Is there a relationship between fibroids and weight gain?

Fibroids and weight gain

Have you been gaining weight? Has your stomach begun to expand? Do you know why? If you are having any of these symptoms and there is no clear cause (such as diet change or pregnancy), you may be dealing with fibroids.

Weight gain and a bloated stomach are not well-known as symptoms of fibroids. Yet, the growth of fibroids within your uterus can cause this type of physical changes. It makes sense to understand fibroids and how to determine if they are behind your weight gain. That way, you can figure out how to treat them and get relief from the bloat.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are benign tumors in the uterus that primarily affect women over 30. While the word “tumor” might sound scary, fibroids are not cancerous. Like warts or cherry moles (other types of benign tumors) they are unusual tissue growths that can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, but not life threatening.

There is no known cause for fibroids (despite extensive research). What is known is that they appear with the greatest frequency in African American women and are influenced by the amount of estrogen in a woman’s body. The more estrogen present in a woman’s body, the more likely she is to develop fibroids. Fibroids also appear to be at least partially genetic. That is, women with a mother or grandmother who developed fibroids are more likely to develop them, as well.

Fibroids can come in many sizes and numbers. There can be one small fibroid, clusters of small fibroids, or large fibroids in the uterus. What causes fibroids to grow in the first place is as yet unknown.

How do fibroids and weight gain relate?

The most likely cause of weight gain and abdominal bloating with fibroids is the growth of the fibroids themselves. For example, a very tiny fibroid might begin to grow in the presence of estrogen surges (such as those that occur during pregnancy or pre-menopause).

As that fibroid grows, it takes up more space, and becomes heavier. As a result, you experience weight gain and bloating as your body adjusts to the presence of the mass within you. 

Multiple and large fibroids jutting out of the uterus can cause the abdomen to appear swollen or larger in size.

Since people are more likely to associate a large abdomen with weight gain, it is one of the most misunderstood and ignored symptoms of a fibroid-growth.

A majority (59.1 percent) of 300 multi-ethnic women with genetic uterine fibroids reported abdominal swelling, according to a 2005 study published in Human Reproduction.

If you have noticed your belly (abdomen, in particular) sticking out and you’ve been blaming it on your poor diet, it’s time to reconsider. Consult your gynecologist.

Help! I hate the bloating! What can I do?

While there are a number of treatments available for uterine fibroids in the uterus (including fibroid surgery) one option is becoming increasingly popular among women. uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), is a minimally invasive procedure that blocks the blood supply to the fibroids. As a result, the fibroids are unable to continue growing, and instead begin to shrink and die off.

One of the advantages of UFE is the fact that it very precisely targets the blood vessels that are supplying just the fibroids with oxygen and nutrients. As a result, it is capable of killing off the fibroid without blocking blood flow anywhere else in the uterus.

The precision and the non surgical nature of Uterine Fibroid Embolization offers patients a treatment for large fibroids in the uterus that is both extremely effective and minimally invasive.

Ask VIVA EVE: The Fibroid Experts

The doctors at VIVA EVE have years of experience in the treatment of uterine fibroids and adenomyosis through UFE. Further, we provide high-quality, personalized care for each and every patient we see. Whatever your symptoms, we’ll partner with you to determine the best way to treat them. 

Please click here or call 1-866-684-8238 to schedule an appointment with one of our fibroid experts.