Tuesday, November 21, 2017

BLACK TO LIFE – Don’t ignore the pain: Black women and fibroid tumors

By Dr. Annette Mayes

We all have hectic times in our lives, but it is sometimes essential to slow down and ask, “What have I done for myself today?”

Dr. Annette Mayes

We all have hectic times in our lives, but it is sometimes essential to slow down and ask, “What have I done for myself today?”

Sometimes when we feel discomfort, it is ignored because our schedules don’t allow much time to think about ourselves.

Those days when our clothes feel a little tight, or we just feel generally bloated, may not always be because we ate a little too much at dinner. If you feel pain during sexual intimacy, it might not be due to stress. These symptoms — along with lower abdominal pelvic pressure and excess bleeding during menstruation — may indicate the presence of fibroid tumors in your uterus.

A fibroid tumor can grow to the size of a grapefruit, or the equivalent of a three-pound fetus. It is estimated that 40 percent of African-American women, before menopause, suffer from fibroid tumors — compared to only 20 percent of white women. Women ages 30-40 are more at risk; this is a result of high estrogen levels, most commonly found in younger women, that can nourish these particular tumors.

According to some reports, the disproportionate number of African-American women with this ailment is often linked to diet. The consumption of dairy, fried food and red meat have all been associated with the building up of toxins in the body. Some of these toxins can foster an increase in the tissue that can develop into fibroid tumors.

Fibroid tumors often shrink and disappear after menopause, when the body stops producing estrogen. Positive changes in dietary habits — incorporating more fruits and vegetables, for example — have also been reported to decrease the risk of developing fibroid tumors and shrink the size of existing ones.

In some of the more serious cases, patients are recommended to undergo a myomectomy or hysterectomy to remove fibroid tumors.

If you suspect irregularities in your pelvic area or experience abnormal levels of discomfort, it is imperative to seek the advice of a gynecologist. Scheduling regular visits with your gynecologist is one of the most effective methods to reduce complications caused by fibroid tumors. For more information, contact the offices of Las Vegas All Women’s Health Care at (702) 522-9640.

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