Let’s face it, ladies. Endometriosis (Endo) is not your friend. Endometriosis is one of most chronic, painful estrogen dependent disorders occurring in 1 in 10 women. It is “the third-leading cause of gynecological hospitalization in the United States”. The root cause of Endo is that the tissue that lines the endometrium (lining of the uterus) also grows outside the uterine cavity. These displaced piece of tissues implants into the bladder, intestines, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other areas in the abdomen. Each month when menses occur, the uterine tissue and implants bleed. If the implants are located in a sensitive area, it can cause pain ranging from mild discomfort to debilitating.
What You May Experience with Endometriosis
- Pelvic pain (most common concern)
- Pain during sex
- Pain with bowel movement
- Pain with urination
- Heavy periods
The cause of endometriosis is not fully understood, but studies have suggested that hormonal imbalance, stress, and inflammation have a role.
7 All-Natural Ways to Conquer Endo
1. Dietary changes
One of the major factors that influence endometriosis is diet. Certain foods may trigger an Endo flare and promote inflammation. Changes in the diet are the foundation for pain relief and fertility enhancement with endometriosis. First step is to start with an Elimination Diet. Avoid gluten, red meat, dairy, soy, pork, and non-organic foods as these foods have been linked to the development of Endo.
2. Vitamin D
The tissue that surrounds the implants can become inflamed (swollen). Vitamin D, a naturally name vitamin in the skin from exposure to direct sunlight, is now recognized as an immune modulator. Besides its role in bone health, “Vitamin D is an agent with antiproliferative, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties”. Vitamin D influences the functioning of the immune system by improving the ability for the body to fight inflammation.
3. Vitamin C and E
Free radicals (unstable uncharged molecules) and oxidative stress (imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants) are closely linked with inflammation. Vitamin C and E, when taken together, exert powerful antioxidant activity. Vitamin E enhances the immune response to signal cells to divide, while Vitamin C stimulates the cells to increase in numbers. A clinical trial revealed that administration of antioxidants reduces chronic pelvic pain in women with endometriosis and inflammatory markers.
Acupunture has been shown to be effective in helping with energy (qi) and uterine blood flow. Chinese medicine believes that the qi in the uterus is stagnate during Endometriosis. The goal of this practice it to “bring relief by restoring the balance and “energy flow” of our bodies”. It is also thought that the insertion of the tiny needles stimulates endodorphins, the body's natural pain reliever.
5. Minimize xenoestrogen exposure
Estrogen flow through the body in different forms: naturally (produced by ovaries, placenta, brain, bone, fat tissue), chemically (xenoestreogens), and through foods and plants (phytoestrogens). Xenoestrogens, commonly referred as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC), emulates our body’s naturally produced estrogen, interferes with normal hormonal balance, and causes endometriosis to grow. You can minimize exposure to xenoestrogens by:
· Buying organic to avoid pesticides! The Environmental Working Group has a list called the "Clean 15" which you can use to minimize your intake of toxins and reduce your exposure in fruits and vegetables.
· Avoiding Bisphenol A (BPA) found in the lining of cans. BPA is linked to many diseases. Buy BPA-free containers or use glass. The following site list 31 companies that use BPA-free cans.
· Avoiding plastic. Plastic can seed chemicals into food or drinks. Buy BPA free plastic. Use low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic to wrap food. Heat food in glass or ceramic instead of plastic containers.
· Avoiding cosmetics, oils and lotions that contain parabens.
· Avoiding PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) that are in paints and oils.
6. Eicosapentaenoic acid/Docosahexanoic acid (EPA/DHA)
Nearly all-chronic diseases have an inflammatory component. EPA/DHA are omega-3 fatty acids supplements can help produce anti-inflammatory effects in many conditions such Endo. Sources rich in EPA/DHA are cold-water fish, seafood, flaxseed, and fish oil. EPA/DHA are involved in the production of prostaglandins (PGE), hormones-like compounds that possess natural anti-inflammatory properties.
7. Castor oil packs
Castor oil comes from the castor seed will help promote healing, reduce menstrual pain and inflammation. Here is how to make a castor pack.