When are you due? It’s a question asked by many friends and relatives when you are pregnant. However, if you are asked that question, and you are not pregnant, it is embarrassing and disheartening. If you are walking around with a larger than normal stomach, could it be due to fibroids?
Benign, But Uncomfortable And Inconvenient
Fibroids are benign tumors that form inside the uterus and can cause many uncomfortable symptoms. Lengthy painful menstrual periods, excessive bleeding, and fatigue are some of the symptoms of fibroids. However, not all women have these kinds of symptoms, or any symptoms.
Developing fibroids is associated with estrogen surges and heredity. If your mother or grandmother had fibroids, you are at a higher risk to have them also. African American women are also more likely to have fibroids.
Lesser Known Symptoms Of Fibroids
Gaining weight and having a bulging stomach happen to be symptoms most women do not associate with fibroids. In fact, it is a common symptom. You may think your swollen stomach is just poor eating habits, but fibroids can add weight and volume to your tummy.
Fibroids can be a single one or you could have several, they can grow in clusters, and they can become quite large and heavy.
- A small fibroid is between 1 cm and 5 cm like a small seed or a cherry
- A medium fibroid is 5 to 10 cm like a lemon or lime, or even an orange
- A large fibroid is 10+ cm like a mango, grapefruit, and yes, even a watermelon.
The bigger a fibroid grows, the heavier it becomes. Sometimes they can weigh as much as 20 to 40 pounds.
In addition, long painful menstrual periods due to fibroids can cause women to develop anemia from the excess loss of blood. As a result, they spend too much time on their sofa or in bed without any activity. All these factors contribute to weight gain.
Breaking The Cycle
Avoiding alcohol, eating more fruits and vegetables, increasing Vitamin D intake, getting more exercise, and drinking dairy can help break the cycle of weight gain. This change in diet and activity may help to reduce your risk of developing or growing large fibroids.
If these changes do not help you to reduce your stomach bulge or lose weight, see Atlanta Women’s Obstetrics & Gynecology to learn about our treatment options for fibroids.
Contact Atlanta Women’s Obstetrics & Gynecology at (404) 352-3616 if you are tired of the painful symptoms of fibroids, including a stomach bulge and weight gain.