It’s National Endometriosis Month, so let’s look at this chronic and debilitating disease. Endo’, as it is commonly referred to, is a condition that results when the cells of the endometrium, (lining of the uterus) grows in parts of the body where it shouldn’t. And it’s not rare!
These tissues may be found in or around the ovaries, bowel, bladder, pelvic floor, fallopian tubes, Pouch of Douglas or even in the nasal cavity’s – and in some are cases – the brain and lungs.
These misplaced tissues also respond to hormonal changes that are responsible for menstruation. Because they aren’t where they should be, that is in the uterus, there is no way they can be shed from the body, instead they are absorbed in the surrounding tissues – a painful and slow process. As each month passes, these implants grow, causing scar tissue and adhesions. This causes the organs to stick together. (Ouccccchhhhhhhhh, even writing about it!)
The cause of Endo’ is still unknown, but one thing is for sure, the pain is debilitating and so are the associated mental symptoms.
DIAGNOSIS is made through a laparoscope usually under a general anaesthetic. Orthodox treatment involves halting menstruation by use of the contraceptive pill, after burning off the lesions. This seems to be effective in some cases, for about 2-5 years at most, but does come with many problems of their own form the survey and the side effects of the medication. Laparoscopies can and do leave scar tissue, that can be almost as painful as the lesions themselves.
Diet is so important, as is exercise and stress management.
Physical Symptoms –
– Pain in the uterus, lower back and pelvis. Pain before and during menstruation
– Painful intercourse
– Breakthrough bleeding
– Bleeding with intercourse
– Pain intermittently throughout cycle
– Large clots during menstruation
– Nausea, vomiting and/or constipation during menstruation
– Mood swings and/or depression
– Iron deficiency due to a heavy flow
– Ovualtion pain