Got a question about fibroids? Text them to “646464” (OHOHOH).
While medical researchers have not been able to pinpoint exactly what causes uterine fibroids in women, studies have suggested that family history, a diet heavy with red meat and obesity may all be contributing factors.
One study released this year by researchers at Boston University, however, suggested there may be a link between the kinds of hair relaxers used by millions of black women to increased instances of fibroid tumors.
Dr. Ray L. Howell, an obstetrician, gynecologist, and surgeon based in Atlanta who has specialized in women’s issues for 25 years, has co-authored the book, “Black Women and Fibroids: A Conversation with Black Women,” that cites the study conducted between 1997 and 2009, involving 23,580 pre-menopausal African-American women. The study found 7,146 cases of fibroids—a rate two to three times higher than for women who did not use relaxers.
The increased incidence may be linked to exposure to thyalates, chemicals added to the perfume portion of relaxers that may mimic estrogen-like materials that encourage fibroid growth. It is believed they may enter the body through scalp lesions and burns caused by relaxers.
Howell’s said the study was not conclusive enough to make a direct link between hair relaxers and fibroids and further study was warranted. It did urge women who use relaxers, however, to avoid getting scalp burns or scars from the formulas to reduce the chances of thyalates getting into the bloodstream.
Fibroid tumors grow in the uterus, generally are not cancerous and can be as small as a pea or grow as large as a melon. It is estimated that 20-50 percent of women, overall, have, or will have, fibroids at some time in their lives, while 80 percent of African-American women are likely to get them before the age of 50.
Fibroid tumors are 2 to 3 times more common in African-American women than other American women, tend to be larger, more numerous, more symptomatic, and black women get them at an earlier age. Fibroids can cause or contribute to pelvic pain, heavy bleeding, infertility, and miscarriages, and are the leading cause of hysterectomies for black women who have a threefold higher risk for hysterectomies compared with white women.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Services is conducting a fibroid growth study, funded jointly by the Institute and the National Center for Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities, to investigate why some fibroids grow and cause symptoms while others do not.
Studies done to date have not made definitive links to causes or patterns of fibroid development, but Howell has said there are interesting correlations that merit further study.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, for example, reported that women with higher glycemic index levels had an increased risk for fibroids. Sugary drinks, pastries, white bread and white rice all have high glycemic indices that can lead to blood sugar spikes and higher insulin levels, which are linked to other hormones believed to encourage the fibroid growth.
That study also said there was evidence that women who eat a lot of beef, ham and other red meats may be at a higher risk of fibroids, while diets rich in fish, green vegetables and fruit appear to decrease the risk. Women who ate two servings of fruit each day were less likely to have fibroids. The study said antioxidants in the fruit may reduce the risk.
Another study reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology of over 22,000 black women who consumed milk, cheese, ice cream, or other dairy products at least once a day were less likely to develop fibroids than those who consumed dairy more frequently.
Click here for answers to your fibroid questions.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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