Natural Pain Relief for Endometriosis

Natural Pain Relief for Endometriosis

Natural Pain Relief for Endometriosis

 

Looking for a more natural pain relief? Here’s how I replaced painkillers with an all-natural remedy
that not only worked to uncurl me from the grips of endometriosis pain but also promotes deep relaxation.

*This post is strictly informational and not intended as medical advice, nor as a substitution for medical advice.

Mother nature gave you a uterus,

 

but she also gave you herbs!

We have used herbs are medicine for thousands of years, and pharmaceutical companies still do.

For four decades, I’ve been skeptical of a prevailing belief in Western medicine:  When a plant shows bioactivity in humans, we must attribute that effect to a single, predominant compound in the plant. We label that the “active principle,” isolate it, synthesize it, and make a pharmaceutical out of it. Then, typically, we forget about the plant. We don’t study any of the other compounds in it or their complex interactions. – Dr. Andrew Weil

…And since as you can’t patent a herb, the use of pure, whole herbs is nowhere near as profitable as drugs. So that’s why you don’t hear more about herbal medicine. Not because it’s doesn’t work, it just doesn’t have the marketing budget to compete. 

So as our society moves further away from our connection with the natural world, herbal medicine is often met with, “is a plant actually going to do anything?” Well, think poppies and opium, willow bark and aspirin, hemp and cannabis. Herbs are potent substances and their effects on the body can be profound.

How I Replaced Convential Painkillers

Realising the dangers of prolonged use of NSAIDs and other painkillers, I had simply stopped taking them – cue world of pain. This wasn’t the answer. Being in pain is traumatic for the body and the resulting stress can make your body more vulnerable to ill health.

I reached out to a medical herbalist and she suggested an acute pain mix for me to take for up to three days each month, since my pain occurred during the first three days of my period – you can work with a medical herbalist to create a mix for your particular pain (duration, intensity etc).

This acute pain mix proved more beneficial than painkillers.

Firstly, the NSAIDs and presciption painkillers I had tried were ineffective as acute painkillers when I was in extreme pain. They may work for general period pain but they don’t touch endometriosis induced period pain. I was once offered morphine by a paramedic after I had collapsed. Yikes. So to get in front of the pain, I could take NSAIDs for a number of days before my period and continue taking them during the first 3-4 days of my period. That’s a lot of NSAIDs!

The herbal acute pain mix, being in liquid form, makes it much quicker for the body to absorb and put to use than a pill. I was to take 2.5mls at the first sign of pain, every 2 hours (no more than 6 times per day), for up to three days.

So while this not a dissimilar dosage to NSAIDS (this is because my acute mix contains a schedule 20 herb which is restricted to use by only registered medical herbalists), it works on a deeper level than painkillers. 

The herbs used are potent uterine relaxants that relieve tension, tightness and spams, unwinding the source of the pain rather than just being a pain blocker (how NSAIDs work). Softening, relaxing and warming, they help dispel anxiety and instil a sense of relaxation. 

We worked through a few combinations to find one that worked best for me. I now have this acute pain mix ‘in my back pocket’. 

It’s important to note that the story doesn’t end here.

Resources for Endometriosis

While I have had a number of pain-free cycles, where I have barely used the acute mix if at all, I still need to remind myself (or be reminded by my mum) to keep on top of my self-care. Afterall, it’s what has gotten me to having pain-free cycles and endometriosis doesn’t end with pain relief. Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease that requires consistent management. 

It’s easy to get swept away by life. An acute pain mix can be there for you in your time of need, but if stress has accumulated, then extra self-care is in order redress the balance.

I have a daily herbal mix that I use to manage my endometriosis. I also use a herbal tea blend. Information on the supplements and herbal remedies I use for endometriosis can be found here. 

Beyond that, we’re taking an anti-inflammatory diet plus other self-care rituals such as yoga and salt baths. I’ll cover those in more detail in the coming months. Good news is – they’re all wonderful! Self-care shouldn’t be a chore – it’s a treat!

For now, I hope this has given you something to look into.

