Certain foods can exacerbate fibroid symptoms

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Treatment for fibroids depends on the symptoms, the size and location of the fibroids, age, and other factors

New Delhi, 30 December 2017: As per a recent study, women with a common form of hair loss, are at an increased risk of developing non-cancerous tumors that grow along or within the walls of the uterus (uterine leiomyomas, or fibroids). There is a five-fold increased risk of uterine fibroids in women with Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA). CCCA is the most common form of permanent alopecia or baldness especially in women of African origin.

A uterine fibroid is the most common benign (not cancerous) tumor of a woman’s uterus (womb). Fibroids are tumors of the smooth muscle found in the wall of the uterus. They can develop within the uterine wall itself or attach to it. They may grow as a single tumor or in clusters.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “Fibroids start in the muscle tissues of the uterus. They can grow into the uterine cavity (submucosal), into the thickness of the uterine wall (intramuscular), or on the surface of the uterus (subsersoal) into the abdominal cavity. Some may occur as pedunculated masses (fibroids growing on a stalk of the uterus).Although these tumors are called fibroids, this term is misleading because they consist of muscle tissue, not fibrous tissue. The medical term for a fibroid is leiomyoma, a type of myoma or mesenchymal tumor. Fibroids grow in response to stimulation by the hormone estrogen, produced naturally in the body. These growths can show up as early as age 20, but tend to shrink after menopause when the body stops producing large amounts of estrogen.”

Some signs and symptoms of fibroid include increase in menstrual bleeding, pressure on the bladder and rectum, pelvic pressure, increase in size around the waist and change in abdominal contour, infertility, and a pelvic mass discovered by a health care practitioner during a physical examination.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Treatment for fibroids depends on the symptoms, the size and location of the fibroids, age (how close the person is to menopause), the patient’s desire to have children, and the patient’s general health. If no malignancy (cancer) is found, this bleeding often can be controlled by hormonal medications.”

Some foods can exacerbate fibroids and should be avoided. These include the following.

Saturated Fats Foods high in saturated fats should not be consumed by fibroid patients. These fats can raise the estrogen level, which allows fibroids to grow larger.

Red Meat These foods are likely to be high in added hormones, including estrogen. Eat lean white meat for a protein source instead.

High-fat Dairy Products Women with fibroid tumors are encouraged to limit consumption of high-fat dairy products such as whole milk, cream and butter. These products are often high in added hormones.

Caffeine Laden Beverages Beverages containing caffeine are on the list of foods to avoid when you have fibroids on your uterus. Stay away from caffeinated sodas, tea, chocolate and coffee.

Highly Salted Foods Limit the amount of highly salted foods in your diet because they are hard on your liver. The liver is the organ most responsible for removing toxins and balancing hormones.