ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Endometriosis Help

Updated on July 4, 2012

Cure or Control?

For anyone who suffers with endometriosis, the pain is often all-encompassing, and bad days are more common than good ones. Laparoscopy is touted as being successful in over 80% of cases, but almost everyone I know who has had one...has had several. Each surgery removes the painful endometrial implants, and unfortunatlely replaces them with scar tissue which manifests as painful adhesions, essentially gluing organs in the pelvic cavity together.

There has to be a better way.

Allopathic medicine offers women who suffer with endometriosis drugs like Lupron, which put them in a state of early menopause, the Pill which supposedly regulates the cycle, or hysterectomy which removes the "offending" organs, the uterus and ovaries. I know several women who still have endometriosis and the associated pain after hysterectomy, as endometrial implants can grow anywhere including the bowel, bladder, and even as far up as the lungs.

So what causes these tiny but grossly painful endometrial implants? Accepted theory is retrograde menstruation--that during a period, some of the menstrual blood/lining is not shed, but instead grows backwards into the pelvis. This doesn't account for the implants appearing in the lungs, however, and seems to be too simplistic a view. Why do some women suffer terrible agony from small amounts of endometriosis and some women who have it extensively feel little to no pain? There are no definitive answers and yet, women are still suffering.

There is a widely-accepted theory that no one "gets" cancer--that we all have cancer cells in our body or cells with the potential for cancer, but in some people, something turns these cells on and causes them to proliferate. Why? Genetic predisposition? Diet? Smoking? Environment? No one seems to be able to pinpoint a cause, especially in those non-smoking, non-drinking individuals affected. What if endometriosis is similar to cancer? There are rare cases of endometriosis being found in men (http://www.empowher.com/endometriosis/content/endometriosis-men). This throws the whole "retrograde menstruation" idea out the window. So what is switching on these endometriosis cells?

The one thing that all sufferers of endometriosis seem to have is an overabundance of estrogen. We know that women who are on the Pill are immediately put into a higher risk group for breast cancer. Estrogen feeds cancer cells, and it would appear, endometrial cells, as well.

But there is something else that feeds cancer cells, and very few people talk about this, perhaps because they've never heard of it before--sugar. (http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/nutrition/sugar.htm) Sugar causes systemic inflammation. Our Paleo ancestors didn't ear sugar. Primitive tribes like the Masai and the Pima Indians had almost non-existent cancer rates until Westernized diets were introduced to them. I know, personally, that when I feel sad or in pain, I look to sugar to help. It causes an immediate adrenalin rush, a burst of serotonin--but that rush quickly leaves, and I feel worse than before.

When we consume sugar--and/or caffeine--we not only get an adrenalin burst, we also get a rush of cortisol. Cortisol blocks progesterone receptor sites. The one thing--the ONLY thing--that I have researched thus far that has shown to help endometriosis without side effects is natural progesterone. I'm NOT talking about the synthetic progestin found in things like the Pill and Aygestin. I'm talking about bioidentical progesterone.

I've been blessed enough to find a naturopathic physician who prescribes bioidentical progesterone to me, but if you are someone whose physician is less than cooperative, you can purchase natural progesterone cream. I've found that ProGest by Emerita works just as well as prescription progesterone. It has a high concentration of progesterone per ounce, and because it's absorbed through the skin, the body will build up stores of it in one's own fat.

Of course, there is a caveat. Some women convert progesterone into estrogen, which is not what someone with endometriosis needs more of. However, I am inclined to think that this conversion is the body's way of getting rid of excess, so if you're using bioidentical progesterone, start low and go slow, increasing your dose gradually over time until you feel better. If you have a naturopath, you can always try oral micronized bioidentical progesterone which dissolves under the tongue and bypasses the fat cells, thereby eliminating the possibility of build-up. The downside to the oral progesterone is that it is absorbed quickly and can cause mood swings. Again, low doses spread out over time seem best.

Accompanying the progesterone regimen, it makes sense based upon what I talked about previously concerning sugar to eliminate it from one's diet completely. If you are able to eliminate sugar in all its forms--and I mean even cutting out fruit and juice--there should be a falling away of hypersecretion of adrenaline, cortisol, and insulin, and a reduction of inflammation. I know it's hard as hell. However, if one could finally be free from the agony of endometriosis, then eliminating sugar seems a small price to pay. A Paleo diet--free range poultry, eggs, fish, some red meat, and vegetables--appears to be a diet that causes the least amount of inflammation and allows the body to heal, not just from endometriosis, but also food allergies and systemic candida (yeast) infections (see also: my hubs on food allergies and celiac issues). In this anti-inflammation diet, there is no sugar, no refined carbohydrates (actually, carbs only in the form of vegetables), no alcohol, and no artificial sweetners. Splenda was originally created as a pesticide and aspartame turns into formaldehyde in the body, hence the reason so many people have such reactions to both. Plus, anything sweet on the tongue confuses the body. The body tastes sweet, the pancreas pumps out insulin, and there is no sugar to be transported into the cells creating an instant state of hypoglycemia and adrenalin secretion. Water and decaffeinated teas appear to be best sources of hydration (emphasis on the water). If you're morally opposed to eating meat, another effective diet is vegan, but no sugars or gluten. Focusing on vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans can be nutritious, satisfying, and anti-inflammatory.

In addition to diet and progesterone, I have read promising reports on nattokinase and serrapeptase, two all natural enzymes which can break down blood clots (hence, endometrial implants) and dissolving fibrin. However, there are some warnings associated with these supplements, despite their many purported benefits, so before you try anything new, make sure you know all the possible side-effects and interactions with anything else you might be taking. http://www.nattokinasebenefits.org/

In short, the amount of research on endometriosis certainly needs to rise in relation to its sufferers. However, know that there is hope. The ideas in this article may not be a cure, but if they can help control or even eliminate your pain, then they are worth trying.

I wish you good luck and good health.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)