What Causes Endometriosis & 3 Steps to Improve ItJan 14, 2020
Do you get period pain so bad that it affects your daily life?
And when you try to explain it to someone, you know they don't really understand how bad it is?
Has the pain ever made you vomit? Or have you ever felt so exhausted from dealing with the pain, that you can't get out of bed?
Has a doctor ever told you that 'some women just have painful periods' or made you feel like a hypochondriac?
This is what it's can be like to have Endometriosis, a misunderstood condition that 1 in 10 women suffer from.
In this article...
You'll discover what Endometriosis actually is, what causes it and 3 things you can implement today to help your body start healing.
I'll also explain how endometriosis is not actually a hormonal condition, what gut health has to do with it and which easy to find supplement can make a big difference.
The aim of this blog post is to get you educated around this condition and put the power back in your hands.
Because knowledge is potential power. (I say potential because action is where the real power lies!)
So What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a whole-body inflammatory disease that causes tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus to grow in other places around the body.
These growths are called endometriosis lesions and they’re most commonly found around the uterus and fallopian tubes. When they grow on the ovaries, they’re referred to as chocolate cysts.
Endometriosis can cause severe pain, organ dysfunction and subfertility.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
The main symptom is pain that occurs before, during and after menstruation. But you may also experience:
- Pain with sex
- Pain with bowel movements
- Pain at times other than with your period
- Bowel or bladder problems
- Heavy periods or mid-cycle bleeding.
- Nausea or vomiting
- Infertility or subfertility
And surprisingly, some women don’t experience pain at all.
What causes endometriosis?
Researches don’t yet know for sure what causes it. But a growing body of evidence shows that it’s due to immune dysfunction.
We know that endometriosis is not a hormonal condition. It’s definitely fueled by estrogen, but not caused by it. It's also affected by stress, but this isn't a cause either.
There is a genetic component.
According to the documentary Endo What? You are 7 times more likely to develop endometriosis if you have the genetics that predisposes you to it.
Epigenetics also play a role.
Epigenetics is essentially your environment affecting the way that your genes express. So your DNA itself doesn’t change, but your genes express themselves differently when certain things happen in your environment.
For example, exposure to a chemical called dioxin (even while in the womb) is one of the epigenetic factors that increase the severity of endometriosis.
Another possible cause is the “bacterial contamination hypothesis”
This is pretty new science so needs further researched but a Japanese study in 2018 showed that toxins created by bacteria in our body could be linked to the development of endometriosis.
Women with endometriosis showed levels of endotoxins up to 6 times higher than women without it.
The same study showed that using GnRH agonists to treat endometriosis allowed the bacteria to thrive in the uterus.
This is a worry because GnRH agonists are a group of drugs that have been used to treat women with endometriosis for over 20 years.
Why gut health should be a focus for women with endometriosis
Science has made it very evident that you can’t ignore gut health if you want a healthy body which means that really, gut health should be considered in all chronic conditions, but especially endometriosis.
- Bacteria can make it's way from the gut to the pelvis area. If you have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or a leaky gut this puts you at risk of bacterial contamination, one of the suspected causes of endometriosis.
- We know that inflammation plays a huge role in endometriosis and to put it bluntly, the food you're eating is either causes inflammation or it's not.
- If endometriosis is in fact caused by immune dysregulation then it makes sense to look where 60-70% of our immune system lies….at the lining of the gut! An unhealthy gut puts the immune system on constant high alert.
3 steps you can take today to start healing from Endometriosis
1. Remove all gluten
Reproductive immunologist Dr. Jeffrey Braverman recommends women remove all gluten immediately from their diet, due to the similarity in DNA variations seen in both endometriosis and celiac disease.
This is also a really important step in improving gut health because gluten causes leaky gut.
2. Remove Dairy
Specifically, avoid cows dairy because it's the A1 casein protein which is troublesome. Structurally, it’s very similar to gluten which means there is a lot of cross-reactivity in the body.
Further to this, some women form an inflammatory opiate called casomorphin when they digest this dairy protein. This inflammatory, immune disrupting effect will make endometriosis worse.
3. Use a turmeric or curcumin supplement
Studies have shown that the anti inflammatory properties reduces the severity of endometriosis as well as blocking the stimulating effect of estrogen in the lesions.
If your symptoms are severe, you may want to look into a high-dose capsule after each meal. I talk more specifically about which type of curcumin is most effective in this article.
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