"Endometriosis," or "endo" for short, is a female health disorder in which tissue normally found in the uterine lining begins to grow outside of the uterus. Although out of place, this tissue continues to behave as it normally would inside the uterus—thickening, breaking down, and exiting by way of menstrual bleeding. There is one problem though—unlike similar tissue found in the right place, this misplaced tissue has nowhere to exit. This can lead to an array of problems, with pain, scar tissue, inflammation, cysts, and infertility being some of the most common ones. The pain associated with endometriosis can be so severe that it may hinder the woman from engaging in simple daily activity. Sadly, there is no known cure for this harrowing disease—but there are a number of treatments available to alleviate its symptoms.
*** Disclaimer: These are general recommendations and are, in no way, a substitute for qualified medical advice. Always talk with your doctor or health care provider about any questions you may have about a medical condition. ***
Improving your diet and incorporating exercise into your daily routine is essential for good health in general. It's also a good start for treating endometriosis.
- Diet: Eat in balance and moderation, drink plenty of water, avoid foods and/or drinks high in sugar and salt, and don't neglect your fruits and vegetables. Try to reduce your caffeine intake as well.
- Exercise: Choose an exercise that works for you and be consistent. There are many different exercises to choose from, try to vary them from time to time.
Alternative Medicines and Therapies
Certain natural remedies and therapies can be used to lessen the severity of endometriosis.
- Herbs: Using herbs to treat endometriosis is going to take time and consistency. Red raspberry leaf, chaste berry, tart cherry juice, wild yam, and marjoram are just a few herbs that can be helpful in dealing with the condition.
- Supplements: Supplements may also be used as a long term prevention and treatment of endometriosis. A quality multivitamin and mineral is good not only for complications with endometriosis but for your general health as well. Some vitamins of particular use for symptoms related to this condition are:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: For reducing inflammation that occurs.
- Magnesium: An effective muscle relaxant which can ease pain.
- Vitamin E: Helpful for general uterine health.
- B Vitamins: These vitamins are recognized for their ability to strengthen the liver, which assists the body in disposing of extra estrogen.
- Therapies: Chiropractic therapy, aromatherapy, and massages may be used to soothe the painful symptoms of endometriosis.
A number of surgeries are available to lessen the effect of endometriosis. In many cases though, the condition will reoccur and the surgery will have to be repeated.
- Laparoscopy: An abdominal exploration, a laparoscopy is performed by slightly inflating the patient's stomach with a harmless gas. An incision is made near the navel, and then a small tool with a light is used to view the abdominal cavity. Lesions and scar tissues can then be removed (if possible) without harm to the healthy tissue surrounding it. This procedure is minimally invasive and hospital discharge is usually the same day. If the uterus is removed in a laparoscopic hysterectomy, patients may need to stay overnight but recovery is brief.
- Laparotomy: A major abdominal surgery similar to the laparoscopy but with a larger incision and the operative field being viewed directly. The uterus may also be removed during the procedure. Hospital stays are longer than for a laparoscopy.