Could You Be Suffering from Endometriosis? Natural Treatment Options

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Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus develops outside of the uterus. About 2 to 10% of all women of child-bearing age are affected by it — about 6.5 million women in the US. Women who have a family history of the disease, long menstrual periods lasting longer than 7 days, or shorter menstrual cycles lasting 27 days or fewer, or problems affecting the release of menstrual blood from the body are most susceptible. Any woman who gets a period may suffer from it, though it typically affects women in their 30s or 40s.

The disease derives its name from the endometrium, the tissue that normally lines the uterus or womb. It is most often found in: 

  • Blocked fallopian tubes when endometriosis grows on the ovaries. This can trap blood in the ovaries, causing
  • Inflammation (swelling)
  • Scar tissue formation as well as adhesions. The scar tissue often causes pelvic pain and can make it difficult to conceive children.
  • Intestine and bladder problems

But it can also be found in the vagina, cervix, vulva, bowel, bladder, or rectum. Rarer cases may even involve other parts of the body, such as the lungs, brain, and skin.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

Women who suffer from endometriosis may experience painful periods, including cramps extending several days into the menstrual period. They may also experience pain during intercourse or suffer from painful bowel movements or urination. Their menstrual periods tend to involve excessive bleeding, and may involve bleeding between periods. About 50% of women who suffer from endometriosis are infertile. Some women may also experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.

Severe pain alone is not a reliable sign of whether or not you have endometriosis. Some women may have mild endometriosis with severe pain, or severe endometriosis with little to know pain.

Health Problems with Endometriosis

Fortunately, endometriosis is not cancerous. However, it does introduce numerous health problems. These include:

  • Blocked fallopian tubes when growths cover or grow surrounding the ovaries. Trapped blood in the ovaries can form cysts. 
  • Inflammation (swelling) 
  • Scar tissue formation as well as adhesions (type of tissue that can bind your organs together). This scar tissue may cause pelvic pain and make it hard for you to get pregnant. 
  • Intestine and bladder problems 

Causes of Endometriosis

No one knows for sure what causes endometriosis, but doctors are investigating a number of issues. Trouble with menstrual flow is a likely cause — as some of the tissue shed during your period can flow through the fallopian tube into other areas of the body, such as the pelvis. It may also stem from problems with your immune system — your immune system may not be able to destroy endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus. Hormones and heredity are also suspected causes.

Treatment for Endometriosis

Though there is no cure for endometriosis, there are a number of treatment options available. The approach your doctor chooses depends greatly on your desire to get pregnant.

If you are not interested in getting pregnant, hormonal birth control is usually the first approach. Your period cycle can be extended so you have fewer periods. Another option is an Intrauterine device (IUD) that can bring pain relief as well as reduce bleeding. It will prevent pregnancy for 7 years, but may not continue to reduce endometriosis pain that entire time.

Interested in pregnancy? A gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist might be helpful. This will prevent your body from producing the hormones responsible for menstruation, ovulation, and the growth of endometriosis. The hormone will cause temporary menopause, but can be very effective at controlling endometriosis. When you want to get pregnant, simply stop taking the hormone.

In Dr.B’s experience much of the pain attributed to endometriosis is often myofascial and can go away as pelvic, abdominal, and thigh fascia unkinks and heals

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