fbpx

Tag: dysmenorrhea

Managing endometriosis pain

Did you know that a significant amount of endometriosis pain is driven by inflammation? And this inflammation is typically at its worst in the week you have your period. If you have endo, you won’t be surprised by this at all, right?

 

What do I mean by inflammation? 

 

Inflammation is the body’s attempt at protecting itself by removing something it perceives to be harmful and allowing healing to begin. It is part of the body’s immune response and is initially beneficial when it happens over a short period of time.

 

However, long-term (chronic) inflammation can be detrimental to the body.  Chronic inflammation can occur from an autoimmune response, where the body’s immune system mistakes healthy tissue for something harmful and attacks it.

 

For women with endometriosis, food and supplements can be a very powerful way to reduce inflammation, which can then lead to a reduction in pain levels too.

 

This isn’t a quick fix, mind, but can work really well in the long term.

 

Research shows that turmeric can be an especially powerful way of reducing endometrial pain and inflammation through its very powerful compound, curcumin. Magnesium, fish oils and castor oil packs can help too.

 

Okay, I hear what you’re saying – I need help now!

 

In times when endometriosis pain is at its worst, painkillers can be extremely helpful, especially in instances of severe pain.  It’s worth bearing in mind that research shows that long term use of painkillers can have negative effects on liver function and on the lining of the stomach.

 

With my clients with endometriosis, we take a long and short term approach, looking at diet and supplements to reduce inflammation and pain in the long term, as well as practical ways to reduce pain in the short term.

 

What can I eat to help reduce endometriosis inflammation and pain? 

 

Diet can make a huge difference in managing the inflammation that happens with endometriosis. I always recommend adding in foods that can help you reduce inflammation over the long term.

 

I’ve already talked about turmeric and its wondrous compound, curcumin.

 

Eating lots of green leafy and cruciferous vegetables is helpful too, as these foods help your body remove the excess estrogen that is a hallmark of endometriosis.

 

They also help you empty your bowels regularly, which is an important way for your body to remove excess hormones. If you’re constipated (i.e not emptying your bowels at the very minimum, once a day), there is an increased risk of the excess estrogen being recycled back into the body, which for endometriosis sufferers, can exacerbate your symptoms and increase inflammation and pain. Having a healthy bowel movement in the morning, before breakfast, is a great way to support your body and reduce endometriosis and other symptoms of excess estrogen, including PMS, period pain and mood swings.

 

The research also shows that a higher intake of fruit, especially citrus fruit, can reduce the risk of  endometriosis further developing.

 

If you have endometriosis, have you used food as a way of managing your symptoms?

 

Do you want help improving endometriosis pain? My short e-book, ‘Six Ways To Fix Your Period Pain‘ will give you practical tips to change your period for the better.

Let’s talk about endometriosis!

What is endometriosis?

 

Endometriosis is one of the most common chronic hormonal disorders affecting women in reproductive age, affecting up to 10% of women.

 

Endometriosis has been described as an autoimmune condition where endometrial tissue typically grows on the outside of the uterus instead of on the inside. The tissue is most commonly found around the organs in the pelvis, but can grow anywhere on the body, turning into growths and lesions in the intestines, bladder, rectum, even as far up as the nose!

 

Endometrial tissue typically responds to the changes in our hormones across each phase of our cycle, as it would if it was in our uterus. Endometriosis sufferers usually have excess estrogen in relation to progesterone, which drives the ongoing hormonal imbalance.

 

The primary symptoms are pelvic pain and infertility, as well as painful periods, painful sex and painful urination.

 

There are four stages of severity to endometriosis; ranging from stage one: minimal endometriosis to stage four: severe endometriosis. The level of severity depends on the number, size and location of adhesions and endometrial tissue.

 

Diagnosis is usually done through a surgical laparoscopy.

 

Getting a diagnosis

 

Did you know that it can take up to 7.5 years and sometimes even 10 years to get a full endometriosis diagnosis?

 

It’s so important for women to feel confident about advocating for themselves in medical situations and empowered to ask the right questions so that we get the answers and diagnosis we deserve.

 

Pain is not normal and is a sign that something is wrong. If you’re experiencing pain, never let someone tell you that it’s all in your head! You know your body best!

 

Endometriosis pain can be severe and it can be systemic, with inflamed endometrial tissue appearing outside of the uterus.

 

If a doctor tries to minimise your pain, then get a second, third or fourth opinion. Do what it takes to get a medical professional that will listen to you, take what you say seriously and help you find the answers you need and deserve.

 

Do your research. Knowledge is power and will help you advocate for better health outcomes.

 

Keep track of how you feel and your pain levels, so you’re armed with evidence that will help you fight your corner.

 

Most of all, be relentless in your pursuit of good health.

 

Do you want help improving endometriosis pain? My short e-book, ‘Six Ways To Fix Your Period Pain‘ will give you practical tips to change your period for the better.

 

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Subscribe to weekly notes from our founder, Le’Nise!