• 11Aug

    I have switched from drinking coffee to organic cocoa and decaf coffee to reduce my risk of getting benign breast cysts and fibroids as caffeine from coffee is known to cause benign cysts. Coffee has been targeted as a potential cause of benign breast cysts specifically because of its caffeine content. However, the caffeine theory has not been proven scientifically. Still, some women have found that reducing their caffeine intake has coincided with reductions in the size and number of cysts.

    For me, it is a case of ‘not taking any more chances’. I had undergone a laproscopic myomectomy surgery to remove an 8cm fibroid from my uterus 2 months ago and certainly do not wish for a regrowth of fibroid in my uterus.

    Caffeine and Estrogen
    Since estrogen can cause fibroids to grow, anything that raises estrogen levels in the body might make fibroids worse. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, conducted from 2005 to 2007, Asian women who consumed the equivalent of more than 200 milligrams of coffee each day had higher estrogen levels than those who didn’t. The reverse was true, however, for Caucasian women — higher caffeine intake was associated with lower estrogen levels. The source of the caffeine also affected estrogen levels. Consumption of more than one cup each day of caffeinated soda or green tea was associated with a higher estrogen level in both Asian and Caucasian women. The study results indicate that caffeine consumption in certain cases is linked to increased estrogen, which makes fibroids worse.

    Caffeine puts stress on the liver, making it work less effectively at metabolizing estrogen in the body. With fibroids, you want to support the health of the liver by getting rid of caffeine and alcohol so it may optimally metabolize circulating estrogen.

    Large cup of coffee with coffee beans

    Although there is lack of strong evidence behind the relationship between diet and fibroids, however,  the absence of research doesn’t mean that diet modifications aren’t worth adopting to help women manage this condition.  Most of the time, dietary recommendations will improve a woman’s health overall, with the side benefit of possibly helping to better manage fibroids.

    The Caffeine Factor On Breast Lumps

    There is no direct correlation between non-cancerous breast lumps; however, caffeine does play a significant role. Consuming large amounts of coffee causes an imbalance to the hormone levels, which can result in some pain and some cysts to develop in the breast. Ease up on the consumption of caffeine. Caffeine causes your hormones to go out of whack, which can lead to a host of other secondary problems, such as breast lumps. Cut down on the following beverages and foods to get your hormones back in balance: coffee, tea, sodas, and chocolate. Cutting these caffeine sources out of your diet should reduce lumps and tenderness within a couple months.

    According to Mayo Clinic, caffeine doesn’t appear to cause breast cysts (fibrocystic breast changes), a noncancerous (benign) breast disease. There’s also no evidence to suggest a link between caffeine and breast cancer.

    Anecdotally, some women report that breast pain symptoms improve when they go off caffeine or reduce the amount of caffeine in their diets. Although no research has documented this effect, it’s OK to go caffeine-free to see if it relieves discomfort from breast cysts.

     

     

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  • 20May

    With just eight days before my laproscopic myomectomy surgery, I am keeping myself healthy with clean eating. When the body is clear of junk, it heals faster.  I  have already stopped popping certain vitamins and foods.   My surgeon / gynae has advised me to stop all my supplements a week before the surgery except for Sangobion (iron) as I am anemic.

    Certain foods and  supplements should be avoided before surgery. Some foods leave a residue in your digestive tract that may complicate intestinal surgeries or cause diarrhea. In addition to this, having food in your system may cause nausea and vomiting. Various types of vitamins may also cause complications during surgery.

    No matter what part of the body is undergoing surgery, the process for healing is the same. Surgically “traumatized tissue” (skin, muscle, bones, cartilage, tendons, etc.) does not just magically heal; rather, the body has to rebuild and repair tissue on the cellular level. This involves energy and nutritional building blocks to support the healing process.

    The best pre-operative nutrition will help the immune system fight against infection and prevent and treat excess blood loss. Research has demonstrated that optimal recovery, including the best possible results seen in the shortest time period, is achieved when particular dietary and supplement regimens are followed. Specific nutrients are needed to repair skin, blood vessels, nerves, and even muscles and bones.

    What Dietary Supplements Should You Avoid BEFORE Surgery?

