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Endometriosis: What is it?

Endometriosis occurs when endometrial cells form on the outside of the uterus instead of the inside where they belong. The cells then progress into growths or lesions that act similar to the lining of the uterus when it sheds during a woman's menstrual cycle. Nearly 1 in 10 women are affected by this painful and debilitating disease.


Symptoms may or may not include: pain, especially excessive menstrual cramps, infertility, vaginal bleeding between periods, painful urination and/or painful bowel movements during menstrual periods, abdominal or heavy menstrual flow, fatigue, pain during intercourse, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, lower back pain and more. Along with these symptoms, there is a possibility that these adhesions may spread to other areas of the body such as organs including the lungs, bowels, and on rare occasion, the brain. the pain that women can experience with this disease can equal that of childbirth on a monthly basis and of course varies from woman to woman. This can lead to chronic stress at a young age, which in turn, raises the cortisol levels on a constant basis. Chronic stress can trigger a snowball effect over time that can result in chronic health issues. There are several factors that contribute to this disease ranging from genetics, toxic load, compromised immune system, inflammation in the body, stress, hormone imbalances and more. In my case, genetics were involved because it runs in my family and there were certain triggers, such as mold exposure that compromised my immune system which lead to chronic inflammation. Because endometriosis is a multifactorial disease, the reason it occurs can vary between individuals along with the symptoms and severity.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Random Pelvic Pain

  • Periods that last longer than 7 days

  • Endo Belly - Bloating

  • Bowel and/or urinary disorders that may mimic irritable bowel symptoms

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Mood Swings

  • Sometimes having only 1 good week per month long with your menstrual cycle

  • Swelling in the body (inflammation)

  • And more...

What you may want to look into if you suspect you or someone you know has Endometriosis

  • Seek professional help from your healthcare provider

  • Put together a plan with your healthcare provider and stick to it

  • Research what is happening to you because you are NOT crazy! Know what endometriosis is and don't let anyone tell you it's all in your head

  • Get your support system in place

  • Become the endo warrior that you already are

  • Understand how the menstrual cycle works

  • Plan ahead according to your cycle

Self-care tips that I did, over time:

I worked closely with my healthcare provider to get ahead of the pain, however, over time my doctors told me that the pharmaceutical pain medications I had taken had damaged my liver and I had to stop taking them. I new the side effects of these drugs but I would do anything to get out of that kind of pain every month. Be sure to find what works best for you. Ask your doctor what you can do to prevent as much damage to your body, caused by pain killers, as you can.

At the age of 12, my doctor put me on birth control, which did help the pain. What I didn't understand at the time was how hormonal birth control worked in my body. It is highly recommended that if you are the pill that you monitor your estrogen/progesterone ratios when using this method. Using hormonal birth control is best decided between you and hour healthcare provider and there is no right or wrong answer.

Cycle syncing is something that you should get familiar with. Slowing down and getting sleep along with doing things like restorative yoga, taking baths, relaxation techniques to calm the coming storm can be effective in alleviating stress and some symptoms.

I learned how to have a focal point during the pain fluctuations, like during contractions when giving birth. I would need quiet, then visually focus on one thing with tunnel vision, feel the pain and become one with it (I know this sounds weird but it can work). If I had any distractions, emotions, fear, stress, I would feel the pain go through my body worse especially if I lost control of my thought pattern.

Essential oils were amazing for me. My go to was a combination of properly diluted peppermint and lavender oils.

The supplements I used were magnesium, fish oil, primrose oil, vitamin D, and B vitamins to name a few. I took these under the care of a healthcare provider after proper testing was don to see if and where I had a deficiency. Because inflammation is involved with endometriosis I also took turmeric, which was helpful. Again, only take supplements under the care of a healthcare provider.

Endo bloat is no joke! Gut health is of utmost importance. When I used anti-inflammatory and non-allergenic foods, my digestive symptoms would subside. Also, being able to digest foods in order to absorb nutrients is key. Before I started fixing my gut issues I would would eat, take in the calories but not get the nutrients I needed which left me with severe digestive issues, weight gain and malnourished. I had to get rid of all processed foods and stick with whole foods. I learned how to listen to my body when I ate something and how it made me feel. If I was tired, lethargic, bloated and left with brain fog after a meal, I knew what foods I could eat and which ones I couldn't. With my doctors recommendations I started taking digestive bitters before meals and used a good probiotic. Cleaning up my gut health made a bit difference.

Incorporating fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha also helped. I found that making my own fermented foods and drinks helped with controlling ingredients and I was also able to cater to my tastes and liking. My favorite fermentation was experimenting with sweet cherry tomatoes, garlic and basil! My mouth waters just thinking of it and it's so versatile.

Using Herbs and spices is also something to look into.

My arsenal grew from the age of 12 to now in order to combat endometriosis. I no longer suffer the monthly pain associated with this disease but it still affects me in post-menopause. The physical and mental scars are fleeting yet it is my goal to continue to bring awareness to this disease in hopes of helping anyone who suffers from it. There is hope!

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