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Fibroids


khrios
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I just received a call from my Gyn. I have been having heavy bleeding during periods for at least a year. I also started leaking breast milk. She said I have six fibroids inside my uterus that "have to be taken care of".

I wonder if the aggravation of my autonomic problems could be due to the fibroids. Does any one know if fibroids can secrete hormones?

Any experience in this area anyone?

Thanks,

Ann

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I have one large fibroid that became about the size of a cantaloupe during pregnancy. My ob-gyn claimed that it was largely responsible for the complications I experienced during childbirth that resulted in a c-section. She said the placenta was partially attached to it.

Anyway, I do not believe that fibroids secrete hormones. They are benign tumors of the uterus made up of uterine tissue. They do *respond to* estrogen, which is why they grow so much during pregnancy. If a woman has high levels of estrogen that would exaccerbate fibroid growth.

Fibroids are very common--in women over 30, about 40% of women have them. They can cause very heavy periods and can be problematic for that reason. Depending on location they can also affect fertility -- and also cause problems during childbirth, as I learned.

You probably have some time to learn more about the condition and treatment/management options and possibly get a second opinion before going the surgery route.

Katherine

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Have they checked you for anemia? I had severe bleeding due to fibroids and it caused me to become anemic - I felt awful. I copied the Anemia Quotient questionnaire below so you can see some of the symptoms (look familiar?). http://www.anemia.com/do/dotalk.html

This questionnaire is an important first step toward improving your health. Your answers to these questions can help your doctor determine if you have symptoms of anemia. Please answer every question to the best of your ability, print out your answers, and discuss them with your doctor.*

*This quiz will not provide you with an answer. Only a healthcare professional can determine if you have anemia or not.

Since you were diagnosed with your serious medical condition:

Have you felt unusually tired or fatigued?

Yes No

Have you experienced unusual weakness?

Yes No

Have you experienced shortness of breath?

Yes No

Have you felt easily confused or lost your concentration?

Yes No

Have you felt dizzy or have you fainted?

Yes No

Has your skin become unusually pale, including decreased pinkness in your lips, gums, lining of your eyelids, nail beds and palms?

Yes No

Have you experienced a rapid heart beat?

Yes No

Have you been feeling unusually cold?

Yes No

Have you been feeling sad or depressed?

Yes No

Do you know if your hemoglobin count is between 12 and 18 g/dL (grams per deciliter) of blood?

Yes No

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I had a fibroid several years ago that was causing heavy bleeding. I fortunately didn't become anemic but the constant bleeding made me weak and took a toll.

I ended up having a myomectomy to remove the fibroid. If they suggest surgery make sure you do some research to see what kind of surgery would be best for you. I ended up paying out of pocket to have a private doc do my surgery because he did it as non invasive as possible. I was sedated instead of given a general. And most important he didn't have to flush out my uterus which can cause sodium loss. Even in healthy women.

If I had it done through Kaiser ( my HMO) they would have given me a general and used this old and dangerous procedure where they flush out your uterus at the end of the surgery which like I said can result in sodium loss. Not a good idea if you have dysautonimia.

There are also other ways to remove the fibroid, one way is done in radiology.

Good luck.

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This is probably a stupid question--but how is "heavy bleeding" defined? My periods are heavier since my daughter was born. I attribute it to the fibroid. It has been getting better/not as heavy over time so I haven't really talked to a doctor about it. BUT, I do seem to have slight anemia and have been prescribed iron pills.

Anyway, any comments on this would be appreciated!

Katherine

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This is probably a stupid question--but how is "heavy bleeding" defined?  My periods are heavier since my daughter was born.  I attribute it to the fibroid.  It has been getting better/not as heavy over time so I haven't really talked to a doctor about it.  BUT, I do seem to have slight anemia and have been prescribed iron pills.

Anyway, any comments on this would be appreciated!

