Affecting around one in every ten women, endometriosis is a common condition for women, the main symptom of which is pain. And from a post written by a Ballarat naturopath, let us learn what are the common causes and other symptoms that accompany with this period pain.
There is a big difference between what you should experience as normal period pain and the severe pain that comes with endometriosis. Normal period pain is relieved by ibuprofen and doesn’t impact on your daily activities.
Endometriosis pain is a throbbing, burning, searing, or stabbing pain that lasts for many days and can occur between periods. It doesn’t improve with ibuprofen and can be bad enough that you vomit or miss work.
The pain may occur in your uterus, or it can occur in other places, such as your rectum, bladder, legs or throughout your pelvis. You may also experience pain at other times, such as at ovulation or during sex.
Additional Symptoms of Endometriosis
On top of the severe pain, you may also experience additional symptoms. Endometriosis isn’t just a period problem; it is an inflammatory disease that can affect your whole body. Resulting in symptoms like:
- Bladder problems like urgency, increased frequency, and pain on urination
- Bowel changes such as diarrhoea or constipation
- Bloating, nausea, and/or vomiting
- Headaches and/or low-grade fever
- Bleeding between periods, infertility, and recurrent miscarriages
Endometriosis: What Is It?
Endometriosis is a condition in which there are bits of tissue – that are like your uterine lining – grow in places other than inside your uterus. These bits of tissue are known as endometriosis lesions. They can grow anywhere in the body, including in the bowel bladder. Up to 90% of women with endometriosis have bowel issues.
Once the lesions are present your immune system, then produces inflammatory cytokines and other immune factors. These immune factors inflame the lesions and promote their growth.
This is not a lifestyle disease; it is not something that happens in response to something you did or ate. The cause is out of your control. It has a strong genetic component, meaning that if your mother or sister has it you are more likely to develop it.
Some of the things your naturopath might look at doing to help manage your endometriosis include:
- Supporting gastrointestinal health to reduce intestinal permeability, which helps reduce the severity of endometriosis too.
- Modulate estrogen to reduce the stimulation of growth of the lesions.
- Reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines by reducing the consumption of pro-inflammatory foods.
- Reducing the size and activity of your endometriosis lesions.
- Downregulation of aromatase, the enzyme that makes estrogen.