Can fibroids cause weight gain? If you want the short answer: Absolutely!
Uterine Fibroids are a non-cancerous overgrowth in muscles and tissues in the uterus. Some of the fibroids are small and usually go unnoticed by women who has them. However a well-developed fibroid can weigh between 20 to 40 pounds. That is a lot of extra weight in abdomen.
Fibroids usually grow over a period of time if not treated and may consequently results in weight gain. When fibroids grow in certain size or if located in specific areas of abdomen, it can start appearing as swelling in the abdomen. It may make you look like a 6 months pregnant women.
Why Fibroids Cause Weight Gain
In the beginning uterine fibroids are very small. In some cases, they stay small & don’t show any symptoms or complications. But for some women, they grow rapidly and get very large in a short span of time. They are the results of:
- Elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones
- During Pregnancy above hormone levels increase
There will be an increased risk for you if:
- Are over the age of 30
- You have family history
- Are African American
With high estrogen levels you tend to develop fibroids. It’s also believed that fibroids are hereditary in nature. There is a high probability that you will have fibroids, if your mother or grandmother had them. Some ethnic groups are more prone to contract fibroids than others. African-American women have the highest incidence of fibroids cases.
Obesity and high blood pressure also appear to be linked, but cannot be confirmed to cause fibroids based upon current research.
Since fibroids cause swelling in abdominal area, these benign are sometimes even be mistaken for signs of pregnancy. While fibroids is not cancerous, but once it enlarges it will start becoming apparent and uncomfortable for the person. Since this mass can be very large and heavy it can cause weight gain.
One factor in the relationship between fibroids & weight gain is that fibroids are recognized in causing heavy bleeding and/or irregular periods with extended menstrual cycles. These symptoms can lead to anemia and exhaustion due to the loss of iron contained in the blood. The greater the blood loss, the greater the iron depletion, the sooner fatigue follows. Women who have fibroids may possibly experience anxiety or discomfort because of this condition. Combining anxiety with overall fatigue leads the female to be more likely in turning to comfort food, while avoiding exercise. The increased calories from the comfort foods added to the lack of exercise will eventually lead to weight gain.
Warning Signs that Your Weight Gain May be Fibroids
In order to identify the warning signs of fibroids, first we need to have a brief look on the normal causes of weight gain among women:
Normal Causes of Weight Gain
- Eating more than you normally do
- Not eating as much as you normally do
- Getting less exercise as you normally do
- Consumption of high sodium meal which causes water retention (bloating)
But when there is no rationale explanation of your weight gain. Or if you are not getting results even if you are working out, there might be something else going on.
Signs that Weight Gain could be Fibroids
One of the signs of fibroids is unexplained weight gain. If you are in doubt always visit your doctor. But you will want to evaluate the weight gain as it relates to other symptoms.
The common symptoms of fibroids are:
- Heavy bleeding between periods
- Prolonged period
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Abnormally heavy bleeding during periods
- Painful Intercourse
- Pain in the pelvis and lower back, which you may only identify as discomfort at first
- Pressure or feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen
- Increased urination, due to extra pressure on your bladder not unlike that experienced during pregnancy
- More severe menstrual cramping
- Difficulty emptying the bladder