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The latter is a highly individual choice; there are many treatment options, some of them diametrically opposed. Here, she shares her incredibly useful best practices, plus some helpful diet, supplement, and physical therapy recommendations. The most common place is inside the abdominal cavity, where it can land on the thin layer of tissue, called the peritoneum, that covers the intestines, bladder, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. Just like the uterine lining during our monthly cycles, this misplaced endometrial tissue is triggered to shed by the hormonal changes that signal your period to start—and it causes this tissue to bleed, as well.

This blood is extremely irritating to the nerves in the abdomen, causing much of the pain associated with endometriosis. Over time, this irritation and associated inflammation leads to the formation of scar tissue that can cause the pelvic and abdominal organs to develop abnormal adhesions—meaning the organs stick to other organs and become less mobile. This can cause bladder and bowel pain, constipation, pain with ovulation, severe menstrual cramping and pain, trouble with conception, chronic pelvic pain, and pain with sex.

Though there are many theories, from a medical perspective, the exact causes of endometriosis are not known. We do know that it is an inflammatory condition with an abnormal immune response, and it can be triggered by cyclic hormonal changes, environmental exposure to endocrine disruptors which are found in plastics , fragrances , personal care and household products , and not only harmfully alter hormone balance, but disrupt the immune system and cause inflammation , diet, and other factors like stress and too little sleep, that also cause inflammation and disrupt the immune system.

Is there a typical onset age or any early warning signs? Astonishingly, at least one in ten women and girls in the US have endometriosis, with severe pain and cramping from this condition affecting 6. Further, given rampant under-diagnosis of endometriosis in teenage girls, current rates of the condition are likely significantly higher than previously thought.. The most common early warning sign that this condition might be present is very painful periods, however, for many women, it is not recognized until pelvic pain and other symptoms become problematic.

Further, most treatments suppress or temporarily eliminate, rather than heal, the problem, and all have risks. Chronic-use pain medications like ibuprofen and other NSAIDS are commonly recommended and can provide temporary relief, but have risks including long-term damage to the gut lining and heart attack. Hormonal therapies, such as oral contraceptives, progestins, and GnRH agonists can relieve symptoms of mild to moderate pain but also have potential short- and long-term side effects. While laparoscopic removal of endometrial tissue can alleviate symptoms for as a long as two years, in most cases, the symptoms do eventually return, and the procedure itself increases the risk of forming scar tissue.

Getting enough fiber and having a daily bowel movement are essential for reducing inflammation, overall body toxin load, and eliminating excess estrogen from your system. For this, I recommend having tablespoons of freshly ground flax seed daily in a smoothie, or mixed into food.

Endometriosis - A Holistic Healing Guide

Red meat is also inflammatory, so if you are suffering from endometriosis, a plant-based diet with no red meat, and small amounts of poultry and fish is preferable. Green tea is a good antioxidant-rich alternative if you just must have some caffeine.

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Going as close to percent organic as you can for at least three months is ideal because the common environmental toxins ubiquitous in food and food packaging can have a big impact on endometriosis. All meat should be organic to avoid chemicals and hormones used in meat production that might be adding to your problem.

Food contaminated with pesticides and herbicides—i.

Plastic water bottles even if BPA-free, because we might find that the substitutes are just as problematic! The above guidelines will help keep your blood sugar steady, which is important for keeping inflammation in check, and also keeps you from binging on sugar and baked goods. Being overweight increases the likelihood of being estrogen-dominant; appropriate weight loss can also be very helpful in reducing general inflammation.


The anti-inflammatory diet is a great way to lose weight without having to work too aggressively at it. NAC is a powerful antioxidant with some impressive data behind it specific to endometriosis. In a study of ninety-two women in Italy, forty-seven took NAC and forty-two took a placebo. Of those who took mg of NAC three times a day, three consecutive days each week for three months, twenty-four patients cancelled their scheduled laparoscopy due to a decrease or disappearance of endometriosis, improved pain reduction, or because they had gotten pregnant!

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Fourteen of the women in the NAC group had decreased ovarian cysts, while eight had a complete disappearance; twenty-one had pain reduction and one became pregnant. In the other group, only one patient cancelled surgery. A total of eight women got pregnant in the NAC group, while six did in the placebo-only group.

Another herbal antioxidant, pycnogenol from pine bark , also led to promising results in a study. While the pain reduction was not as strong as in the group receiving hormonal therapy a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, Gn-RHa , it persisted without relapse. SlideShare Explore Search You. Submit Search. Successfully reported this slideshow.

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    Endometriosis - Q&A with Dr. Patzkowsky