Uterine leiomyomas, commonly called uterine fibroids are one of the most common yet understudied diseases in women. These tumours, commonly known as fibroids, affect women mainly during their reproductive years. In this article, we will learn if fibroids can cause weight gain, whether there is an association between obesity and fibroids and if the removal of a fibroid is necessary in each case.
Does fibroids lead to weight gain?
Not exactly. Fibroids themselves do not cause true weight gain. However, the association of weight gain with fibroids can be because of hormonal balance. The hormonal imbalance can cause fibroids, and in turn, these imbalances may affect your metabolism. Another cause for a slight weight gain can be the presence of large fibroids. However, the weight gain is usually very less unless it is significant.
However, there may be a reverse association between weight gain and uterine fibroid. Weight gain or obesity increases the likelihood of uterine fibroids.
Therefore, women with fibroids should maintain a healthy weight in order to prevent further growth. Fat cells produce more estrogen, and sudden changes in hormones can lead to fibroid growth. Having a healthy weight, a good diet, and a regular exercise routine are a few strategies which can prevent fibroid growth.
Does obesity increase the risk of uterine fibroids?
Various studies have examined the association between obesity and the risk of Uterine Fibroids. Most of these findings indicate that obesity may increase the risk of uterine fibroids. However, the findings still need further research. The meta-analysis results of a study done in 2019 suggest that obesity may increase the risk or prevalence of fibroids, and the association is non-linear. Another study suggests that symptomatic uterine fibroids may be another comorbid disease state associated with obesity. Similarly, an older study on Chinese women concluded that the occurrence of uterine fibroids in women might be related to excess weight and central obesity.
Does every fibroid need to be removed?
Not all fibroids require treatment. However, doctors can treat the fibroids that become significant in size or hamper the quality of life through medical and surgical procedures. The treatment plan is curated as per the family planning needs and where a woman is present in her reproductive journey.
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