If you suffer from uterine fibroids, you know how miserable they can make you. These common, noncancerous growths (also called leiomyomas) often don’t cause any symptoms — but when they do, it’s no fun at all. Heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, constipation, and even backaches can be a result of fibroids, which can be diagnosed by your healthcare provider during a routine exam or ultrasound.
Luckily, fibroids are almost always benign, and can be treated. There are even some natural ways to shrink fibroids and ease your symptoms! Here are three simple things you can try today.
Seek out the sun.
Going outside for 10 minutes daily in a tank top and shorts could shrink fibroids by 75 percent, suggests an animal study in the journal Epidemiology. The reason? Sun exposure helps your body make vitamin D-3, a nutrient shown to prevent abnormal cell growth. Stuck inside? Supplement with 2,000 IUs of vitamin D-3 daily.
Sip green tea.
It’s rich in EGCG, a compound that can shrink fibroids by a third and reduce symptom severity by 37 percent when consumed daily, reveals a study in the International Journal of Women’s Health. The researchers say EGCG inhibits the growth of fibroid cells and triggers cell death. Aim for four 10-oz. servings daily.
Try a diet tweak.
Cut back on red meat, which can lift levels of fibroid-triggering estrogen, and eat three to five servings of veggies a day. They’re rich in fiber, which binds to excess estrogen to flush it from the body. Tip: Aim to include cruciferous veggies like kale and broccoli, which have a compound that boosts estrogen excretion.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.