9 Steps to Treating Endometriosis
Endometriosis is defined as the proliferation of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. It affects 10 - 20% of women, with a peak incidence between 25-35 years old.
Chronic endometriosis can be a debilitating condition that destroys lives. Current medical treatments really do not get to the root cause of the situation; and most commonly, endometriosis progresses to the point where surgical intervention is required. The current medical approach does not even consider diet and lifestyle as contributing factors.
However, the only way to effectively treated prevent endometriosis is through natural means of diet, lifestyle and natural medicines which remove the causes and balance the underlying triggers.
Endometriosis is not a life sentence and can be treated. But it takes perseverance and effort, but the rewards are a pain-free and happy life. The key is catching it early because once the damage has been done, scarring can develop, which is difficult to remove and causes pain with every cycle.
Dysmenorrhea which aggravates on day 2 and 3 of the cycle; non-specific pelvic pain; infertility; cramping; lower back pain. As the condition develops, symptoms spread across the cycle and pain can be a constant companion. Hormonally-based symptoms link with the physical symptoms and women often feel emotional, moody, irritable, lack energy and have poor sleep.
- Idiopathic (unknown)
- Poor hormone metabolism via the liver and digestive tract
- Oestrogen sensitivity, Low Progesterone
- Toxaemia - Constipation and bowel waste resorption
- Heavy periods, Dysmenorrhoea, ovulation dysfunction, late ovulation, early menses
- Environmental Toxins
- Poor nutrient assimilation and nutrient deficiencies
- Synthetic Hormones
- Genetic predisposition
- Poor diet and lifestyle - especially linked to high sugar intake, alcohol intake and fatty food intake.
Every person has a unique constitutional type. This constitutional type has different strengths and weaknesses, which are in a way similar to your genetic strengths and weaknesses. When the body is in perfect balance, the weaknesses do not manifest; when your strengths are reduced, the weaknesses show.
Your symptoms of endometriosis represent a personal susceptibility to diseases of the female organs through a constitutional imbalance. Poor assimilation, elimination, poor dietary choices and environmental toxins also play a major role in the development of endometriosis, by increasing the circulating levels of the female hormone oestrogen in the blood. Excessive levels of circulating oestrogens cause female diseases like endometriosis.
Among the most important nutrients required for the proper metabolism of oestrogen in the body are essential fatty acids and vitamins. If, for some reason, the body does not get the nutrients from the diet - either because the food is of a poor quality, or because the body itself is not able to absorb the nutrients from the food - proper metabolism of oestrogen is hampered; and this may lead to an excess amount of circulating oestrogen in the body.
The circulating levels of oestrogen are also increased if the elimination of waste from the body is not effective. The excessive oestrogen in the body is usually metabolized by the liver and eliminated through the bowels. If the bowels are not working properly, then the levels of oestrogens in the blood go up, causing symptoms of oestrogen dominance.
Excessive levels of circulating oestrogens trigger female diseases like endometriosis.
Addictions and poor dietary choices in the form of smoking, alcohol, red meat and too much saturated fat in the diet, affect proper oestrogen balance in the body through their effect on the liver. Since the liver is the organ which breaks down the excessive oestrogen in the body, if it's not working properly, the levels of circulating estrogens go up, thereby creating a profile of oestrogen dominance in the system.
Environmental toxins and heavy metals also act very much in the same way by affecting the liver. Synthetic hormones from an external source are also responsible for symptoms of oestrogen dominance in the body in a major way.
Naturopathic Treatment protocol
Step one - Improve digestion
- Cleansing the bowels
- Add some psyllium husks or natural fibres such as chia or basil seeds to your daily routine to ensure regular bowel movements.
- Start having fermented foods on a regular basis. Fermented foods rebalance the gut ecology which is critical for healthy digestion and metabolising hormones correctly.
Step two - Vitamin and mineral supplements
The following supplements may help:
- Vitamin B esp B6, 200 mg a day
- Essential fatty acids preferably as Evening Primrose oil 6-8 capsules /day (maximum dosage 14 capsules a day)
- Magnesium - relaxes and calms muscle tissue helping with pain.
- Amino acids taurine, methionine, cysteine, glutathione, glycine - improve hormone metabolism in the liver
- Check iron levels
- St Mary's thistle or Milk Thistle and dandelion can help to improve liver function as well. Happy Liver is a good supplement for liver function.
Step three - Herbal medicinesTake a herbal blend with Wild Yam, Vitex, Raspberry Leaf, Sage, Black Cohosh are some of the common herbal medicines which can really help endometriosis.
Step four - Improve hormone metabolism
When hormones are not broken down and excreted effectively then hormones can recirculate and have a double and triple impact. It is my belief that women with endometriosis have a genetic weakness causes incomplete hormone metabolism leading to over growth of endometrial tissue. A diet high in plant based elements, especially cruciferous vegetables is important, limiting animal proteins and supplements such as Happy DIM can be of benefit.
Step five - Track your hormone cycleUse a fertility app to track your cycle and understand when you ovulate and the average duration of your cycle.
Step six - Reduce StressStress management is critical. Stress increases cortisol levels which contribute to inflammation and reduce the correct production of progesterone. Managing stress by dealing with triggers and releasing stress with regular exercise, meditation and yoga.
Step seven - 8-Week Guided program
Follow the 8-Week Program dietary guidelines which will cleanse your system, remove reactive and processed foods, alkalise your system and provide sufficient antioxidants to start the healing process.
Step eight - Plyocentric Exercises
General exercise is great for overall health, however, when you can do specific exercises that will assist with endometriosis, it's much better.
We developed this set of plyocentric exercises which improve blood flow to the pelvic region and encourage removal of wastes. If you can practice these exercises daily then it will make a big difference to your symptoms. Start slowly and build up to 20 minutes a day:
Step nine - Tips to control endometriosis:
Stay away from synthetic hormones
Remember synthetic hormones do not come only from oral contraceptives. Foods like chicken and fish are also major sources of synthetic hormones, and fish especially, are abundant in heavy metals. It's tempting to treat your hormonal imbalance with hormones - however, it's impossible to get the balance correct. If you also have a fundamental problem metabolising hormones, then this can only make you worse. Here is another article that explains this in more detail:
Happy Healthy You - A better way to treat hormonal imbalance?
Avoid saturated fats
Saturated fats are big contributors to inflammation in the body. It is best to stay away from all saturated fats and especially red meat since it contains high levels of saturated fats.
Stay away from smoking and alcohol
Alcohol is a big stress on the liver. This is because the liver metabolises alcohol in preference to other substances in the body. In women, the level of estrogen in the blood has been found to go up by as much as 200% after a drink. Smoking, on the other hand, leaches important nutrients from the body, causing a deficiency of those nutrients. So it's important for women suffering from endometriosis to stay away from both alcohol and smoking.
Include more coriander in your diet
Coriander is one of the best detoxifiers of heavy metals in the body. Since heavy metal toxicity is a major concern in female hormonal diseases, a generous use of fresh coriander in the food is strongly recommended.
The protocol above is a standard Naturopathic approach to treating endometriosis.
The most important and effective elements of the protocol are the herbal medicines, diet and hormone metabolisers.
Please share this information to help women find a solution because current medical models offer only pain relief and surgery - which should be final solutions only.