Uterine fibroids affect women mostly during their thirties and forties, and yes, unfortunately fibroids can cause weight gain. One might call it a “double whammy” for women.
Let’s look at what fibroids are, their symptoms, and how they can cause weight gain.
Defining a Fibroid
Women who haven’t experienced any symptoms of a fibroid may not know what they are, so a brief definition may be in order. A fibroid is a benign tumor usually found in the tissue of the uterus. They may be so small that they can only be detected by an examination, and can remain painless. There are also larger ones, but in all cases, they are not cancerous.
Pregnancy and hormone swings during menstrual cycles produce a surge in estrogen, feeding the fibroid and causing it to grow. Women taking postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, along with African American women are also at higher risk to develop fibroids.
Common Fibroid Symptoms
If you have not been diagnosed with fibroids, be aware of the following common symptoms.
If you experience frequent pelvic pain, feel the urge to urinate more often, are constipated, or are bothered by backache and leg pain, it’s possibly the result of fibroids. Long menstrual bleeding and pain can be another sign, as well as painful intercourse.
Weight Gain and Bloating
Fibroids cause weight gain and bloating due to a hormonal imbalance or the size of the fibroid. Larger fibroids may cause a woman to gain weight in the abdomen.
Simply put, the more a fibroid grows, the heavier it will become. Consequently, weight gain and discomfort will follow as some fibroids weigh as much as 20-40 pounds. This swelling and bloating can even make a woman look pregnant.
Your Cycle’s Influence on Weight Gain
A woman with fibroids may have long menstrual cycles with excessive bleeding. Losing an inordinate amount of blood can trigger anemia, resulting in fatigue from the iron deficiency.
The excess weight, combined with anxiety, discomfort, and fatigue may cause a woman to begin a cycle of:
- Overeating and craving foods with higher calorie content
- Reducing the amount of exercise she normally performs
- This combination can turn into even more pounds without the woman even realizing what is happening.
If you are experiencing unexpected weight gain, maybe it is due to fibroids. Consider whether you have any of the normal symptoms of fibroids, and then evaluate if you have changed what you eat or how much, and if you are being consistent with your exercise routine.
If you discover your weight gain is unexpected and unexplained, maybe it’s time to consult with Dr. Robert Handley of North Texas Fibroids about your symptoms. Call (972) 724-2000, or submit a request online today to schedule an appointment!