Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that form in different locations in the uterus. Uterine fibroids can cause debilitating and painful symptoms. These symptoms can include extreme abdominal cramping or pain, excessive bleeding, irregular periods, and bloating. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue around the uterus grows abnormally. Endometriosis can affect many areas of a women’s reproductive system, from the ovaries to the cervix. Symptoms of endometriosis are similar to uterine fibroids; however, the abdominal pain or cramping is much more severe. Some women with endometriosis often have to miss a whole week of work every time they get their period.
The Cause of Uterine Fibroids and Endometriosis
The cause of uterine fibroids and endometriosis has always been a mystery to researchers and medical professionals. The unpredictability of the conditions makes them very difficult to research for trends to determine a potential cause. In October of 2019 there was a study done by Nature Communications journal that found the same genes may be responsible for the development of uterine fibroids and endometriosis.
In this study, a group of researchers known as the FibroGene consortium compared data of 35,000 women with fibroids to about 265,000 healthy women. This research found there were 8 new genomic regions in women with uterine fibroids.
In order to understand the findings of this study it’s important to first understand the functions of DNA, genes, and genomes. DNA is like an instruction book for your body. It determines how your body develops, grows, and functions. It also determines how your body responds to its environment. Any differences in DNA alter many things like physical traits (hair color, height, eye color) and mental/emotional traits like certain disorders or personality characteristics.
Understanding DNA, Genes, Genomes
All of the DNA in your body makes up your genome. Every persons DNA is different, and includes over 6 billion DNA letters. These letters different chemicals divided across the 46 chromosomes: 23 from the mother, 23 from the father. The order of these chemicals is important because it holds the instructions for everything in your body. A sequence of DNA chemicals is called a gene.
The cells in our bodies use our genes to determine how to make proteins and other important cells that we need to function. This is why people with genetic disorders often have many other symptoms or accompanying health conditions.
A genomic region is essentially certain parts of our DNA that is responsible for specific functions. This finding is significant because these genes are responsible for regulating cell growth. Out of the 8 areas of genes found in the study, 4 of them were found to be associated with the development of endometriosis.
This was surprising to many because there was no known relation between endometriosis and uterine fibroids before this study. In the past, research has suggested women with endometriosis are more likely to develop uterine fibroids. However, until this study was conducted, there was never solid data to prove the relationship between the two conditions.
Through the analysis of these genomic regions, the cause of uterine fibroids and endometriosis can come to light. This will help medical professionals and researchers to create accurate and successful treatments for these conditions.
Living with uterine fibroids or endometriosis is hard and it can often take over your life. At USA Fibroid Centers, were here for you. Our network of treatment facilities is the only one in the country that specifically focuses on Uterine Fibroid Embolization treatment for Uterine Fibroids. This means that were solely dedicated to helping women find relief from their uterine fibroid symptoms.
If you think you might have uterine fibroids, or if you have been experiencing some of the symptoms, reach out to us today at 855.615.2555. Our experienced doctors and specialists will work to create a personalized treatment plan that is right for you and your needs. Take control of your life again and get the help you need before it’s too late.
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