How to Manage Fibroids with Weight Lifting

Fibroids (leiomyomas) are noncancerous growths or tumors that develop in and around a woman’s womb (uterus). The exact cause of fibroids is unknown. However, their development and growth are stimulated by abnormal elevations in estrogen, the female sex hormone that circulates in particularly high quantities from puberty to menopause.

Although fibroids are generally non-life-threatening, they can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms (heavy or prolonged bleeding during and between menstrual cycles, pain or discomfort with intercourse, anemia, abdominal pain and low-back pain) and oftentimes lead to infertility, preterm birth or miscarriage.

After having been diagnosed with fibroids following a fetal ultrasound back in 2007 and later suffering three consecutive miscarriages immediately after the birth of my son, I developed a keen interest in understanding the potential role of lifestyle behaviors in the management of fibroids.

I can personally attest that my symptoms only manifested themselves during my four pregnancies and I wholeheartedly contribute this to my overall healthy lifestyle. Even upon receiving the diagnosis, I was able to successfully manage my symptoms with good nutrition and the right dose of exercise.

Interestingly enough, I’ve actually benefited most from weight lifting, a type of exercise that’s rarely, if ever, discussed in relation to fibroids. It’s also the least likely type of exercise to be performed by women, yet it’s favorable effects on hormonal balance are well evidenced.

Fibroids are hormonally driven by poor estrogen metabolism. As such, addressing poor estrogen metabolism is of the utmost importance when it comes to preventing their growth and alleviating associated symptoms.

Believe it or not, having more muscle inherently improves your body’s ability to metabolize estrogen and weight lifting is the absolute ONLY way to thoroughly build it up.

Through its unique effects on muscle, weight lifting also supports long-term weight management, which is another critical component in the treatment of fibroids. Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in the body, as it inherently requires a great deal of calories to work (contract/relax), repair and refuel itself.

The more muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be. This basically means you’ll burn more calories during any type of activity, even rest.

Related Article: 8 Reasons Why Women Should Weight Train