Dr Covington answers your questions.
Yes. It is due to the relationship between fat, fibroids, and estrogen.
Fibroids or leiomyoma (myo meaning muscle and oma meaning tumor) are common non-cancerous muscle growths within the uterus.
Fibroids occur in childbearing age women and cause symptoms of pain, cramping, bloating, heavy and prolonged periods, and fatigue and can also cause low iron levels and even infertility. As many as 80% of women with fibroids have no symptoms at all.
Fibroids are most common in African descent women (2-3 times more common than in white women), typically clusters in families, and are often correlated with excess weight.
Fibroids are usually diagnosed by a primary care doctor or gynecologist. In terms of treatments, they range from birth control to aid in menstrual cycle regulation, to myomectomy (fibroid removal), to hysterectomy.
All sex hormones are produced by fat. The more body fat someone has on their body, the more the produce sex hormones; such as estrogen. More estrogen provides more fuel for fibroids.
This relationship between fat, fibroids, and estrogen is important for 3 reasons:
- Surgical fibroid removal (myomectomy) does not guarantee the fibroid will stay gone, they can grow back (or grow in a new location)
- Weight loss shrinks fibroids
- Fibroids impact child-bearing age women as opposed to post menopausal women who no longer produce estrogen
As women lose weight, there is less body fat and less "precursor fuel” to feed the fibroids. The fibroid shrinks or may completely disappear.
Are you suffering with fibroids and want to try weight loss as a potential treatment? See Dr Covington’s YouTube video on Fibroids and Weight Loss
Request an appointment with Dr Covington or Call 704-997-9661 to Schedule appointment
Khan, A., Shehmar, M., & Gupta, J. (2014). Uterine fibroids: Current perspectives. International Journal of Womens Health,95.
Wise, L. A., Palmer, J. R., Spiegelman, D., Harlow, B. L., Stewart, E. A., Adams-Campbell, L. L., & Rosenberg, L. (2005). Influence of Body Size and Body Fat Distribution on Risk of Uterine Leiomyomata in U.S. Black Women. Epidemiology, 16(3), 346-354.