Endometriosis – Diagnosis and Solutions

I’ve been around the endometriosis block for around 9 years. In that time, I’ve read a lot and experimented a lot and have quite a bit of knowledge on the topic that I thought I’d share.

1. How to know if you have endometriosis? There is no foolproof way to know you have endometriosis, other than laproscopic surgery. Other than that though, there are some telltale signs. Some are known, some are not so well known.
• Painful cramps during your period. You know those people that tell you their monthly cycle is so painful they need to stay in bed or take strong pain meds. That’s one of the most common signs of endometriosis. I never had it, but I found out during labor I have a high tolerance for pain.
• Heavy periods with lots of clots. Oh this is me! If you need to change your pad many times during the first day or two of your period and you can’t help think this is the grossest thing ever. That’s a good sign.
• Combine this with if you’ve not been able to conceive and you’ve been trying for over a year and/or you’ve had an HSG test done by your OB/GYN and it shows one or both of your tubes are blocked.

2. What are the causes of endometriosis? There are no real known causes, but things I’ve read and some I’ve experienced:
• Dairy products – some people have a hard time with dairy products. I am one of them. They definitely don’t like my digestive tract. The hormones in regular dairy products these days are also probably a factor.
• Genetics – I think endometriosis runs in families. My mom’s sister and her daughter have it just as bad as me at the same age (late 20s). Maybe my Mom did, but she had all the children she wanted in her early 20s, so she probably has it, but doesn’t realize it.
• Stress – Am I stressed? No (sarc). I’ve been a type-A personality all my life and love to push myself and feel like nothing is ever good enough. I went to school for engineering (that’s not stressful, right?) and have worked in a high-stress IT job since I graduated.

3. What are solutions or lifestyle changes that can help keep endometriosis at bay?
• Laproscopic surgery – I did get pregnant 3 times after two of my surgeries. I still haven’t gotten pregnant after this third surgery that was back in February.
• Diet changes – eliminate dairy products and caffeine. Add lots of whole grain foods and leafy greens to your diet. This will increase fiber in your diet, which some say helps reduces excess estrogen in your body. Some believe that endometriosis thrives in a person with excess estrogen in their body.
• Exercise – I think this especially helps with stress. I always feel less stressed when I exercise regulary.
• Supplements and vitamins – take Vitamin E, spirulina, Omega 3s, and evening primrose oil.
• Get pregnant – now wouldn’t that be nice. They do say that endometriosis can be alleviated by pregnancy.

Comments

Trace said…
Ugh! I'm sorry you have to deal with it!
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the information.