Here’s a map to find your nearest herbalist (this is predominately UK-based, though does list some herbalists in other countries).  

If you are unable to access a medical herbalist, you can make your own tea if you’d like.  The blend I use can be found here. You can purchase dried herbs online. Please do your own research on herbs for any contraindications and consult your doctor before use. 

Herbal medicine should only be used under the guidance of a registered medical herbalist.

the endo diet
 lifestyle

 

4 Supplements I Use To Manage My Endometriosis

4 Supplements I Use To Manage My Endometriosis

4 SUPPLEMENTS I USE TO MANAGE MY ENDOMETRIOSIS

 

We all want to pop the ‘magic pill’ and feel better from endometriosis and that’s the rub with many medical drugs such as painkillers and the contraceptive pill; they work (sometimes) but do so by masking the problem rather than addressing the root cause. …And the ramifications long term can be disastrous. But what if you have no alternative than to take painkillers or synthetic hormones? Well, herbal medicine and supplements can step in to provide a holistic approach to relieving (and resolving) pain and helping you manage your symptoms. It’s not quick and it’s not guaranteed, but for me, it has been worth it.

These are the 4 supplements I use on a daily basis…

*This post is strictly informational and not intended as medical advice, nor as a substitution for medical advice.

1. Herbal medicine

Herbal medicine, for me, has stepped in to replace NSAIDs and prescription painkillers all while working to harmonise my cycle, cleanse my body of excess hormones and relax and tone my uterus.

This has been extremely restorative for me and a key tool in managing my endometriosis successfully.

 

Daily mix

I have a daily herbal mix that contains a blend of calendula, cramp bark, astragalus, Chinese angelica and liquorice, as well as vitex agnus castus drops on the side.

This helps relax my body on a daily basis and support the cleansing process of removing excess hormones such as oestrogen.

 

Herbal tea

Raspberry leaves, yarrow, chamomile, rose, couchgrass and calendula.

This helps to relax and tone my uterus, and I find it makes my monthly cycle much lighter, shorter and more manageable.

Pain mix

My acute pain mix was a process of adjustment and currently contains a schedule 20 herb (restricted to use by only registered medical herbalists) as well as a number of other pain-relieving herbs.

This is my alternative to traditional painkillers that I keep in my back pocket, to be used at the first sight of pain; 2.5ml every two hours until the pain goes away (maximum usage: up to 6 times a day for up to 3 days).

How to

If you are in the UK, I’d recommend medical herbalist Caroline Bulter who practises in Dorchester and Bridport (Dorset, South West England). 

Don’t have access to a medical herbalist? You can always make your own tea blend. There are many online stores available that sell individual tea herbs such as raspberry leaf.

Note: Just because something is natural does not make it safe, while herbs are a wonderful alternative to synthetic drugs, herbal medicine should only be used under the direction of a qualified professional.

2. CBD oil

CBD oil is increasingly being used as an anti-inflammatory, stress reducer and natural pain reliever in chronic conditions and may help reduce anxiety too. For these reasons, it is quickly becoming popular with women with endometriosis.

 

 

While a powerhouse natural remedy, misinformation about CBD oil is rife. In short, CBD oil (cannabidiol) is not psychoactive.

Some CBD oils do contain trace amounts of THC (the stuff that gets people high), however, trace amounts (0.5% THC or less) don’t come anywhere near to getting you high.

If you are an athlete or get routinely drug tested at work, trace amounts of THC may show up if you consume a high dose of CBD oil, so be warned.

That said, herb.co say one would need to consume anywhere from 1000 to 2000mg of CBD oil in a day (that’s likely 1-2 bottles worth) to result in a positive for marijuana on a drug test. They say this, however,  would be a false positive – if the sample were to undergo further tests for verification purposes then it would be found to be negative, as this secondary test is more accurate.

THC-free CBD oil is available if you’re at all concerned about THC. 

 

 

Since I have only recently started using CBD oil, and as I still take my herbal medicine, I can’t definitively distinguish what is having what effect over time. 

