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Black Women & Fibroids the Silent Epidemic that’s Screaming in our Community

Fibroids are more common in African-American women than in women of other racial groups. One study showed that fibroids are three times more common in African-American women than in Caucasian women. Additionally, fibroids tend to be larger and occur at an earlier age in African-Americans.  The Philadelphia Black Women’s Health Project

Instances of fibroids are of epidemic proportions among Black women and yet we are not hearing about this issue in our magazines, television shows or on our blogs. If left untreated or diagnosed too late fibroids can cause heavy and painful menstruation, painful sexual intercourse, urinary frequency, hinder pregnancy and may even lead to a hysterectomy. Black women develop fibroids earlier than their white counterparts and have more sever symptoms. While many feminist groups cry out for reproductive health this issue is ignored, could it be because it affects Black women at disproportionate rates? Like most of America the healthcare system is infected with racism, which means that conditions that affect the Black community are ignored and so like so most issues we have to take matters into our own hands.

What many Black women do not know is that fibroids can be caused by the food we eat and even the hair products we use! But through making healthier eating and product choices many sisters have been able to decrease the size and severity of their fibroids and many have seen them dissipate. The good news is dark leafy greens such as grandma’s collard greens have nutrients that can aid in easing fibroid and PMS symptoms. Other greens such as kale and mustard greens are great choices as well. Exercise and stress management are also key in easing the pain of fibroids and PMS.  Many sisters are taking their health into their own hands by seeking out natural remedies, holistic health coaching and turning to spiritual practices to manage stress (which can further aggravate fibroids). This medical epidemic is a justice issue as well because lack of access to healthy foods in our communities, medical racism-where sisters with fibroids are given hysterectomies at higher rates than White women and sexism in the health profession all collide to cause conditions that leave Black women more vulnerable to developing fibroids.

For Your Black World I will be doing a series of post on fibroids and Black Women offering more information on causes, symptoms, holistic health solutions and organizations working for food and health justice in our communities. In the meantime here are some practical steps you can take to care for your health:

1. Find a gynecologist you can trust-don’t be shy about asking for a woman, an African-American or both. Find another doctor if you are not comfortable with your current one.

2. Make sure you have an annual visit to a GYN for a Pap Smear

3. Try to limit processed foods (especially white sugar, flour and white bread)

4. Exercise at least three times a week this can include dancing, walking or even stepping with your sorors!

5. Deal with stress and do not suffer in silence. Journaling, meditation and counseling are all great ways to manage stress.

For more information visit:

You Can Heal Your Fibroid

Philadelphia Black Women’s Health Project-Black Women & Fibroids

Sistah Vegan

Remember Life is for Living & LOVE is a Choice!



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28 Responses to Black Women & Fibroids the Silent Epidemic that’s Screaming in our Community

  1. NaturalJoy Reply

    February 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Being armed with knowledge that is what is vital. thank you. I must admit I know very little about these tumors, I look forward to learning all I can about the possibility of these creatures taking up space in my body.

  2. Joyce Christie-Taylor Reply

    February 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I was diagnosed with fibroids several times, and opted out of the “surgery option” and went on a “WHEATGRASS FAST” instead. After consuming wheatgrass juice only for about a week, the fibroids fell off and out. How did I know it was the fibroids that fell out, you ask? Because the doctor had shown me a photo of what they looked like, as a way of convincing me that I needed surgery. However, that photo did not work! As I previously stated, I chose to go on a Wheatgrass fast instead, because I had read Ann Wigmore’s famous book about Wheatgrass, and was convinced that a wheatgrass regimen could and would do the job, and indeed it did! Praise God! The Bible does say: “…the leaf of the tree shall be for medicine…” (in this case it was the leaf of the ground).

    • Anthony Sweet Reply

      April 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      Ms. Taylor,

      My wife suffers from fibroids as well and I was wondering if you could email me some info about the Wheatgrass regimen or where I could locate it for her?

      My email address is anthony.sweet@comcast.net.

      God Bless.

    • Neicey Reply

      October 24, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Hi Joyce,
      Please contact me as I have a few questions about your post!! :)I just happened to purchase some wheatgrass and now I’m excited.
      Thank you so much for your testimony!

  3. Cyrlene Braithwaite Reply

    February 5, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Please copuld you send some info, i have got 9 fibroids and finding it difficult to get help from my doctor in the UK. At the moment i am trying marrigold sunlflower as i heard that ir can get rid of them, do you know anything about this?

  4. Ericka Abrams Reply

    February 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Fibroids are a huge issue in our community. So many of us are dealing with this issue, and suffering in isolation. Many physicians who look like us dismiss the health condition as something that is just to be treated, not cured or prevented.

    Our lives are hairied, stressful and depleted of what is real in so many ways. Eat less meat, and more plant based protein like beans and legumes. Eat organic produce. Invest in those organic fruits and veggies that are called the “Dirty Dozen“; those that have the highest pesticide exposure; where you would also consume the skin; apples, peaches, leafy greens, berries’ etc. Fruits and veggies that you peel can be conventionally grown. Stay at a healthy weight. The more body fat you have, the more estrogen you have, which fuels fibroid growth.

