A study in the Journal of Women’s Health in October of 2013 evaluated close to 1,000 women suffering from fibroids. They found that the average length of time that women would suffer before seeking treatment was over 3 ½ years and approximately 25% of these women waited over 5 years!
Why would someone suffering from painful fibroid symptoms wait so long to seek treatment? The number one reason was that the vast majority of these women were only offered surgery as a form of treatment and they did not want to undergo surgery, either myomectomy or hysterectomy. The non-surgical option of uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), was not offered to these patients.
Can Fibroids Cause Anemia?
Uterine fibroids are the most common cause of heavy menstrual bleeding that lasts well beyond what is normal and customary for a woman’s cycle. Many women are not aware of what is normal and what is considered “too heavy” when it comes to bleeding during their cycles.
A woman’s period is considered too heavy when she changes pads more frequently than every 3 hours, requires more than 8 pads in a day, needs to use more than one pad at a time, reports episodes of blood “flooding”/”gushing” out, experiences bleeding accidents, or passes numerous or large clots.
Many women who experience prolonged heavy bleeding during their menstrual cycles develop a medical condition called anemia which is a deficiency in iron and hemoglobin.
Fibroids And Fatigue: Do Fibroids Make You Tired?
Anemia can cause many different symptoms that vary in severity depending on what is causing the anemia to occur. Anemia can begin so mildly that it goes unnoticed and can be misdiagnosed. Anemia caused by fibroids can cause headaches and anemia from fibroids can cause nausea and dizziness.
Other symptoms of anemia include:
- Very pale skin;
- Irregular heartbeats;
- Chest pain;
- Shortness of breath;
- Cold hands and feet;
- Brain fog;
- Chewing or craving ice;
- Thinning hair or hair loss.
Many patients report fatigue and a significant percentage of them feel it is due to aging, although these patients are often in their late thirties or forties! Chronic fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia. Many women feel that being tired is just a normal part of everyday life.
Approximately 80% of African-Americans women will experience fibroids during their lifetime vs 70% of their Caucasian counterparts and among these African American women, approximately 25% will suffer from anemia whereas only 3.3% of Caucasian women will develop the condition. Increased blood loss is the most common reason for anemia and the resulting fatigue.
Uterine Fibroids And Stress
Uterine fibroids can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms that can reduce a woman’s quality of life. Symptoms such as prolonged heavy bleeding, bloating, back or leg pain, pelvic pain, pain during sex, frequent urination that can disturb sleep patterns, etc.
The pain associated with many fibroid symptoms can bring about stress but can also affect a woman’s emotional health. Many women have relayed stories about being at public events and bleeding so heavily that they were afraid to get up from their seats, fearing that they had bled through their clothing and onto the seat.
Other women have to cancel plans when their symptoms begin to flare up because they are in pain or their flow is so heavy they know it will interrupt their evening. Another lesser-known symptom of fibroids is it can make sexual intercourse painful making an intimate relationship difficult. The link between stress and fibroids is real and can be clearly identified in women who suffer from debilitating fibroid symptoms.
5 Tips To Help Reduce Fatigue With Fibroids
- Walking and other forms of daily exercise.
- Proper nutrition with lots of fruits and vegetables;
- Drinking plenty of water;
- Avoiding alcohol and smoking;
- 850 mg green tea extract daily – a study showed a 33% reduction in total fibroid volume in 4 months.
While finding ways to help reduce fatigue caused by fibroids is helpful in the short-term, anemia that is caused by fibroids and produces debilitating symptoms, requires a long-term permanent solution. The best solution to address the symptoms and stress caused by fibroids is to eliminate the fibroids.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), a non-surgical option was not offered to these patients. Second, a number of these women had been bleeding heavily for so long they did not recognize this bleeding to be abnormal. The prolonged loss of blood (and therefore, iron and hemoglobin, too) leads to a medical condition called anemia.
What Is The Best Treatment For Fatigue Caused By Fibroid-Induced Anemia
At the Atlanta Fibroid Center®, we perform a thorough history of the patient’s menstrual pattern, as well as investigate whether or not the patient is experiencing more than one of the associated symptoms of anemia. We also check to determine the patient’s hemoglobin levels (Hgb) for anemia severity.
Anemia Severity Hemoglobin Levels Chart
|Hemoglobin Level||Degree of Anemia|
|Hgb level 11-12/g/dL||Mild|
|Hgb level 8-10.9g/dL||Moderate|
|Hgb level <8g/dL||Severe|
Correcting anemia is not as simple as just replacing the iron that has been lost and requires a long-term solution that targets the underlying cause. The solution is to eliminate the fibroids that are present and prevent them from coming back.
Historically, and for far too long, the only solutions offered to women for fibroid removal were surgical. In most cases, surgery is unnecessary and recent advancements in medicine have introduced the non-surgical uterine fibroid embolism procedure to effectively eliminate fibroids.
Uterine Fibroid Embolism has transformed the lives of many patients and is an amazing solution for eliminating fibroids forever.
How Does UFE Eliminate Fatigue Caused By Fibroids
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical procedure that eliminates all types of fibroids no matter how numerous, where they are located, or what size they are. It works by cutting off the blood supply to the fibroids which is vital to their growth and survival. When the blood supply is cut off, the fibroids begin to shrink and die thereby alleviating the symptoms of fibroids.
UFE Is done as an outpatient procedure and does not require a hospital stay. Patients are released the same day to recover comfortably at home with only a bandaid. Uterine fibroid embolism is 90% effective and allows patients to keep their uterus.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) has transformed the lives of patients suffering from anemia and other debilitating fibroid symptoms. Some patients find almost immediate relief from fibroid-related symptoms and most regain their quality of life by the third month after having the UFE procedure.
Lose Your Fibroids, Keep Your Uterus!
At Atlanta Fibroid Center we know that fibroids make you feel sick and cause fatigue that can lead to emotional stress. If you or a loved one is suffering from fatigue, emotional distress or you think may have anemia due to heavy bleeding caused by fibroids, contact us today to set up a consultation. We would welcome the opportunity to help you live fibroid free without losing your uterus #DontLoseUrU.