Endometriosis (or “endo” for short)
It’s a female condition in which uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus. If you have this condition then you know it’s a real b!@*% and that’s the understatement of the century. The growth of uterine tissue on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, rectum, bladder, intestines, diaphragm….you name it….causes constant, excruciating pain. This is not your typical “period cramping”, this unrelenting and incurable pain has made headlines by the likes of fearless warriors Lena Dunham and Halsey (to name a few).
The tricky thing about endo is that there’s no known cause. It’s chalked up to be an autoimmune phenomenon, oh and yes there’s a genetic link (my mom was diagnosed in her early 20s). I care about endo because it’s one of the leading causes of female infertility, and have I mentioned enough that it hurts like hell every single day?! I’m always researching the best natural methods for endometriosis pain relief.
So what are your treatment options? Well, there’s laparoscopic surgery, suppressive hormones, hospital stays, and a crap-load of painkillers (I’ll take the full cocktail, thank you for asking). Then there’s the integration of naturopathic medicine.
Naturopathic medicine is NOT just about replacing pharmaceuticals with “natural” pills. The naturopathic approach to treating endometriosis looks at lifestyle and dietary changes. There is a significant amount of research on the avoidance of caffeine and gluten (I know, I’m Italian!), daily exercise, maintenance of detoxification pathways, and limiting exposure to endogenous estrogens. But sometimes you do need a few evidence-based supplements to take the edge off, so let me finally get to the punch line and tell you what I use to help manage my endo.
Patients treated with NAC show a statistically significant reduction in the growth of endometriomas compared to placebo, leading to cancellation of surgery
EGCG (and other antioxidants like pycnogenol)
It significantly inhibits endometrial cell proliferation, and reduces symptoms by 33% compared to drugs like lupron
Omega-3: EPA & DHA
Potent anti-inflammatory and antiangeogenic (stops the formation of new blood vessels supplying the endometriomas)
Herbs for decreasing flow:
capsella bursa-pastens & rubus idaeus
Herbs for reducing pain and spasms:
piscidia piscipula, viburnum opulus, dioscorea villosa
Want to learn more about unique pain relieving strategies for you? Check out my program on endometriosis