    Time to get real and take charge of our health for the benefit of ourselves and our families.

    Ericka L. Abrams, MPH, Doctoral student
    Public Health Practitioner

  5. Chica Reply

    February 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    It is known that Fribroids is caused by estrogen. Phyloestrogen is the plant version of estrogen. The human body processes phyloestrogen just like it would estrogen. Soy and soy products are rich in phyloestrogen. A lot of American foods have soy and soy products. With that knowledge I am avoiding soy, including soy sauce. As a result, my fibroids are shrinking

  6. June Thompson Reply

    February 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I have fibroids and you are right, I hear absolutely a deaffening silence on this issue and they don’t care if we drop like flies. Additionally, I have an African American GYN doctor and she even is apart of the system by only offering surgery as an option. I do not want to die an early death as my mother died when I was 31 years old. I want to be here for my children, so I will be following you all to find out what information you come up with and also invited my husband to read the article was well, that brother does not want to see any collard greens as long as he lives because he said he ate too many of them when he was growing up but after reading the article he said, if it will keep my wife healthy, I will join her and eat them too. :)

    Remember, I will take your advice, so please be sure to post. Thanks for bringing this to light and Michael Baisden.

  7. Kim Reply

    February 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Another very important issue with fibroids and the treatment is many doctors only treat symptoms and never attempt to find out the cause or look into other medical issues a patient may have. I suffered with menstrual disorders from the time I started at 11 years old. I’ve had almost every procedure there is except for a hysterectomy. I refused to have one because of the side effects (drs. do not tell you about). Thirty plus years later, I go to a PCP for low blood and he sends me to a hematologist who tells me I was born with Von Willebrand’s disease, a bleeding disorder similar to hemophilia but not as severe. Had I (and my mom) known, I could’ve avoided some or all of the surgeries I didn’t need such as the Myomectomy, D&C Hysteroscopy, Uterine Artery Embolization (twice), only to still have painful and heavy menses. Surgeries I refused were the Tubalization (what does that have to do with fibroids?!?), Uterine Ablation and Hysterectomy. I thank God I was able to have one child from all of this madness. It is my prayer that someone will be helped from my story and never stop seeking answers for their suffering. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

  8. ketha Reply

    February 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I do not argue with a change of eating habits will make my fibroids smaller. I went through my anemia dropping to 4.9 and then all I could eat was salad until I had surgery. A month before surgery I counldnt eat any solid food. So I feel the information in your article is misleading. Maybe in some woman it will work but my condition caused me to have 12 transfusions and a hysterectory. See why your article isn’t right.

  9. ketha Reply

    February 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Make your own decision but make your checking your source

  10. Latrice Miller Reply

    February 10, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Theres an excellent study looking for young Black Women in the Detroit area in order to learn more about fibroids in black women. They ARE offering compensation for participating. It’s called SELF. Study of Environment Lifestyle and Fibroids.

    Go to http://www.detroitself.org

    It is a REAL site not SPAM. I used to work on this study.

  11. Onleilove Reply

    February 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and comments. For more information see the second post in this series about fibroids and food. Be Blessed!

  12. Pingback: Your Black World Series: Black Women & Fibroids the Silent Epidemic that’s Screaming in our Community | Wholeness 4 Love

  13. Lady A Reply

    February 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I agree with paying attention to the food we eat. Research shows that soy can mimic estrogen in the body and too much estrogen could be one of the causes of Fibroids. I also think your emotional state can be the cause as well. So after me and one of my best friends got diagnosed with Fiboids, we started on a healing journey. Here is more on what we do to heal ourselves: http://calivegans.com/

  14. Tina Reply

    March 22, 2012 at 4:30 am

    I am due to see the consultant next week regarding my fibroids with a view to having a uterine embolisation!! Has anyone had this procedure and found a degree of success? I heard Condoleza Rice underwent this process.

    Having just read about diet I think I might try the diet first, ensuring that I take adequate supplements i.e. iron, zinc, b6, b12 etc. to balance out what I lose from those foods that I no longer eat. Are there any other types of food to avoid?

  15. Pingback: Endometrial Ablation | Endometrial Ablation Pregnancy | | Top Online ResourcesTop Online Resources

  16. ketha Reply

    April 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    I had a hysterectomy because of my bad anemic.4.9 blood clot no other option but it put me in a deep deep depression and still am not the way I was. Try and make the right decision for you. That operation is something that you can’t go back on. And I am regretting listening to my family to have it done

  17. Justia Reply

    October 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

    African American Women (Health – FIBROID’S – HYSTERECTOMY – BEFORE – DURING – AFTER)

    Hello Sisters,

    I have study by research, read so many books- heard so many lectures, so many surveys about Fibroid’s solutions-treatments-best foods etc. and before, during and after Hysterectomy (1983-Present)… After all the information one thing we as black women is forgetting DIFFERENT STOKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS … 1-10 things many work for some black women and the same 1-10 things may not work at all. Remember some of us are allergic to GREEN foods or may work for 8 months to 3 yrs then stop. Question is what works best for you and only you even after your long talk with your Doctors, specialist etc. You are the one that has to deal with your health issues and let me say there will be some hard choices.

