Many women with endometriosis suffer in silence for years. According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, a woman may experience pain related to the condition for almost a decade before receiving a diagnosis. 176 million women and girls are affected by endometriosis around the world. The cost of the disease is overwhelming, estimated at $22 billion a year.
WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?
Endometriosis is a gynecological disorder. The condition occurs when the cells that line the womb, also called the endometrium, grow outside of the uterine cavity. This growth most frequently occurs in the peritoneum, or the abdominal cavity. Wherever it grows, it responds to the hormonal cycle and bleeds every time a period occurs. Normal menstrual blood escapes through the vagina, but endometrial blood has no outlet and becomes trapped in the tissue, causing pain.
This irregular growth can cause pain and infertility.
Pain may increase around a woman’s menstrual cycle. Symptoms may vary depending on the site of active endometriosis growth. For many women struggling with infertility, endometriosis may be the underlying cause.
The reason endometriosis is so difficult to detect in reproductive years, is because the pain is likened to menstrual cramps. If a woman has experienced painful periods her entire life, she may not know that a further diagnosis of endometriosis is needed.
Some of the most common symptoms of the condition include:
• Painful menstruation
• Intermittent or chronic pelvic pain
• Irregular vaginal or uterine bleeding • Irregular vaginal clotting
• Large, painful ovarian cysts
• Ectopic pregnancy
• Pain during sex
• Nausea, vomiting
• Diarrhea, constipation
• Gastrointestinal cramping • Blood in the urine
• Fatigue, chronic pain
A true endometriosis diagnosis requires surgical biopsy. This may contribute to the significant delay in diagnosis for many women around the world. As described above, a woman may struggle with one or many of these symptoms for up to 10 years before seeking medical help. A vast majority of these symptoms can be dismissed as “typical” women’s issues. Effective treatment for endometriosis may be unreliable or devalued, Yet treating the condition is of the utmost importance to restore sexual pleasure, fertility, and quality of life—especially related to the menstrual cycle.
If you visit your doctor for endometriosis treatment, he or she may recommend a protocol that includes surgery. A laparoscopic excision is the preferred medical treatment for
endometriosis to remove harmful, unnatural growth outside of the uterus. A hysterectomy may be advised in extreme cases. A number of other medications may be prescribed to control symptoms, including pain killers, prescription narcotics, and NSAIDs (non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs); all of these drugs carry risks of side effects.
ENDOMETRIOSIS AND INFLAMMATION
Doctors prescribe NSAIDs to treat endometriosis because the disorder is largely related to inflammatory processes. Acute inflammation is one thing—a
normal response to heal the body. Chronic inflammation is entirely another and can go on for years to deteriorate overall health.
Endometriosis is one unfortunate example of chronic inflammation left unchecked.
A doctor may try to prescribe anti- inflammatory drugs to calm inflammation. Yet these drugs will only address surface symptoms and not the cause of the disorder. It is important to understand that endometriosis medications are used primarily for pain management. Underlying inflammation that triggers the disorder may be remedied with an anti-inflammatory diet.
YOUR ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET FOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
Making changes to your diet can effectively transform reproductive health. If you have been struggling with endometriosis or the symptoms described above for years, there is hope in sight. You may want to visit a doctor to receive an official diagnosis, but the drugs prescribed for the condition may not be adequate. Remove inflammatory food triggers from your diet to restore reproductive health:
- Cut out starchy carbohydrates, processed foods, and milk products. These top inflammatory triggers inhibit healing and may include cookies, pastries, breads, cereals, white rice, potatoes, and pasta.
- Make it your goal to eat 14 small portions of fresh or frozen vegetables a day. Try 50% raw juice, as well as vegetables in soups, stir fried, steamed, etc.
- Eat 3 to 5 portions of beans, nuts, and seeds. Remember to enjoy nuts and seeds soaked and mashed.
- Eat 3 to 5 portions of dark-skinned fruits – red grapes, cherries, blueberries, and a minimum of two avocados a day.
- Enjoy meals with healthy oils – include hemp, krill, and olive oil.
- Drink 6 glasses of filtered or distilled water a day. Add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda to each glass to boost oxygen transport.
- Take 3 to 5 teaspoons of sea or rock salt a day – in food or with a little water.
- Eliminating processed foods from your diet is critical for endometriosis recovery. Instead of taking harsh medications with potential side effects, you can calm inflammation in your body the natural way.
Last but not least, don’t forget the importance of essential nutrients to rehabilitate reproductive health. The top nutrient recommended for endometriosis is the serrapeptase enzyme. This natural yet potent enzyme has the power to break down non-living tissue in the body and clear scars, cysts, and all types of inflammation.
Endometriosis sufferers have seen great results with an anti-inflammatory enzyme: “A couple of years ago I took your product serrapeptase for endometriosis and with the help of this and other things I no longer have it. Thanks.” With this type of nutritional support, you can see partial or complete endometriosis relief, in many cases.