I remember my first experience of discovering I had Endometriosis. I was sitting across from my doctor who tried to explain what the condition was and of my likelihood of having it. The truth is, I had never heard of it and had no idea what he was even saying. The only feeling I had was one of relief for finally having an answer to my constant period pain and a general feeling of being unwell.
Do you know what Endometriosis is?
Sadly, many women are unaware of the condition and are led to believe that period pain, PMS, and hormonal irregularities are simply normal and something that “women have to deal with”. It is estimated that 1 in 10 women have Endometriosis but most of these women only discover they have the condition when they try to conceive a child and are unable to.
What exactly is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the womb (endometrial tissue). This misplaced tissue develops into growths or lesions which respond to the menstrual cycle in the same way that the tissue of the uterine lining does: each month the tissue builds up, breaks down, and sheds. When we menstruate blood flows from the uterus and out of the body through the vagina, but the blood and tissue shed from endometrial growths has no way of leaving the body, as it is trapped inside the abdominal cavity. This results in internal bleeding, the breakdown of the blood and tissue from the lesions, and inflammation — and can cause pain, infertility, scar tissue formation, adhesions, and bowel problems. (Endometriosis Association, n.d.)
Okay, so that is the medical explanation. What does it really mean?
There are cells which are escaping from the inside of the Uterus and attaching themselves to the outside of organs, which are found within the abdominal cavity. When these cells hang out there for long enough, they begin to grow and become sticky. The body will try to repair this damage and forms scar tissue to attempt to protect the area, along with adhesions. The trouble is these adhesions and the scar tissue cause restriction of the organs which normally glide comfortably within our abdominal cavity. Now, they are stuck and this causes incredible pain for many women with the condition.
There are different types of adhesions and some will only form at the site of the Endometrial implants, while others will form between the organs and reproductive parts.
Why do you need to know about it?
It is one of the primary causes of infertility for a woman with as many as 30-40% of cases of infertility being diagnosed as having Endometriosis. As you can see from the images above, if you have Endometriosis, this would severely hamper your chances of becoming pregnant. There is restricted movement for your fallopian tubes, possible endometriosis growths inside or on the outside of the fallopian tubes and of course the immune factors which ultimately contribute to Endometriosis.
Symptoms of endometriosis
In most cases women with Endometriosis experience pain. Typically this is experienced with ovulation and the menstrual cycle. However, this is not the case for all women who have Endometriosis.
Here are some symptoms which could be indicators that you could have Endometriosis:
- Painful periods
- Premenstrual Menstrual Symptoms (sore breasts, headaches, irritability etc prior to your monthly)
- Hormonal imbalances
- Bloated and swollen abdominal area
- Painful bowel movements
- Frequent bladder infections
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- An urgency to go to the toilet
There are usually many associated symptoms:
- Poor skin conditions like acne, eczema or sensitivities
- Lower back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Frequent thrush infections
- Poor digestive health
- Liver sensitivity (nausea, inability to drink too much alcohol, struggle to digest fats)
- Poor immune function (frequent infections, inability to heal easily, catch every cold)
- Auto-immune responses or conditions (hayfever, food sensitivities/allergies)
How do you test for endometriosis?
This is the tricky part! Unfortunately, at this stage, there is no 100% clear way of knowing if you have the condition unless you have Laparoscopic surgery. It allows the surgeon to see the adhesions and endometrial implants within the abdominal cavity as they are often really small and hard to detect.
Some Endometriosis specialists claim they can detect the endometriosis through ultrasound examination but it is incredibly difficult to do and usually only works after the surgeon has already visited the respected sites and is using the ultrasound as a follow-up examination. There are theories that MRI scans may be able to detect Endometriosis but in my experience, it is incredibly difficult to see.
Do you need to have surgery?