    Vitamin E and surgery do not mix because Vitamin E is associated with increased bleeding, and this can lead to collection of blood (called a hematoma) that could result in serious complications. Most surgeons will instruct you to avoid preparations with Vitamin E before surgery, however, so it is important to check your dietary supplements/multivitamin carefully. However, after the surgery, your health care professional may indicate that Vitamin E may be appropriate.

    vitamins-a-z_700x700.jpg

    Herbal supplements, in general, are to be avoided prior to surgery because they can cause bleeding or other operative complications. A few commonly taken herbal supplements to avoid are: Ginko Biloba, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginger, Dong Quai, Ephedra, Feverfew, St. John’s Wort and/or Omega 3 fatty acids.

    A general rule is to stop taking these potentially unsafe preparations at least two weeks prior. Nonetheless, it is important to discuss all preoperative dietary supplements with a health care professional prior to any surgery or procedure.

    A week or two before surgery, there may be foods and drinks to avoid. For example, it is recommended to stop taking any type of vitamins that contain vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B, vitamin K, all herbal supplements and fish oils; including multivitamins. You should also avoid all food with high sugar contents, because they can suppress normal immune function.

    Even if you are not known to be allergic to these, you should avoid any potentially allergenic foods, such as:

    • Peanuts
    • Eggs
    • Nuts
    • Milk
    • Fish and shellfish
    • Soy or wheat products

    You can, however restart your normal diet after surgery. This is purely a precautionary recommendation.

    Don’t eat anything that is high in fiber for at least 24 hours prior to surgery. This includes fruits and vegetables. That is because foods high in fiber take longer for your body to digest, especially apples, raspberries, oranges and pears. Vegetables like broccoli, peas and artichokes also have a lot of fiber content.

    It is important that patients tell their doctors about all the medications they are taking, including herbal supplements, before surgery. And doctors should provide patients with a list of supplements to avoid.

    Here are some foods and nutrients you should focus on in your post-surgery diet:

    Fiber. A common complaint after surgery is constipation. To avoid this uncomfortable post-surgery complication, eat plenty of fiber. Some high-fiber foods include fresh fruit and vegetables. Whole grain breads and oatmeal are other great sources of fiber. To prevent constipation, avoid foods like dried or dehydrated foods, processed foods, cheese and dairy products, red meats and sweets.

    The amino acids in protein help with wound healing and tissue regeneration. Protein can also help with strength and energy following surgery. Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, pork and seafood are excellent sources of protein. You can also get protein from eggs, nuts, beans and tofu. Dairy also contains protein, but if you’re struggling with constipation, go for the other sources of protein instead of dairy options. If you have trouble getting enough protein in your diet after surgery, try adding protein powder to drinks or smoothies.

    Five Steps to Speed Recovery From Surgery

    Carbohydrates. Fatigue is common following any surgical procedure, but eating the right kinds of carbs can help restore your energy levels. Get carbs from high-fiber foods like whole grains, fruits and veggies, and beans and legumes. These foods will boost energy levels without causing constipation.

    Fat. Healthy fats from olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, nuts and seeds will improve immune response and aid the body’s absorption of vitamins. Fat will also help increase energy levels after surgery.

    Vitamins and Minerals. Perhaps the most important nutrients in your post-surgery diet are vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A (found in orange and dark green veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and spinach) and vitamin C (found in citrus fruits, berries, potatoes, tomatoes, melons, and sweet bell peppers) help with wound healing. Vitamin D (found in milk, fish, eggs, and fortified cereals) promotes bone health. Vitamin E (found in vegetable oils, nuts, beef liver, milk and eggs) protects the body from free radicals. Vitamin K (found in green leafy veggies, fish, liver and vegetable oils) is necessary for blood clotting.

    Zinc (found in meat, seafood, dairy and beans) and iron (found in meat and poultry, beans, apricots, eggs, whole grains and iron-fortified cereals) are also helpful for wound healing and energy following surgery.

    In addition to eating foods that are rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, you must stay hydrated after surgery. Proper hydration isn’t only necessary for healing, but may also be necessary to help your body absorb medications following surgery. Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water every day after surgery to stay hydrated.

    The foods you should and shouldn’t eat can vary depending on the type of surgery and any medications you may be on. Be sure to talk with your doctor about your specific post-surgery dietary requirements.

