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Uterine Fibroids: Understanding Your Risk Factors

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that may develop in the uterus due to abnormal cell division. There may be just one or several of them at once, varying in size and growth speed. As many as every three out of four U.S. women have uterine fibroids at some point during their child-bearing years.

They rarely develop into cancer and can even go unnoticed for a long time, but this doesn’t make them a joy to have. If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibrosis, you could be one of the unlucky few (about 25% of women with uterine fibrosis) who does experience some unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms may range from light to severe, depending on the type, location and number of fibroids. They may include:

  • pelvic pressure or pain
  • headaches, fatigue and anemia
  • heavy menstrual bleeding and longer periods
  • frequents urge to urinate
  • pain during intercourse
  • back or leg aches

Fibroids may grow in the inner layer of the uterus, project to the outside or be embedded in the middle of the uterine wall. Fibroids growing on the inside of the uterus can interfere with you ability to get pregnant or maintain a healthy pregnancy.

What causes uterine fibroids?

Unfortunately, there is no single, straightforward answer to this question. There are many factors from your lifestyle and nutrition to genetics that can affect the likelihood of you getting fibroids. One thing researchers agree on is that uterine fibroids tend to “run in the family,” which indicates that genes play a major role. Also, because the function of the uterus is largely controlled by hormones, hormonal imbalance may also be related to fibroid formation.

Traditional Allopathic Treatment for uterine fibrosis is not without side effects. Most treatments focus or reducing production of progesterone, which can cause fibroids to shrink, as well as prevent new fibroids from appearing. This treatment may cause your entire hormonal system to go haywire. Some women choose hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) as a final resort.

Fibroids and Nutrition

uterine fibroids and nutrition

More and more studies using whole foods as a treatment for uterine fibroids are being performed, dating as long as a decade ago. Here are some of the nutritional risk factors that could make you a prime candidate for uterine fibrosis:

  • Heavy consumption of red meat vs. green vegetables
  • Frequent alcohol consumption
  • Obesity
  • Heavy consumption of foods with high glycemic index, such as white bread, donuts or instant white rice.

As you can see all of these are things we don’t generally consider “healthy.” And when you combine this unhealthy diet with genetic predisposition, you get a recipe for disaster.

Are you doomed if you have bad genes?

Knowing that uterine fibrosis runs in your family is not necessarily a sentence. With this knowledge you can make sure you do everything in your power to prevent the onset of fibrosis. And a good place to start is getting your nutrition on the right track. If you are looking for natural ways to prevent or address uterine fibroids in Towson, Md., Women in Wellness can help through a dynamic combination of functional nutrition and acupuncture. Together we can pinpoint and eliminate potential risk factors, and if you get severe pain from your fibroids, you can rely on our acupuncture treatments.

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