Role of Diet in Fibroids

Although fibroids can be left undisturbed in most of the cases but cases where Health Complications affect daily life of an individual, it is advisable to remove Fibroids. Surgical removal of Uterine fibroids is suggested in the following cases:

* Post menopause, when chances of fibroid tumors turning malignant are high
* Severe iron deficiency anemia occurs due to excessive bleeding
* Fibroid hindering pregnancy

Recently, MRI Guided HIFU (Magnetic Resonance Imaging guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound), has been one of the most common non-surgical procedure, to treat fibroids. However, if the pain, bleeding and irritation is high, surgical removal of fibroid is possible through myomectomy.

Even though the etiology of fibroids is not known in most of the cases, hormonal imbalance is considered to be one of the underlying causes. Hence, Diet and certain lifestyle modifications help in managing fibroids.

Certain Foods help in easing symptoms of fibroids

 — Diet rich in fiber, complex carbohydrates, adequate protein and low fat help in bringing down the severity of fibroids
— Organic vegetables and fruits should be preferred over the foods grown with pesticides protection since such eatables may cause fluctuation in hormonal levels
— Whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables contain digestive enzymes and fiber which are capable of reducing the severe effects of fibrin in fibroids
— Anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, oily fish (like salmon, mackerel) etc must be included a lot in the diet
— Alcohol intake must be reduced since it may cause improper functioning of liver thus disturbing hormone breakdown in liver
— Water is capable of flushing out the unwanted toxins from the body. Hence adequate water intake is a must
— Excess weight may also cause hormonal problems and so it is always better to maintain adequate body weight with proper physical activity and lifestyle.

What, Why and How of Fibroids?

A fibroid is a benign tumor of fibrous connective tissue. Fibroids develop when uncontrolled cell growth occurs for an unknown or sometimes known reason. Some of the known reasons are hormonal imbalance, intake of high fat foods, foods contaminated with pesticides or abnormal weight gain.  Fibroids may form anywhere in the body and usually do not require specific treatment or surgical removal.  It may occur in people of any age or sex, but are often seen in adults.

Fibroids may be of two types

* Soft Fibroids:

Soft fibroids or fibroma with a shaft consist of numerous loosely connected cells and less fibroid tissues. These usually appear in the regions like neck, armpits or groins, eyelid etc.

* Hard Fibroids:

Hard fibroids consist of many fibres and few cells unlike soft fibroids. These usually appear in the skin.

Women are more prone to site-specific type of fibroids called uterine fibroids. Depending upon the location of occurrence in the uterus its size and number may vary.   Uterine fibroids often occur in women of child bearing age.  In most women these are usually too small to cause any problem or even be noticed. It is extremely rare that fibroids become cancerous.

No one knows what causes uterine fibroids, but their growth seems to depend on estrogen, the female hormone. Occurrence of Fibroids is low in women in 20s, instead it is more common in 30s and 40s when estrogen levels are high and shrink after menopause when estrogen levels drop.  A recent survey estimates that nearly 25 million women in India face this problem with fibroids and the reasons may be delayed pregnancy, obesity and increased consumption of red meat.

 The prominent symptom of fibroids, in both genders is the appearance of a small tumor which may or may not be tender. Some tumors may be itchy and may cause irritation, sensitivity and pain may also occur in some cases. Color and size may also change over time. Because of its protruding nature it may get damaged and may bleed if the injury is severe.

Even though the symptoms mentioned above may be common in both genders, when it comes to uterine fibroids, there are certain specific symptoms which can be witnessed in women as follows:

— Heavy menstrual periods, sometimes clotty
— Unusual bleeding (between periods)
— Lengthy periods
— Increased frequency of urination
— Pelvic cramps/ severe pains
— Fullness or heaviness in lower abdomen
— Pain during intercourse
— Infertility (In rare cases, where fibroid is in a position disturbing child growth)
— During pregnancy-Bleeding, premature labor, miscarriage (in rare cases)


