Let’s begin by telling you that you can have fibroids but suffer no symptoms. If so, you are exceptionally fortunate! At the same time, there is no need to tell a woman who has symptoms that they can be traumatic and interfere with your daily life. These women already know that the side effects are extremely painful, and you wouldn’t wish them on your worst enemy. So the burning question may be: are fibroids preventable?
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Fibroids are benign growths or tumors on the inside or outside of the uterus or on the inside of the muscle wall. They are quite unpredictable in that they can be different sizes, grow at different rates, and occur in different places. We already know they can cause painful symptoms OR be asymptomatic. In addition, they affect women in different ways and to different degrees.
Most Common Symptoms Of Uterine Fibroids
If you suffer with fibroid symptoms, most likely you will experience some or all of the following:
- Exceptionally painful menstrual cycles
- Heavy bleeding
- Swollen abdomen
- Painful intercourse
- Dysfunction of your bladder or bowels
- Fatigue from anemia
Of course, you want to know: are fibroids preventable?
Can You Do Anything To Prevent Fibroids?
Some women are predisposed to develop fibroids and experience symptoms. In plain language that means you may have risk factors for fibroids, and you have little control. Black and Hispanic women are more at risk. If a close family relative like your mother or sister has or had them, you are likely to get them. If you have a Vitamin D deficiency, are obese, take birth control, eat a lot of red meat, and began your period at an early age, this makes you more at risk to develop fibroids.
There is really nothing you can do to prevent fibroids. This is especially true if you have some of the risk factors listed above. In addition, there is no method to cure uterine fibroids, but there are treatments.
What You Can Do
Whether you have risk factors or not, there are some actions you can take to reduce the symptoms or lessen the risks.
For starters, you can do the following:
- lifestyle changes
- educate yourself about the warning signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids
- see Dr. Steadman for regular pelvic exams
In addition, maintain a healthy body weight, and reduce consumption of high fat processed foods, high fat dairy, salt, MSG, soy, refined sugar and carbs, plus caffeine and alcohol.
Contact fibroids specialist Brent Steadman, MD at 724-503-6766 if you have severe symptoms from uterine fibroids or have questions about treatment options. You can also request an appointment through our secure online form to schedule a consultation in Pittsburgh.