     

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  • 21Nov

    I finally moved my butt after being kicked by hubby several times and made an appointment to see a gynae today.  I was supposed to see the gynae who delivered my 3 gals for a follow-up ultrasound scan of my uterus to see if the fibroid (which was detected during my yearly check-up before I was preggers with Baby C) is still there.  Since hubby is busy, I fixed an appointment to see a female gynae at the hospital near my place.

    When I saw Dr Jason in April this year a few days after I had delivered Baby C, he had asked me to return to see him for a follow-up ultrasound scan in August.  With my endless trips to the hospital with Baby C due to her recurring UTIs, I have put my own health behind me and focused on Baby C.  What prompted me to see a gynae was that I was worried that I may be having vaginal yeast infection. I was worried that I would be passing my infection to Baby C as she’s still breastfed exclusively. 

    Anyway, the ultrasound scan (abdomen and vaginal) showed NO fibroid in sight.  I was and am still in disbelief.  How can the fibroid disappear so quickly coz when Dr Jason did the ultrasound scan in April 08, it was still there.   Also, the gynae checked my down under and said there’s no yeast infection…. and I am in disbelief too coz I had it about 2 weeks ago.  I am such a wimp and hypochondriac, ain’t I?  Hubby told me that since I don’t trust any other gynaes except my fertility specialist (who is one of the best and most detailed gynaes I have seen), I should make an appointment to see him for another ultrasound scan.  Yup I will but I just hate the idea of having a male inspect my down under.  I will wait and procrastinate again.

    Anyway, the female gynae who saw me today told me that vaginal yeast infection will not pass from me to my baby through breast milk.

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  • 02Sep

    Just before I conceived Baby C early last year, my gynae detected a small fibroid in my uterus during my yearly medical check-up and ultrasound scan. The fibroid was only the size of a pea and my gynae was very blase about it and told me that it’s a very common problem in women. He told me that it’s normally non-cancerous and does not require surgery to remove it.

    I am supposed to see my gynae anytime now to have another ultrasound scan to see if the fibroid is still there, whether it has shrunk in size or whether it has enlarged. Oh God, I hope that the fibroid has disappeared.  I must take the effort to see my gynae real soon.

    Here is some information on Uterine Fibroids :

    Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during your childbearing years. Also called fibromyomas, leiomyomas or myomas, uterine fibroids aren’t associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer.

    As many as three out of four women have uterine fibroids, but most are unaware of them because they often cause no symptoms. Your doctor may discover them incidentally during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.

    In general, uterine fibroids cause no problems and seldom require treatment. Medical therapy and surgical procedures can shrink or remove fibroids if you have discomfort or troublesome symptoms. Rarely, fibroids can require emergency treatment if they cause sudden, sharp pelvic pain.

    Symptoms of fibroids may include:

    Heavy Vaginal Bleeding — Some women experience excessively heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Not uncommonly, women describe soaking through sanitary protection in less than an hour, passing blood clots and being unable to leave the house during the heaviest day of flow. As a result of the blood loss, some women develop anemia, or a low blood count, which can cause fatigue or lightheadedness.

    Pelvic Pressure or Discomfort — Women with large fibroids may have a sense of heaviness or pressure in the lower abdomen or pelvis. This discomfort is similar to pregnancy when the enlarging uterus presses against surrounding structures.

    Bladder Changes — The most frequent bladder symptom is the need to urinate more frequently. Women may awaken several times during the night in order to urinate. Occasionally, women experience an inability to urinate despite a full bladder. Bladder symptoms are caused by the uterine fibroids pressing against the bladder thereby reducing its capacity for holding urine or allowing urine to pass.

    Pelvic Pain — A less common symptom of fibroids is acute, severe pain. This type of pain occurs when a fibroid goes through a process called degeneration, usually because it has outgrown its blood supply. The pain is usually localized to a specific spot and improves on it own within two to four weeks.

    Low Back Pain — Fibroids that press against the muscles and nerves of the lower back can cause back pain. It is important to look for other causes of back pain before attributing the pain to the fibroids.

    Rectal Pressure — Fibroids also can press against the rectum and cause a sense of rectal fullness, difficulty having a bowel movement or pain with bowel movements. Occasionally, fibroids can lead to the development of a hemorrhoid.

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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!

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