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Case Study – Protein, Good Nutrition and Uterine Fibroid Treatment
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 large enough, but fibroids are the leading reason for hysterectomies in the United States. Fibroids can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and cramps, pain or pressure in the pelvis, complications during pregnancy and painful intercourse. There aren’t many risk factors to look for, with the exception of a family history of fibroid tumors.
Treatment of fibroid tumors
Other than having a hysterectomy, there are alternatives when it comes to treating fibroid tumors. Many doctors recommend birth control pills. These will not actually affect or change the tumor, but they will ease some of the symptoms, including excessive bleeding. Women who want to get pregnant can undergo surgery to remove the fibroid tumor, but there is always the risk that the tumor will return in the future. There is also a new treatment that involves a special ultrasound, which takes about three hours to complete.
Maintaining good health is necessary when treating fibroid tumors, and this includes exercise, quitting smoking (or not starting in the first place), maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. One important macronutrient necessary for survival, and ideal for treating fibroid tumors, is protein. Protein is made up of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon.
Dietary treatment for fibroid tumor patients
It is essential for everyone, not just patients with fibroid tumors, to eat a well-balanced diet that has all the essential macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. About 50% of a healthy diet should come from carbohydrates, with 30% from protein and the other 30% from fat. The American Heart Association recommends that no protein be consumed beyond this amount for optimal results.
Include these foods in fibroid tumor treatment diets
Patients with fibroid tumors are often recommended to add soy products to their diet because soy is a complete protein, containing all 22 of the essential and non-essential amino acids. Fiber is also recommended because 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, all 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 patients with fibroid tumors, are cold water fish, including salmon. Otherwise, vegetable proteins, and protein supplements, are the way to go, at least at first. After a few months, patients can start adding hormone-free animal proteins to their diet.
Avoid these Foods
Because fibroids are fed by estrogen, patients should absolutely avoid all foods that have synthetic estrogens, such as red meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Since these are also dietary sources of protein, patients must find other alternatives to get the protein they need in their diet.
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 are:
Protein powders – These are one of the most versatile types of protein supplements available. Not only can you add flavorless protein powders to just about all of your favorite recipes, there are also delicious flavored powders that can be used to make great shakes, smoothies, and slushies. Protein powders come in a number of flavors, including berry, fruit punch, chocolate and vanilla.
Protein shots – This is a great way to get a whole lot of protein in one small drink. These shots are less than three ounces each, and provide 25-30 grams of protein in each low-calorie serving. Protein shots are available in such delicious flavors as green apple, raspberry, lime and grape.
Liquid Protein Supplements – These are available in a number of ready-to-eat shakes and smoothies, such as chocolate and vanilla, and there are also flavorless 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 intolerance 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 fibroid tumors that were not big enough to bother with surgery, she asked her doctor how to treat them. Her doctor initially recommended birth control because Marie reported heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding and cramping and told her 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 understanding of nutrition, asked her doctor how she could get the protein she needed in her diet without eating these foods, and was told that in addition to a number of healthy, delicious vegetable proteins, such as soy (a) complete protein containing all eight essential amino acids and all 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 just about any diet because not only does it contain 25 grams of protein per 2.9 fluid-ounce serving, it contains no fat and carbohydrates, and is only 100 calories per serving.
Marie followed her doctor’s recommendations, and soon found that her symptoms were not as bad as they once were, and the need for any surgery was 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 health and energy.
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