My main reason for taking CBD oil is, first, as an experiment; I wanted to try it before I wrote about it, and second, anything I can do to reduce or eliminate chronic inflammation is a top priority for me.

3. Plant-derived minerals

Minerals such as magnesium are known for their relaxation and fatigue-lifting properties. I don’t like taking vitamins or minerals in isolation though, as this can disrupt the body’s delicate symbiosis so I take a full-spectrum complex that includes 75 minerals and trace minerals.

As a mineralised body is the foundation to good health, this is a good place to start. We often focus on the inflammation of endometriosis, as it presents the most pressing symptoms (pain), though rallying the immune system will help your body to strengthen and fight inflammation.

Unfortunately, due to many factors such as soil degradation, minerals that were found richly in our soils are now lessening. The quality of the food we eat is directly impacted by the quality of the soil, so while I promote a varied plant-based diet, it is important to me to ensure my body has the minerals it requires to function optimally.

 

You can more info on the plant-derived minerals complex I take here on my mum’s page (she’s a holistic health practitioner and creator of the Total Me Time system and promotes plant-derived minerals to help her clients with energy and sleep).

She can get you £4 (approx. $5+) off your first order (auto-ship only, cancel anytime), so if you would like to try them contact her here and she will hook you up with a code!

 

If you are interested in taking minerals, it’s important to know the difference between plant-derived minerals as opposed to metallic minerals (which are most commonly found).

Metallic minerals are cheap to source, however, contain limited amounts of major or trace minerals and are hard for the body to absorb. Plant-derived minerals, on the other
hand, are fully bioavailable. 

4. Curcumin

You’ll likely have heard of turmeric supplements – turmeric is well researched for its abilities as an anti-inflammatory.

…But it’s curcumin, the active compound found in turmeric, that is doing the heavy lifting – all while making up around just 3% of turmeric!

So if you want the most health properties, look to curcurmin rather than turmeric.

 

As well as fighting inflammation, curcumin is a potent antioxidant that helps to boost your body’s antioxidant activity all while neutralising free radical damage.

It’s important to note that curcumin is not easily absorbed by the body, so it is suggested to take black pepper alongside curcumin which enhances absorption by 2000%

 

Since curcumin is fat soluble, consuming it with a meal containing healthy fats can help.

If you forget to take it with a meal, no worries, you can chuck a few peppercorns and nuts down the hatch instead!

 

 

The curcumin product I use can be found here (this is an affiliate link, though not mine, this is the curcumin supplement my mum recommends to her clients).

 

the endo diet
lifestyle

Endo Diaries: Free of Conventional Pain Killers

Endo Diaries: Free of Conventional Pain Killers

endo diaries

…Happily free from NSAIDs!

endo diaries

I’m happy to report that I have had another NSAIDS-free month!

I used to rely on conventional painkillers to get me through each period, but it’s important to know the dangers.

Overdosing on painkillers doesn’t just happen when too many are taken at once, they can have a cumulative effect.

NSAIDS: The Painful Truth Behind Painkillers

It’s also interesting to note that, “in women, long-term use of ibuprofen might be associated with reduced fertility. This is usually reversible when you stop taking ibuprofen.” NHS Direct

Perhaps this could be a contributory factor as to why endometriosis can cause fertility issues? 

I’ve had intensely painful periods since they first started, and so by 26, that’s over a decade of painkillers, month in, month out.

At the time, I didn’t know there was an alternative option. I wish I’d known what I do now much sooner, hence why I’m writing this blog.

Success with herbal medicine

Herbal medicine can step in and not only provide all-natural pain relief but can also work to resolve the reason behind the pain.

I have a daily herbal mix that contains a blend of calendula, cramp bark, astragalus, Chinese angelica and liquorice, as well as vitex agnus castus drops on the side.

My acute pain mix was a process of adjustment and currently contains a schedule 20 herb (restricted to use by only registered medical herbalists) as well as a number of other pain-relieving herbs.

