Complete prevention of uterine fibroids is not possible but the risk can be reduced by various methods. The methods include healthy food habits and exercise.
How To Prevent Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are the growth of abnormal mass of tissues in the muscular layer of the endometrium. It is a non-cancerous tumor. It is one of the most common occurrences in women. In most of the cases, the disease has no symptoms as the fibroids are too small to affect the health. However, in some cases, due to the rapid growth of the fibroids, various symptoms are experienced by the patient. These symptoms vary from menstrual disorders to abdominal pain and stomach bulging. Although the complete prevention for fibroid development is not possible, the idea is to reduce the risk of fibroid by identifying and minimizing the occurrence of risk factors. For instance, obese women are at higher risk for developing uterine fibroids as compared to non-obese women. Following methods can be useful in the prevention of uterine fibroids:
Exercise. Exercise helps in reducing the risk of developing uterine fibroids. Studies indicate that women who exercise are less likely to have uterine fibroids as compared to those who do not exercise. A number of hours of exercise also affect the risk of fibroids. Women who perform the exercise for more than 7 hours a week are at less risk as compared to women with 2 hours or less than 2 hours of exercise per week. Further, vigorous exercise is more effective as compared to light exercise1.
Weight Management. As the weight of the women increases, the fat cells increase. Fat cells increase the production of estrogen. The receptors on the cells of uterine fibroid grow in the presence of estrogen. Thus, women should manage weight to reduce the risk of developing fibroids. Obese women have a 10-20% risk of developing fibroids as compared to normal women1.
Healthy Diet. Diet also plays an important role in reducing the risk of development of uterine fibroids. The diet performs various important functions. It reduces the free radical generation and also helps in managing the weight. The processed food should be avoided and the dairy products should be incorporated in the diet1. Dairy products contain calcium and other minerals that prevent the formation of uterine fibroids.
Antioxidants. Antioxidants are the substance that scavenges free radicals and reduces oxidative stress. Increase in oxidative stress leads to the protein expression that may lead to the development of fibroids. Thus, supplementation of antioxidants helps to reduce the risk of uterine fibroids. Resveratrol reduced the protein expression of collagen type 1 A and reduces the cell viability of uterine fibroids2.
Exposure To Toxic Chemicals. Endocrine disruptive chemicals causes an imbalance in the hormonal concentration. In the female, the level of estrogen and progesterone is increased due to exposure to such chemicals leading to the development of fibroids. These chemicals include diethylstilbestrol and genistein3. Other chemicals that increase the risk include fertilizers, BPA, dyes, and paints.
Lifestyle Changes. Various lifestyle changes should be incorporated to reduce the risk of uterine fibroids. Limit the consumption of alcohol4. Alcohol increases the level of hormones in the body.
Liver Detoxification. Increased level of estrogen is primarily responsible for the development and growth of fibroid as these cells have increased expression of estrogen receptors. The estrogen level can be controlled by increasing its metabolism. Metabolism is done primarily by the liver. Liver detoxification helps reduce risk of uterine fibroid4.
Vitamin And Mineral Supplementation. Vitamin and mineral supplementation are also proved to be beneficial in reducing the risk of uterine fibroids. Studies indicate that the deficiency of vitamin D is a risk factor for uterine fibroids5. Vitamin D supplementation helps in uterine fibroids. Incorporation of dairy products are recommended as these products contains a sufficient quantity of calcium and magnesium.
Methods for reducing the risk of development of uterine fibroids include exercise, weight management, avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals and liver detoxification.
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