WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS
Endometriosis occurs when endometrial cells that are found in the lining of the uterus travel outside of the uterus to other parts of the body and implant themselves in various areas of the body such as on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines, rectum and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity. They can also be found in the vagina, cervix, and bladder, although less commonly than other locations in the pelvis.
These misplaced cells are stimulated by hormones, just like the cells within the uterus, building up and shedding blood during menstruation each month. Blood from these cells causes deposits to accumulate and form scar tissue, which can be very painful. Endometriosis affects 10 % - 20% of American women of childbearing age and is one of the main causes of infertility in women.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
One-third of women with endometriosis have no symptoms. The most common symptoms include the following:
- Significant pelvic pain, especially during menstruation
- Heavy or irregular menstruation
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Infertility or miscarriage
- Pain with bladder or bowel function, or intestinal pain
WHAT IS THE CAUSES OF ENDOMETRIOSIS?
The cause of endometriosis is unknown, but theories include:
- Abnormal functioning of the immune system
- Retrograde (or reflux) menstruation, in which some menstrual blood flows backward through the fallopian tubes
- Genetic or heredity factors
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PROVIDER'S OFFICE
If your medical doctor suspects that you have endometriosis, they may do a physical examination that may include gentle pushing on your abdomen and pelvic exam. Definitive diagnosis is made with laparoscopy, a surgical procedure that inserts a fiber-optic rod and camera into the abdomen through a small incision in the belly button.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS
1. Conventional Therapies
Most conventional treatments are designed to relieve symptoms as opposed to treating the symptoms and reoccurrence of endometriosis. The following drugs can relieve the symptoms of endometriosis:
- Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen)
- Hormone-suppressing drugs (which stop ovulation)
- Surgical Procedures to remove endometrial tissue and adhesions, implants and blood filled cysts
Laparoscopic laser techniques help shrink lesions. Total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and ovaries) is recommended only when necessary but the symptoms usually reoccur within months.
2. Treating Endometriosis Naturally
What can you expect from our Naturopathic Clinic?
The goal of our naturopathic clinic is not only to improve the symptoms related to endometriosis and other hormonal health issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, infertility but also to help treat and prevent * them naturally using complementary and alternative therapies.
If you or any of your family member has been diagnosed with endometriosis or any other hormonal health issue, and would like to get a better understanding of how your symptoms and health issues maybe affect you, and you would like to improve your health and resolve / treat your health symptoms naturally using natural therapies, please call the clinic at 416 913 4325 (HEAL) to schedule your initial naturopathic consultation.
COMPLEMENTARY NATUROPATHIC THERAPIES TO TREAT ENDOMETRIOSIS
During your initial consultation, our naturopathic doctor will do a comprehensive symptom intake to get a better understanding of your health issues and goals, and may suggest specific testing based on your symptoms.
After the initial naturopathic consultation, our naturopathic doctor may suggest naturopathic therapies or treatments * such as diet, herbs, and supplements, exercise to help treat and prevent endometriosis once the proper assessment is done.
She may also recommend some hormone testing to better understand how they may be affecting your individual health as quite often hormones, including estrogen, affect endometriosis. Our naturopathic doctor will help you with not only relieving your painful menstrual symptoms and endometriosis, but will also help educate you on how your hormones and lifestyle may be impacting your health and will provide you with suggestions and treatments to
better balance your hormones and lifestyle in order to alleviate your health issues and optimize your well being to match your health goals.
For more information on what to expect during your initial naturopathic consultation, please click here.
Some of the therapies that may be used for your treatment include:
- Nutrition & Lifestyle Modifications: Nutritional deficiencies will be addressed based on the your individual health concerns, along with lifestyle factors such as diet and stress will be addressed in your treatment plan for endometriosis.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine may be used to help reduce pain associated with the period and balance hormone levels, which are quite often imbalanced in endometriosis. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine offered at the clinic have been extremely effective for our patients in reducing the pelvic pain and cramping associated with endometriosis during menstruation, and had also been helpful for patients with infertility related to endometriosis. Acupuncture and certain traditional Chinese herbs that we use at the clinic have also been very effective in expelling endometrial tissue which causes the pain and infertility in some clients.
- Massage Therapy may be used to help resolve pelvic congestion related to endometriosis
Our naturopath may prescribe all natural hormone creams, such as progesterone, to balance excessive estrogen levels only if needed.
TIPS TO HELP REDUCE MENSTRUAL AND PMS SYMPTOMS
Here are some nutritional tips to help reduce menstrual and PMS symptoms associated with endometriosis:
- Eliminate potential food allergens, including dairy, wheat (gluten), corn, soy, preservatives, and food additives. Our naturopathic doctor may test you for food sensitivities / allergies if needed
- Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as kale, spinach, and bell pepper)
- Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar
- Eat fewer red meats, which are quite often laden with hormones and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein
- Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or vegetable oil
- Reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, and limit foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat. Avoid foods with additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Drink 6 - 8 glasses of filtered water daily
Endometriosis often resolves during pregnancy.
* DISCLAIMER: The information on this article is the property of Dr. Sushma Shah, Naturopathic Doctor, and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any diseases or promote any services or products mentioned on the website.