Uterine fibroids are benign cysts that can grow inside or outside of a woman’s womb, termed the uterus. There are many articles that address a pre-menopausal woman’s risk of fibroids, but not as many for post-menopausal women. Hysterectomy does not have to be your future. Living with the bloat doesn’t have to be your future either.

Most women can live their whole life with little fibroids and not experience any problems, and maybe not even realize they even have them. But fibroids can grow rapidly and cause a lot of lower pelvic pain, even radiating into the groin or leg. When large enough, the abdomen will swell or bloat causing you to want to wear stretchy pants, and possibly have to empty your bladder more frequently. Constipation is pretty common with fibroids.

In some cases, if the fibroid is large enough, it may actually cause tremendous discomfort and difficulty walking, sleeping or bending. In an older woman, I think it’s the pain that drives a woman into the OB/GYN office, to find out what’s going on. Contrarily, a woman who is younger and still cycling may have symptoms such as heavy bleeding, subsequent anemia, fatigue, infertility and of course pain, including dysorgasmia.

I’d like to offer you some natural strategies to help you try to shrink these, because so often the first thing offered is surgery. While that may be necessary in some cases, I’m a holistic-thinking pharmacist and I believe there are life-changing natural strategies that are worth a try. Talk to your physician about the following ideas. In the order of importance:

1. Discontinue all hormones that you’re taking. Many post-menopausal women are supported on hormones, which may be fueling the fibroid growth in an older woman. It’s the estrogen (estradiol) that could be the specific problem.

2. Sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a dietary supplement that is basically a broccoli extract. It is used to support Phase II liver detoxification enzymes that break down estrogen properly. Sulforaphane supplements help to restore proper estrogen receptor gene expression, and interfere with tumor growth. DIM is another supplement that may help control estrogen.

3. Iodine. We assume iodine deficiency as one reason for hypothyroidism, but iodine deficiency is also strongly associated with lumpy breasts (ie fibrocystic breasts) as well as uterine fibroids. Iodine may be useful in preventing further growth of a fibroid.

4. Turmeric Turmeric spice has been studied for its ability to shrink uterine fibroids, by binding to and activating PPAR-gamma and that in turn, shrinks a fibroid tumor/growth. Curcumin is a stronger, standardized extract of turmeric spice.

5. Matcha tea or EGCG supplements. In test tube and animal studies, cells treated with EGCG grew far more slowly and were noticeably smaller within days!

I have a longer version of this article with more natural strategies. I will email it to you once you’ve signed up for free my online newsletter at suzycohen.com. That article includes a recipe for an essential oil blend that you can apply externally for additional comfort.

Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist and the author of ‘The 24-Hour Pharmacist’ and ‘Real Solutions.’ For more information, visit www.suzycohen.com. This information is not intended to prevent, treat, diagnose or cure your condition. Always check with your doctor before following any medical advice.