Did you know that is generally takes 7 years to get a proper diagnosis? Did you know that endometriosis was the most googled health condition in 2018?
Many trips to the emergency room for extreme pain and some women pass out due to the level of pain that they experience, many sick days off work due to period pain, and for most women go on living their life being told “its just period pain, its normal”.
But do you know what endometriosis is?
Endometriosis is a condition that effects a women’s reproductive organs when cells similar to those in the uterus are found in other part of the body. It is commonly found in the pelvic region but also be found on the bowel, bladder and even in your nose.
Symptoms of endometriosis
The pain of endometriosis can be so bad that it stops you from going to work or school. Usually, it causes pain around the time of your period, but for some women, the pain is almost constant. If you need treatment, you may need emotional as well as physical support.
The symptoms of endometriosis include:
Extremely painful periods
Pain with sex
Pain in the lower back and thighs
Nausea and lethargy
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Many women think that painful periods are normal. If you have bad period pain, you should see your doctor.
From a naturopathic point of view this is something that we see in clinic on a regular basis.
With most naturopaths now working on an evidence based philosophy there is a lot of research coming out about certain herbs and supplements that can be beneficial in endometriosis.
NAC is a powerful antioxidant, natural anti-inflammatory, promotes detoxification and can help to balance blood sugar levels. New research has shown a dose of 1.8g/day can reduce ectopic endometrial cysts. Of the 47 women in the NAC treatment group, 24 canceled their laparoscopy due to a reduction of pain, or pregnancy. The researchers concluded that NAC offers better results than hormonal treatments without the side effects.
Many know that turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and follows the COX pathway. In a study, turmeric was shown to reduce the size and the endometriosis from spreading. It works by reducing the inflammatory protein NF-kappa B and it can assit in block estrogen stimulating effects. When supplementing or consuming turmeric you need to ensure you are having it with both black pepper and fat as turmeric is a fat soluble herb. When you are looking a tablets the better quality supplements will have black pepper to enhance the absorption and some sort of fat. I like to add turmeric and cinnamon to my morning oats made with coconut to get the anti-inflammatory benefits into my daily routine.
With endometriosis, there is often a lot of the pelvic pain and from a naturopathic point of view,
it is showing there is a stagnation of blood flow. We want free flowing blood at mensuration to ensure no retrograded menstruation. The clotting that is associated with endometriosis is a sign that there is blood stasis and in Traditional Chinese Medicine they would suggest that you are lacking “Qi”. There is a key herbal mixture that can help with the pelvic congestion and support blood flow. This herbal mixture has cinnamon in it as well as other herbs. So why not try and add a little more cinnamon into your daily routine.
Zinc is an important nutrient for endometriosis and performs many functions. For many endometriosis suffers zinc is a common nutrient that is deficient but addressing this deficiency can help as zinc has many healing properties. Zinc is a powerful antioxidant, and helps to reduce oxidative stress. It is also a key anti-inflammatory nutrient, which helps to prevent the generation of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Finally if this nutrient hasn’t won you over already zinc repairs intestinal permeability (thereby improving autoimmunity) and reduces prostaglandins and pain.
From our naturopathic point of view, we treat every patient individual as there are no two people the same with the exact symptoms. If you were wanting more personalised advice please contact me for an appointment where we can provide you with individual, evidence based care.