February is Heart Health Awareness Month, and we want to encourage you to not just love your loved ones this month, but also love yourself. Women spend so much time taking care of others and never putting themselves first, which often leads to a lack of self-care. More often than not, women are ignoring their own needs for others, especially during this pandemic. Remember, you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States? It killed 299,578 women in 2017, about 1 in every 5 female deaths. We want to remind you to practice self-care, which isn’t all just haircuts and nail salon trips, but also getting yourself to the doctors to make sure there’s no complications with your health, especially if you know you have fibroids.
Curious if you have fibroids? Here are some of its symptoms.
- Heavy and prolonged menstruation between or during your periods
- Anemia, which can lead to fatigue
- Pain during intercourse
- Frequent urination
- Constipation and/or bloating
- Pain in your pelvis or lower back
- Increased menstrual cramping
- Stomach swelling
If you, or someone you know, has fibroids, there are some questions you should be asking about fibroids in relation to your heart health. They are connected in a few ways, though it’s not entirely clear, and it’s important to keep in mind that there are connections.
What Causes Fibroids and Heart Disease?
While there’s no exact science to what causes someone to grow fibroids, there are risk factors. While we aren’t saying you’re guaranteed to get both fibroids and heart disease with these risk factors, it’s important to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get out of hand.
Here are some risk factors that both fibroids and heart disease have are the following:
- High blood pressure
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- Regularly drinking alcohol
Thickening of the arteries can be caused by a number of risk factors, including obesity and high blood pressure. Women with fibroids have thicker arteries than women without fibroids. Because there is less space for blood to travel to essential organs when arteries get thicker, the risk of a heart attack or stroke is increased.
Women with uterine fibroids appear to have lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol), which is known to protect the heart against heart attack and stroke. Both clogged arteries and low HDL cholesterol are risk factors for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.
Can Fibroids Be the Direct Cause of Heart Disease?
The short answer is no. The longer, far more detailed answer, is given in a recent study. Previous studies have shown that women who have undergone a hysterectomy due to fibroids puts them at more risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, a 2019 study shows that most CVD risk factors were common in women with fibroids.
It is important to note, though, that just because you have fibroids, it does not equal having heart disease and vice versa.
Make an Appointment at USA Fibroid Centers
If you think your fibroids are putting you at risk of heart disease, it’s important to get that looked at right away. We have locations all over the United States with well trained and professional radiologists. Our radiologists are the best of the country, and always put you and your health concerns first. By scheduling a consultation online or giving us a call at 855-615-2555, we can help you put yourself first.
Happy Heart Awareness Month from USA Fibroid Centers, and remember, love yourself!