How Common Are Fibroid Symptoms?
Posted byAimee McNew, MNT
You just left the doctor’s office. After a thorough examination and a bunch of questions, (s)he suspects that your symptoms indicate you have fibroids. (Uterine fibroids are benign growths composed of muscle and connective tissue from the wall of the uterus, defines the Cleveland Clinic.)1Your doctor is an expert, and (s)he can tell you all about fibroids, but here are some bonus information about fibroids and fibroid symptoms.
What Do Fibroids Feel Like?
Fibroid symptoms may range from mild to severe, and may include anything from heavy periods, frequent urination, rectal pressure, pelvic discomfort, uncomfortable sex, and low back pain, lists the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.2
Which Demographics Are Most at Risk?
Anywhere from 20 to 80 percent of women may end up with fibroids, according to the Office on Women’s Health, and fibroids are most common in women who haven’t yet reached menopause, and a family history of fibroids increases risk.3 According to the Mayo Clinic, African American women have higher odds of developing larger and/or more fibroids compared to other racial groups.4 It is also more likely that African American women may develop fibroids at a younger age.4
What Factors May Increase Your Risk?
Weight and dietary habits may have a hand in fibroid development. According to the Mayo Clinic, women who are obese are at higher risk of developing fibroids. Diets rich in red or processed meat, and low in leafy greens, fruit or dairy, may also create the right environment for the development of fibroids. Other factors associated with fibroid development include:4
- Birth control use
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Alcohol consumption
How Are Fibroid Symptoms Addressed?
Medically, fibroids may be addressed with hormone therapy to shrink them, or they may be surgically removed. Many approaches for fibroids involve a “watchful waiting” process to see how they develop, says the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.5
If the patient is close to menopause or is no longer interested in pregnancy or fertility concerns, a hysterectomy may be performed to remove the entire uterus. This is typically only done if other treatment options fail, states the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.6
When fibroids are not producing severe symptoms, complementary or alternative medicine may be effective in certain cases. Dietary support and stress reduction may be beneficial not only for fibroid symptoms or development, according to a study in Current Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports.7 Remember, always consult your doctor if you are considering any of these options.
Fibroids may go unnoticed or they may produce life-altering symptoms, but either way, if you suspect that you have fibroids, the best way to address them is to get evaluated by a medical professional.
1″Uterine Fibroids.” Cleveland Clinic. April 5, 2017. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/uterine-fibroids
2″Fibroids Signs and Symptoms.” University of California San Francisco Medical Center. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/fibroids/signs_and_symptoms.html
3″Uterine fibroids.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. January 2017. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/uterine-fibroids
4“Uterine fibroids.” Mayo Clinic, July 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/symptoms-causes/dxc-20212514
5“Uterine fibroids and hysterectomy.” Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. February 16, 2017. http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=10&pid=10&gid=000073#adamHeading_8
6“Uterine fibroids and hysterectomy.” Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. February 16, 2017. http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=10&pid=10&gid=000073#adamHeading_11
7Dalton-Brewer, Nick. “The Role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for the Management of Fibroids and Associated Symptomatology.” Current Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports, June 2016. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13669-016-0156-0
- Posted by Aimee McNew, MNT
- On June 9, 2017