Today’s fast moving world has made us used to several comforts as well as has pushed us towards excess tension and stress levels which may turn into a serious silent killer illness called ‘Hypertension’. Irrespective of age, people of both genders are nowadays more prone to hypertension. Consistent elevation of pressure exerted by blood on the wall of arteries is known as high blood pressure or hypertension. The levels of blood pressure categorization are as follows:

-Normal: Less than 120/80
-Pre-hypertension: 120-139/80-89
-Hypertension: 140/90
-Stage 2 hypertension: 160/100

There may be multiple causes of hypertension like increased body weight (when BMI exceeds 25), lack of physical activity (due to unavailability of time/ laziness), lack of adequate sleep (due to night shifts/excess workloads/travel), improper foods habits (like intake of high salted foods/preserved foods/junk foods) or existing co-morbidities (like fluctuating blood sugar levels/kidney related problems) etc.

However certain dietary and lifestyle modifications would help a lot in managing hypertension, some of which are as follows:

* A proper healthy diet (adequate carbohydrate and protein, low fat) in required quantities and proper time, with adequate nutrients and fiber is mandatory.
Drinking plenty of water will help in maintaining proper blood pressure levels.
Regular exercising of at least 30 minutes of aerobic a day would help a lot.
Quit smoking.
Limit alcohol intake.
Limit the addition of salt in diet and make sure that it is less than 1,500 mg per day.
Reducing stress with practices like meditation, listening to music or practicing yoga might reduce blood pressure levels.
Maintain a proper body weight. To know more about an effective weight loss program:

In many cases there may not be evident symptoms when the blood pressure levels are high. But it is always advisable to monitor the blood pressure levels periodically at least once in every six months.


Move Little Lose More

Sedentary lifestyle, junk food, hurry to workplace and lack of exercise are predominant issues with people nowadays. In order to maintain proper health, first step should be literally to walk a little daily which is a form of exercise without making a conscious decision to exercise.

Busy schedules and continuous appointments makes people  stick to their office seats for a very long time at a stretch. But throughout the day we all get a number of opportunities to move a little if missed we end up with health issues like obesity.

Following are some of the lifestyle modification tips which help in maintaining good health, boost metabolism and helps in maintaining energy balance in spite of busy urban life style.

1. Opt for steps in the place of lifts/escalators

2. Walk or ride a cycle to nearby places instead of taking your car or two wheeler

3. During work hours, consciously get up from the seat once in 2 hours take a short walk

4. Avoid keeping water bottle on your desk. So that every hour your thirst would make you walk to the place where water is

5.  Never have lunch or dinner along with using your computer it is unhealthy as well as unhygienic. Instead move to the designated lunch or dinner area in office

6. Do household chores like mopping the floor, washing clothes etc


One can also try to take a stroll for 5-10 mins outside office post lunch or dinner. Though these activities look very small but go a long way in improving ones health and controlling / maintaining body weight. Remember move little lose more.



Nutrition Myths

When Weight loss slows down – Is it an indication that weight loss program is no longer effective?

During the course of a fat loss program there may a plateau phase where one does not see a drop in weight on the weighing scale. On such a program, you may be losing body fats at the same time building up your muscle mass through exercise. Since muscle weighs heavier than fat, your scale may not show any change in weight, in spite of fat loss. As muscle weighs more than fat and occupies less space, hence one may observe inch loss.
If processed food says “Cholesterol free” then does that mean it is “trouble free”?

Products marked “cholesterol free” may not contain cholesterol but may contain other types of saturated fats that can raise blood cholesterol levels more than foods containing dietary cholesterol. Moreover certain foods although low in saturated fat may still be rich in calories due to presence of large amount of unsaturated oils or sugars, leading to weight gain which in turn leads to elevated cholesterol. Care should be taken to consume these foods in moderate quantities only.

High protein foods promote health & help build muscles.

Its a common misconception that taking a lot of protein rich foods increase muscle size and aid in body building. Entire surplus protein (which is not consumed by the body) is converted to fat. So it might result in fat gain in certain parts of the body. Thus care should be taken to include low fat protein sources in the diet such as low fat milk, lean meats, chicken, fish & cereal-pulse combinations. Ask your dietician as to what is the right amount of Protein intake for you and whether you are having a balanced diet ?