Endometriosis is one of the most common health issues experienced among women, the symptoms occur in a large percentage of women of usually at reproductive age, and it is one of the leading causes of infertility.
And yet despite this there is every chance you may not hear about endometriosis very often or be aware of what it is.
There are steps you can take to prevent and treat endometriosis. As a former sufferer I speak from experience.
The steps I took and recommend to all my clients and anyone else who suspects or knows they are suffering from endometriosis are: firstly to find out everything so you understand and can identify the symptoms, and secondly finding the best method of treatment for you.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects a woman’s reproductive organs, it occurs when the cells in the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grow outside of the uterus.This endometrial tissue is most often found on and around the pelvic and abdominal organs, including the ovaries. Very rarely it can be found in other parts of the body.
During a normal menstrual cycle, hormones are released which signal the endometrium to thicken, it builds up in preparation to receive a fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized, menstruation occurs (the shedding of the lining).
For people with endometriosis, the misplaced endometrial tissue responds as normal to the hormones by thickening and shedding. However, as the thick tissue is outside of the uterus it is unable to pass through the vagina and out of the body. It is trapped and can and usually does cause inflammation and pain.
Scar tissue can form and stick one organ to another and it can even cause the fallopian tubes to close, which is a dangerous endometriosis symptom because it can lead to infertility. Endometriosis may also result in abnormal bleeding and can cause the formation of dark, reddish-brown cysts or fluid-filled sacks on the ovaries that affect fertility.
Symptoms may include:
• Abdominal cramps or back pain during menstruation.
• Increased pain during bowel movements
• Painful urination, especially during menstruation.
• Excessive bleeding
• Spotting and bleeding between cycles
• Chronic lower back and abdominal pain
• Painful intercourse
• Pelvic pain
• Difficulty becoming pregnant or infertility
• Joint pain
• Nerve pain
• Chronic fatigue
Around 176 million women worldwide are affected with endometriosis
With endometriosis education is key! You know your body better than anyone else and endometriosis can develop over many years, you can experience different symptoms and different ranges of pain – the cramp like pain typically begins in the lower abdomen and intensifies during your period or sexual intercourse.
Factors that Contribute to Endometriosis
Possible causes may be different from person to person, but these are the most common:
• Genes: women who have a close relative with the condition are up to 7-10 times more likely to get endometriosis. However, please remember that we can control our genes they don’t control us. So even if you are more likely to get endometriosis it does not necessarily mean you will, particularly if you make the right diet and lifestyle changes.
• Retrograde menstruation: When a woman has a period, blood can flow backwards along the fallopian tubes into the pelvis. In 90% of women, this does not cause any problems as the endometrial cells are broken down and removed. However in women with endometriosis this endometrial tissue starts to grow.
• Heavy bleeding during periods and periods lasting longer than five days
• First period before 11 years of age and regularly having less than 27 days between periods (shorter regular cycles)
• Changes in the immune cells: Our immune system is supposed to ensure that tissue from a particular organ does not grow elsewhere in the body, so there are likely to be issues with the immune system as it is allowing endometrial tissue to grow outside of the uterus.
• Low body weight
• Diet and lifestyle including alcohol use
• Excess Estrogen and the inability to rid the body of excess estrogen due to factors such as toxicity in the body, imbalanced gut bacteria
As mentioned being in tune with your body and having an understanding of the common endometriosis symptoms is essential. If endometriosis symptoms become too severe, surgical procedures may even be necessary. I ended up having a surgical procedure that reduced some of the symptoms for a very short period of time but then everything flared up again.
Fortunately, I discovered that there are natural remedies for endometriosis, these are the changes I made and I will share these with you.
In Part 2 tomorrow the article concludes with a look at natural treatments to treat and combat endometriosis.
Connect with WatchFit Expert Kerry Madgwick