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HomeHEALTH & WELLNESSWhy Vitamin D Deficiency Is The Major Cause of Fibroids

Why Vitamin D Deficiency Is The Major Cause of Fibroids

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Are you aware that Vitamin D deficiency is one of the leading causes of fibroid? Women with a higher level of Vitamin D are at a lower risk of having fibroid. Vitamin D is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative effects and it plays a role in regulating cell growth and differentiation.

Fibroid, a non-cancerous growth, develops in the uterus of women typically during their reproductive years. Fibroids are composed of smooth muscle cells and fibrous tissue. They vary in size, from small seedlings to large masses. They are the most common type of benign tumour affecting the female reproductive system.

The exact cause of fibroids is unknown. However, factors like hormonal imbalances, vitamin D deficiency, genetic predisposition and estrogen levels are believed to play a role in their development. Below are some of the causes of Fibroid.

Causes of Fibroid

Several factors are believed to contribute to the development of Fibroid, These include:

1. Diet and vitamin D Deficiency 

Several epidemiological studies have established a correlation between diet and certain nutrient deficiencies with fibroid growth. There was a review of fibroid research conducted in 2021. It was found that a low intake of fruits and green vegetables, lack of vitamin D, and pollutants ingested through food were linked to the development of fibroids. Additionally, a study found that fibroids shrank in women when they took vitamin D supplements.

Meanwhile, it is known that black people are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D compared to white people. Skin pigmentation, i.e., melanin, absorbs the ultraviolet rays that initiate vitamin D synthesis and hence decreases vitamin D in black people. Research also suggests vitamin D may impede the way estrogen signals cell growth, which could help reverse the development of fibroids.

2. Stress

Black women tend to experience higher levels of chronic stress than white women in the United States. This leads to higher cortisol levels in black women. Cortisol is a hormone that through a complex biological process can influence the growth of uterine fibroids. The study suggests that stress and anger management may play a role in the development of fibroids, particularly in Black women.

It is important to note that while there is limited research directly linking fibroids to stress, some studies have suggested a potential correlation between the two. One such study found that Black women who reported frequent experiences with racial discrimination had higher rates of fibroids. Another study found that Black women who reported experiencing high levels of stress throughout their lives were more likely to have fibroids when compared to those who reported no major high-stress life events.

3. Chemicals

Black women are more likely to develop fibroids due to exposure to harmful chemicals called phthalates. These chemicals can be found in many products black women use regularly. Examples include plastic food packaging, cosmetics and medical devices. Hair relaxers also contain phthalates.

These chemicals can act like estrogen, which promotes cell growth and can stimulate the growth of fibroids. A recent study found that Black women are more exposed to toxins such as phthalates, pesticides, mercury and arsenic. It’s important to know about these chemicals so you can take steps to reduce your exposure and work towards a healthier environment for everyone.

How are fibroid symptoms different for black women

Although most women with fibroids are asymptomatic, black women experience a higher incidence of uterine fibroids with more severe symptoms. Here are some statistics to put it into perspective:

  •  Black women have a likelihood of developing fibroids compared to other ethnicities. This is mainly because of pigmentation which makes it difficult for the skin to absorb Vitamin D.
  •  Black women are more likely to develop uterine fibroids at a younger age than white women.
  •  Black women tend to experience more severe symptoms due to larger and more rapidly growing fibroids. These symptoms include heavy bleeding, cramping, bloating, leg and back pain, among others.
  • Black women looking for treatment for fibroids experience a higher rate of complications with standard UF treatment options.

Can Vitamin D Shrink Fibroid?

While no one knows where fibroids come from, we do know what can make them grow. First and foremost, fibroids grow with hormone (estrogen and progesterone) stimulation. Estrogen and progesterone induce fibroid formation as well as growth. That is why fibroids often grow rapidly during pregnancy and why they are not typically an issue for women once they reach menopause.