Katherine

If I remember correctly my HMO defined heavy bleeding as soaking through 1 super tampon or jumbo pad an hour for 5 hours in a row. At least that was their criterion for going in to see the Dr or going to an urgent care. This was a few years ago but I remember that after soaking through 3 tampons in a row I would start to feel lightheaded.

My Dr at the time who was seeing me for dysautonimia thought that their criterion was stupid because some women could feel sick after soaking through only a few tampons. It shouldn't have been a"don't call us until you soak through 5" policy. They didn't even want to hear from me until I had reached that criterion.

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It doesn't take much to make us POTSies light-headed!

Thanks--interesting. I don't think I meet that criterion most of the time--but I have had some days that would. I did go to the ER when I got my first period after my daughter was born. It was more blood than I had ever seen and it scared me. They just gave me fluids and ibuprofen and sent me home.

Oh well, I guess I need to explore this concern/issue with an ob/gyn.

Thanks, Katherine

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:rolleyes: One thing that might be helpful, and I had this when I first began this journey many moons ago, is your pituitary. You could have an ademoma which explaind the thyroid problems we have. Also you don't lactate because of fibroids. There is a blood test that can tell you if your lactose is elevated otherwise need an MRI of Pituitary. Don't let them blow you off. Miriam
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Katherine,

Since I had my daughter, my periods -- which were usually short, light and uneventful -- are now long (7-8 days) and heavy for 5 or 6 of those days. I have a checkup with my midwife next week and will ask her about this. I have heard from other moms that after childbirth periods become heavier, and this happens as we get older as well. It could be due to fibroids, but I know I didn't have any before or during my pregnancy, so I don't think that's the case for me.

Amy

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Hi! Miriam is right! The blood test is for prolactin which is produced by your pituitary gland. I've copied a bit of info here for you. Laura!

Prolactin Disorders

Prolactin is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland located in the brain. During pregnancy, it stimulates milk formation. In non-pregnant women, it is secreted in small quantities. Excess prolactin production, referred to as hyperprolactinemia, in women who are not pregnant can result in breast discharge, irregular or absent periods, infrequent or lack of ovulation, and sometimes headaches and visual symptoms. Women with hyperprolactinemia also can have problems conceiving.

Causes for excess prolactin levels include pituitary tumors (adenomas), hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), and medications such as tranquilizers, some high blood pressure medications, antidepressants, anti-nausea drugs, and oral contraceptives.

Recreational drugs such as marijuana also can result in increased prolactin levels. Prolactin secretion may increase slightly following a breast examination, exercise, intercourse, nipple stimulation, stress, sleep and certain foods.

One in three women with prolactin excess have no identifiable cause, and about 30 to 40 percent of cases are caused by a benign, noncancerous, pituitary tumor.

The diagnosis of hyperprolactinemia is made by determining blood levels of prolactin. Sometimes a second test may be necessary. Other hormone levels also may need to be checked such as a thyroid hormone. An MRI or CT scan is useful in determining the presence and the size of a tumor.

Treatment depends on the cause, severity of symptoms, and presence or absence of a tumor. Larger tumors require surgical removal. The majority of patients can be treated with oral medications that suppress prolactin production.

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I had no trouble producing breast milk with the fibroid--maybe I don't understand your comment, Miriam? Actually, I did have an MRI of my pituitary about six years ago b/c of concerns about possible adenoma (elevated TSH, yet hyperthyroid symptoms)--turned out I had both Hashimoto's and POTS.

Thanks for the reassurance, Amy, that you also experienced a change after childbirth. My period is very very heavy for 2 days and then scant after that. It doesn't last as long as it used to. So I don't know if I am really losing more blood than before or if it is just a different flow pattern now.

Katherine

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I had no trouble producing breast milk with the fibroid--maybe I don't understand your comment, Miriam?  Actually, I did have an MRI of my pituitary about six years ago b/c of concerns about possible adenoma (elevated TSH, yet hyperthyroid symptoms)--turned out I had both Hashimoto's and POTS.

