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Let’s talk: Fibroids

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Fibroids are the most common benign tumour and gynaecological disorder that affect us women, and the risk of developing fibroids increases in perimenopause because of the hormonal changes.

This hormone imbalance may be a progesterone issue rather than just an oestrogen issue, which is the most common line of thought. The risk of developing a fibroid is 1 in 3 women aged 30-50 years old (NHS) but some statistics put this as high as 70% in women over the age of 40.

You may not know you have a fibroid as they often cause no symptoms and are not easily undetected in a physical examination. An ultrasound is required for confirmation of fibroids being present. However, depending on where your fibroid (or fibroids – you can have more than one!) are located, and the size of them can then also determine symptoms such as:

  1. Heavy or prolonged bleeding

  2. Abnormal bleeding

  3. Pain or pressure, especially in the pelvic region

  4. Bloating

  5. Infertility

  6. Constipation

  7. Bladder issues such as frequent urination or difficulty emptying the bladder

The are four different types of fibroids:

  1. intramural– the most common type of fibroid, which develop in the muscle wall of the womb

  2. subserosal– fibroids that develop outside the wall of the womb into the pelvis

  3. submucosal– fibroids that develop in the muscle layer beneath the womb's inner lining and grow into the cavity of the womb

  4. pendunculated – fibroids that grown on a long stalk

Different types of fibroids

Source: Midwest Institute for NonSurgical Therapy

If a fibroid (or fibroids) is diagnosed the actions could be:

  1. To do nothing if it asymptomatic for it may disappear over time, particularly over menopause

  2. Medications to help with the symptoms of fibroids such as the uterine coil or the contraceptive pill

  3. To remove it surgically. The type of surgery will depend on the size and location of the fibroids.

  4. A hysterectomy which is often recommended in menopause and if the fibroids are large in size

You should always consult with your GP if you suspect or have a fibroid to discuss the options that are right for you.

BUT, also consider the question:

“Why have I got fibroids in the first place?”

As a functional medicine nutritionist we always talk about lifestyle interventions first. So when we are talking about fibroids, we go back to the imbalances that may be contributing to the growth of a fibroid in the first place:

  1. Increased adipose tissue

  2. Increased insulin

  3. Increased inflammation

  4. Impaired hormone clearance

  5. Poor gut health

  6. Hormone imbalance including stress and cortisol

  7. Genetics

So the diet and lifestyle interventions that should be considered for every woman who has a fibroid include:

  1. Hormone balancing – using functional testing and diet and lifestyle interventions you can balance your hormones

  2. Improved detoxification – liver health and gut health are vital!

  3. Gut health – you do not want to be constipated as this exacerbates hormone imbalance!

  4. Balanced blood sugars – get those insulin levels under control

  5. The right exercise (us women need to build muscle as we age!)

  6. Nutrition – works on all of these parts, and there are some key foods that help support hormones

  7. Weight – reducing adipose tissue

So if you have a fibroid or you have had a fibroid removed, it is still important to get your hormone balance in check to ensure that:

  1. They don’t get bigger

  2. That you don’t get more than one

  3. They don’t come back if you have had them removed

There is so much that can be done to prevent them in the first place as well as stop them growing or multiplying.

If you want to know more about fibroid interventions then book a discovery call now to find out more.





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