Note: Just because something is natural does not make it automatically safe, so while herbs are a wonderful alternative to synthetic drugs, they should be used under the direction of a qualified professional.

I barely touched the acute pain mix this month. I had been using it in anticipation of pain, but this month I felt so normal that I only ended up taking it on the first day. 

It still feels very peculiar to feel completely normal during my period, but I have worked on releasing stress and anxiety that used come with the anticipation of extreme pain.

Instead of my period being “hell week”, I was really active, off on historical jaunts and even eating out didn’t cause a flare-up.

Life on the endo diet

When faced with the endo diet, it’s important to know that while it can seem restrictive to start with, it’s doesn’t always have to be that way. 

I personally love being on the endo diet, it’s ingrained as a self-care practice, the food tastes so good and I feel great on it.

However, now that I’m in a state of ‘rest and digest’ rather than the ‘fight or flight’ state that comes with chronic inflammation, and I have balanced my hormones, boosted my immune system and restored my gut health, my body is much more resilient.

So while it’s important to stick the course as much as you can, eating out is not the issue it once was. I actually ate out for three days straight, and that used to be a no-go any time of the month, let alone on my period. If I continued eating out, it would eventually eat into my reserves and I would start feeling fatigued and run down, but in a pinch, I got through it. 

Lessons from the month’s past

Get in front of the extreme pain: Pain is like a wildfire, it left unchecked it will turn into a blaze. Put blockers in place to slow it down, if not prevent it from spreading entirely.

I will write a longer article on this specifically, though a good action step would be to include self-care rituals into your day; so instead of repeating the cycle of anxiety – stress – pain, take the time to give yourself extra care, especially on the week leading up to your period. Have Epsom salt* baths, use relaxing essential oils like Lavender (this can be mixed with oil and rubbed onto your abdomen too), have a massage and ask them to concentrate on your lower back

*Epsom salt can be bought in bulk sizes (5, 10, 15kg etc) online (Amazon etc) – I use food grade quality. 

We are creatures of habit and repeating patterns is embedded within us, so break the pattern and change the cycle.

 

chloe

the endo diet
lifestyle

Nettles for Iron, Energy & Liver Support

Nettles for Iron, Energy & Liver Support

Nettles for Iron, Energy & Liver Support

Chloe Hodder

Founder, Green Body Mojo

The singing nettles that grow wild in our gardens and countryside are often viewed as a weed and all-around menace, but they are a haven for wildlife, a delicious leafy green (nettle pesto) and potent herbal remedy.

Benefits of Nettles:

  • Nettles are reported to have the greatest levels of chlorophyll of any herb, making them a more affordable superfood than blue-green algae. This chlorophyll content helps support the immune system and aid liver detoxification, key in both chronic fatigue and endometriosis.
  • They are also deeply nourishing, containing a wide range of vitamins and minerals, most notably iron – another key element in both fatigue and the monthly cycle.
  • If your immune system is impaired, UTI’s can be a common occurrence – as a diuretic, nettles help stimulate elimination and flush out harmful bacteria.
  • A wonderful uterine tonic if consumed regularly. 
  • 2.7g protein per 100g, cooked.
  • Due to their strengthening properties, nettles are often used to build up energy and stamina.

Sourcing nettles:

Dried nettles can be purchased online or fresh nettles can be picked yourself if you fancy a foraging adventure:

  • Choose your nettles wisely. Do not pick nettles that grow by the side of a road, are in an area where pesticides are sprayed or that are low-down on a well worn dog-walking route!
  • Take a pair of scissors to snip the heads off and a bucket to catch them in – there’s no need to touch the nettles with your hands, but you can take a pair of gardening gloves if you find it easier.
  • Use a colander to give the nettles a good shake. 
  • Soak them in a salt solution to remove any debris. 

Consuming nettles: 

Nettles must be cooked to mitigate the sting!

For eating, simply saute or steam and treat them like spinach.

For drinking, steep fresh nettles in hot water – 15 minutes if you can’t wait, longer if you can (overnight or for at least four hours according to Wise Woman Herbal Ezine). The hot water helps extract the properties, though you wouldn’t want to have them on the boil as this can destroy nutrients.

