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Nutritional Support for Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts are often caused by a failure of an ovarian follicle to rupture and release its egg. As a result, the follicle swells with fluid. While cysts tend to be symptom free early on, they often go on to cause excessive bleeding, painful menstrual cycles, and lower abdominal pain and distension as they continue to grow in size. Cysts generally shrink and disappear on their own without requiring surgical removal.

Here are some recommendations to consider when diagnosed with an ovarian cyst:

1) Reduce Your Intake of Estrogenic / Inflammatory Foods: Avoid dairy, eggs, and red meat, unless they are organic / hormone free. Decrease intake of animal fat. Avoid refined and processed foods. Eliminate sugar, white flour, caffeine, soda, chocolate and alcohol. Switch from drinking from plastic water bottles to glass or stainless steel bottles. Avoid foods that you may be sensitive to including soy and wheat/gluten.

2) Eat Foods That Support Detoxification: Eat a whole-foods diet (rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, high quality proteins, and healthy fats). Also, cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are wonderful for the liver.

3) Consider using an herbal formula that can help to decrease the size of the cyst, decrease tenderness, support liver detoxification, and strengthen and balance endocrine function. Examples of herbs include vitex, blue cohosh, black cohosh, dandelion root, wild yam, cramp bark, and yarrow.

4) Supplement with Supportive Nutrients: Vitamin C, E, and selenium are important antioxidants necessary for detoxification. Also, diindolylmethane, or DIM for short, along with turmeric are recommended to help promote estrogen clearance by the liver. In addition, omega 3 fish oil has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and should be taken daily.

5) Use a Castor Oil Pack: Castor oil packs are placed on the skin to increase circulation and to promote elimination and healing to tissues/organs underneath the skin. Castor oil packs are made by soaking a piece of flannel in castor oil and placing it on the skin. The flannel is covered with a sheet of plastic, and then a hot water bottle is placed over the plastic to heat the pack.

Article written by Margo Gladding, MS, CNS, LDN for Ellicott City Pharmacy.



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