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More on Endo - my symptoms are in blue. (update, natural remedies...)

Posted by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:33 PM
  • 14 Replies

Symptoms of endometriosis

The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. The pain often correlates to the menstrual cycle, however a woman with endometriosis may also experience pain at other times during her monthly cycle.

For many women, but not everyone, the pain of endometriosis can unfortunately be so severe and debilitating that it impacts on her life significant ways.

Pain may be felt:

  • before/during/after menstruation (YES, day 2-3 are awful)
  • during ovulation (yes, though I can tell which side I ovulate on)
  • in the bowel during menstruation (it is painful to "go" day 1-3)
  • when passing urine
  • during or after sexual intercourse
  • in the lower back region (always have backpain before AF)

Other symptoms may include:

  • diarrhoea or constipation (in particular in connection with menstruation) (day 1-2 of AF)
  • abdominal bloating (again, in connection with menstruation) (day 1 of AF)
  • heavy or irregular bleeding used to be heavy day 1-2, now spotting only last 2 months)
  • fatigue (sooooo tired! I work out all the time and I could take a 2 hour nap every day still! I don't, but I would LOVE to!)

The other well known symptom associated with endometriosis is infertility. It is estimated that 30-40% of women with endometriosis are subfertile.

When a woman or a girl has decided that she wishes to discuss her symptoms with a physician, she may benefit from preparing for this consultation by using the aid, your first consultation, which highlights the questions a doctor may ask her. By assessing the responses, it will help her physician to evaluate her symptoms, and together they can decide the right treatment plan for her. See also our article on finding a centre of excellence/endometriosis specialist.

 

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Natural Treatments for Endometriosis

If you are experiencing painful periods or pelvic pain, it's important to see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis. Here are eight natural treatments that are used for endometriosis.

1) Reduce Chemical Intake Although earlier studies in women were conflicting, there is increasing evidence that chronic exposure to the environmental chemicals dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is associated with an increased prevalence and severity of endometriosis. One way to reduce intake of these chemicals is to cut back on animal fat, especially high-fat dairy, red meat, and fish. Dioxin and PCBs both accumulate in animal fat, and it is our main route of exposure. Interestingly, studies on diet and endometriosis also support this link. For example, an Italian study examined data from 504 women with endometriosis and found an increased risk with a high intake of red meat and ham. Fresh fruit and vegetables were associated with a reduction in risk.

2) Vegetables and Flaxseeds There is evidence that a group of plant chemicals called flavones can inhibit aromatase, the enzyme that converts androgens to estrogens. Good food sources of flavones are celery and parsley. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy, contain compounds called indoles, which appear to improve estrogen metabolism. Flaxseeds are high in lignans and fiber, which have been found to be beneficial for estrogen-related conditions.

3) Progesterone Cream Alternative practitioners sometimes recommend progesterone cream. Progesterone is thought to slow the growth of abnormal endometrial tissue. Although it's not considered a cure, it may improve symptoms such as pain during menstrual periods and pelvic pain. There haven't been any studies on progesterone cream for endometriosis, so we don't know for certain about it's effectiveness or safety.

Progesterone cream is derived from either soy or Mexican wild yam. A molecule called diosgenin is extracted in a lab and converted to a molecule that's exactly like human progesterone and added to back to the cream. Some companies sell wild yam cream, but unless it has been converted in a lab it is useless, because the body can't convert wild yam to progesterone on its own.

Natural progesterone cream is applied to the wrists, inner arms, inner thighs, or upper chest at a dose and schedule that should be recommended by a professional. It's important to be supervised and to have progesterone levels monitored on lab tests, because too much progesterone can cause such side effects as mood changes, depression, water retention, weight gain, and absent or abnormal menstrual bleeding.

Natural progesterone cream is available from a compounding pharmacy (the website www.iacprx.org has listings) or at regular drug stores.

4) Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. They are also available in fish oil capsules, which may be the preferable form because good brands contain minimal amounts of PCBs and dioxins. Several studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for people with endometriosis. For example, an animal study by the University of Western Ontario found that fish oil containing two specific compounds, EPA and DHA, can relieve pain by decreasing levels of an inflammatory chemical called prostaglandin E2. Researchers also found that fish oil could slow the growth of endometrial tissue.

