Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in the muscle wall of the uterus. They are very common, affecting up to 80% of women by the time they reach menopause.
While uterine fibroids do not directly cause weight gain, they can lead to weight gain in a few ways.
1. Increased weight from the fibroids themselves
Large uterine fibroids can weigh several pounds. This can add extra weight to your abdomen and pelvis.
2. Bloating and swelling
Uterine fibroids can cause bloating and swelling in the abdomen and pelvis. This can make you look and feel like you have gained weight.
3. Difficulty staying active
Uterine fibroids can cause pain and discomfort, which can make it difficult to stay active. This can lead to weight gain over time.
4. Changes in hormones
Uterine fibroids can cause changes in hormone levels, which can lead to weight gain. For example, estrogen can stimulate the growth of fat cells.
5. Changes in diet
Some women may change their diet as a result of having uterine fibroids. For example, they may eat more comfort foods or avoid certain foods that trigger their symptoms. This can lead to weight gain over time.
6. Medication side effects
Some medications that are used to treat uterine fibroids can cause weight gain as a side effect. For example, some hormonal medications can lead to fluid retention, which can make you look and feel like you have gained weight.
How to manage weight gain from uterine fibroids
If you have uterine fibroids and are concerned about weight gain, there are a few things you can do:
- Talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you to develop a plan to manage your weight gain.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats.
- Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Manage your stress. Stress can lead to unhealthy eating habits and weight gain. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.
If you are struggling to manage your weight gain on your own, talk to your doctor about other options. There are a number of medications and weight loss programs that can help.
While uterine fibroids do not directly cause weight gain, they can lead to weight gain in a few ways. It is important to talk to your doctor about your weight gain if you are concerned. There are a number of things you can do to manage your weight gain, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, managing your stress, and talking to your doctor about other options.