For many people, there is nothing quite like downing a glass of milk, sampling various cheeses, enjoying some ice cream, having a large slice of pizza with all the fixings with cheese being the foundation of all the fixes, and so on and so forth . While dairy is one of the four major food groups, for many people, even those without fibroids, dairy can lead to many food allergies and many other problems such as those bought on by lactose intolerance.
Uterine Fibroids and Dairy
If you are asking the question “is milk good for fibroids?” the answer is no for milk and many other dairy products for the following reasons;
1. High saturated fat content
While the causes of fibroid tumors remain unknown, an estrogen dominant state is believed to be one of the risk factors for developing uterine fibroids and experiencing symptomatic fibroids. Many dairy products contain a high amount of saturated fat which can lead to excessive estrogen levels.
The excess levels associated with the saturated fat in dairy is the result of certain bacteria in the colon that convert metabolites of cholesterol into certain types of the female hormone estrogen which are then reabsorbed into the body from the digestive tract.
Increased estrogen levels provide the perfect atmosphere for the growth of fibroids. They thrive in this environment which is why poor is bad for you if you have fibroids.
This problem with the high saturated fat levels in dairy is supported by research that shows that women who eat a mainly vegetarian diet that is rich in fiber and less fat in their diets are at a reduced risk of developing fibroid tumors. It has been shown that they have lower estrogen levels than women who eat meat and dairy products. The mostly vegetarian diet helps these women with reduced risk of fibroid eliminate excess estrogen from their body promptly theby reducing their risk of fibroids and other health issues.
Even in the absence of uterine fibroids, saturated fat is a problem as it is considered one of the unhealthy fats and can lead to many health problems. Saturated fats are those that are solid at room temperature and the consumption of saturated fats should be reduced or eliminated ideally. One of the few exceptions is coconut oil for which research is still ongoing on its many health benefits.
Many dairy cows suffer from mastis which is an infection of the udders and nipples and many dairy farmers give their cows large doses of antibiotics to get rid of or prevent this infection. Their feed also includes pesticides and insecticides and the stalls in which they are usually routinely sprayed with various chemicals to get rid of insects and rodents.
In addition, in order to increase the milk production of their cows (more milk, more money), dairy farmers give them the bovine growth hormone (BGH) which is similar to human growth hormone that some research has shown can increase the risk of developing tumors (breast and prostate cancer) which also include fibroid tumors. The name alone for these hormones implies the “growth” of various things so why would you want these hormones in your body?
Unfortunately, the FDA does not require farmers to disclose if BGH is used on their dairy cows to increase milk production.
All these chemicals can get in the body through the dairy consumed and can cause many health problems in addition to causing hormone imbalance (estrogen dominance) that increases the risk of developing fibroids and worsening of symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding.
3. Intestinal Digestion
It was mentioned previously that for many people dairy is an allergen and they may lack the enzymes that can properly digest dairy products. These results in normal intestinal digestion and the elimination process being interfereed with. This then causes issues such as gas, bloating as well as changes in the bowels. Having an unhealthy digestive system increases the risk of various problems related to hormonal imbalance.
Arachidonic acid is the fat used by the body to produce certain muscle contracting prostagladins (substances which among them many functions stimulate uterine contractions). The main source for arachidonic acid is dairy. These prostaglandins may lead to increased pelvic pain as well as cramps and many other female issues. Decreasing or eliminating dairy can reduce the severity of these symptoms.
But what about the calcium?
While these and many other issues can be caused by dairy consumption, one important feature of dairy is that it is an excellent source of calcium which is very necessary for the healthy functioning of the body. Eliminating dairy means that you need to find alternative sources for calcium and a calcium supplement is one of the ways to combat this deficiency.
Foods sources for this nutrient include beans, soybeans, peas, green leafy vegetables, etc. As a substitute for milk, soy milk, almond milk and milk produced from other nuts, potato milk, etc, are excellent alternatives that you can use.
If you are suffering from fibroids, eliminating dairy products is an important uterine fibroid natural treatment method. If this is a problem for you and you feel you must have dairy, at the very least, only eat organic dairy which represent cows that are allowed to roam freely and that do not feed on grain that includes pesticides, insecticides, hormones, etc.