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Before we discuss how we can manage endometriosis, we must first understand what it is. Until not so long ago, many doctors didn't even acknowledge it was a real disease, and some still don't. It can be difficult to diagnose, and often goes unchecked because doctors will dismiss women as "Just having bad period pain" and to toughen up.
Endometriosis can be defined as a chronic condition where tissue similar to that found in the lining of the uterus (endometrial cells) , start growing outside of the uterus. Common areas where these cells grow include the ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvic lining. In rare cases around other organs.
In women with endometriosis, the endometrial tissue behaves as it should, it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle, but because it has no way to leave the body it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may form. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions — bands of fibrous tissue that can cause pelvic tissues and organs to stick to each other.
The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, often associated with menstrual periods. Although many experience cramping during their menstrual periods, those with endometriosis typically describe menstrual pain that's far worse than usual. Pain also may increase over time.
Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis include:
Endometriosis is sometimes mistaken for other conditions that can cause pelvic pain, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or ovarian cysts. It may be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes bouts of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal cramping. IBS can accompany endometriosis, which can complicate the diagnosis.
If you experience some, or all of these symptoms, please see your doctor ASAP, left unchecked Endometriosis can be a very very severe illness. Complications can include infertility and certain types of cancer. Treatments vary from over the counter pain killers, to hormone therapy, to a full hysterectomy in extreme cases.
So what is the best diet to help manage endometriosis?
We know that some foods can boost our immune system and protect our bodies from some illnesses and diseases. Unfortunately, there has been very little research done to figure out if eating certain kinds of food can help improve endometriosis symptoms. Although, researchers have found that young women who eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats while limiting their intake of red meat and unhealthy fats are less likely to have endometriosis. Some young women with endometriosis say they feel better when they eat a nutritious diet and some experts believe that eating certain foods can help endometriosis symptoms by reducing inflammation and estrogen levels in the body. Even if eating nutritious food doesn’t necessarily improve your “endo” symptoms, there are lots of other benefits to a healthy diet such as reducing your risk of heart disease.
Consider making changes that can improve your overall health:
Finally, resistance training is absolutely paramount in maintaining a healthy body, and I know many of my own clients suffering with endometriosis have said that the heavy weight training that I make them suffer through helps especially with period pain. Further to this, resistance training will also help prevent the onset of osteoporosis which I mentioned above.
I hope this short writing helps if you suspect you may have endometriosis and I'd love to help if you have any questions.
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References: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/ hopkinsmedicine.com