Vitamin D appears to play a vital role in fibroid development. The active form of vitamin D has been shown to have powerful anti-estrogenic and anti-progesterone effects by decreasing their receptors. We now understand that estrogen encourages the growth of fibroids and vitamin D helps to retard estrogen, so ensuring you get adequate
amounts of vitamin D is one easy safeguard against fibroids

Daily Recommended Amount of Vitamin D

The recommended daily amount of vitamin D can vary depending on age, health status, and individual needs. The following are the general guidelines for daily vitamin D intake:

  1. For infants (0-12 months): The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a daily intake of 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D.
  2. For children (1-18 years): The recommended daily intake is 600 IU of vitamin D.
  3. For adults (18-70 years): The recommended daily intake is 600-800 IU of vitamin D.
  4. For adults over 70 years: The recommended daily intake is 800 IU of vitamin D.
  5. For pregnant and breastfeeding women: The recommended daily intake is 600-800 IU of vitamin D.

However, Some people, such as those with certain medical conditions or limited sun exposure, may require higher doses of vitamin D. It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate vitamin D dosage for your specific needs. Additionally, obtaining vitamin D from natural food sources and moderate sunlight exposure can also contribute to meeting your daily requirements.

Symptoms of Fibroid 

Fibroids exert a substantial toll on women’s health, affecting their well-being and quality of life. Below are some of the symptoms:

Physical Challenges: 

  • Menstrual Mayhem: Fibroids can cause heavy menstrual bleeding, prolonged periods, and severe cramping, impacting daily activities and causing considerable discomfort.
  • Pelvic Pain and Discomfort: Enlarged fibroids can lead to pelvic pressure, pain, and even urinary or bowel issues, affecting mobility and overall comfort.
  • Reproductive Complications: Depending on their size and location, fibroids may pose challenges during pregnancy, causing complications such as infertility, miscarriages, or preterm labour.

Emotional Impact:

  • Anxiety and Stress: Dealing with the uncertainty of fibroid symptoms and their impact on daily life often leads to increased stress and anxiety levels.
  • Body Image Concerns: Changes in abdominal shape or size due to fibroids may affect body image, causing emotional distress or self-esteem issues.
  • Fertility Frustrations: For women desiring pregnancy, the potential impact of fibroids on fertility can be emotionally taxing, adding to the stress of the situation.
  • Lifestyle Limitations: Coping with symptoms such as fatigue, pain, or heavy bleeding may necessitate lifestyle adjustments, affecting work, social engagements, and hobbies.
  • Relationship Dynamics: Fibroids might influence intimate relationships due to discomfort, changes in libido, or emotional stress related to fertility concerns.
  • Support Systems: Seeking support from friends, family, or support groups becomes crucial in navigating the challenges posed by fibroids.

Treatment and Lifestyle Approaches

What are the treatment options?

Although minimally invasive options such as the Acessa procedure or MyoSure are available, studies show that Black women are twice as likely as white women to undergo a hysterectomy. While a hysterectomy may be the best option for some women, it is essential to explore the many available treatment options if it is not what you want.

Treatment Approaches

  • The most common treatment for uterine fibroids is a hysterectomy. 40% of Black women are more likely to develop complications and stay longer in the hospital after undergoing a hysterectomy.
  • When receiving a myomectomy, Black women are more likely to have a major complication and more likely to undergo a blood transfusion.

Lifestyle Approaches

  • Healthy Diet: Prioritize diets that are high in Vitamin D. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are all rich in Vitamin D and they may lower the risk of fibroid.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity aids in weight management and reduces fibroid-related symptoms.
  • Stress Management: Techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing help manage stress, impacting hormonal balance.
  • Alternative Therapies: Some find relief through acupuncture, herbal remedies, or traditional medicine. Consult a healthcare professional for guidance.
  • Risk Factor Awareness: Limit alcohol, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce red meat consumption to lower fibroid risks.
  • Regular Check-ups: Maintain appointments with healthcare providers to monitor fibroid size and adjust treatments.
  • Fertility Consideration: Consult your doctor regarding the management of fibroids without impacting fertility if planning pregnancy.

Conclusion

Fibroids stand as a prevalent and intricate health concern within the landscape of women’s well-being. The ongoing exploration into the enigmatic nature of fibroids, particularly their intricate interactions with vitamins, estrogen, and progesterone, signifies a significant stride in women’s health research.

Though much of their complexities remain veiled, the relentless pursuit of understanding and unravelling these connections unveils pathways for pioneering approaches to comprehend, manage, and potentially alleviate the extensive impact of fibroids on women’s overall well-being.

 

 

 

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