8 Ways to Reduce Uterine Fibroid Risk Factors
There is no known way to prevent uterine fibroids. However, by educating yourself and taking a few simple steps, you may be able to reduce your risk factors, symptoms and minimize suffering.
#1 Know The Risk Factors of Developing Uterine Fibroids
– Age. Fibroids become more common as women age, especially during their 30s and 40s through menopause. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink.
– Family history. Having a family member with fibroids increases one’s risk. If a woman’s mother had fibroids, her risk of having them is about three times higher than average.
– Ethnic origin. African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids than white women.
– Obesity. Women who are overweight are also a high-risk group for developing fibroids. For women with extra weight, the risk is two to three times greater than average.
– Eating habits. Eating a lot of red meat (e.g., beef and ham) is associated with a higher risk for fibroids. Eating plenty of green vegetables seems to protect women from developing fibroids.
#2 Exercise Regularly: Studies show that the more a woman exercises, the less likely she will develop uterine fibroids.
#3 Control Your Weight: It’s very important to keep your weight at the recommended level based upon your height and body type. You can calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) by dividing your weight in kilograms by height in meters squared, or your weight in pounds divided by height in inches squared, then multiplied by 703. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25. If your BMI is above 25, take steps to reduce your weight.
#4 Understand How Pregnancy Effects Fibroids: Pregnancy and childbirth may have protective effects against developing uterine fibroids.
#5 Understand the Role of Oral Contraceptives: Research also indicates that taking oral contraceptives lowers the risk of uterine fibroids.
#6 Reduce Red Meat Consumption: Medical studies show that eating large amounts of beef and pork may increase the risk of developing fibroids; whereas, salmon, mackerel and tuna consumption may reduce the inflamed tissues of uterine fibroids.
#7 Eat More Green Vegetables: Diet high in green vegetables may protect a woman from developing fibroids.
#8 Recognize Fibroid Complications: They may include painful and heavy menstrual periods, anemia from loss of blood, pressure on the bladder or rectum, and swelling of the abdomen.
Importantly, call to make an appointment with your medical professional if you have uterine fibroid symptoms including:
– Heavy menstrual bleeding.
– Periods that have changed from relatively pain-free to painful over the past 3 to 6 months.
– Frequent painful urination, or an inability to control the flow of urine.
– A change in the length of your menstrual cycle over 3 to 6 menstrual cycles.
– New persistent pain or heaviness in the lower abdomen or pelvis.