How we Manage Symptoms of a Difficult Condition

Endometriosis is a detrimental and painful disorder primarily affecting women’s reproductive organs but can also affect other organs in the body. Especially common among women in their 30s and 40s, it makes it harder to fall pregnant. This condition is considered as common as asthma and diabetes affecting over 176 million women worldwide and more than 730,000 Australian women.

Endometriosis is a complex condition, affecting primarily female reproductive organs

Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrium lining begins to grow outside the uterus and also breaks down at the end of the menstruation cycle, causing pain and/or infertility.

While this complex disease is not curable, natural medicine can help to play a role in managing symptoms. This is always done in conjunction with your gynaecologist. It can cause women significant pain and can even affect fertility. It’s important that you work with your gynaecologist if you are seeing a natural medicine practitioner as well.

Originally it was thought that endometriosis was an estrogen dependent condition, however new evidence and research are emerging, that while estrogen plays a part, there is a lot more to this tricky condition than first thought.

Symptoms of endometriosis

  • Painful periods – pain can travel down the legs
  • Infertility
  • Painful bowel movements or urination
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea

Research

The immune system is often activated in women with endometriosis. If you are constantly getting colds/ flu’s and are under the weather, then this may be a good place to start. By using a “cytokine panel” (cytokines are part of your immune system and activated by different invaders), a good indication of where to look for why your immune system is activated may be of benefit. This may help to reduce inflammation. The more inflammation that can be reduced, the easier the period pain.

Other research is showing that endometriosis is associated with high Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). VEGF helps to increase the growth of the endometrium. Some herbs and nutrients have been shown to lower VEGF, while some forms of vitamin D (1,25) enhance it.