Enjoy 🙂

 

~ Further reading ~

The Top Sources of Plant Based Calcium

The Top Sources of Plant Based Calcium

The Top Sources of Plant Based Calcium

Chloe Hodder

Founder, Green Body Mojo

If you are currently taking hormone treatment for endometriosis, or have done in the past, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects.

The below study, while a bit of a mouthful, shows there is concern over these medical treatments in relation to bone-loss.

Impact of medical treatments
of endometriosis on bone mass

 

A review of studies examining the effect of medical therapy of endometriosis on bone mass and potential approaches to preventing bone loss was undertaken. Studies specifically examining bone density in women with endometriosis treated medically were used.

.

…While initial studies with dual-photon absorptiometry were unable to detect appreciable bone loss with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, subsequent studies have invariably found significant bone loss beginning as early as 3 months of treatment.

 

Quantitated computerized tomography always shows significant trabecular bone loss of the vertebrae and hip with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist. Depot preparations appear to produce more marked loss than daily injections of intranasal spray.

.

Recent studies indicate recovery of bone loss may take longer than 6 months or even 1 year after discontinuation of therapy with considerable individual variation.

.

…Impact of medical therapy on bone mass should be a practical consideration in the selection of patients, in repeat medical therapy for recurrence of endometriosis, and in the formulation of medical therapy so as to attenuate or overcome such silent adverse effects.

.

pubmed.gov

Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones?
.

While we may most often think of our bones as a skeleton to hold us up, we mustn’t forget they are a living structure; continually forming new bone tissue and then breaking it down and reabsorbing it.

After our peak bone density is reached at the age of 30, reabsorption of bone tissue gradually begins to exceed new formation.

This is how our bones become weaker over time.

The ageing process isn’t the only cause of bone-loss, a low-calcium diet, smoking, lack of exercise and certain medications can contribute and tip the scales in the favour of reabsorption.

Bone loss (osteopenia) can eventually lead to osteoporosis, which makes you more fragile and susceptible to fractures.

Building up your bones

Calcium is well known as a key mineral in the formation of new bone tissue, and if we don’t get enough calcium through our diet, it’s taken from our bones.

The RDA (recommended daily allowance) of calcium for women aged 18-50 years old is 1000mg.

This is easily achievable on a plant-based diet.

While the importance of calcium is clear, other nutrients are involved in the overall health of our bones and plants have us covered here too.

Here are the top sources of plant-based calcium:

  • Blackstrap molasses: 2 tbsp = 400mg
  • Collard greens, cooked: 1 cup = 357mg
  • Almonds: 100g = 264mg
  • Turnip greens, cooked: 1 cup = 249mg
  • Chickpeas: 1 cup = 210mg
  • Kale, cooked: 1 cup = 179mg
  • Seaweed (kelp): 100g = 168mg
  • Bok choy, cooked: 1 cup = 158mg
  • Mustard greens, cooked: 1 cup = 152mg
  • Okra, cooked: 1 cup = 135mg
  • Amaranth, cooked: 1 cup = 115.6mg
  • Tahini: 2 tbsp = 128mg
  • Sesame seeds: 1 tbsp = 87.8mg
  • Chia seeds: 1 tbsp = 63mg

Hemp and nut milks are also a good source of calcium.

 

~ Further reading ~

What is Endometriosis? Symptoms, Myths, Prognosis and Treatment Options

What is Endometriosis? Symptoms, Myths, Prognosis and Treatment Options

What is Endometriosis?
Symptoms, Myths, Prognosis and Treatment Options…

Chloe Hodder

Founder, Green Body Mojo

Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease that occurs when tissues similar to those that line the uterus ‘crack their own detail’ and start growing elsewhere in the body (though mostly within the pelvic area).

These tissues then shed in the same way that the uterus does (your period) – except this time, there’s nowhere for the blood to exit the body. Blood, where it shouldn’t be, is corrosive. This can cause pain, inflammation and the development of scar tissue and adhesions. 

