PCOS Review Newsletter #44

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1) Jennifer's Small Victory

2) Fibroids Associated with PCOS


1) Jennifer's Small Victory

We received a heartwarming message from Jennifer, who is 29 years old and hasn't had a normal cycle since the 8th grade. She describes a harrowing tale of ovarian cysts, chronic pain, intense hot flashes, multiple medications, surgery and various assisted reproduction techniques. She saw every specialist and spent lots of money…all to no avail.

Her "small victory" is that, for the first time in many years, she had started her period without the aid of drugs. She did it by modifying her lifestyle habits.

We think you will benefit by reading Jennifer's story.


2) Fibroids Associated with PCOS

A large study of African-American women indicates that those with PCOS are 65% more likely to suffer from fibroids. We haven't seen studies of other women, but it's likely that women with polycystic ovary syndrome generally tend to have a greater incidence of fibroids than women who do not have PCOS.

Uterine fibroids are the most common non-cancerous tumors in women of childbearing age. Fibroids are made of muscle cells and other tissues that grow in and around the wall of the uterus, or womb.

The risk factors for fibroids appear to be:

  • Fibroids tend to grow in women of childbearing age.
  • African American women are more likely to get them than women of other racial groups.
  • African American women tend to get fibroids at a younger age than do other
  • women.
  • Women who are overweight or obese have a slightly higher risk. Women who have given birth appear to be at a lower risk for fibroids.

Uterine fibroids do not always cause symptoms. But if you have symptoms, they may include:

  • Heavy or painful periods or bleeding between periods
  • Feeling "full" in the lower abdomen
  • Urinating often
  • Pain during sex
  • Lower back pain
  • Reproductive problems (infertility, multiple miscarriages or early labor)

Conventional treatment for uterine fibroids includes surgery or medications that can slow their growth.

The cause of fibroids is "unknown". However, there is some evidence that an improvement in the quality of your diet will help to prevent fibroids. For example, a study conducted at the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri in Italy showed that women who ate the most ham and beef had the highest incidence of uterine growths. In contrast, those who consumed more green vegetables, fruit and fish had fewer growths.

Many of the basic principles in our PCOS diet book apply if you have fibroids or want to prevent fibroids from forming.

Sources:
Wise LA et al, Polycystic ovary syndrome and risk of uterine leiomyomata, Fertil Steril. 2007 May;87(5):1108-15
Chiaffarino F, et al, Diet and uterine myomas, Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Sep;94(3):395-8


Thought for Today: "What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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