Dr Oz: Understanding Uterine Fibroids
If you’re experiencing bloating, cramping, and constipation, you should first know you’re not alone. Secondly, those symptoms could be due to fibroids. Up to 80% of women are affected by fibroids. If you take a look at the back of your hand, you can compare that to the rough size of your uterus. Because fibroids can grow to be even larger than that, Dr Oz wanted to help his viewers better understand their risk to prevent potential health problems.
Dr Jennifer Ashton explained that fibroids are called benign muscle tumors because the uterus is a muscle. They grow in the wall of the uterus and can cause a wide range of symptoms. Fibroid symptoms include pain, extremely heavy menstrual bleeding, periods lasting more than a week, pelvic pressure or pain, frequent urination, difficulty emptying your bladder, constipation, and backache or leg pains.
If you’re told you have a fibroid, Dr Ashton believes the first question you should ask is “how big is it?” because the size could correlate to how much of a problem it will be.
Dr Oz: What’s Your Fibroid Risk?
To determine your risk, answer the five following questions and tally up the number of “yes” responses:
- Are you between the ages of 35 and 54?
- Are you overweight? (Fat cells produce estrogen which can make fibroids grow.)
- Are you an African-American?
- Do you have a mother who’s had fibroids? (Your risk is three times higher if your mom had them.)
- Does your pee sound like a “dribble?”
Just one “yes” answer is enough of a reason to speak to your doctor.
Dr Oz: Reality Star Toya Wright Fibroids & Treatment
Next, reality star and rapper Toya Wright joined the show, after opening up about her own struggle with fibroids. Dr Ashton then explained that once you learn about the size of your fibroids, you want to find out where they are located. They can be located on the outside of the uterus, in the middle of the uterus, or in the muscular wall. Fibroids found in the middle of the uterus can affect fertility and cause very heavy bleeding.
Toya allowed Dr Ashton to do an ultrasound on her before the show, and then showed the results. Dr Ashton explained that Toya’s uterus is nearly up to her belly button, as if she was five months pregnant, because of the size of her fibroids. She has three fibroids about three and a half inches in size. The good news is there are more treatments available now than ever before.
Dr Oz: Fibroid Treatment & Prevention
A hysteroscopic myomectomy is an alternative way to remove fibroids, allowing the patient to go home just an hour later. It’s done in the operating room under general anesthesia, but there are other options available as well.
To prevent fibroids and slow down their growth, it all starts with diet. Keep your body weight down by eating a diet that is mostly plant-based. Also, aim for a cup of beans each day as well as a good amount of leafy green vegetables.