Case Study: Protein Treatment, Good Nutrition, and Uterine Fibroids
About 80% of all women in the US have benign tumors, called fibroids, that grow on the uterine wall. Only about 25% of women with fibroids ever notice them, because they are not big enough, but fibroids are the main reason for hysterectomies in the United States. Fibroids can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and cramps, pelvic pain or pressure, complications during pregnancy, and painful intercourse. There are not many risk factors to look for, with the exception of a family history of fibroid tumors.
Treatment of fibroid tumors
In addition to undergoing a hysterectomy, there are alternatives when it comes to treating fibroids. Many doctors recommend birth control pills. These will not actually affect or change the tumor, but they will alleviate some of the symptoms, including excessive bleeding. Women who want to get pregnant can have surgery to remove the fibroid tumor, but there is always a risk that the tumor will come back in the future. There is also a new treatment that involves a specialized ultrasound, which takes about three hours to complete.
Maintaining good health is necessary in treating fibroids, and this includes exercise, quitting smoking (or not starting in the first place), maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy, balanced diet. An important macronutrient that is necessary for survival and ideal for treating fibroids is protein. Protein is made up of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon.
Dietary treatment for patients with fibroid tumors
It is essential for everyone, not just fibroid tumor patients, to eat a well-balanced diet that has all the essential macronutrients, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. About 50% of a healthy diet should come from carbohydrates, 30% comes from protein, and the other 30% comes from fat. The American Heart Association recommends that you do not eat more protein than this amount for optimal results.
Include these foods in diets for treating fibroid tumors
Fibroid tumor patients are often recommended to add soy products to their diets, because soy is a complete protein, containing all 22 essential and non-essential amino acids. Fiber is also recommended, as it is one of the best ways to help the liver process and eliminate excess estrogen. Some of the best sources of dietary fiber include: whole grains, beans, tofu, and miso. There are also many protein supplements made from soy that are great additions to any diet. Other foods that are healthy sources of protein and good for fibroid tumor patients include cold-water fish, including salmon. Otherwise, plant proteins and protein supplements are the way to go, at least initially. After a few months, patients can begin adding hormone-free animal protein to their diets.
Avoid these foods
Because fibroids feed on estrogen, patients should definitely avoid any foods that contain synthetic estrogens, such as red meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Because they are also dietary sources of protein, patients must find other alternatives to get the protein they need in their diets.
Using protein supplements
Protein supplements are a great way to get the right amount of protein in your diet. Protein supplements that are very popular include:
Protein Powders – These are one of the most versatile types of protein supplements available. Not only can you add unflavored protein powders to almost all of your favorite recipes, there are also delicious flavored powders that can be used to make great tasting shakes, shakes, and slushies. Protein powders come in various flavors, including berry, fruit punch, chocolate, and vanilla.
Protein Injections – This is a great way to get a large amount of protein in a small drink. These injections are less than three ounces each and provide 25 to 30 grams of protein in each low-calorie serving. Protein injections are available in such delicious flavors as green apple, raspberry, lime, and grape.
Liquid Protein Supplements – These are available in various ready-to-drink shakes and shakes, such as chocolate and vanilla, and there are also unflavored liquid protein supplements, which can be added to many recipes. Because many of these supplements are made from milk-based proteins, people who have milk allergies or lactose intolerances should read the ingredients carefully to make sure these ingredients are not included in a particular supplement.
Marie, a patient with fibroid tumors, adds protein to her diet
When Marie was diagnosed with fibroids that weren’t big enough to bother with surgery, she asked her doctor how to treat them. Her doctor initially recommended birth control, as Marie reported heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding and cramps, and told her that the pill would alleviate some of her symptoms. Marie’s doctor also recommended that she make some drastic changes to her diet, including eliminating red meat and other animal sources of protein.
Marie, who has some knowledge of nutrition, asked her doctor how she could get the protein she needed in her diet without eating these foods, and they told her that in addition to a number of delicious and healthy plant proteins, such as soy (a protein complete with the eight essential amino acids and the 14 non-essential amino acids). Marie’s doctor also recommended that she add protein supplements to her diet. Marie’s doctor told her that a liquid protein supplement was great for almost any diet, because not only does it contain 25 grams of protein per 2.9 fluid ounce serving, it contains no fat or carbohydrates, and it only has 100 calories per serving.
Marie followed her doctor’s recommendations and soon discovered that her symptoms were not as severe as before and that the need for surgery had been eliminated. Because she was so happy with her new diet and how good it made her feel, Marie continues to use protein supplements every day for her health and energy.