5) Stress Reduction Cortisol is a hormone involved in the stress response but is also needed to make other hormones such as progesterone. Prolonged stress can lead to elevations in cortisol, which alternative practitioners say may decrease the available progesterone and result in a hormonal imbalance. One study involving 49 women found that cortisol levels were significantly higher in women with advanced endometriosis compared to women who didn't have this condition.

Herbs and nutrients that alternative practitioners commonly recommend for stress reduction include: Ashwaghandha B vitamins Vitamin C Zinc Magnesium

Other stress reduction methods include: Relaxation Response Mindfulness Meditation  Diaphragmatic Breathing

6) Hydrotherapy A contrast sitz bath is often recommended by alternative practitioners for endometriosis. It is a home remedy and has not been studied.

A contrast sitz bath involves sitting in a small basin or tub filled with hot water for three minutes, then getting up and sitting in another basin filled with cool water for one minute. The hot water-cold water cycle is repeated another 3 times. It is not usually done during menstruation.


7) Ginger Tea Ginger tea may relieve the nausea that can occur with endometriosis.

by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:33 PM
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Replies (1-10):
ltlnutmeg
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Is AF dark brown, black in color with lots of clots...- that is another symptom.  Endo usually causes blood stagnation thus the dark color - old blood.

candcsmom2008
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Good info TY for sharing.. maybe I need to talk to RE about this also..

curta4
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 3:46 PM

I recently found out I had a small amount of endometriosis in November 2009.  It developed since my son was born....he just turned 2.  I had Laprascopy surgery and they removed it......it's a super simple procedure and recovery is pretty fast.  I started having pain in my lower left side in my 3rd trimester with my son...figured it was just him.  Then after he was born in continued...I've had every since test and scan imaginable and they saw nothing.  Had my first Laprascopy in July 09 and doc said he saw nothing unusual.  The pain was getting worse so I went to a well known doc in Stanford for a second opinion.  He did a second Lap...this past November like I mentioned and found a small amount of endo. by my left ovary...he removed it and I've never felt better.  They go through your belly button for the procedure and when you wake up it's done.  I'm trying for baby #2 right now so that doc put me on Metformin just in case I have a little more trouble conceiving since having the endo.  I'd get a MRI to start with and then go from there.  Good luck and keep us posted!!  Any questions for me please PM me. :)

Faithums
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Man I have some of those symptoms but I know that I do not have endo. My SIL has it and I know that having large clots is another sign of endo. Thank you for sharing the info

elisajenise
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 4:44 PM

WOW! Day 1 and Day 2 used do be very heavy with lots of dark clots. These last two months have been nothing though, just mostly brown spotting here and there.

YIKES! I am sooooo glad I pushed the issue and got a referral!! Thank you for all the responses!! :-)

FortWorthMomma
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 4:48 PM

I have Endo and it SUCKS! I have had it for a long time now and found out about 6yrs ago. I have had Three surgeries been put threw Menopause and other countless meds to help. I still have it and had my latest surgery in Jan. My DS is 11 and now that DH and I are married (second marraige) we are trying to have a baby BUT it makes it very hard. I got this month for my 6month post op and see what else the Dr can do to help. Yes surgery is pretty simple and recovery is pretty fast but its still no fun.

Good Luck and if you ever need anyone to talk to please let me know!

ttcboy n girlShauna J.White Wife,Mother and Friend!

elisajenise
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 5:20 PM

bump for remedies

trewlove
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 5:34 PM
A gluten-free diet works extremely well for this. Also the hydro-therapy can be done much easier in the daily shower.
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elisajenise
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Hi TREW!! :-) I owe you an email!! I have beem doing what you said, HUGE difference. In fact, the last two months have been filled with fish oil and Vit B, D...etc...I think that is why my periods have been so much less. I was already helping the endo (if I have it) and didn't know it! The showers are pretty refreshing in the summer too :-) THANK YOU!!!!

trewlove
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 5:39 PM
Most of that long list of stuff I gave you from my N.D. is recommended for Endo. I have not been diagnosed but have MOST of the symptoms.
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