Within my business, I frequently get asked about whether a woman needs to have surgery to determine if she has Endometriosis and in many cases, I don’t recommend surgery unless a woman is feeling extreme pain. With every surgery, we always enter into potential risks for the surgery itself, the risk of infection afterward and there are cases where surgeons are not experienced with Endometriosis and often do more harm than good.
Surgery also creates more adhesions within the body, as it is naturally going to try to heal the area where any cutting or burning has taken place. Furthermore, a study published in Fertility and Sterility found that endometriosis was most likely to re-grow in the places where it was removed during laparoscopic surgery. It also showed that endometriosis was more likely to develop endometriosis after laparoscopic surgery, in sites previously unaffected by Endometriosis.
Having personally endured 7 surgeries for the constant removal of Endometriosis, adhesions and scar tissue, I can tell you that it is not a fun ride and didn’t provide me with any real solution.
How do we treat it?
Your first step is to ascertain if you may have Endometriosis by reviewing the symptoms listed above or visit my website for a full list of symptoms. If you have more than 4 of the symptoms listed, it is fairly likely that you have Endometriosis.
We then use a natural and holistic approach in managing Endometriosis effectively.
Here are the steps we have implemented for 1000’s of woman and achieved amazing results through my REACH Technique©.
Stage 1: Replenish your body.
Whatever has caused your body to display Endometriosis or the displacement of these cells, it is likely due to a deficiency of certain micronutrients. Our first step is, therefore, to replenish what has been lost or which your body may be deficient in. This could be lack of the right levels of magnesium, zinc, iron or a host of other micronutrients. We don’t use supplements alone to resolve this but use a diet, which focuses on truly replenishing your body with all that it needs to truly feel well.
Stage 2: Exercise
When we have adhesions, this causes organs to stick together and this creates a huge amount of pain. We need to move our bodies but in a gentle and effective way to reduce the strength of those adhesions. When we can dissolve them slowly and easily, organs can be allowed to move freely again and pain is reduced.
Stage 3: Affirm
Throughout our lives, we have experienced a range of emotional experiences. Through many traditional healing practices, I have discovered the strong connection of our emotional and physical ties. They are all interconnected and what we say to our bodies each day, will have an impact on its overall well-being. We need to affirm our belief in our bodies ability to heal and in ourselves.
Stage 4: Cleanse
Our world has sadly become loaded with toxins and chemicals which cause many hormone disruptions. Endometriosis has been closely linked to dioxin, a common pesticide found in Round-up! We are also frequently put on birth control at a very young age. All of these elements and hormone displacements will have an impact on Endometriosis. Within this stage of the REACH Technique©, we use specific and highly scientific ways of flushing out these toxins. This goes beyond a simply bowel cleanse or those 21-day challenges you may have heard of. We get into the individual cells and allow them to detoxify!
Stage 5: Help/Support
We get help and support throughout our entire journey as Endometriosis can be an incredibly lonely and challenging condition to deal with. Plus! These changes do require commitment and courage to do.
These stages might sound simple and like common sense but within each area, we focus on specific aspects of the condition. For instance, within the REPLENISH stage, you will discover how to use foods to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system and regulate hormones. These are the key areas we want to focus on with Endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a complex condition and through my personal experience and over 5 years of research, I have found the tools which make the condition completely manageable. Many women who have followed my advice are now living completely healthy and normal lives! Plenty have also managed to get pregnant along the way! The key thing is not to do this alone and to be guided on exactly what to do, so you can get results within a few months, rather than years.
I have created a special online program which supports a woman with Endometriosis and can support you to manage the condition effectively. It is called the Endo Wellness Retreat and uses the REACH Technique© to truly support a woman to get better and manage the condition effectively.
It is launching in early 2016 and guides you through each stage with a specific focus on how to approach the body holistically with Endometriosis. To register your interest, please visit www.endowellnessretreat.com.
Do you have any questions about Endometriosis or suspect you may have it?
Please feel free to send me a comment below and I will help you as much as I can.