How Do You Get Fibroids?

“What causes fibroid tumors in uterus?” is a common questions patients ask when they first learn about or get diagnosed with fibroids.

⇒ Related: What are fibroids?

Fibroids impact up to 70% of women by the age of 50 (and even higher rate of African-American women). While doctors don’t know exactly what causes fibroids to form, there are a few identified factors like estrogen, progesterone, growth hormones, genetics. Most of these factors cannot be easily changed, but it’s also important to remember that there are treatments for uterine fibroids, including medication, surgery, or a minimally invasive treatment option known as uterine fibroid embolization.

Factors that contribute to fibroid tumors’ growth:

  • Genetics
  • Estrogen
  • Drinking Alcohol
  • Not Eating Enough Colored Vegetables and Fruits
  • Eating Red Meat
  • Vitamin D Deficiency
  • Hair Relaxers
  • Stress

⇒Related:How to diagnose fibroids?

What Causes Fibroid Tumors in Uterus?

Genetics

African American women are more likely to develop fibroids than Caucasian women. By the age of 35, 60% of African American women will have fibroids, compared to 40% of Caucasian women. While you are not able to change your genetics, you can focus on the other factors to decrease your chances of developing fibroid tumors.

Not Enough Fruits and Vegetables

We all know we should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. Increase colored fruit and vegetables cause they have a chemical in them that makes them colored (called flavonoids), and flavonoids block estrogen synthesis. The more fruits and vegetables are present in your diet, the better.


Red Meat and Chicken

Consuming red meat and chicken (if it’s not hormone-free, natural chicken) is associated with increased risk of fibroid tumors. Low-estrogen diet is recommended to reduce the risk.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is present in certain foods. Our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D has the ability to diminish the growth of cells and regulate the immune system. Vitamin D also limits the production of fibrous tissue. Take regular walks and make sure you’re getting enoughof vitamin D.

Hair Relaxers

Hair relaxers may contain phthalates, a group of chemicals that are very similar to the structure of estrogen. Detectable levels of phthalates are associated with uterine fibroid risk. Reduce use of hair relaxer or don’t use them at all, if possible.

Alcohol

Consuming alcohol, particularly beer, is associated with the development of uterine fibroids. Consider reducing your intake of alcohol, especially beer, to once per week or less.

High Levels of Stress

Stressful life events, such as the loss of a child or spouse, divorce, etc. Taking care of yourself by exercising, getting enough sleep, eliminating high-stress triggers, and eating right could be helpful to controlling your health.

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Atlanta Fibroid Center
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John C. Lipman, MD, FSIR
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