Oh and did I mention, unlike your monthly cycle, these rogue tissues grow and shed at their own leisure. 

It’s like a perpetual period party.

This is endometriosis.

Or as I call it, uterus-gone-wild.

What is Endometriosis? Symptoms, Myths, Prognosis and Treatment Options

Symptoms of Endometriosis

The experience of endometriosis is not clearcut. For some women, endometriosis is extremely debilitating and has a significant impact on their day-to-day life. For others, it’s most apparent during their period. Yet still, there are those who don’t present with one of the most common symptoms – pelvic pain -and are only diagnosed through investigations into fertility or other conditions. 

Symptoms can include:

  • Chronic pain, notably pelvic pain
  • Extreme period pain
  • Heavy or irregular periods
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating (often called “the endo belly”)
  • Depression
  • Low immune system
  • Painful bowel or urine movements
  • Painful sex
  • Fertility complications
  • Nausea and vomiting with periods

Prevalence

  • 1 in 10 women of reproductive age in the UK suffers from endometriosis.
  • 10% of women worldwide have endometriosis – that’s 176 million worldwide.
  • The prevalence of endometriosis in women with infertility can be as high as to 30–50%.
  • Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK.
  • Endometriosis affects 1.5 million women, a similar number of women affected by diabetes.
  • On average it takes 7.5 years from onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis.
  • Endometriosis costs the UK economy £8.2bn a year in treatment, loss of work and healthcare costs.
  • The cause of endometriosis is unknown and there is no definite cure.

endometriosis-uk.org

Receiving a diagnosis

In 2011, a diagnosis survey by Endometriosis UK found that, on average, it takes 7.5 years from onset of symptoms to receive a diagnosis.

In the documentary “Endo What?” it takes eight doctors over 10 years for a woman to be diagnosed.

My diagnosis took over a decade too, even though I saw practically every GP in my local medical practice and my symptoms were severe enough to render me unconscious – what’s a girl got to do! 

…And the kicker was, a specialist endometriosis centre was set up in a hospital just 30 miles from where I lived. Yet it took years for me to access it. 

The trials and tribulations of receiving a diagnosis are shared by many women.

But why? 

Since endometriosis is associated with the monthly cycle, it is often brushed off by GP’s as “just period pain” with no further investigation. 

Words Your GP Didn’t Let You Finish 

In other instances, it is misdiagnosed – often as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). 

Yet without knowing what you’re dealing with, how can you begin to deal with it? 

A diagnosis is the first step.

If you’re having a hard time getting your GP to understand you, ask them for a referral to an endometriosis specialist, if there is one in your area (Google what’s available before your appointment so you can be in the know), or at least to a gynaecologist. As GPs are being put under increasing pressure to refrain from making referrals (The NHS is rolling out a scheme that requires all family doctors in England to seek approval from a medical panel for all non-urgent hospital referrals) this may be met with resistance. Don’t be put off, list each your symptoms and the impact they are having on your life and persist.

If the gynaecologist doesn’t give you the time of day, ask to see a different one for a second opinion. Don’t stick with a doctor who patronises you or minimises your symptoms. There are plenty of good doctors out there so don’t settle.

Diagnosis can include a pelvic exam and ultrasound as a start, but the only definitive diagnosis is through a laparoscopy. This keyhole surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic and gives the surgeon a clear look into the pelvic region.

You can usually go home on the same day, or stay the night and go home the next morning (you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for the first night). As the incisions are tiny, I had thought I’d be off climbing by the weekend. Not so, it will take a couple weeks to recover.

While the are inherent risks with surgery, a laparoscopy is about as minimally invasive as you can get and I feel very thankful to have been given the opportunity to have mine done. 

Stages of endometriosis 

Endometriosis is classified with four stages: 

Different factors determine the stage of the disorder. These factors can include the location, number, size, and depth of endometrial implants.

 

Stage 1: Minimal

In minimal endometriosis, there are small lesions or wounds and shallow endometrial implants on your ovary. There may also be inflammation in or around your pelvic cavity.

