Updated: 4 days ago
What is Endometriosis? Do you have it, and can acupuncture help?
Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus. It can grow on any tissue inside the body cavity and has even been found to migrate all the way up to the lungs. This tissue is still affected by hormonal changes, and since it does not belong anywhere else besides the uterus, it creates an inflammatory response, causing pain. Endometriosis is wildly undiagnosed and is just now being recognized as an autoimmune condition. 1 out of 10 women suffer from endometriosis and many of those continue to go undiagnosed.
What are common symptoms of endometriosis?
Severe pain during menstruation or ovulation
Low back pain during menstruation
Painful bowel movements during menstruation
Do you see a theme? Endometriosis can not only be incredibly painful but also seriously impact someone’s life.
How did I get endometriosis?
The causes of this often debilitating disease are unknown. The most widely accepted belief is that it is genetic, as it often tends to run in families.
Is there a test for endometriosis?
Yes and no. There is no simple test to confirm endometriosis. Traditionally, a laparoscopic biopsy is performed, which is the same procedure to remove the tissue, so they are often done at the same time.
Does severe period pain mean I have an advanced case of endometriosis?
Unfortunately pain is not correlated to the severity of endometriosis. Surgery is the only way to classify the severity of this disease and there is no correlation to how much endometrial issue there is outside of the uterus to the level of pain a person may experience. A mild case can be 9/10 pain, it just depends on where the tissue has migrated to.
What is the treatment for endometriosis?
Mainstream treatment for endometriosis is hormone therapy (birth control). If a person’s hormones are regulated and suppressed, it will create less pain. This does not reverse the disease, it is simply an option to reduce pain.
Now that endometriosis is being viewed as an autoimmune condition, it makes treating it easier. There is a lot that we don’t know about this disease, but what we do know is that it responds well to diet and lifestyle interventions. This is where acupuncture comes in!
Can acupuncture help endometriosis?
Acupuncture can definitely help endometriosis since it has the ability to regulate the menstrual cycle. Some of the common women’s health issues that acupuncture can treat are:
Irregular or lack of menstruation (Oligomenorrhea or Amenorrhea)
Too long or too short menstrual cycle
Painful (dysmenorrhea), heavy, or large clotting with cycle
Headaches before, during, or after period
Bloating or fatigue
Heavy sensation in the body or uterus
Acupuncture can reduce the pain associated with endometriosis and improve the overall circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid. It also reduces stress, which is crucial for the maintenance of any autoimmune condition.
What foods should I avoid to help my endometriosis?
The following foods may have a negative impact on your endometriosis:
A diet high in trans fat, heavily fried and processed, fast food
Excessive red meat consumption of commercial grade meat
Essentially any inflammatory food is going to make your inflammatory condition worse.
What foods should I focus on eating to improve my endometriosis?
It is essential to eat a nutrient-dense, well balanced diet that is full of vitamins and minerals.
Fibrous foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains
Iron rich foods, such as dark leafy greens (kale, collards, spinach), broccoli, beans, nuts and seeds
Foods rich in essential fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts, chia and flax seeds
Antioxidant-rich foods found in colorful fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, berries, and beets
Strive for an anti-inflammatory diet and you will definitely feel an improvement.
Why is exercise so important?
Sometimes exercise can be the most painful and difficult thing for a person to do but it is imperative. Endometrial tissue can cause organs to stick together causing more pain and immobility. It is important to move your body in any way that feels good.
If you or someone you know thinks that they may have endometriosis, you do not have to tackle this alone. Acupuncture can help and so can I.
I also offer free consultations to anyone who's interested!