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Endometriosis Awareness, Building a Supplement Regimen, & Regular Tune-up's

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

6.5 Million…

That’s how many American women suffer from endometriosis…and the rate continues to rise.

According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, women with endometriosis suffer from symptoms for at least 10 years before receiving the correct diagnosis.

Scientists still don’t completely understand how endometriosis develops. The most widely accepted view is that it’s caused by retrograde (backwards) flow of blood during menses…up and out the Fallopian tubes and into the abdomen and pelvis (instead of flowing out of the uterus into the vagina).

What happens when the cells that normally line the uterus end up in the abdomen? They turn into “rogue” cells.

Endometriosis cells are NOT normal cells. Unlike the normal cells that line the uterus, endometriosis cells don’t play by the rules. They:

  • Grow their own blood vessels

  • Create their own blood supply

  • Make their own estrogen

  • Evade normal immune system surveillance

This means that endometriosis can be very difficult to control…so a comprehensive approach to treatment is essential.

There are TWO main factors that fuel the growth of endometriosis cells: Estrogen and inflammation.

Conventional medical treatment mainly focuses on getting the estrogen under control…usually with some type of oral hormone, like birth control pills. However, it never addresses the inflammatory component of endometriosis which is just as big of a problem.

So, unless estrogen dominance and inflammation are corrected, women will continue to have problems. In fact, even birth control pills will eventually quit working. The next conventional medical treatment? A complete hysterectomy.

But…a complete hysterectomy, especially if done in women 40 years of age or younger, has it’s own laundry list of associated health risks, including an increased risk of heart disease.

Furthermore, surgery doesn't always fix endometriosis. In fact,

  • 20% and 40% of women will experience recurrent endometriosis within five years of their initial surgery

  • Up to 15% of women who’ve had a complete hysterectomy suffer from recurrent endometriosis.

There is good news is there are other ways to control endometriosis. Here are just some of the other things a woman can do:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Fat cells not only produce extra estrogen, they also produce at least 32 different types of chemicals that increase inflammation.

  2. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Foods that contain sugar, artificial sweeteners (like high fructose corn syrup), and trans fats generate significant amounts of inflammation. Additionally, all meat, except wild caught fish and lamb, have high levels of arachidonic acid which is a very potent inflammatory chemical. Elimination of alcohol and caffeine are also important in reducing inflammation.

  3. Consider adding bio-identical progesterone. Unlike the progestins found in all forms of birth control and in the Mirena IUD, progesterone is the natural biochemical equivalent. Progestins and Progesterone are NOT the same. Most conventional doctors are unfamiliar with how to prescribe bio-identical progesterone for women with endometriosis. It is very important that women work only with someone who has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the complexity of endometriosis and the proper use of progesterone in this condition.

  4. Consider adding natural supplements. Research has shown that Omega 3, Quercetin, Curcumin, and Vitamin D are just a few of the supplements found to be useful in controlling endometriosis. You can find these and other pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements HERE.

  5. Maintain optimal gut health. Much of the estrogen produced by the body is eliminated through stool. Therefore, constipation can indirectly create estrogen dominance. The bacteria living in the colon are also important for the proper metabolism and disposal of estrogen. The ideal frequency of bowel movements is at least one, formed bowel movement per day. Taking a probiotic daily is also important.

Need Help Building a Supplement Routine?

Whether you’re already taking nutritional supplements or are considering jumping on the band wagon, you may find yourself overwhelmed with where to start and what to take.

There’s so much misinformation out there…it’s tough to know who and what to believe. This can be even more complicated when your conventional medical doctor tells you vitamins just create “expensive pee”. It’s no wonder patients are frustrated and completely confused!

Here’s some great news…you don’t have to try and figure this out on your own anymore. Each month, we’ll discuss nutritional supplements and where it makes sense for you to take them depending on your underlying health challenges and on what your health goals are.

The bottom line is that nutritional supplements are an important part of your daily health regimen, especially if you are older, take prescription medications, and suffer from one or more adult illnesses (like diabetes or high blood pressure).