Fibroids: How to Shrink Them Naturally
FeaturingMagdalena Wszelaki, CH, HHC
Rebekah Kelley: Welcome to the Humanized podcast, all about personalizing your health. I am your host, Rebekah Kelley. And today we have Magdalena Wszelaki here to talk about Fibroids and Discovering Ways to Shrink Them Naturally. Before I introduce Magdalena, I want to remind everyone to subscribe, to get all of our varieties of casts in audio, video and transcription at HumanizedHealth.com. I’d also like to thank our lead sponsor, Village Green Apothecary, at MyVillageGreen.com.
A little bit about Magdalena. She is the founder of Hormones Balance, a thriving online community dedicated to helping women balance hormones naturally. Magdalena is a nutrition coach, certified herbalist, a published bestselling cookbook author, speaker and educator. She’s passionate about helping women find hormone balance with her books, online programs and education.
Thank you so much for being with us, Magdalena.
Magdalena Wszelaki: My pleasure. Thank you.
Rebekah Kelley: So what are fibroids? What causes them to grow since we’re learning how to shrink them?
Magdalena Wszelaki: So the good news about fibroids is that they are not carcinogenic. So they are not cancer cells, typically. And so that’s the good news about them. The bad news is that it can really be debilitating, they can be causing a lot of very heavy periods, that it can be very painful to have sex, it can be causing a lot of bleeding, there’s a lot of discomfort. But for me, as a health practitioner, it is also an indication that a woman has estrogen dominance.
And so you asked what is estrogen dominance, and the in the context of fibroids, it’s essential to understand that fibroids grow. It’s a muscle tissue that grows, that has got a huge number of receptors on it for estrogen. And so, not all estrogens are bad. Estrogen dominance is when… the name is kind of not the most favorable thing for women because it kind of makes us be afraid of estrogen. And the truth is that estrogen itself is a good thing and we need it as women to function, period. But, it’s how you break down those estrogens, can make a very big difference. And so for simplicity, I like to think of it that estrogen, it needs to be metabolized to clean and to dirty estrogens. Those clean are protective, is what gives you beautiful hair, brain function, sleep, bones, cardiovascular health, periods, nice bust. And the dirty estrogen is what’s causing a lot of the different symptoms, including period problems, heavy periods, absent periods, hot flashes, fibroids, endometriosis, thyroid nodules, a lot of estrogenic cancers are due to estrogen dominance.
So fibroids in themselves might not be a dangerous occurrence. However, it’s an indication that your body is struggling with metabolizing those estrogens and the growth of the fibroid happens because of the excess estrogen that is in the body. And you know, a lot of time women who have fibroids also have a lot of other symptoms of estrogen dominance, like the ones that I mentioned. And there’s many more. And that’s something that… I like to work on this early. I would urge women to work on this as early as possible to resolve it, even though it’s benign, because it is something that, you just don’t want to go down the path of developing other estrogen dominant symptoms. Some of them can be life debilitating and change your life upside-down. Like for example, developing breast cancer.
Rebekah Kelley: So how do women develop estrogen dominance?
Magdalena Wszelaki: So there’s a lot of ways and none of them is exclusive, meaning they’re not mutually exclusive. There can be just one thing causing it, or it can be a whole bunch of things causing it. But predominantly, the biggest one, there is an element of a genetic predisposition. So if your mom has had fibroids, you might be also predisposed to having fibroids. However, this is not a given, there’s a lot of things you can do with lifestyle changes and diet and supplements and herbs to reverse it and never have it come back. So, genetic elements.
The other ones would definitely be things like women who are on birth control, including progesterone – only progestin kind of birth control, because progestin actually activates, over-sensitizes your estrogen receptors, as well. So your estrogen receptors are much more likely to uptake estrogen, as well.
Women who are using a lot of skincare cleaning products that are from the main brands, that are not organic, clean, and a lot of the, what we call xenoestrogens occurring, so those are externally occurring – fake, synthetic estrogen can also create a lot of havoc, including estrogen dominance.
The health of your liver and your gut can really play a profound role. You know how I talked about the clean and dirty estrogens. Well guess what? The synthesis and the breakdown of these estrogens happens in the gut and the liver. And so as we age, it’s very normal for our, both gut and liver to get a little more sluggish. And so there’s a factor there, too.
Stress can be another huge factor. Stress robs you of progesterone and one of the forms of estrogen dominance is that your progesterone to estrogen ratio, it goes off balance. And so a lot of women feel, for example, whenever they go through a stressful period, for example, their periods are getting a lot worse, the PMS is getting a lot worse, the fibroids for example, could grow a lot significantly faster during this time.
I would say those are the major reasons.
Rebekah Kelley: So what are some of the natural treatment options for fibroids, then?
