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Understanding Endometriosis: It’s not the Endo the world!

Endometriosis is a painful condition that affects millions of women worldwide. Symptoms can present in several ways: pain with periods, during intercourse, while having a bowel movement or urinating – especially as your menstrual cycle nears. It can also cause heavy periods or difficulty getting pregnant. Generic symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, nausea or fatigue around the menstrual cycle have been attributed to endometriosis as well.  

There are several ways endometriosis forms. During menstruation, menstrual blood containing cells from the lining of your uterus may flush into the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis where they implant/grow. Hormones or the immune system may cause a change in the cells lining the abdomen to become more like the cells lining the uterus. Also, cells from the uterus lining (endometrial cells) may become implanted in the abdomen after a surgery involving the uterus such as a hysterectomy or C-section. 

So why do some women experience endometriosis and others do not? 

The answer lies in the immune system and hormone levels. Science has shown that women who have too much estrogen will have a decreased immune response to the endometrial cells being outside the uterus. The normally protective immune cells of the body will not clean the endometrial cells up before they have a chance to grow. Women with endometriosis are also found to have higher levels of inflammatory cells normally meant to fight invaders. As a result of chronic inflammation, the immune system can become overactive and begin to create cells that attack the healthy tissue in the abdomen. This is what causes pain associated with endometriosis.  

Studies are now showing medications used to treat autoimmune conditions are being looked at to manage symptoms. However, here at Inspired we are not only about managing symptoms but also getting to the root cause! It is important to evaluate hormone levels and look for imbalances that trigger endometriosis, such as estrogen dominance. By doing this and helping the body detox appropriately, we can begin to address endometriosis from the ground up. Evaluating and managing overall inflammation is key as well. Looking at gut health is vital as we know that this alone is a launching point for autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. As always, stress management is important

Here are some tips for comfort while we help you address the root cause!

  • Acupuncture is known to relieve stress, help balance hormones and manage pain from endometriosis.
  • Castor Oil Packs: Place a clean, soft cloth with castor oil onto your stomach and cover with plastic. Place a heating pad over the plastic and enjoy for 30-60 minutes. Do this daily for 3 days leading up to your cycle.
  • Sitz Baths: Sit in very warm water for 3 minutes then move to a cold water basin for 1 minute. Go back and forth for a total of 3 times. Try to do this a couple times/day for the few days leading up to your period. 

Our practitioners are experts in the field of Functional Medicine and specialize in Hormone Health, Gut Health and Acupuncture.

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By connecting Functional Medicine with Ancestral principles, we are able to utilize evidence-based modern science, lab testing and technology, alongside nutrition, herbal and lifestyle approaches to address the root cause of disease. This 360° analysis of your health guides the creation of a customized regimen specifically tailored for you, moving you along your path towards inspired health. More on how we work here.

Be sure to visit our online store of natural supplements at The Inspired Health Apothecary to begin your path toward hormonal balance and good health this season and the next!

Inspired Health Apothecary is a Bend, OR brand and boutique with a mission to provide high quality physician grade natural supplements you can trust! All of our supplements are: Physician Grade, Gluten free, Allergen and Heavy Metal Free.

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References:

[1] “Endometriosis.” 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354656 

[2] “Endometriosis and the Immune System.” N.D., http://drlisawatson.com/endometriosis-and-immune-system 

[3] “Treating Endometriosis as an Autoimmune disease.” August, 2001, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11476764 

[4] “The 6 Common Causes of Leaky Gut.” August, 1, 2016, https://inspiredhealthmed.com/6-common-causes-of-leaky-gut/ 

[5] “Endometriosis.” April, 1, 2016,  http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productid=117&pid=1&gid=000915

Acupuncture Adrenal Function & HPA Axis AutoImmune Disease Fertility Support Functional Medicine Hormone Health Naturopathic Medicine Wellness

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