I was diagnosed almost 20 years ago with endometriosis. I am by no means a doctor or an expert in this field. I actually didn’t start “suffering” from endometriosis until the last few years….or so i thought!
So recently i have entered stage 3/4 of endometriosis and i decided to really learn about the disease. I have read several blogs, medical websites and brochures. Again, i am not an expert or a medical person, just a victim of the disease that has no cure. Through my readings i have learned just how much endometriosis has been effecting me for two decades and i had no idea it was all related! It’s quite fascinating and I’m mad at myself for not educating myself sooner. Also kind of mad for my doctor not encouraging me to learn more or letting me know just how serious it is. I was in my young 20’s and just kind of shrugged it off. I thought oh well i have some irregular cells on my cervix, no big deal. WRONG!!!!
I have learned that 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis which is a condition where tissue, similar to the lining of the uterus, is found elsewhere in the body! There is no cure and ultimately having surgery is the only way to ease the pain or eliminate it.
Side effects that i suffer from are extreme pelvic pain, lower back pain, leg and hip pain. Also fatigue, bloating, nausea, infertility, anxiety, migraines, and allergies. Phew that’s a lot! Some things that help (a little) are rest, ibuprofen and a hot water bottle. Also regular exercise has really helped, yet some months are still rough.
People with endometriosis are significantly more likely to suffer from allergies. A study published in the journal Human Reproduction found that 61% of people with endometriosis live with allergies. This includes environmental, food and medication. All things i suffer from.
Another major thing i suffer from is bloating. We aren’t talking just a little bloat once a month, we are talking internally. I’ve learned this can last hours, days of weeks. They actually call this SIBO which stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Hmmm was this the pain that caused me to go to the ER? Was this the mystery stomach pain that had me in the hospital for several days in 2008? I’m 100% sure it was. Endometriosis tissue swells and because it isn’t where it should be, it gets trapped and causes digestive problems. Because i suffer from a comprised gut, it causes a histamine intolerance and allergies.
What this tells me is i need to adjust my diet, even though i really eat pretty healthy. Diet improves the response to pain. The wrong kinds of foods, like high fat foods, increase the level of circulating estrogen in the body. I just need to be conscious of inflammatory foods such as red meat, gluten, dairy, alcohol and caffeine. Strangely enough a lot of people with endometriosis have a gluten intolerance, which i discovered i do over a decade ago. For the most part i do avoid inflammatory foods but i love me some coffee 😬! I need to look into a low FODMAP diet more and also increase my fiber, which also could help with the “Endo belly!” Fresh fruit and organic foods are best and of course avoiding processed foods! Berries are good because they are high in antioxidants!
As you can see this disease is way more powerful than i ever knew. It’s not just a “once a month issue,” it’s completely unpredictable which makes it extra fun 🙄! I’m learning, but I’m also realizing how much it has affected me for decades. A lot of questions have been answered, yet i have a long way to go!