What causes fibroids?

This question takes me back to my doctor’s office on the day of my diagnosis. It was naturally one of the questions I asked because I was curious about what had led me to develop fibroids. His response was they are caused by carcinogenic foods. Carcino-what now?  He said oh don’t eat burnt rice (Kanzo) or scorched rice (if you want to be fancy). Errmmm… Doc, first of all, do I look like I eat kanzo, not that I don’t but why should that be the first food option you mention to me. Do you know me? Have you seen my diet plan? Of course, I didn’t ask him these questions. I’m not rude. He may or may not have been kidding but I took it quite seriously.

I later found out that though the growth of fibroids could be linked to what we eat, it is not simply just a dietary issue but is solely a reproductive health issue. I mean it is in the uterus so go figure! So the wisest response to my question should have been the uterus because as long as you have a uterus, you are most likely going to get it.

To begin with, Hormones play an important role in the development and growth of fibroids. For the purpose of this topic, let’s narrow hormones down to estrogen and progesterone. These two are the most vital sex hormones in the female body that regulate the stimulation and development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy. For the body to function normally, it is important that these two vital sex hormones balance out in that the secretion of estrogen should not surpass that of progesterone. It is when these two hormones are thrown off balance that so many bad things such as fibroids begin to happen within the female body. Fibroids begin from a single cell and begin to multiply due to the presence of estrogen and progesterone in higher concentrations than normal uterine muscle cells.

To be honest, I’m still trying to get the hang of this myself because it is so overwhelming. How do I know which hormone is being produced in excess and how this excess production is triggered! It is also important to note that, this is not a proven cause of fibroids but a high percent of cases seem to be related to hormonal imbalance. Sigh!

Aside hormonal imbalances, fibroids could also be hereditary in origin. If your Mum or sister or even your Aunt has/had it, it is possible that you will develop fibroids too. Although this is a risk factor and not a cause, you may still want to check your family history.

Some research also links rapid fibroid growth to pregnancy because during pregnancy, both estrogen and progesteron are produced in excess.

As I have said before, the causes of fibroids are not conclusive. This topic irks me so much because no one knows the origin of fibroids. At least for me, I can say I got fibroids through hereditary traits so even if I was living the most healthy lifestyle, it was still unavoidable. But what about those who live healthy lives and have no family history to point to? What is the cause of their fibroids? See eh, if I don’t stop here it will turn into an emotional rant and nobody wants that! Catch me in my next post.