When I first discovered I had Endometriosis, I had no understanding of what the condition was really all about. I didn’t even know how to pronounce it, never mind trying to understand what caused it or what made it worse. My doctor’s explanation of it, didn’t seem to alleviate this feeling as I was constantly asking questions but not really getting any real endometriosis treatments that worked!
At the time, the only solutions that were offered to me were pain-killers, surgery or hormone treatments. I wanted more choices as somehow I knew that these things were not solving anything but merely suppressing the symptoms of Endometriosis.
After having lived with Endometriosis for over 15 years now, I know it personally. It has visited me in the dark hours of the night and left me wondering where I begin and it ends. Endometriosis was a dominator for so long but eventually I had to find a better way to understand it and stop suppressing it. I have finally found an Endometriosis Treatment that actually works!
I spent 4 years researching all that I could about Endometriosis. I stretched my research into inflammatory conditions, auto-immune conditions and even dived into the digestive system and how it relates to everything within our bodies. I have even gone back to studying a degree in Natural Medicine as the whole experience of learning about my body and it actually worked really made me appreciate it so much more.
Eventually I managed to break Endometriosis down into three key areas that I target within my Eat Endo Happy Program.
My Endometriosis Treatment Protocol:
Area 1: Reduce Inflammation
I got clues that Endometriosis was an inflammatory condition since I was always swollen and bloated. I also felt the changes that occurred with my bowel movements and my bladder, during certain times of the month. So, if I managed to reduce my inflammation, I would reduce these symptoms.
The easiest way to reduce inflammation is to focus on eating a non inflammatory diet. This means avoiding foods which are high acid like meat, dairy and sugar. Also, eating foods which reduce inflammation like loads of dark leafy greens, super-foods and foods loaded with anti-oxidants.
Area 2: Build up the Immune System
It was hard for me to accept that Endometriosis was an auto-immune condition. I discovered countless indicators and even a researched papers which illustrated that indeed it was. I decided it certainly couldn’t hurt to approach my immune system and build it up. I focused on natural herbs and adaptogens which allowed my body to also cope better with stress.
The immune system is our “fighter” and if it’s down, then all sorts of nasties can enter the body and create imbalances. With endometriosis there have been links to Candida overgrowth, Epstein-Barr Virus and a low NK Cell count. We can boost our immune system by focusing on gut health, a diet high in adaptogens and anti-oxidants and high amounts of Vitamin C. I also found mushroom powders incredible for building the immune system.
Area 3: Balancing our Hormones
Typically when my doctor approached this aspect of Endometriosis, it was all about simply reducing the effects of the Endometriosis spreading, it was all about control and reducing Oestrogen’s in the body. I wanted to understand why my hormones were out of balance in the first place. It was not as simple as just giving my body more Progesterone! I needed to know why and get to the root of what caused the imbalances. What I discovered is that our hormone health closely relates to our liver health and that ultimately, when I rebalanced and supported my liver, my hormone health improved.
I hope this has given you a more simple approach for Endometriosis to explore.
When we approach Endometriosis from this 3 pronged approach, it is amazing how the symptoms and pain just melts away. I would love the new endometriosis treatment protocol to always be handled this way. I couldn’t believe the difference it has made in my own journey with Endometriosis and so many other women with the condition. There is far more to this than just suppressing our hormones!
What has been your experience with Endometriosis? Have you always stuck to just suppressing hormones? Has this opened up some new areas to explore for you?
