Endometriosis Guide

What is Endometriosis?

  • Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes
  • This tissue also bleeds each month but there is no way for this blood to leave the body - this causes inflammation, pain and scar tissue formation
  • Endometriosis is associated with high oestrogen which helps it grow
  • It affects one in 10 women from puberty to menopause
  • Diagnosis can take an average of 7.5 years

 

Symptoms of endometriosis:

  • Back pain or lower tummy pain, usually worse during your period
  • Period pain
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Pain when going to the toilet during your period
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Blood in your urine during your period
  • Heavy periods
  • Difficulty getting pregnant, infertility

 

Diagnosing endometriosis:

  • If you have any of the symptoms above, book an appointment.  It may be helpful to keep a diary of symptoms and when they occur.
  • Advanced sex hormone testing is available that can help identify if sex hormone imbalace is a suspected factor in your symptoms

 

Treatment for endometriosis:

The following treatments may help ease the symptoms:

  • Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Hormone medicines and contraceptives
  • Surgery to remove patches of affected tissue
  • Surgery to remove part or all of the organs affected such as a hysterectomy

 

Diet & lifestyle changes:

The following recommendations may help improve endometriosis by reducing inflammation, balancing hormones and supporting the body’s natural detoxification processes.

  • Eat an anti-inflammatory diet:
    • focus on whole, natural foods including rainbow of differently-coloured vegetables and fruit for a wide range of beneficial phytonutrients
    • include healthy fats and oily fish for anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids
    • minimise processed foods, red meat, refined carbohydrates, sugar, caffeine and alcohol
    • consider eliminating gluten and dairy to see if symptoms improve
  • Choose organic meat, fruit and vegetables wherever possible to minimise hormones, pesticides and chemicals used in food production 
  • Manage blood sugar - high insulin levels can contribute to inflammation
  • Manage weight - being overweight increases inflammation and the risk of being oestrogen-dominant 
  • Improve constipation to enhance the removal of toxins and excess hormones:
    • Increase water intake and the right kind of fibre
  • Minimise exposure to xenoestrogens or endocrine disrupting chemicals such as BPA found in plastic bottles and products and parabens found in cosmetics and personal care products(1)
  • Reduce stress and improve stress management - try deep breathing or mindfulness
  • Gentle exercise: 
    • helps reduce inflammation
    • stimulates the body’s lymphatic system which helps clear excess oestrogen from the body
    • promotes the release of pain-relieving endorphins  
  • Prioritise sleep - even small amounts of sleep deprivation may increase stress and sensitivity to pain 

 

If you’re concerned you may have endometriosis, book an appointment at www.privategp.org/book or call 0203 303 0326.

March 2020

 

Sources:

  1. The Hidden Chemicals That May Be Impacting Your Hormone Health.  Available at: https://www.parsleyhealth.com/blog/how-endocrine-disruptors-work

Further reading: