Endometriosis is more common than you think, affecting roughly 1 in 10 women, and is estimated that many more women suffer from this extremely painful condition, without actually knowing they have it. It is highly underdiagnosed, and often misdiagnosed as PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome). The key difference is, PCOS is not associated with pain. Often women are lead to believe pain is a normal part of their period, but it is not.
Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition affecting the pelvic lining.
The conventional approach has been to address the hormonal imbalance, as oestrogen does seem to play a key role in driving the condition. However, both conventional and integrative medicine struggle to make a great improvement to the persons’ symptoms dealing with hormones alone. This is because there is more to the pathogeneses of endometriosis than hormones alone. Gut health and the immune system are key drivers in this condition. So it is no surprise that many women who have endometriosis often have gut issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). It is also interesting to note that for some women, their condition improves after a course of antibiotics, which gives us clues of the role of dysbiosis (an imbalance of favourable to non-favourable bacteria in the gut) in endometriosis, as antibiotics often kill off both good and bad bacteria in the gut. Furthermore, when menstrual blood of patients is tested it is often found to have E-coli & LPS (Lipopolysaccharides), an inflammatory bacterial byproduct. It is believed that one possible explanation for this is that unfavourable gut bacteria translocate from the gut to the pelvis, therefore also telling us that IP (Intestinal Permeability) is present. IP is when the intestines lose their integrity, allowing undigested food, toxins, virus and bacteria to enter the bloodstream leading to inflammation and disease.
This all may sound like a lot of bad news, but it isn’t, because, dysbiosis, IP, and IBS are all things that can be easily addressed.
Depending on the client, some of the things I would suggest considering are temporarily going on a lower FODMAP diet, removing gluten and A1 Casein (dairy from certain cows), antimicrobials, gut healing and reducing inflammation in the body via diet. Other considerations would be to look for other foods they might be sensitive to which could be causing inflammation in the gut, as well as testing histamine levels, environmental toxins and mould exposure.
Do you have, or think you have endometriosis? Have you considered trying any of the approaches mentioned in this article?
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