Have you noticed that your pants fit a little more snugly than usual, or is a new number popping up on your scale? Weight gain can be caused by a number of different factors. Sometimes the reason for your weight gain can be figured out easily — a break from the gym, a change in medication, or a switch-up in your eating habits. But what if you can’t figure out where those extra pounds came from? Unusual weight gain that comes on suddenly in women, without an obvious reason, could be related to uterine fibroids.
Fibroids are common, non-cancerous tumors that grow on or within the muscular walls of the uterus. They can affect about one-third of women under the age of 35 and can trigger symptoms such as pelvic or lower back pain, heavy or irregular periods, anemia, and trouble urinating. The sudden appearance of extra weight is one of the lesser-known symptoms of fibroids, but fibroid tumors and weight gain are closely related. Uterine fibroids could be the cause of unusual weight gain, particularly around the belly.
Can Uterine Fibroids Cause Weight Gain?
Many women with uterine fibroids don’t experience symptoms because their fibroids are about the size of a pea. However, some women’s fibroids grow larger and can be up to the size of a grapefruit, or they can have multiple fibroids. Growth can occur especially when women don’t experience symptoms, leaving them unaware of the possibility they have uterine fibroids.
These larger or multiple fibroids can cause severe symptoms to appear, including an enlarged uterus. Women usually experience an enlarged uterus when they are pregnant, but big or numerous fibroids can also cause your uterus to become enlarged. An enlarged uterus will cause you to feel bloated, full, or have sudden weight gain. Women with an enlarged uterus due to fibroids often notice something is wrong when their pants don’t fit the same way anymore. They may also see a noticeable fullness in the lower abdomen area.
The correlation between fibroid tumors and weight gain is simple: The bigger your fibroids grow, the more they will weigh. This directly impacts weight gain in the abdomen and can make a woman’s stomach appear larger and more full. Because this weight gain is caused by uterine fibroids, it is difficult to diagnose without the help of a doctor.
Additionally, other fibroid symptoms may impact your lifestyle and affect your weight. Symptoms like anemia, heavy bleeding, increased menstrual cramps, and pain in your back or pelvis can lower your energy levels and make it more difficult to maintain an active lifestyle. It is clear that there is a direct relationship between fibroids and weight gain.
How to Treat Weight Gain Due to Uterine Fibroids
Women who suffer from uterine fibroids and symptoms of an enlarged uterus may find it difficult to stay active, which in turn can contribute to putting on extra pounds. However, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet of whole, unprocessed foods can help reduce the painful symptoms of uterine fibroids.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is only a temporary solution for symptomatic fibroids. At USA Fibroid Centers, we perform a minimally invasive, FDA-approved treatment called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). This non-surgical, office-based treatment, performed by our skilled interventional radiologists, shrinks uterine fibroids and reduces painful symptoms. This is done by blocking blood flow in the uterine artery that feeds into the fibroids; without that steady supply of blood, the fibroid tumor shrivels up.
The UFE treatment can be done fairly quickly (about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size and number of fibroids) in our state-of-the-art treatment facilities. You can go home once the procedure is over and typically resume normal activities within a few days, with full recovery expected in one to two weeks.
Shrinking your fibroids allows your uterus to return to a normal size because it won’t have to compensate for the fibroids. When you find relief from your enlarged uterus, you will feel better physically and mentally, as you can return to your normal lifestyle, which includes healthy habits such as eating nutritious meals and exercising regularly.
What Are My Next Steps?
Can uterine fibroids cause weight gain? As you can see, the answer is definitely yes. If you think fibroids might be behind your weight gain, treatment such as UFE could help you feel better. Take our symptom quiz today to see if you may benefit from treatment for uterine fibroids, then reach out to us to schedule an appointment by clicking the button below.
We have many convenient locations across the country, staffed by compassionate and experienced fibroid specialists who can give you a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan. Fibroids and weight gain don’t have to interrupt your life; contact us today to learn more.