In the last year, about seven of my friends have had surgeries to remove fibroids. One was removing fibroid growths for the second time. The rate at which this news about fibroids and fibroid surgeries irked me somewhat and sent me to the internet. What’s causing it?
Okay, let me take this opportunity to say that I also know women who avoid medical checkups because they are scared the doctor will find something that is not missing. I mean, you complain about painful periods, irregular periods, maybe even just heavy periods, and suddenly, your doctor comes up with a diagnosis. Whether it’s the idea of surgery or managing the discomfort, fibroids are not exactly on the vision board of any woman.
But what does it mean to have a fibroid diagnosis, or at least to conduct investigations that help rule it out? Well, as you know, I’m not a doctor. So, anything I say is just from the experience of dear sisters and friends. The truth is that Fibroids are non-cancerous and present more inconvenience. However, certain types can become a risk to fertility health. This does not mean that it is not manageable through diet or lifestyle change. The best approach is to get a medical diagnosis and begin to explore possible treatment plans.
What about preventing it, or at least reducing our risks? According to research available, several factors make black women more susceptible to fibroids, one of which is a vitamin D deficiency. Yep, common vitamin D. Apparently, because our dark skin protects us from sunlight, it blocks out Vitamin D we could have gotten from the sun. This is why you should add foods rich in Vitamin D like fish, egg yolk, cod liver oil, etc. Another factor is genetics. That is if your mum or sister has had fibroid growth, the chances that you’ll get it is high. Finally, some researchers believe extreme stress could also be a factor, and some even pointed to hair relaxers as a trigger!
Finally, the take home from this article is to visit your gynecologist. Get that painful period checked out. Ask your mother and aunties questions about your genetics. But also keep in mind that with lifestyle, medical intervention, and your black woman can-do attitude, you can defeat anything life throws your way.