Endometriosis is a common condition in which small pieces of the womb lining (the endometrium) are found outside the womb. This could be in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, bowel, vagina or rectum.
Endometriosis affects around 2 million women in the UK. Most of them are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 40.
Endometriosis is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes painful or heavy periods. It often causes pain in the lower abdomen (tummy), pelvis or lower back. It may also lead to lack of energy, depression and fertility problems.
However, the symptoms of endometriosis can vary and some women have few symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Approximately 176 million women and girls worldwide suffer from endometriosis; 8.5 million in North America alone.
Associated costs of the disease are estimated to be a staggering $22 billion annually.
The average woman is 27 when she is first diagnosed with endometriosis.
Endometriosis is one of the top three causes of female infertility. While it is one of the most treatable, it remains the least treated.
Symptoms of endometriosis vary from person to person. Some women have no symptoms at all.
The most common symptoms include:
- painful or heavy periods
- pain in the lower abdomen (tummy), pelvis or lower back
- pain during sexual intercourse
- bleeding between periods
- fertility problems
The experience of pain varies between women. Most women with endometriosis get pain in the area between their hips and the tops of their legs. Some women have this all the time, while others only have pain during their periods, when they have sex or when they go to the toilet.
Other symptoms may include:
- discomfort when urinating
- bleeding from your back passage (rectum)
- bowel blockage (if the endometriosis tissue is in the intestines)
- coughing blood (if the endometriosis tissue is in the lung)
How severe the symptoms are depends largely on where in your body the endometriosis is, rather than the amount of endometriosis you have. A small amount of tissue can be as painful as, or more painful than, a large amount
Complications of endometriosis:
The main complication of endometriosis is difficulty getting pregnant (subfertility) or not being able to get pregnant at all (infertility). In some cases there may also be adhesions or ovarian cysts.
Fertility problems: The longer someone has endometriosis, the greater the chance that their fertility will be affected.
However, it is estimated that up to 70% of women with mild to moderate endometriosis will still be able to get pregnant without treatment. Pregnancy is also known to reduce the symptoms of endometriosis, although the symptoms often return once the menstrual cycle returns to normal.
Surgery can improve fertility by removing endometriosis tissue, but there is no guarantee that this will allow you to get pregnant.
Adhesions and ovarian cysts: Other problems include the formation of adhesions, which are ‘sticky’ areas of endometriosis tissue that can fuse organs together, and ovarian cysts (fluid-filled cysts in the ovaries), which can occur when the endometriosis tissue is in or near the ovaries. In some cases, ovarian cysts (endometriomas) can become very large and painful.
The causes of endometriosis are not fully known, but there are several theories. The most common theory is that the womb lining does not leave the body properly during a period and embeds itself onto the organs of the pelvis. Doctors refer to this as retrograde menstruation.
The endometriosis cells behave in the same way as those that line the womb, so every month they grow during the menstrual cycle and bleed.
Normally, before a period, the hormone oestrogen causes the endometrium to thicken to receive a fertilised egg. If the egg isn’t fertilised, the lining breaks down and leaves the body as menstrual blood (a period).
Endometriosis tissue anywhere in the body will go through the same process of thickening and shedding, but it has no way of leaving the body. This leads to pain, swelling and sometimes damage to the fallopian tubes or ovaries, causing fertility problems.
Women with endometriosis may also benefit from eating a healthy, balanced diet, which can help to
increase energy levels, regulate bowel movements and regulate sleep patterns. It will also help to combat pain, bloating, cramps and inflammation, as well as balance hormones and reduce oestrogen levels.
Changing oils in your diet can help to promote good prostaglandins – prostaglandins are complex, natural fatty acids which are derived from dietary sources. Things to incorporate in your diet include:
- Oily fish
- Walnut oil
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark green, leafy vegetables
At the same time it is vital to cut out foods that may trigger negative prostaglandins , such as
- Saturated fats
- Animal fats
Symptoms can be help by increasing the amount of fibre in the diet, as the fibre will help to decrease the circulating oestrogen in the system.
The easiest sources of fibre to digest are found in fruit and vegetables but extra fibre in the form of grains, brown rice and pulses is also helpful. Oatmeal is also recommended, along with beans and peas.
In order to modulate oestrogen levels, try and incorporate two servings of the following food daily:
- Mustard greens
- Dark green vegetables
Foods to avoid are: wheat, red meats, refined and concentrated carbohydrates, refined sugars and some honey (honey is fine if it is certified organic), caffeine, chocolate, dairy produce, eggs, fried foods, soy products and spy protein, canned foods, convenience foods, alcohol.
The following foods are good for hormone balancing because they contain natural plant sterols or phyto-oestrogens, which block oestrogen receptors:
Red and purple berries, garlic, apples, fennel, parsley, brassicas, cauliflower, nuts and seeds, celery, carrots, rhubarb.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef.
www.grasslandbeef.com The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
The following are specifically recommended for endometriosis: Magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and selenium. We also recommend you take:
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
Endometriosis and chiropractic: www.womens-health.co.uk/chiropractic_endo.html
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/54_the_best_way_to_cleansing_and_purification_of_the_body_110512.php
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters
Immune health NC_Newsletter_07-11.pdf
Squeaky Clean (Colonic Irrigation) www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/squeaky_clean.php
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/hypnotherapy_for_stress.php
Natural home ayurvedic remedies for endometriosis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbRLVbi_9cI
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
Chinese herbs show promise as treatment for endometriosis: www.reuters.com/article/2009/07/22/us-herbs-endometriosis-idUSTRE56L5YB20090722
Further Information (links and books)
Recipes & Diet Advice for Endometriosis, Carolyn Levett
Endometriosis: A Key to Healing Through Nutrition by Dian Shepperson Mills and Michael Vernon
How to Become Pain Free and Naturally Pregnant with the Diet for Endometriosis by Kathy McKay
The Endometriosis Natural Treatment Program: A Complete Self-Help Plan for Improving Health and Well-Being by Valerie Ann Worwood and Julia Stonehouse
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
Red yeast rice
www.mysupplementstore.com (877) 505-1777
Omega-3s, Hemp Seeds
www.nutiva.com (800) 993-4367
Omega-3s, Cod Liver oil
www.drrons.com (877) 472-8701
Garlic capsules, Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract
www.kyolic.com (800) 421-2998
Policosanol, Royal Nutrition
Dietary Supplement, Ultimate Heart Support
Real Advantage (800) 913-2602
Protein Powder, RiSoTriene