Vitamin D and Fibroids
USA Fibroid Centers is a leader in offering the most up-to-date treatment for fibroids. Recent studies reported a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and the development of uterine fibroids. So, does that mean that you will definitely get fibroids if you don’t get enough vitamin D? Not exactly.
Every woman’s body is different, and it’s important to understand that vitamin D deficiency is only one of a range of risk factors for developing fibroids. Other potential influences include age, genetics, and lifestyle.
Below, we provide information about vitamin D and uterine fibroids. If you have additional questions, we recommend consulting a fibroid specialist.
Is Vitamin D Good for Fibroids?
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble nutrients that allow our intestines to absorb and metabolize calcium and phosphate.Our bodies convert cholesterol into vitamin D naturally under sun exposure. Many people refer to it as “The Sunshine Vitamin.”
The amount of vitamin D you can produce from sun exposure is greatly dependent on geographical factors. These factors are proximity to the equator, the time of year and time of day, the amount of melanin present in your body, the amount of air pollution, and the application of sunscreen.
There are different types of vitamin D, however, only two types have uses in the human body:
- D2: Also known as ergocalciferol, vitamin D2 mainly comes from plant sources, such as mushrooms, and foods fortified with essential nutrients.
- D3: Also known as cholecalciferol, our bodies naturally produce vitamin D3, and it is also found in foods sourced from animals such as fish, meat, milk, eggs, honey, cheese, and yogurt.
So what’s the connection between vitamin D and Fibroids? Fibroids are a type of non-cancerous tumor that develops in the uterus or on the walls of the uterus. A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to the growth of fibroids. However, this condition is not life-threatening, but it can cause serious health complications if left untreated. Women with fibroids often experience painful symptoms that can cause them to frequently miss work or cancel plans.
If you experience vitamin D deficiency, you may be at increased risk for fibroid growth. To help avoid related issues, your doctor may recommend dietary changes, supplementation, and/or safe levels of sun exposure.
Medical professionals suggest different numbers when calculating if you are deficient or not, but you are typically considered deficient when you have a vitamin D level below 30ng/mL. The average vitamin D level of the women who had fibroids was 23.3ng/mL.
Based on this, 85% of women diagnosed with fibroids had measurable vitamin D deficiency compared to women who have not been diagnosed with fibroids (general population).
Researchers estimate that exposing 10% of uncovered skin to sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes would result in about 1,000 IU of vitamin D being made in the skin. This amount would satisfy the body’s daily requirement for vitamin D. If you are concerned that you have a vitamin D deficiency, talk to your doctor about adding a vitamin supplement to your diet. If vitamin D deficiency or other factors lead to fibroid growth, we want to assure you that you have options. There is a range of uterine fibroid treatments available, some of which do not require removal of the fibroids or the uterus.
At USA Fibroid Centers, we perform a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE can shrink your fibroids, alleviate painful symptoms, and improve your quality of life.
Can Vitamin D Shrink Fibroids?
There is some evidence to suggest that vitamin D shrinks uterine fibroids; however, additional study is needed to fully understand the connection.
We suggest talking to your fibroid specialist to determine the best course of treatment for your individual situation. For instance, taking vitamin D to shrink fibroids, alongside minimally invasive UFE treatment, may be recommended.
As mentioned previously, vitamin D deficiency is just one of many risk factors for uterine fibroids. Along with getting enough of this important nutrient, preventative measures include maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI), eating a well-rounded diet, and exercising regularly.
Request a Consultation at USA Fibroid Centers
If you are concerned about vitamin D and fibroid tumors, we suggest consulting one of our leading fibroid specialists. Vitamin D deficiency is usually a preventable risk factor.
At USA Fibroid Centers, our experienced doctors can help identify underlying risk factors, provide personalized treatment, and alleviate your symptoms. We offer dozens of locations nationwide, as well as convenient telemedicine options.
No matter where you decide to visit us, we look forward to meeting you.