Home Remedies To Alleviate Endometriosis Symptoms
While research is still trying to determine how common the condition is, recent statistics have revealed that around 176 million women worldwide are currently battling with endometriosis symptoms (1).
Often only seen as painful period cramps, endometriosis also refers to pain and discomfort during sex and painful digestive movements. It’s also been credited as one of the leading causes of female infertility. With that in mind, just how much do we know about this painful condition?
What Is Endometriosis?
During a woman’s menstrual cycle, the uterus lining – known as endometrium – begins to thicken. It does this to prepare itself to receive a fertilized egg. An unfertilized egg results in the shedding of the lining tissue of the uterus. This is menstruation. However, for those with endometriosis, this cycle is not as simple.
If you’re suffering with endometriosis, the lining tissue will grow outside of the uterus. As it is outside the uterus, when it is time to shed, the lining tissue will be unable to pass through the vagina. As a result, the trapped menstrual flow will then cause inflammation and pain. It can also affect the ovaries and Fallopian tubes, which then raises the risk of infertility. There’s also a slight increased risk of ovarian cancer but more studies are needed in order to determine the precise effects of endometriosis on one’s cancer risk (2).
Other symptoms associated with endometriosis include excessive and abnormal bleeding, constipation, cysts and pain during urination, pelvic pain and bloating.
What causes the painful condition?
As of this time, the medical community has yet to provide an explanation as to what causes endometriosis. However, there are a few theories. Some cite genetics as the cause of the painful condition, whereas others believe that the cells from the lining of the uterus somehow travel through the body and back into the Fallopian tube.
In addition to the fact that the medical community is still baffled as to why endometriosis develops. There is also currently no cure for the condition. However, there are a few home remedies that one can adopt to help alleviate the painful symptoms.
Endometriosis home remedies
Add fruit and vegetables to your diet
According to a study published in the journal Human Reproduction, women who regularly consumed fresh fruits and green vegetables were at a lower risk of developing endometriosis. It seems that the high-fiber content serves to aid women battling the painful condition. Additionally, the high antioxidant value of the food also helps to combat inflammation.
Also, as mentioned, one of the symptoms associated with endometriosis is heavy bleeding. Thus, it is important for those with the condition to do everything in their power to replace the lost iron. This can be done by oncoming foods rich in iron, particularly green leafy vegetables and beetroot.
Avoid trans fats
While not all fats are bad fats, trans fats are definitely the worst of the bunch, and they need to be avoided at all costs. In fact, the FDA banned all trans fats in food products due to the dangers they incur on one’s health. These health scares include an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Trans fats are more commonly found in processed and fried foods. Not only can foods that contain trans fats encourage inflammation, but studies have found that endometriosis diagnoses are more common amongst women who consume more trans fats. (3).
Consume plenty of omega-3 fats
If you’re looking to combat inflammation, consuming more omega-3 fatty acids is the best way to do so.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to alleviating period pain, thus they may also help to ease the painful symptoms associated with endometriosis. Foods rich in omega-3 fats include salmon and mackerel, flax seeds and walnuts.
Go for an acupuncture massage
Ancient traditional Chinese medicine continues to infiltrate our daily lives, particularly regarding pain management.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine where thin needles are inserted into one’s body. While this may sound painful, this clinical practice has been linked to a few health benefits, particularly high blood pressure and painful periods (4,5).
It also seems that acupuncture could serve as a pain management tool for endometriosis, at least according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, which concluded that acupuncture helped to alleviate the pain.
Practising yoga a few times a week may help alleviate a few of the painful endometriosis symptoms.
Try a gluten-free diet
A gluten-free diet is the latest crazy health fad. However, it’s not recommended for anyone who does not suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
That said, adopting this often restrictive diet may serve to assist those battling endometriosis. In fact, one study has found that women who adopted a gluten-free diet experienced significant decreases in pain over a period of time (6).
As symptoms of endometriosis vary from person to person, it is important to have regular check-ups with your doctor and to take note of any abnormal changes in your period or worsening pelvic pain.
The above suggestions are simply recommended home remedies that can help one possibly manage their condition. However, the most effective way of managing endometriosis seems tone surgical or medical treatments.
The first is a laparoscopic surgery whereby the surgeon removes tissue that is causing inflammation, pain or that can potentially cause infertility. The second is the most well-known and it is a hysterectomy. This procedure involves the surgical removal of the entire uterus. There are risks associated with each procedure thus it is important to discuss all the risks with your doctor.