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Could my weight gain be caused by fibroids?

Posted on June 20, 2023

One of the most troubling fibroid symptoms, weight gain, could be caused by so many other things. So how can you tell if fibroids are to blame for extra weight?

Well, fibroids are tumors that, though not usually cancerous, cause lots of problems. Heavy periods, pelvic pain and frequent urination can all be tied to fibroids. But did you know gaining weight for no reason is also a fibroid symptom?

Fibroid Symptoms Weight Gain pain from uterine fibroids

When they are small, or first developing, fibroids shouldn’t make you gain weight. In fact, you probably won’t even know they are there. It’s when they are left to grow large that changes start to happen.

First, they can make your stomach stick out, even without adding pounds on the scale, because your uterus expands to accommodate fibroid growth. In fact, because your uterus changes so much with fibroids, we see physical changes similar to those in pregnant women.

When you aren’t pregnant, and don’t have fibroids, your uterus is tucked deep inside your pelvis. It’s about the size of a pear.

With pregnancy, your uterus is palpable at your pelvic bone by the 12-week mark. By then, it’s expanded to the size of a grapefruit. And if you have a 6-inch uterine fibroid? You’ll notice very similar changes.

Fibroids also leave you feeling bloated. Because they change the size and shape of your uterus, fibroids may put pressure on your digestive system, making it more difficult to pass a bowel movement.

The enlarged uterus could also crunch on your bladder, making it difficult to completely empty and even causing swelling in your kidneys.

Altogether, these factors will make you look heavier than you are, and may cause the scale to tick up a few notches, even when your diet and exercise plan remain unchanged.

Bloating, Weight Gain and Fibroids

In some cases, fibroids are part of a hormonal imbalance that can also give you an abdominal bulge, make you look bloated or cause you to gain weight. Additionally, when you are living with fibroids, your menstrual cycle can be impacted, leaving you with long and heavy periods that can cause so much blood loss, you may even develop anemia. In turn, you could become iron deficient.

When your period is extended, and you're stressed and uncomfortable, you may not stick to a fibroid-friendly diet. (Or even a healthy one.) Exercise can also fall by the wayside, even though working out could help improve your fibroid symptoms.

Once this happens, weight gain could be another side effect, especially if you reach for comfort food in tough times. In fact, since fibroids can already make you seem bloated, you may not notice this weight gain in the early stages. Then, when you do notice you've gained weight, it could seem sudden. And it could send you searching for a fibroid diagnosis.

So, can uterine fibroids cause weight gain? Directly, these growths aren't likely to cause weight gain. After all, unless they are large, the tumors themselves don't weigh very much at all. (Although, in rare cases, you can develop fibroids that way up to five pounds or so.) However, you may still experience other fibroid symptoms. In turn, you may find yourself gaining weight.

Getting a Fibroid Diagnosis

Of course,  you'll usually notice other symptoms if your tumors are big enough to cause weight gain. But even if you don't, listen to your body. If you're gaining weight, or noticing changes to your belly that you just can't explain, it's worth scheduling a consultation with our Houston and Dallas area fibroid specialists. We can help determine if fibroids are causing your weight gain or bloating. Then, we'll help you explore your treatment options, including Uterine Fibroid Embolization, a minimally invasive way to say goodbye to your fibroid symptoms.

Now, you are unlikely to lose weight right after fibroid treatment. Again, that's because the growths themselves just don't weight that much. However, within weeks of UFE, many of your symptoms should have dramatically improved or resolved completely. As a result, you may be ready to start or jump back into an exercise routine, or re-examine your diet. Soon enough, you may find the pounds dropping off again.

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