 

Stage 2: Mild

Mild endometriosis involves light lesions and shallow implants on an ovary and the pelvic lining.

 

Stage 3: Moderate

Moderate endometriosis involves deep implants on your ovary and pelvic lining. There can also be more lesions.

 

Stage 4: Severe

The most severe stage of endometriosis involves deep implants on your pelvic lining and ovaries. There may also be lesions on your fallopian tubes and bowels.

 

healthline.com

Endometriosis Myths

 

Myth 1: Severe period pain is normal.

Too many women are crippled by severe period pain every month and it’s not normal. Pain is not a happening for the sake of it, it’s your body’s way of alerting you to a problem.

Myth 2: Endometriosis equals infertility.

Endometriosis may put you in the category more likely to have fertility complications, however, it does not automatically mean you are infertile. 

Early diagnosis can help you manage your fertility, so it’s important to get diagnosed if you think you have endometriosis and are worried about fertility.

Myth 3: You’re too young and/or fit & healthy to have endometriosis.

I was told by doctors, as well as nurses who carried out tests, that I was too young, fit and healthy to have anything wrong with me – until I finally clawed my way to a diagnosis. Being young or physically active doesn’t exclude you from endometriosis.

Myth 4: Medical treatments cure endometriosis. 

  • Surgically removing endometrial-like tissue does not mean the endometriosis is gone. As with the lining of the womb, it grows back.
  • Painkillers work by masking the symptoms rather than addressing the root cause.

    NSAIDS: The Painful Truth Behind Painkillers (Infographic)

  • Hormonal treatments similarly suppress the symptoms, and like every drug, have a side effect and can result in further imbalances.
  • A hysterectomy may remove the uterus and associated period issues, but as endometriosis is ectopic – growing outside of where it should – does not prevent or cure endometriosis.

What we know about endometriosis

While there is much to discover about endometriosis, there seems to be three main factors that are deeply entrenched in the disease and influence our degree of symptoms: 

  1. Immune dysfunction 
  2. Chronic inflammation 
  3. Hormone imbalance

I find it helpful to look at endometriosis from a physiological sense and break it down in this way – because the more we understand endometriosis, the more we can do about it.

…If endometriosis is rooted in immune dysfunction, is there anything that is contributing towards this dysfunction (a gut imbalance, history of antibiotics, post-viral fatigue, fungal infections, candida, food intolerances…)?

…If endometriosis is inflammatory and my body is in a state of chronic inflammation, how can I reduce or eliminate inflammation?

…If endometriosis is oestrogen-dependant for its survival, how can I remove excess oestrogen and rebalance my hormones?

The 3 Factors that Influence Endometriosis (coming soon)

Prognosis – so you have endometriosis, now what?

Whether the body can resolve endometriosis is yet to be seen, though it can certainly be managed.

How you do that is up to you. 

I chose the natural or holistic approach, as this made the most sense to me.

My aim was to:

  • Strengthen my immune system so that my body becomes more resilient and better equipped to handle whatever comes its way.
  • Reduce, if not eliminate, chronic inflammation so that I can improve my overall health and wellbeing and so that my efforts can hit their mark.
  • Balance my hormones to help prevent the spread of the endometrial-like tissue.

By the time I received my diagnosis, I already had my symptoms under control through natural means, however, the diagnosis gave me confirmation of what I was dealing with and so I could approach it as endometriosis (not just period pain on steroids).

  • An anti-inflammatory diet (see The Endo Diet Explained)
  • Hardcore relaxation – switching the body over from predominately running on the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) aka “fight or flight” mode to the parasympathetic nervous system (PSN) aka “rest and digest” mode. 
  • Herbal remedies to support the immune system, relax the body and restore hormonal balance.
  • Pain-relief techniques such as myofascial release.
  • Movement, such as yoga, to help you connect and communicate with your body and improve flow.

Whether you have been diagnosed or not, the natural methods listed support your body as a whole, so they’re a good place to start.

 

~ Further reading ~