THAT TIME OF THE MONTH can be a normal, uneventful part of life for some women, while for others a dreaded, unwanted cycle of pain and misery, particularly if suffering from something known as Endometriosis.
Endometriosis, an estrogen dependent condition, is where the lining of the uterus (known as the endometrium) grows outside of the uterine cavity. This excess uterine tissue can grow around intestines, organs, the heart, and even the lungs, however it is most commonly present in the pelvic area, and can lead to harsh symptoms like severe pelvic pain, unbearable menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods, pain around the lower back and stomach, painful bowel movements and pain when urinating, and even discomfort during intercourse. Unfortunately, the pain can begin appearing as early as two weeks prior to the menstrual cycle. Other symptoms that may not immediately connect to Endometriosis can be things like UTI’s, chronic bladder and yeast infections, and even common symptoms like constipation or diarrhea.
So, if you just can’t bear to face another monthly cycle because of endometriosis, just know there is hope. As mentioned earlier, Endometriosis is largely an estrogen driven disease, and in todays world so many woman face the risk of being estrogen dominant. How you ask? Well, everyday, we all face thousands of chemicals, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, and many of these chemicals are xenoestrogens, estrogen mimickers that enter our bodies through our skin, mouth or even the air we breath, These chemicals, once inside our bodies act as endocrine disruptors, binding to receptor sites on our cells and altering the messaging process leading to cellular dysfunction and disruption. The bottom line, estrogen dominance has been implicated in a host of diseases outside of endometriosis, such as breast and uterine cancers, infertility, diabetes, miscarriages, and even prostate and testicular cancers in men.
Where are these chemicals we face everyday that are causing so much pain and suffering? Look no further than the makeup you apply everyday, the shampoo and conditioner you use, the soap you wash with, the toothpaste, mouthwash, and deodorants that enter your body. Look at cleaning supplies used around the house, laundry detergents, foods loaded with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones, tampons and pads, tap water, medicines, plastics from water bottles and storage containers, etc…. Is that enough? Just know there are many more sources.
A key approach to curbing the danger of xenoestrogens, and curtailing the damaging effects of endometriosis, is to focus on getting the chemicals out of your life as much as possible. So think about focusing on two things; one is assisting the liver, which is responsible for clearing toxins from the body. A properly functioning liver can breakdown excess estrogens and set the body up for proper elimination, keeping unneeded estrogen from re-entering the body. The second is to reduce exposure to xenoestrogens as much as possible by eliminating many of the outside products and foods that are loaded with chemicals.
There are also a number of supplements that can help tackle the debilitating effects of Endometriosis. Most of the following help in reducing inflammation, and assist the liver to help it effectively eliminate excess estrogen:
- Dandelion Root: Helps remove xenoestrogens
- Chlorella: Can help remove toxins from the body
- Castor Oil: Placing an organic castor oil soaked cloth over the lower abdomen at the beginning of the menstrual cycle along with a hot water bottle or heating pad can help relieve pain from cramping
- Progesterone Cream: Can help slow growth of endometrial tissue and can help curtail rapid increase of endometrial cells.
- Adaptogens: Calm down cortisol release, which can lead to hormonal imbalances, such as estrogen dominance and a decline in progesterone. Some studies have shown a direct link between increased dominance and a decline in progesterone. Some studies have shown a direct link between increased cortisol levels and endometriosis.
- N-Acetyl Cysteine: Precursor to glutathione, our master antioxidant, that helps with liver detoxification.
- Anti-inflammatories: Fish oil, Boswellia, and Turmeric; can help decrease an inflammatory chemical known as Prostaglandin E2, which is active in endometriosis.
- Evening Primrose: Can help decrease hormone overstimulation, help lessen menstrual cramping, and help control inflammation associated with endometriosis.
So, another approach to dealing with endometriosis is to eliminate excess estrogen and assist in the liver detoxing process. This just may help you notice a gradual decline of monthly symptoms.
Yours in Health,