Thanks for the reassurance, Amy, that you also experienced a change after childbirth.  My period is very very heavy for 2 days and then scant after that.  It doesn't last as long as it used to.  So I don't know if I am really losing more blood than before or if it is just a different flow pattern now.

Katherine

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I had no trouble producing breast milk with the fibroid--maybe I don't understand your comment, Miriam?? Actually, I did have an MRI of my pituitary about six years ago b/c of concerns about possible adenoma (elevated TSH, yet hyperthyroid symptoms)--turned out I had both Hashimoto's and POTS.

Thanks for the reassurance, Amy, that you also experienced a change after childbirth.?  My period is very very heavy for 2 days and then scant after that.? It doesn't last as long as it used to.? So I don't know if I am really losing more blood than before or if it is just a different flow pattern now.

Katherine

Hashimotos is also caused by pituatary gland and thus the lactation. Not all are the same, and QUITE often the adenomas are too small to see. So treating the symptoms is inportant. Most women with pots have had heavy periods which end up being slow to non- depend upon their individual case. Miriam

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Hi Miriam

Thanks for clarifying your statement. However, I believe that Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease. The immune system for some reason produces antibodies that attack the thyroid. True that the pituitary gland is involved in thyroid regulation, but I do not believe the pituitary is impaired in Hashimoto's.

I am not aware that there is any evidence at this point that POTS causes/is related to menstrual problems--just curious about where you got this information. Unfortunately, menstrual problems are all too common for women in general, particularly as we age.

Thanks,

Katherine

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Hi Miriam

Thanks for clarifying your statement.  However, I believe that Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease.  The immune system for some reason produces antibodies that attack the thyroid.  True that the pituitary gland is involved in thyroid regulation, but I do not believe the pituitary is impaired in Hashimoto's.

I am not aware that there is any evidence at this point that POTS causes/is related to menstrual problems--just curious about where you got this information.  Unfortunately, menstrual problems are all too common for women in general, particularly as we age.

Thanks,

Katherine

According to Vanderbuilt, and others most women begin having symptoms during or after their pregnancy. There are significant numbers showing that women who ultimately end up with the diagnosis have had these symptoms and were treated for the symptoms.

When I statred lactating, I had also has hashimotos and sub acute thyroiditis-- and the combination of these effects even though one is autoimmune is that the body is struggling especially autonomically. Not everyone lactates. That is why it is important to have these checked out. I dealt with all insividually for 23 years until I was diagnosed last year. I do have all medical records for all those years and have been able to present them to Dr. Low and other specialists who agree that the ;lactation/pituitary is impotant NOT to dismiss. Just my opinion. However on Vanderbuilt as well as the NIH web sites Miriam

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Hi Miriam

Thanks for clarifying your statement.? However, I believe that Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease.? The immune system for some reason produces antibodies that attack the thyroid.? True that the pituitary gland is involved in thyroid regulation, but I do not believe the pituitary is impaired in Hashimoto's.

I am not aware that there is any evidence at this point that POTS causes/is related to menstrual problems--just curious about where you got this information.? Unfortunately, menstrual problems are all too common for women in general, particularly as we age.

Thanks,

Katherine

According to Vanderbuilt, and others most women begin having symptoms during

or after their pregnancy. There are significant numbers showing that women who ultimately end up with the diagnosis have had these symptoms and were treated for the symptoms.

When I statred lactating, I had also has hashimotos and sub acute thyroiditis-- and the combination of these effects even though one is autoimmune is that the body is struggling especially autonomically. Not everyone lactates. That is why it is important to have these checked out. I dealt with all insividually for 23 years until I was diagnosed last year. I do have all medical records for all those years and have been able to present them to Dr. Low and other specialists who agree that the ;lactation/pituitary is impotant NOT to dismiss. Just my opinion. However on Vanderbuilt as well as the NIH web sites Miriam P.S. I had early menopause at 34 years of age.

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