Fibroids and cysts are commonly encountered medical issues seen among women in child bearing age. Fibroids or uterine fibroids are abnormal growths that develop within the uterus. These growths are usually non-cancerous and do not increase the risk of uterine cancer.(1) Most women develop fibroids at some point in life. They are not always symptomatic and thus can go unnoticed. They are often detected during a prenatal ultrasound or pelvic examination. Fibroids can vary in size and appearance. They can be minute and not easily felt, but they can also be large in size such that they extend the uterus and belly. There can be single fibroid or multiple fibroids.(1)
Cysts (Ovarian Cysts) are a condition characterised by development of fluid filled sacs around the ovaries.(2) These cysts are formed during ovulation, i.e. monthly release of eggs from the ovaries by females. As seen with fibroids, cysts can also exist without any symptoms and can go unnoticed. In most of the cases, cysts are harmless (non-cancerous). A very small portion of ovarian cysts are malignant (cancerous) and are usually seen among older women. There are 2 types of non-cancerous cysts: follicle cysts which occur when a follicle fails to release the egg, and corpus luteum cyst, which is formed when there is a fluid collection in the corpus luteum. There are various other types of cysts that include dermoid cysts, cystadenomas, endometriomas. Another commonly encountered cyst is known as a PCODs or poly-cystic ovarian disorder syndrome. This is characterised multiple cysts and can interfere with pregnancy.
Fibroids and cysts often produce similar symptoms. The difference between the two is that fibroids are largely made of dense tissue and found within the uterus. Cysts are fluid filled and develop over the ovaries. Majorly fibroids and cysts are treated depending on the size and the location and how the development of these is obstructing the normal functioning of the uterus and ovaries. Depending on these, either they are left for just observation or a surgical removal can also be advised. There are a lot of home remedies also which is known to be beneficial for the fibroids and cysts.
Home Remedies for Fibroids and Cysts
The commonly recommended home remedies for management of Fibroid and Cysts are listed below:
Dietary Modifications As a Home Remedy for Managing Fibroids and Cysts:
Fibroids are caused by elevated level of estrogen in body. It is recommended to modify diet to control the estrogen level in body. There are some food items that are estrogen rich and best avoided in case of fibroids and cysts. Some of these estrogen-rich foods include:
Soy: Soy contains something known as Xenoestrogens which has the potential to increase the estrogen level in the body.(3) It is advised to avoid anything that contains soy products such as soy milk, soy chunks, soy protein powder, soybeans etc.
Excessive Sugar and Carbs: Excessive sugar and carbohydrates elevates the blood glucose level which in turn increases the estrogen level.(4) It advised to replace carbohydrates with healthy fat. It is wise to cut down on breads, pasta, rice etc.
Conventional Meats and Dairy Products: Bottled milk and conventional meat found commercially contain chemicals and other toxic substances that play with the hormone levels in our body.(5) It is suggested to opt for grass-fed meat and dairy products instead.
BPAs and PFLAs: Drinks consumed from plastic bottles contain traces of BPA which mimics estrogen and thus can alter the hormone levels.(6) It is advised to avoid drinking water from plastic bottles especially if the bottles have been heated or left out in the sun. Similarly, food stuff cooked in Teflon cookware can contain PFLAs which mimics estrogen.
Natural Juice Remedies for Fibroids and Cysts:
A natural juice is recommended as a home remedy for fibroid and cysts. The ingredients for this juice can also be taken individually if desired. This juice requires the following ingredients:
- Ginger – for pain relieve
- Lemon – for cleansing action
- Turmeric – for pain relieve
- Apple – as natural sweetener
- Beet leaves – rich source of iron
- Collard greens – source of cruciferous vegetables
- Spinach – rich source of iron.
The juice is prepared by adding all the above ingredients in a blender. It is recommended to have this juice every morning before breakfast for 3 to 4 months. It is best if the ingredients can be sourced from the farms rather than supermarkets to avoid adulteration.
Castor Oil Massage for Fibroids and Cysts:
Castor Oil Massage is known to benefit the reproductive system which includes management of fibroids and cysts. It is important to remember that the massage should be done towards end of menstrual cycle and beginning of ovulation. It should be avoided during menstruation. The massage can be done 3 to 4 times a day for about 4 months. This massage is done by gently massaging the belly and lower abdomen with castor oil and covering the area with a cotton flannel. Light heat is then applied from above the flannel for 45 minutes.
Other methods for management of symptoms (pain and discomfort) of fibroids and cysts and listed below:
OTC Medications: Mild pain associated with fibroids and cyst can be managed with NSAIDS such as paracetamol or ibuprofen available over the counter. For severe pain it is recommended to consult a doctor before taking any medications.
Massage: In addition to castor oil massages, gentle massages over lower pelvis, thighs, buttocks and lower abdomen can help in taking off the muscle tension and thus reduce pain naturally.
Exercise: Exercise and yoga can help in weight management, muscle strengthening and combat insulin resistance. This in turn can help in management of fibroids and cyst, especially PCODS.
Heat: Applying heat over lower abdomen can increase blood flow and reduce pain and discomfort. A heating pad or a hot towel can be used to apply heat over lower abdomen and lower back.
Weight Loss: Weight loss can help in controlling hormonal imbalance and also help with management of pain and discomfort.
Fibroids and cyst are commonly seen among women who are in child bearing age. Fibroids are uterine growths consisting of dense tissues whereas cysts are fluid filled sacs found on the ovaries. The common recommendations for management of these through home remedies include weight loss and dietary management. Other methods include castor oil massages, heat applications, exercise etc. However, it is advised to consult a physician before following any of these methods.
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