Thank you for a great and informative post. I have battled endo since I was a pre teen. I was on the pill for over 12 years which seemed to mask my symptoms most months. When I was 26 I went off the pill and by the time I hit 30 my periods were debilitating. I missed work every month and by 33 I was only getting about 10 pain free days a month. I had excision surgery finally at 34 and was officially diagnosed with stage 4 ENDO that was very severe. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for over 4 years but we have never prevented it in 8 years of marriage. That is just another sad consequence of endo…
I started seeing a physical therapist for my hip and pelvic pain almost a year ago and her advice has been the single best advice anyone has ever given me. STOP exercising… I was devastated because I worked out 6 or 7 days a week for YEARS. Running and high impact cardio was my therapy and I grieved over having to stop. The results were pretty astonishing… I felt better. She does myofascial release on me weekly and I can still walk , do yoga and lift weights but no high impact exercise. I tested things out at the end of last summer by going to my boot camp classes again and starting to run a bit for 2 months ( I was hoping it was her therapy and not my lack of exercise that was helping), by the time Sept came I was miserable again. Exercise can be very inflammatory and can put your body in a constant state of needing to repair. I had no idea and pushed myself hard every time I was in the gym. I am so thankful for this knowledge and have now adjusted to life without running. My psoas muscles were horribly tight and I am continuing to work on them daily. I was also introduced to the work of Liz Koch when researching the psoas muscle, she is a wealth of knowledge. Many women with ENDO suffer from tight psoas muscles and have no idea. I had a horribly tight and painful spot in my back on the RT side and it would get so inflamed and painful during ovulation and my period. No doctor could ever tell me what it was but my physical therapist immediately said “it’s your psoas”.
This disease (like all) needs a multidisciplinary approach. I am so grateful for all that I have learned on this journey and I thank God everyday for the opportunities that he gives me to help other women with Endo. I am a nurse practitioner and it amazes me how many women with endo that I see every week!
Hi Hayley and so nice of you to share your story with us. I had heard that high impact or high strain exercise can make endo worse. I had heard it was because it elevates cortisol in the body – interesting to hear that there is another aspect to it.
We run a Yoga program especially for Endometriosis which releases much of that tension you are experiencing with the psoas muscles.
I will be interested to read more about Liz Koch’s work too!
Yes, it is scary how prevalent this condition is. Let us hope we can support more of them with natural approaches like we have shared.
Thank you for taking the time to share your story and experiences. Up until recently i have felt very much alone. I was only diagnosed with Endometriosis about 5 years ago (I am now 35) when i had to go into emergency surgery to remove a myom the size of an orange on my ovary, although ever since i was 13 i have had severe issues with pains swelling and bleeding relating to my period keeping me in bed for days on end and this is still the case today (with no doctor being able to find a reason). I have had one more surgery since to remove more endometriosis + adhesions from the last surgery and tried countless amounts of birth control pills , painkillers and even hormone treatments, all which were imposed by doctors who either said my condition was normal or did not really acnowledge the fact that endometriosis was “a real disease”, and none which has in fact helped… I started changing my diet about 5 years ago in hopes to take control of my own health having always eaten quite healthy to changing to vegan diet with no processed food, little sugar and gluten while adding super foods and fresh local produce as main source of nutrition in order to help my condition and reducing painkillers, although i feel much better in general not eating animal products the pains and swelling is still there… I have also been doing yoga for about the same amount of time, tried acupuncture, massages, detoxes, allergy tests you name it.. but am still at a loss… I am studying as much as i can to find alternative and natural solutions but still nothing is working. I have tracked my symptom and they are very consistent from my stomach swelling up like a baloon (looking as if I am 7 months pregnant, and yes been directed to the maternity ward on several occations when i have gone to the hospital to get help :s) usually amount the time of ovulation and prior to menstruation, insaine migraines 3 days before, and during the week intense pains in my back, stomach and even down my legs, cold sweats, disyness, hormone swings etc to the point where i can barely move. Noting the steps above of inflammation, hormones and immune system helps validate my personal instincts and I still believe I can heal my own body but I am still trying to find a way to get there, a system, doctor i.e natural practitioner etc who can help. I feel as if my life is being taken away from me, loosing myself in endless battles with my own body, needless to say the impact which it is having on both my personal and professional life… Would love any further tips and ideas you may have as desperation is becoming to close of a friend of mine…
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
In Ayurveda, endometriosis treatment is called Udaavartinee. In Ayurveda, Vata controls the flow of blood, the elimination of waste products, the act of breathing and the movement of thoughts in the mind. Sensation of pain is also due to disturbed vata. Vata is the strongest and predominant force, which is responsible for the displacement of endometrial tissue.