Endometriosis is a painful disorder that affects many women during their childbearing years.
It is characterized by uterine tissue- or endometrium- growing outside of your uterus.
Typically, it involves the endometrium growing on your ovaries, bowels, or even the tissue lining your pelvis.
In some rare cases, the endometrial tissue could spread beyond your pelvic region.
With endometriosis, the endometrial tissue acts the same as it normally would every month- it thickens, then breaks down and bleeds with menstruation.
Due to the fact that there is no way for this tissue to exit your body, it becomes trapped.
When the ovaries are involved, in some cases, cysts- called endometriomas- could possibly form.
The tissues surrounding the displaced endometrium could become irritated and form scar tissue and adhesions, which is abnormal tissues that cause organs to be bound together.
The condition of endometriosis can be quite painful- even extremely severe during menstruation. Additionally, a woman suffering from endometriosis could have fertility problem. However, there are many effective treatments available- both medical and natural.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
The first symptom you’ll notice with endometriosis is pelvic pain, typically associated with menstruation.
Though most women do experience menstrual cramps, the pain of endometriosis is far worse than typical cramping.
Also, women with endometriosis report that their pain increases over time.
Other common symptoms of endometriosis include the following:
- Painful periods: pain in the pelvic region and cramping that begins before and extends for several days into your period- including abdominal and lower back pain.
- Pain with sex: with endometriosis, many women complain of pain during and even after sex.
- Pain with bowel movements/urination: these symptoms are more likely to occur during menstruation.
- Excessive bleeding: women with endometriosis experience heavy bleeding or even bleeding between their periods.
- Infertility: in many cases, endometriosis is discovered when women seek help with infertility.
- Other symptoms: there are some other symptoms you may experience with endometriosis, including: diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, bloating, or constipation- especially during menstruation.
Of course, you should know that the severity of your pain is not indicative of the extent of your condition.
Some women who have mild endometriosis will experience extensive pain and those with advanced stages of endometriosis may experience little to no pain.
In some cases, endometriosis has been mistaken for other conditions that result in pelvic pain such as PID or ovarian cysts.
Additionally, it could be confused with IBS, which is a condition characterized by diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and constipation.
Naturally Treating Endometriosis
Though there are many medical treatments for treating endometriosis, due to the side effects, many women are seeking more natural ways to deal with this condition.
Endometriosis is a condition that is estrogen dependent and when the estrogen levels in the body drop or normalize, the endometrium growing outside of the uterus has been proven to shrink.
The inflammation that occurs as a result of bleeding every month increases estrogen levels. Following are a few natural ways to deal with the pain of endometriosis:
Choose food that has been organically grown
By choosing organically grown food, you avoid exposing your body to commercial insect repellents.
Studies have proven that being exposed to these toxins, such as PCB, DDT, and others, increases a woman’s risk of endometriosis and miscarriage.
Avoid soft plastics
Avoiding soft plastics means that you shouldn’t drink out of plastic water bottles, store your food in plastic wrappers, wear surgical gloves, or touch printer ink with your hands.
All of these things contain PVC and Phthalates, which are known to be estrogen mimickers and endocrine disruptors and have been linked to asthma, developmental/birth defects, dysfunction of immune system, endometriosis and even infertility.
Reduce animal product consumption
One of the first things you should do is to minimize your consumption of animal products. Many times, these products contain high levels of hormones, herbicides, and pesticides, which have been proven to be endocrine disruptors.
Choose bitter foods to support estrogen clearance
Choose foods such as lemons, rocket, romaine lettuce, grapefruit, limes, endive and artichokes, as they promote the clearance of estrogen through the liver. Additionally, St. Mary’s thistle or dandelion tea works in the same way.
Avoid allergens and take supplements to promote immune system health
Your immune system does play a role in endometriosis. You want to make sure your immune system stays healthy by providing it with all the necessary elements for proper functioning.
These are Vitamin C and E, zinc, probiotics, beta carotene, and selenium. Additionally, find out what foods you are intolerant to and get those out of your diet.
Get regular exercise
Exercise serves to boost your metabolism and your immune system, which are necessary for the treatment of endometriosis.
Consume foods that promote circulation and removal of waste
You should consume foods and spices that promote circulation as well as the removal of waste from your body.
These foods include the following: basil, cayenne, chives, leek, garlic, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, rice, spearmint, cinnamon, scallion, seaweed, lemons and lemon zest.
Increase fiber consumption
By increasing your fiber consumption, you facilitate the clearance of estrogen from your intestines. Good sources of fiber include: apples, nuts, seeds, psyllium husks, adzuki beans, and legumes.
Take a fish oil supplement
Fish oil has been proven to reduce overall inflammation- including the inflammation that has been associated with endometriosis.
When inflammation is reduced, pain is also reduced, and the possibility of healthy implantation is increased.
Ideally, you want to have around 1000 milligrams three times daily with food. Store it in the refrigerator.
Take an iodine supplement
Some studies have shown that there is a link between hypothyroidism and endometriosis. Taking an iodine supplement can help to correct an underactive thyroid.
As you can see, there are several things you can do to naturally treat your endometriosis.
If you have an extreme case and these natural remedies don’t seem to offer any improvement, you may want to consider surgery to clean out the excess endometrial tissue.