Magdalena Wszelaki: So I think one of the big things a lot of us do, and I’m a culprit here too, is when you have a symptom, the first thing is like, what’s the one herb, what’s the one supplement that I can run off to, take it and quickly get a result? And the truth is that there are some – I’m happy to mention a couple of them – but I’ve also noticed that they would only work short term. If you want a long-term solution, it calls for a little bit more, I would say, deep transition in your life. And the biggest thing, biggest thing is changing your diet is going to make the most profound long-term effect. So getting on an anti-inflammatory diet that reduces or completely eliminates inflammatory foods, such as gluten, dairy, reduces sugar, if you’re sensitive to eggs, the removal of eggs, soy and corn… Any other food sensitivities you already know, you have, like if you can’t do bananas, don’t eat bananas. If you can’t have seeds, don’t need seeds, right? Just reducing the inflammation is going to really offload your liver and your gut, and that’s where that estrogen metabolism happens, that I explained earlier. So that can be a huge thing.
The other thing women who have fibroids can really benefit from is by supporting their liver. And so you can support your liver through, first of all, the elimination diet – an anti-inflammatory diet is going to help a whole bunch. The second thing is, adding things like, for example, magnesium, a B vitamin. But also certain herbs, like dandelion root and chicory root and andrographis, or artichoke leaf, are some of the classical bitters that have incredible efficacy on helping you to support your liver. And that way you’re going to also be much more effectively metabolizing those dirty estrogens that are causing the growth of those fibroids.
And the third strategy I would say is adding herbs that are astringent. So, astringency. And think of it this way. The fibroids grow because there is blood flow into the… It’s actually one of the medical procedures that women get on reducing fibroids, is getting an embolism done, meaning that you cut off the supply, the blood supply to the uterus, sorry to the fibroid, in order to shrink it. Which is, I think it’s very… well, I know for a fact, it’s a short-term strategy because you might end up getting a fibroid on the other side of your uterus if you’re not addressing the root cause, which is estrogen dominance. But what’s interesting about the blood supply procedure that I talked about, the embolism, is that you can achieve something similar with herbs, by just making the astringency, creating astringency around a uterus so the blood flow doesn’t flow there as profusely. So some of those, my two favorites will be yarrow and red clover. And so you can easily do that in the form of tinctures, or red clover is a wonderful tea to drink. It tastes almost like a black tea, just a really wonderful infusion you can just make and sip on that throughout the day.
Again, this is a short-term strategy because if you’re just depending on astringent herbs, and then the minute you remove them, and you don’t address the root causes of estrogen dominance, most likely that fibroid is going to come back. So, one of the things I’ll just mention in terms of supplements, there is a wonderful supplement that’s called serrapeptase. It’s more anecdotal than the research on it, but I feel like just because there’s no research on something yet, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be paying attention to it. It’s a form of an enzyme that actually shows that it chomps down on the tissue of the thyroid. So these kinds of serrapeptase enzymes can be super beneficial for women.
So, if you combine those few strategies together, a bit of dietary changes, supporting your liver, and then adding a couple of those supplements I talked about, generally I see women getting amazing results within one or two months, going for another checkup and having their OB-GYN go, oh, wow, whatever you’re doing, just keep doing it because it’s been shrinking significantly. Sometimes it’s from two inches going down to one inch in diameter, literally within a month of just following the protocol like that.
Rebekah Kelley: Wow. So it really shows that what you’re choosing to eat, the environment you’re creating is you’re going to feed or starve the fibroid.
Magdalena Wszelaki: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Rebekah Kelley: And then you mentioned some of the herbs. Are there any others that you would want to mention to use to shrink fibroids or did you pretty much cover them there?
Magdalena Wszelaki: I think, the main ones, I think those are the main… in my book, Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, I’m just going to take a quick look at that. So, you know, if you’re working with an herbalist, I do recommend, I have a whole protocol in my book on fibroids. So dandelion root, burdock root.
Rebekah Kelley: Will you hold the book up so we can see it? Overcoming Estrogen Dominance. Yeah, it helps for whenever you go on Amazon.
Magdalena Wszelaki: And fibroids is one of the chapters. So dandelion root, burdock root, gentian and andrographis are great for liver support, chasteberry and black cohosh for rebuilding your progesterone level, uterine astringents like yarrow, cinnamon, cranesbill and red raspberry. And then uterine tonics, herbs that promote overall balance of the uterus, are blue cohosh, motherwort and red raspberry leaf again.
So, yeah, it’s good to work with an herbalist to put a formula together, and that can create, like I said, quite amazing results without all the… I mean, Western medicine has, we always say how it’s got its place. And this is going to be one of those conditions that I would, I would defer from using it. [Laughs]
Rebekah Kelley: Thanks, Magdalena. Those are really valuable insights. Magdalena Wszelaki can be found at www.HormonesBalance.com. Let me remind you to subscribe and get access to all Humanized videos, podcasts and transcriptions from all of our thought leaders on personalized health at HumanizedHealth.com. Thanks so much for being with us.