July 7, 2013 at 9:34 am #7515
Any tips for dealing with Endometriosis? My monthly pain is absolutely off-the-charts. Feels like someone is ripping my uterus to pieces from the inside. Even strong pain-meds are only minimally effective, and by the time I’ve recovered from one period it’s time for the next one (my cycle is only 23-24 days long)! The only thing that seems to make the slightest bit of difference is cutting out gluten/grains, but even then the improvement is pretty small.
My body temperature is good, and I don’t under-eat. My PUFA intake is generally low.
Any advice on this issue? I don’t like having to take painkillers, and am reluctant to take synthetic hormones (I tried BCP for 3 months and it was horrible).
Thanks!July 7, 2013 at 4:51 pm #7573Hannah RansomModerator
Endometriosis is tough. In terms of diet, I would also recommend eating organic (and naturally raised for animal products), since endo is estrogen dependent and a lot of pesticides and herbicides are endocrine disruptors.
I just read some good stuff from Dr. Christiane Northrup, so I am pretty much going to give you some quotes out of that book and you can see if any of it seems to ring true for you.
Taken from “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” by Dr. Christiane Northrup
“The uterus is related energetically to a women’s innermost sense of self and her inner world. It is symbolic of her dreams and the selves to which she would like to give birth. Its state of health reflects her inner emotional reality and her belief in herself at the deepest level. The health of the uterus is at risk if a woman doesn’t believe in herself or is excessively self critical”
“Often, their pain is related to pelvic endometriosis and is related to unfinished emotional pain in either past or current relationships with partners or with jobs, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or rape (on any level). Emotional stress in a woman’s personal or professional life that she perceives to be unresolvable is a big contributor to pelvic pain.”
“Anything that improves immune system functioning and increases the flow of energy in the body is apt to help endometriosis. Ask yourself the following questions and answer them honestly: *what are your emotional needs?
* What would you like to see happen in your job or your life that would nourish you fully?
*Are you caught up in competition of any sort in your life? Are you willing to make changes?
*Are you getting enough rest?
*Do you believe that you have the power to change the conditions of your life?
Apply a castor oil pack to your lower abdomen at least three times per week for one hour each time. Pay attention to all thoughts, images, and feelings that arise, Consider a course of acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Get a total body massage at least once every other week for two months. What did you notice after the massage?”
Anyway, the book is great, and you may want to read it if any of that felt like it’s stuff you want to explore. Have you just tried dietary stuff so far?July 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm #7585
Thanks so much for sharing those quotes! Yes, lots of that does ring true for me!
I have mainly tried dietary stuff so far, although I have also had quite a few massages in the past year, and have done the castor oil packs sporadically (I do find them soothing). I wanted to try acupuncture/TCM as I’ve heard it’s very effective for Endometriosis, but I live in a small town in South Africa, and can’t find a practitioner! I’ve also made a concerted effort to manage stress, which I imagine has helped a bit. And I try to limit toxins (although I don’t eat 100% organic, but will make more of an effort with this!).
I haven’t actually had a laparoscopy to confirm diagnosis, but I have pretty much every single symptom, even some of the less-common ones (e.g. pain during exercise, spotting, ovulation pain, blood in stool etc.), and 4 different doctors have said that I almost certainly do have it. Before I even understood what Endometriosis was, I used to describe my pain as feeling like my ovary and bowel were tugging on each other. Also, my mom had it, and apparently it can run in families?
I have considered going for a lap so that they can clear any potential scar tissue which might be increasing pain, but I’ve never had an operation before, and am pretty scared to be honest! Would you recommend a laparoscopy, or can this do more harm than good? I’m especially apprehensive as I REALLY want to have children one day, and I’m so scared of something getting messed up in that area. That’s also part of what freaks me out about the Endometriosis. Not doing anything feels reckless, but none of the things I’m doing seem to be working.
I guess maybe it’s time to start dealing with my emotions! It’s a vicious cycle, as each month when the pain starts I feel totally frustrated and discouraged. Perhaps that’s part of the problem.
Thanks again! I will check out that book! :)July 8, 2013 at 2:55 am #7653jemimapuddleduckParticipant
A few years ago I went to a clinic Northrup started:
They put me on oral bioidentical progesterone. It worked right away. And it’s been the only thing that’s eliminated the pain for me. Instead of the oral capsules (they can be hard on the liver), I now use Pro-Gest by Emerita.
Might be something worth asking a doctor about.July 8, 2013 at 2:56 am #7654jemimapuddleduckParticipant
I’m a puddled uck! LOL. XDJuly 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm #7725NicoleParticipant
Hi Mali – I had a laparoscopy in order to diagnose endometriosis. I did it because I wanted to get pregnant and removing the lesions would help if it was indeed endo. It was and I got preggers 3 months later. I don’t think you need to be worried about the surgery doing more harm than good. Yes, there is anesthesia involved, but overall it’s pretty safe and has a quick recovery. Removing the lesions would give you a “clean slate” in a way. Then you can fiddle with lifestyle changes (including working on metabolic health!) and hope it doesn’t come back for a while….or ever.
Don’t use tampons. Even my pretty conservative doctor mentioned that one. I keep wondering if my 15+ year tampon habit had anything to do with causing it! Along with stress and my unwittingly high intake of PUFAS…July 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm #7786
@jemimapuddleduck – Bio-identical is still synthetic, right? Or have I got that wrong? Did it also eliminate other endo symptoms (e.g. chronic fatigue), or just the pain? I will definitely look into it – thanks! :D
@Nicole – I also think that tampons might be at least part of the problem. I used them for about 9 years (despite being advised not to by my mother – I guess sometimes moms really do know best!). I’m encouraged that you were able to conceive after a laparoscopy. Protecting my fertility is my top priority! I’ve also heard that many women find that endometriosis doesn’t reoccur after having a baby (if they had a natural birth) – did you find this to be true?July 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm #7790Julia GummMember
I have heard a LOT of great things about Pyconogenol (French maritime pine bark) for endometriosis. I don’t suffer from it, but it does make my periods less crampy and clotty FOR SURE. Worth a try.July 9, 2013 at 9:16 am #7856July 10, 2013 at 10:51 am #8121The Real AmyModerator
Why would tampons cause endometriosis? I use them each month and have never had a problem. I do use organic cotton, though, and usually only use them 2 days total. I never thought they could cause issues, though.July 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm #8154Julia GummMember
Because tampons don’t allow endometrial tissue to release from the uterus and can cause a back up. Tampons just absorb fluid. But i imagine if you only use them for two days per month, you’d be less likely to have issues.July 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm #8156
@The Real Amy – Also the dioxins in tampons have been linked to Enodmetriosis. But I guess that wouldn’t be an issue if you use organic ones!July 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm #8159The Real AmyModerator
Oh, ok, good. Yeah, I only use them minimally (like while I’m at work the two heaviest days) so I don’t think there is any sort of back-up issue happening, and only use the organic variety.July 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm #8562
@The Real Amy – Still not sure I’d recommend them even for brief use, but maybe I’m just paranoid.July 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm #9541NicoleParticipant
@Mali Haha, my mom too warned me about tampons. I’m still nursing and period-free. We shall see about it recurring!
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