Older black woman sitting on a couch, wondering What are the Different Types of Fibroids?

What are the Different Types of Fibroids?

Non-cancerous, uterine fibroids are quite common and impact many women. Most people who develop them remain symptom-free, but some may experience heavy menstrual bleeding and pain. Understanding the different types of fibroids and their symptoms is the first step in being able to appropriately treat them.

What Are Fibroids?

Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in or on the wall of the uterus. They can vary in both size and number. The location of a fibroid within the uterus defines the type of fibroid and the course of action to take if necessary.

Submucosal Fibroid

Just below the thin layer of tissue found in the uterus is the submucosa. When a fibroid forms in this location, it protrudes into the uterine cavity and is often linked to infertility problems. This is the rarest type of fibroid.

A hysteroscopy myomectomy is a minimally-invasive procedure typically performed to treat submucosal fibroids. This is the most common form of treatment for this kind of fibroid, but other options may be available depending on what your doctor recommends.

Pedunculated Fibroid

Inside the uterine cavity or outside the uterus, stems or stalks may develop by attaching themselves to the uterine wall. This type of fibroid is referred to as a pedunculated fibroid. As the pedunculated fibroid increases in size, the likelihood of the fibroid becoming twisted and causing pain increases.

If a pedunculated fibroid causes intense discomfort,  a uterine artery embolization procedure may be performed to cut the blood supply to the fibroid. In some instances, a myomectomy may be carried out in an attempt to remove the fibroid.

Intramural Fibroid

The most common type of fibroid is the intramural fibroid. These may develop in the front, back, or upper part of the uterus and grows between the muscles. As with other fibroid types, symptoms of an intramural fibroid may range from none to being very mild. This type of fibroid may drastically affect a woman’s quality of life.

For those seeking treatment, childbearing plans and the severity of symptoms will determine whether medication or surgery is the best course of action. Procedures commonly used to remove intramural fibroids are uterine artery embolization and myomectomy. A hysterectomy is the last resort to improve the overall health condition.

Subserosal Fibroid

Commonly found to cause bladder pressure or back pain, a subserosal fibroid grows outside the lining of the uterus. As it protrudes outward, the subserosal fibroid will often grow to be the largest of the above-mentioned fibroids. Naturally, symptoms will increase in severity as a fibroid grows in size.

Again, the severity of the symptoms determines whether to perform a myomectomy. In some women, cutting the blood supply to the fibroid will be attempted.

Providing patients with the best comprehensive care, Georgia Vascular Institute utilizes minimally-invasive techniques to treat various types of fibroids. If you or someone you love is dealing with fibroids, the experts at Georgia Vascular Institute can help. Give us a call at 770-506-4007 or schedule an appointment.

Healthy food in containers (chicken, avocado, walnuts, and apples), good examples of a uterine fibroids diet.

What Kind of Diet Should I Follow if I Have Uterine Fibroids?

While the cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, it’s common knowledge that fibroid growth is largely fueled by estrogen. One of the best ways to control the estrogen count in your body is by eating a certain diet, which means this diet can also increase or decrease the risk of fibroid development.

Adding certain foods and making simple changes to your diet are great ways to balance your hormones, therefore helping to manage fibroid symptoms on top of improving overall health. If you’re wondering what kind of diet you should follow if you have uterine fibroids, we’re outlining the best foods to eat plenty of and the ones to avoid.

Fill Your Plate with Fruits and Vegetables

Regularly eating fruits which are high in antioxidants, such as apples and tomatoes, may help decrease the risk of fibroids. In addition, consuming green, leafy vegetables that contain the substance indole-3-carbinol can have a positive effect on the way your body metabolizes estrogen. Great examples of these are kale, cabbage, and broccoli.

Fill up on these veggies and fruits, and you’ll lower the risk of developing estrogen-driven fibroid tumors.

Eat More Vitamin D Rich Foods

Research suggests that incorporating Vitamin D into your diet is a great way to reduce the risk of fibroid development, as the vitamin has been known to shrink the volume and size of fibroids. If you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk all day or live in a cooler climate that doesn’t get a lot of sunshine, chances are you already have a Vitamin D deficiency.

The good news is that you can easily incorporate more Vitamin D into your diet through supplements and eating vitamin-rich foods like salmon, tuna, fortified cereals, egg yolks, and cheese. Drinking more milk and fortified orange juice can greatly reduce your symptoms and risk of fibroids, as well.

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

Your body’s ability to effectively metabolize estrogen is greatly influenced by the health of your liver. Both alcohol and caffeine add unnecessary stress on your liver, and alcohol triggers inflammation and raises certain hormone levels that contribute to the development of fibroids. Women seeking to alleviate fibroid symptoms should consider limiting or avoiding the intake of alcohol and caffeine.

Avoid Salt

According to research, high blood pressure is linked to the development of severe fibroids. Avoiding salt and limiting packaged and processed foods with high sodium are ways to balance your blood pressure. Instead of salt, which is also hard on your liver, choose spices and herbs for food flavoring.

Managing fibroids with diet and lifestyle can only do so much. The fibroid treatment center at Georgia Vascular Institute provides the most comprehensive care available and offers a wide range of treatment options. Give us a call at 770-506-4007 to learn more or click here to schedule an appointment.

Common Signs of Vascular Problems

Your body’s complex vascular system consists of arteries, veins, and capillaries. Any issue that interrupts this highway of blood vessels can cause a multitude of problems. Ignoring the symptoms of vascular disease can lead to severe pain, disability, and even death. Knowing what the common signs of vascular problems are and when you should seek treatment are important to your health and overall well-being.

One of the most common types of vascular disease is peripheral artery disease, also commonly referred to as PAD. This disease can affect both men and women and can occur at any time. The disease is the result of fatty deposits in your arteries causing your arteries to become narrowed, therefore reducing the blood flow to your limbs. Although the limbs are most commonly affected, circulatory problems linked to PAD are likely an indication that there is a more widespread buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries.

We’re explaining the common symptoms of peripheral artery disease below.

Leg Pain

Leg pain that can be mild all the way to debilitating when walking is the most common symptom of PAD. Most often, the pain is triggered by an activity that leads to cramping and muscle pain.

The most common location for pain is in the calf area. Although at times, it may be felt in the thigh, hip, and buttock.

Numbness

A numbness or tingling sensation in the legs or feet may be a warning sign of peripheral artery disease. The sensation comes as a result of the body’s inability to pump blood through the narrow arteries. In addition to the numbness and tingling, an individual may experience leg weakness that is persistent or unpredictable.

Appearance in Legs

A marked temperature difference in the lower leg or foot compared with the other leg or to the rest of your body is another indication that blood flow is being restricted and is likely not nourishing other organs and tissues. If you notice the thinning of leg hair or your toenail growth has slowed, you may be encountering the earlier symptoms of PAD.

Don’t Ignore the Common Signs of Vascular Problems

Often times those who experience only mild symptoms of PAD (like symptoms that disappear after resting or symptoms that come and go) may dismiss them and just assume it is just part of the natural aging process. However, any symptoms should not be ignored. PAD can often be treated with simple lifestyle changes, such as eliminating tobacco use, exercising, and incorporating a healthy diet.

As soon as you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s important to seek help from vascular experts like the physicians at Georgia Vascular Institute. Our staff is well trained in the field of vascular disease, and we are here to help you manage your symptoms and prevent the disease from progressing. Give us a call at 770-506-4007 or click here to schedule an appointment.