Increase the amount of green vegetables you eat. Vegetables may include lettuce, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts or spinach. Eat a salad before each meal, and add at least one green vegetable to both lunch and dinner. Use the color as your key: Any green vegetable has the potential to protect you from developing fibroids.
Lose weight if you are obese. Create meal plans that decrease you calorie intake. For example, consider cutting portions in half: If you normally eat two chicken breasts, prepare just one. This should effectively bring down your calories.
Add whole grains, bran and other high-fiber foods to your meals. One side effect of fibroids may be constipation; additional fiber may help eliminate this problem.
Drink plenty of water daily. Monitor your water intake to ensure you drink at least eight glasses every day.
Exercise should be part of your plan to prevent fibroids, especially if you are overweight. Create a fitness routine that includes both cardiovascular and muscle-building exercises. That should reduce your weight and improve your overall health. The National Uterine Fibroid Foundation also recommends taking anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen, to help manage pain and shrink fibroid growths.
Excessive bleeding from fibroids may lead to anemia. If you begin having heavy periods or excessive spotting between cycles, see your doctor. If you are experiencing pelvic pain and bleeding, do not assume it is fibroids. Let your doctor examine you to rule out other more serious conditions.