Dr. Yan Katsnelson explains how food and diet affect fibroids

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There’s a lot of misinformation around uterine fibroids, in part because it’s part of a silent epidemic that’s often overlooked by healthcare providers and under-discussed overall. July is Fibroid Awareness Month and in honor of that, we spoke with Dr. Yan Katsnelson, Founder and CEO of USA Clinics Group (the parent company of USA Fibroid Centers) and Founder of the Fibroids Fighters Foundation, who works to advance the cause of women. health and effective treatment of uterine fibroids.

According to Dr. Katnelson, it seems that misconceptions about fibroids are almost as common as fibroids themselves, which affect 70-80% of women by age 50. Fibroids present a major health problem as the most common pelvic tumors in women of reproductive age and are the leading cause of hysterectomies in the United States

“There is a lot of misinformation about fibroids because awareness and education is needed – both for women and for health care providers,” says Dr. Katnelson. “Fibroids are extremely common in women, but no significant conversation has taken place about what they are and how they are treated.”

We spoke with Dr. Katnelson about what exactly uterine fibroids are; misconceptions; and how things like diet and overall consumption may play a role in fibroids. Here’s what he had to say.

For someone who doesn’t know much about fibroids, how would you describe it?

Uterine fibroids are a form of non-cancerous growth that occurs in or on the walls of the uterus. Fibroids can put pressure on adjacent organs, affect fertility, and create painful symptoms, including heavy periods, severe menstrual cramps, frequent urination, or low energy levels.

What is the cause or has it already been discovered?

There are a variety of factors that contribute to the development of fibroids. Research has shown that genetics can strongly contribute to the development of uterine fibroids. The growth of uterine fibroids seems to depend mainly on the influence of steroid hormones and certain growth factors. Although more research is needed, what we do know is that a person can have one or more fibroids.

They can be small or grow over time to the size of a grapefruit or more. In addition, fibroids are more common between the ages of 30 and the age at which menopause begins. Their origin is unclear, but they seem to develop when estrogen levels are higher.

What are some of the most common misconceptions women have about fibroids?

The main misconception women often have is that fibroids are cancerous. Fibroids are benign growths and do not cause uterine cancer. Another misconception women have about fibroids is that hysterectomy is the only effective treatment. The recognized best treatment for fibroids is non-surgical uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), an effective and safe treatment that does not remove the uterus.

Finally, there is a common belief that women cannot get pregnant with fibroids. While many women have successful pregnancies, fibroids can present complications for both mother and child, depending on size and location. Women with fibroids are also much more likely to miscarry early in pregnancy. This is why early detection and treatment are extremely beneficial for women before they decide to start a family.

Does diet play a role in fibroids? Are there certain foods that are better than others for hopefully preventing fibroids in the body?

Scientists who study disease transmission believe that there are many factors related to the development of fibroids. A large government study concluded that diet (including soy, red meat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol consumption as well as fats, minerals, fruits and vegetables) was not conclusive in preventing the development and growth of fibroids.

Clearly, more research is needed to understand all of the risk factors that contribute to fibroid formation and how exactly they influence their appearance and growth. Future research on modifiable risk factors, such as dietary and lifestyle choices, could shed light on prevention.

What is your opinion on the link between diet and fibroids?

So far, we know that diet cannot cure fibroids. Treatment is the only proven method to remove fibroids that impair quality of life and have life-threatening side effects. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recognized UFE as the proven safe and effective option that should be offered to symptomatic patients with uterine fibroids.

Women should know that there is an effective treatment for fibroids that allows them to return to a symptom-free lifestyle without undergoing a hysterectomy.

When it comes to women’s health in general, what do you think are the best guidelines to follow in terms of overall diet?

Choosing healthy foods and beverages can help prevent or manage many health issues that affect women. A healthy diet means choosing different types, including fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and proteins. A healthy diet also means not eating a lot of foods with added sugar, sodium, and saturated and trans fats.

Taking care of your uterine health, like a healthy diet, can help women feel better. State-of-the-art UFE takes less than an hour, can shrink fibroids, heal painful fibroid symptoms, and leave the uterus intact.

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