    The word HYSTERECTOMY is very frightening to each of us and the rumors about it are even worse. So, we’ll come up with so many other alternatives before we know it our information is coasting us plenty of money (its okay to support a cause but don’t go broke behind it). STOP RIGHT NOW and think: who is most important here? Well, we all can agree WE ARE! As we all know by now FIBROID’S is a silent disease in our community and it seem as usual the media can report SINGLE WOMEN with 3.4 plus children is the HEAD OF HOUSEHOLDS most on Section 8 etc. vs. Out 3 to 7 African American Women will suffer from FIBROID’S between the ages of 15-65 plus and some will have a HYSTERECTOMY.

    We can change all this around by spreading the word at work, schools, Church, ourselves. Rumor has it that if you want to get the word out about something TELL A SIST’A smile. We’re faster than any internet, media, magazines when it comes to GIRLFRIEND DID YOU HEAR? Between BREAST CANCER AND FIBROID’S-HYSTERECTOMY all target to every one of us. Like I said before the WORDS alone are frightening and first thing comes to mind DO I HAVE IT? Well the only answer is: Sister’s between 15-40 Did you ask your doctor to check your Uterus by scan? If you suffer from 2-3 weeks heavy bleeding- have tried all the latest treatments by your Primary Care Doctor and Uterus Specialist etc. and nothing seem to work (THINK HYSTERECTOMY).

    Sister’s between age 40-50+, your baby making- having days are over so face it. PLEASE ACCEPT GETTING A HYSTERECTOMY as soon as you can. Fibroid’s can cause more damage to your uterus because they continue to grow larger with time and have an effect on your bladder as well. Studies have shown even after some Fibroid’s treatment worked well but later the women still end up having a Hysterectomy because their uterus have enlarge more and the pain was extremely unbarring. BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR’S BEFORE, DURING and AFTER TREATMENTS OR SURGERY… The goal is to get better…

    Yes, I know these are harsh words but I rather be straight with each of you than to sugar coat with OUR HEALTH! I’ve read were some women are depressed once they find out they have Fibroid’s or need a Hysterectomy. Let’s get real we as Black women have been through so much over the years or by watching other black women suffer and yet we never gave up. You have to find ways to make yourself happy because Fibroid’s and a Hysterectomy do not hold your life story. Yes, there will be changes within your body and relationships but don’t allow these things to stop you from being you. Keep fighting by holding onto your beliefs, surround yourself with positive people that has your best interest at heart, find a support group talk it out and once you’re done having your pity party. Most women rather have some pain after surgery than to be dealing with year after year treatments that doesn’t work. GET IT OVER WITH AND START LIVING YOUR LIFE. . .

    Dust yourself off and smile because you have things to do on your little buck-list. Such as traveling go to places you never seen or just travel around the USA or within your own STATE, take up a hobby such as art collections-visit art galleries-or become a Artist, Singing is good for the soul go on YOU TUBE sing and dance about, Read books you been putting off for years, Sew or learn to sew, Teach or become a teacher about Health issues, Business owner-new job-going to College or back to college..

    Date! Yes, I said DATE as in go on dates lot’s of them (nothing like being spoiled by a gentleman that cares about you as a lady ((but first you must leave that DEPRESSION STATE OF MIND behind- no man want to be sitting in front of a beautiful black woman with RED EYES like out of some scary movie) …smile.

    Rumor has it NO MAN WANTS A WOMAN THAT HAD A HYSTERECTOMY … THAT’S A DARN LIE most true men will say the sex is even better because there is no worries and there are many ways to satisfy their ladies (sexual and non-sexual) Plus, how many men have stop loving their woman and the woman didn’t have a Hysterectomy? Think Sista’s it’s not about your size, your weight, your skin tone, your education, your home lifestyle, your job, your beliefs, that attracts a gentleman … Gentlemen look at your .. Character as the lady they desire to call his forever more. Because when it is all said and done- WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU AND STAND BY YOU 24- 7 -365 NO MATTER WHAT? A true gentleman will … smile

    Never allow anything (Fibroid’s/Hysterectomy-Rumors) or anyone (family, friends, etc) stop you from being you … I’ll be checking on you and praying for you all.

    • Souky Reply

      May 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Total nonsense…smh…

    • Souky Reply

      May 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Total nonesense…smh…

  18. Justia Reply

    October 11, 2012 at 11:15 am

    DIFFERENT STROKES … FOR … DIFFERENT FOLKS … (meaning) Our bodies are different and will or will not accept the same treatments for our illnesses …

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