Imagine something the size of an apple seed or small grapefruit playing bumper cars in your system! Not all women suffering from fibroids have symptoms, but many are off track from the pain and discomfort. Fibroids are annoying muscular tumors that can cause turmoil in or on your uterus. According to womenshealth.gov, fibroids are almost always benign (non-cancerous).
Fibroids may grow as a single tumor or there can be many of them ready to take you into overdrive. They are common for women between from the ages of 40 to early 50s, but they usually shrink or disappear after menopause. There is a long history of sisterhood with fibroids and if your mother, grandmother or sister had them, you may develop them as well.
Hitting the Gas
Fibroids are a major concern for the medical community due to a large number of women suffering from them. The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports about 70 to 80% of women have them by age 50. The NIH also states that 70% of white women and 80% of African-American women have fibroids. Although the cause of fibroids is unknown, there are factors that contribute to the disease.
- Being over age 30
- Being of African-American descent
- High body weight
- Heavy bleeding
- Pelvic/ lower back pain
- Heavy bleeding
- Menstrual cramping
- Longer lasting periods
- Abdominal swelling
Mom Was Right….
Eating your fruits and vegetables is important. Take the high road with foods high in fiber content. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, flaxseed, leafy vegetables and walnuts are great options for a well-balanced diet. If you are a fan of dairy, try low-fat items such as yogurt, cottage cheese or almond milk.
Hit the Brakes on These Foods….
It is important to avoid those high-fat, processed foods. Red meats, high-fat dairy, refined sugars, carbohydrates, alcohol and caffeine may also cause these annoying tumors to grow. Try to cut your risk by limiting white bread, white rice, cookies and pastries as well.
If you feel that fibroids are affecting your quality of life, whether through missed work, hospitalizations or limited daily life functions, it is time to see your physician. The first course of action is to see your gynecologist for a pelvic exam. Evaluations may be done through an ultrasound or pelvic MRI. As stated before, some women do not show symptoms, while others are sidelined by heavy bleeding and pain.
Gynecologists are trained to give you the best possible advice for fibroid treatment. They may recommend medications to help shrink the fibroids. They may also talk with you about other options for controlling bleeding and pain. Living with fibroids doesn’t have to take you off-course. Consult with your provider for the best treatment options to make sure you are at the wheel for having your best life.
National Institute of Health