Q. Is there a natural way to treat estrogen dominance to reduce menstrual cramping due to uterine fibroids?
I am glad you had a complete physical and that the cause of your severe menstrual cramping is not something more serious than fibroids. Yet the pain itself though not life threatening is certainly serious. Yes, instead of going on birth control pills immediately I would try a different approach if your doctor approves. First fibroids are caused by inflammation and estrogen dominance. What sets one up for estrogen dominance will also set one up for inflammation and both may contribute to fibroid formation. So what foods cause inflammation: too much dairy products may contribute to weight gain, inflammation and estrogen dominance. Any high fat diet articles, such as oily foods, meat, chocolate, and cheese may do the same. Thus avoid commercial crackers, potato chips, corn chips, French fries, and any other deep-fried foods. Avoid foods high in refined sugar as well: cake, ice cream, candy, and rich desserts. Fat cells in excess will produce estrogen.
Eat an unprocessed plant based diet which will decrease estrogen dominance and fight inflammation. It is that simple. There are a class of estrogens called xenoestrogens which are as strong or stronger than your body's natural estrogen. These will stimulate the estrogen binding sites in your body and will through its estrogen effect cause undesirable results: such as cancer of the breast, ovaries, and uterus. Also they can cause fibroids of the uterus as well as fibrocystic disease of the breast. These are found in plastics, pesticides, growth hormones found in factory-farmed animal products, PCBs, and possibly even carpets, particle board, new paint, and other VOCs that can be absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream. There are progesterone creams made from yams, and other products. You might try these but these are quite hormonal and may have side effects. A plant based diet is the best way to reduce estrogen dominance.
Again phytoestrogens will compete for the estrogen binding sites. Soy, flax, tofu, soy yogurt, soy nuts, soy beans and other foods high in plant estrogens will help displace the xenoestrogens and the stronger body natural estrogens, and because phytoestrogens look like estrogens to the estrogen binding sites, they will quickly attach themselves and take up space. The more plant based estrogens you eat the fewer more powerful estrogens will be able to attach and stimulate the estrogen binding sites and the less your body will produce inflammatory products. Look at it this way. Say you have an auditorium with 100 chairs. You don't want men to sit in those chairs. The best way is to send in more women than men. The chairs will be more likely to fill up with women. So the estrogen binding sites will fill up with estrogen even if you take progesterone and progesterone creams. So the best way to decrease the estrogen effect is to flood the body with weak estrogens to take up the seats. (binding sites).
Some herb teas are quite helpful such as black cohash, and red clover, which contain the phytoestrogens. It may seem confusing to eat foods high in phytoestrogens to help lower the estrogen dominance, but you have to understand the physiology. Plant estrogens are weak and displace the strong estrogens right at the binding sites and so flooding the body with these puts them in control instead of more powerful estrogens. Just increasing progesterone is not the key.
Also taking something non-narcotic for pain for awhile might be helpful until the plant estrogens take over the estrogen binding sites to lower the body's estrogen effect. Midol or Motrin are just examples.