Uterine fibroids and Weight Gain

Uterine fibroids

Have you recently noticed that you have put on a few extra kilos ! Your favorite dresses do not fit any longer !! Unfortunately, this weight gain especially around the stomach area can be due to growth of Uterine fibroids. If you still follow the same diet and you rule out being pregnant, it is quite possible that fibroids might be the cause of your bloating.

It is essential that you learn more about the symptoms of Fibroids, its role in weight gain and other complications so that you can get relief faster from your existing symptoms.   

What are Fibroids?

A fibroid is a benign tumor usually found in the tissue of the uterus. They are generally uncomfortable and very inconvenient and may come in any numbers and sizes. It may appear as a single, small or large fibroid or as a cluster of many fibroids. Sudden hormonal changes can lead to changes in the fibroid growth.

Symptoms of Fibroids:

Fibroids can occur with mild symptoms, no symptoms or very severe symptoms. Those who get symptoms, usually experience 

  •  Pressure on the bladder and / or rectal pain
  • Constipation 
  • Frequent urination
  • Lower back pain /Abdominal pain

How are fibroids caused?

The exact cause of fibroids is still unclear to doctors. Female hormones estrogen and progesterone appear to promote their growth. This is ascertained as Uterine fibroids are observed to contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors than normal uterine muscle cells. Again, after menopause when there is a decrease in the hormone production the fibroids tend to shrink.

How it affects menstruation

Women with fibroids may experience changes in their menstrual cycles. They may feel

  • Irregular periods
  • Mild to severe stomach cramps 
  • Spotting / bleeding between periods
  • Heavy bleeding with occasional blood clots

Can Fibroids lead to Weight gain ?

Absolutely! Some large fibroids can weigh several kilograms and may measure more than 20 cms in diameter, about the size of a small watermelon. They can even impact organs like lungs or bladder. When fibroids grow larger, it becomes heavier and women start gaining weight in the abdomen. In severe cases they may even start looking pregnant. 

Making matters worse, bleeding and associated iron deficiency make women feel light headed and they tend to reduce their normal exercise. Women worry about being anemic due to heavy bleeding and they tend to overeat to make up for the loss. This is a deadly combination for weight gain.

Women who are experiencing a bulge which resembles pregnancy, an associated feeling of being bloated along with weight gain must be aware of possibility of fibroids and they should consult their doctor soon. If left untreated large fibroids can cause blood clots or ruptures and lead to further complications.  

Complications of Fibroids

Few women with fibroids experience unusually heavy bleeding during their periods. They experience iron deficiency, turn anemic and can be treated with iron supplements and modified diet.

Fibroids, though usually do not interfere with fertility and pregnancy, can complicate pregnancy and increase the risk during delivery.

 Hence getting the best treatment for fibroids is very significant.