Unexplained Sudden Weight Gain in Women: What To Look Out For
Have you noticed lately that your pants are feeling tighter? Has the number on your scale suddenly increased, even though you haven’t changed how you eat? We want you to be aware that sudden weight gain in women can be caused by a range of underlying health conditions, including hypothyroidism, diabetes, perimenopause, and 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. If you have fibroids, you may experience symptoms such as pelvic or lower back pain, heavy or irregular periods, anemia, and frequent urination.
Unexplained weight gain is a lesser-known symptom of fibroids. If you have sudden weight gain in the stomach area, this may indicate an enlarged uterus due to fibroids. Fibroids can also lead to constipation or menstrual bloating, and weight gain sometimes follows.
If you believe that you may have uterine fibroids, we recommend contacting your doctor or a fibroid specialist for a full medical evaluation. In the meantime, here is some basic information about unexplained weight gain in women due to uterine fibroids.
Can Uterine Fibroids Cause Weight Gain in Women?
As discussed above, uterine fibroids can cause sudden weight gain in women. They can also damage surrounding organs, impact fertility, and cause a range of painful, uncomfortable, and inconvenient symptoms.
Many women with uterine fibroids don’t experience symptoms because their fibroids are about the size of a pea. However, some fibroids can be up to the size of a grapefruit, and some women may also develop multiple fibroids. Growth can occur even when women don’t experience symptoms, leaving them unaware of the possibility they have uterine fibroids.
Larger or multiple fibroids can cause severe symptoms to appear. Women usually experience an enlarged uterus when pregnant, but big or numerous fibroids can also cause your uterus to enlarge. 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.
Fibroid Symptoms: Weight Gain and More
The correlation between the fibroid and weight gain is simple: the bigger your fibroids grow, the more they weigh. This directly impacts weight gain in the abdomen and can make a woman’s stomach appear larger and more full. Because uterine fibroids cause this weight gain, it is difficult to diagnose without a doctor’s help.
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 challenging to maintain an active lifestyle. There is a direct relationship between fibroids and weight gain, and seeking treatment from a fibroid specialist can help alleviate this symptom.
Does Fibroid Sizes Have Anything to Do With It?
Fibroids can grow large enough to expand the uterus and the stomach while also adding weight. Along with the size of a single fibroid, you must also consider the impact of multiple fibroids or those that grow together in a cluster.
Small fibroids are about the size of a seed or smaller, as little as under 5 cm or the size of a cherry. The average size is from 5 cm to 10 cm, which is about the size of a plum or orange. However, large fibroids can be much bigger at 10 cm or more, up to the size of a watermelon. Fibroid sizes can vary, but they can have a negative impact on your weight.
How To Treat Fibroids and Stop Weight Gain
Women suffering from uterine fibroids and symptoms of an enlarged uterus may find it challenging to stay active, contributing to putting on extra pounds. However, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet of whole, unprocessed foods can help reduce weight gain, along with the painful symptoms of uterine fibroids.
We suggest eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy. It is also good to avoid added sugars, sodium, unhealthy fats, and alcohol. If you struggle to manage your diet appropriately, visiting a registered dietician may help. You can ask your doctor for a referral.
We want you to understand that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is only a temporary solution for symptomatic fibroids. Fortunately, effective treatment exists that can alleviate your symptoms. Many women believe that a hysterectomy, the complete surgical removal of the uterus, is their only treatment option. This isn’t true. There is a range of available fibroid treatments, including surgical and non-surgical techniques.
At USA Fibroid Centers, we perform a minimally invasive, FDA-approved treatment called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a non-surgical, office-based treatment our skilled interventional radiologists perform. It shrinks uterine fibroids and reduces painful symptoms. This is done by blocking blood flow in the uterine artery that feeds into the fibroids: the fibroid tumor shrivels up without that steady supply of blood.
IN OUR STATE-OF-THE-ART TREATMENT FACILITIES, the UFE treatment can be done relatively quickly (about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size and number of fibroids). You can go home once the procedure is over.
Most women resume normal activities within a few days, with full recovery expected in one to two weeks.
Shrinking your fibroids can allow the 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 are likely to feel better physically and mentally, as you can return to your everyday lifestyle.
How Much Do Fibroids Weigh?
The weight of fibroids will vary based on the size and the number present in the uterus. Small fibroids the size of a seed or cherry hardly weigh anything, but average size fibroids, which are the size of plums or oranges, can add a few pounds, especially if there are more than one. If you have a large fibroid about the size of a grapefruit or watermelon or more than one, it can add a significant amount of weight to the scale while also making you look heavier in the stomach. The largest fibroid recorded had a weight of more than 100 pounds.
Does Fibroid Removal Cause Weight Loss?
If the fibroids are large enough to noticeably increase your weight, removing them will eliminate that weight and any discomfort connected to it. You may notice weight loss after having UFE to treat your fibroids as they shrink over time. You might see other symptoms are resolved, such as constipation, which can also impact your weight and how you eat. You may feel more like fixing healthier foods for your diet and being more active, which can also positively impact your weight .
Schedule a Consultation With USA Fibroid Centers Today!
Fibroids can cause unexplained weight gain in women when they grow to larger sizes or multiply. If you think fibroids might be behind your weight gain, we recommend contacting your doctor or a fibroid specialist. The good news is that treatment such as UFE could help you feel better.
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. We also offer telemedicine consultations. Get back into your favorite pair of jeans by talking to one of our fibroid specialists to learn more about fibroids and weight gain.