Endometriosis–the long-awaited answers

**Before you read this post, I want to say that I am not a doctor and I do not diagnose or treat illness.  Everything that I write here is free information about what I have done to help my body to heal.

 

***What I write below is what alternative health products appear to help alleviate symptoms of endometriosis.  It is important to have the painful adhesions removed, which I did when I hit a pain crisis which led to my understanding that I had endometriosis.  The gold standard, as far as I’m concerned, for endometriosis treatment is this center in Atlanta:

http://www.centerforendo.com/

I advocate for the type of laser removal they offer for the best results and least amount of long-term pain if you have endometriosis.  Now, read on:

 

Sad to say, I was having pain and symptoms for over two years before a pain crisis rocked me into asap surgery (laparoscopy–where they go through your belly button to remove endothelial “adhesions” aka “implants” caused by endometriosis) in March of 2012.  Indeed, I believed that I had “lower back pain” and spent a total of a year trying to address this by Physical Therapy and swimming almost daily for 6 months.  It ends up that my pain was because of adhesions formed due to endometriosis.

My only typical symptom of endometriosis was pain with intercourse, otherwise my periods were totally normal, albeit short.  After my first pain crisis after very painful sex in 2010, a highly respected gynecologist told me that I “can’t hurt” the vagina.  He then wrote me a prescription for pain pills and said the pain should go away in 4-6 weeks.  So the major problem for women is actually getting the diagnosis of endometriosis.  It wasn’t until after the actual laparoscopy, two years after this first pain crisis, that the doctor could say that I even had it.

If you’re reading this article, you probably already have the diagnosis. This is a good place to be ladies, now you have the information that you need to create an action plan!  Western medicine has things wrong about endometriosis and I am grateful that I knew enough to not take synthetic hormones as recommended by my regular western medicine doctors.  (See more on synthetic hormones under my post on birth control.)

I’m definitely acquiring more information, but I belive the LIVER is vital to addressing endometriosis.  This article is an excellent place to begin:

http://www.sensiblehealth.com/Journey-05.xhtml

I like how the article explains that endometriosis is the “career woman’s” disease; in other words, if one has a lot of stress, that can bring it on more.   I can definitely relate.

“Prior to 1921, there were only 20 cases of endometriosis in the world wide medical literature.  Now, in the USA, 1 in 20 women have it.”*(Quote from “Progestelle” book by Peter Eckhart MD)  Read up on it, but the bottomline is that endometriosis has to do with too much estrogen.  Western medicine suggests synthetic progesterone as a solution, (to abate symptoms, not cure,) but doctors who recommend this are not getting to the root of the problem.

A lot of the chemicals in the make-up, soaps, and laundry detergents that women use have xenoestrogens that exacerbate endometriosis; if you have endo, I suggest that you try natural bathing products for 3-6 months and see if you notice a difference in your pain levels.  Do not use anything on your skin that has parabens or phenoxyethanol.  (Soap nuts is a good natural laundry detergent, you’d be surprised how many even “natural ones” still have unhelpful chemicals.) (For sunscreen, use products with primarily zinc oxide.) (I’m a bit of a health nut and got endo even using “natural products,” so solely avoiding chemicals doesn’t necessarily equal a solution, but it is a very important part of the equation.  Try some nice organic oil like almond or Young Living’s V-6 on your legs after shaving instead of using cheap lotions full of awful chemicals that you body will immediately absorb.)

 

I also recommend Young Living’s Progessence Plus, apply 7 drops on the neck once daily.  (My member# 977437, if you end up liking the product, you save 25% if you become a member.)  I had a 34 year-old female friend who was having sudden severe anxiety and insomnia who exercised a lot, (meaning she probably had more testosterone than a typical woman).  We talked and she started this product and couldn’t believe how much calmer she was within a few days.  Most women in modern society by the time the hit their mid-30s are deficient in progesterone.  Again, due to the over-dominance of estrogen in our foods, most women are estrogen dominant and deficient in progesterone.  Progessence Plus is the highest quality, most easily absorbed form of Progesterone that I know, plus it smells great and can be used as a perfume.  I feel obligated to add here that I am angry that doctor’s recommend synthetic progesterone when there are perfectly good natural forms of progesterone that won’t completely screw up a woman’s body, e.g. either bioidentical hormones (if one needs high doses of progesterone) or Progessence Plus.  (Read what the doctors at www.centerforendo.com say about synthetic hormones and estrogen.)  What’s depressing is that the synthetic hormones that doctors prescribe for women once they have an endometriosis diagnosis can cause far worse and long-lasting problems than the original condition.  There’s actually a website for victims of the synthetic hormone shot “lupron” which is what the surgeon wanted to give me 5 days post-op,  website: http://lupronvictimshub.com/

My experience with the doctors prompted me to write this article about how to survive America’s healthcare system.  Yes, I write “survive” because it is not unheard of for women to have a psychotic episode after having ONE SHOT of lupron.  If you’ve already spent years using synthetic hormones and you are reading this, I think we’re capable of improving our health no matter where we are.  I remind all readers: we all will die one day, no matter the herbs or pills we take or don’t take.  That being said, I want to help you to live the longest, happiest, healthiest, most fulfilling life possible for you!

Okay, an important note on the food side of things, avoid processed foods like any bread or sugary treat, soy and flax seed, believe it or not, as well as coffee and soda.  Actually, there’s a long list of chemicals and foods that act as estrogens.  (Dr. Eckhart’s website “womhoo.com” sells a product like Progesterone Plus that comes with a book with lots of good information on endometriosis.)  Finally, do not heat food or water with plastic in the microwave.  I’d avoid drinking bottled water if you can, if the plastic was exposed to sun in the shipping process, the water can be full of icky chemicals.

 

To address the actual adhesions (or fibroids,)  nattokinase (from fermented soy bean) is said to help and I think the best product is Arthur Andrew Medical, Neprinol AFD, Advanced Fibrin Defense.  This is a great enzyme product that breaks down fibrin, it also will thin the blood in general, (helps with plaque build-up).  Dr. Eckhart told me that nattokinase should break down any remaining adhesions within 6-9 months, (I spoke to him after I’d had my surgery).  Use coupon code: DIC339 to save you $10 and if you create an account on iherb.com (free) you’ll save an additional 4-12%.  Be sure to take this product on an empty stomach and pay attention to how you feel.  You can take two in the morning and two at night.  [Enzymes are known to have a favorable result (evidence-based research says) but it didn’t work for me.  I probably didn’t give them a long-enough try because nattokinase is actually a natural bloodthinner.  For personal reasons, I wasn’t able to take it for long enough to see if it would dissolve the adhesions.  My recommendation is to have a professional like those at www.centerforendo.com properly remove the adhesions, then you don’t have to worry about finding a product that can dissolve them.  Others might have different opinions on this and I definitely would like to hear them.]

The final recommendation that I have used for endometriosis is to take a high-quality magnesium.  In the above recommended article, the author suggests calcium, too, so perhaps take a metagenics product with highly absorbable forms of both (e.g. here).  You might want to take just magnesium for three months, (CALM is a fantastic product,) THEN take a magnesium/calcium product.  Be sure that it is a high-quality, fresh, easily absorbed form and not something cheap that you got on-sale at a local store.

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