30 January, 2009

Holistic Approach to Endometriosis

From Natural News

by Jo Hartley, citizen journalist

(NaturalNews) Endometriosis is a painful condition affecting women during their reproductive years. Endometriosis is one of the most common reasons behind both infertility and chronic pelvic pain in women. Pregnancy often provides temporary relief from symptoms of endometriosis, although there is no documented cure at this time. The good news is that herbal and holistic treatments are very effective for controlling the symptoms of endometriosis and in many cases herbs are the best source of relief.

During every monthly menstrual cycle the tissue lining from the inside of the uterus builds up and is shed. This tissue is called the endometrial tissue. When endometriosis is present, this tissue grows and sheds outside of the uterus. This tissue then forms lesions that respond to the monthly cycle similarly to how the tissue from the uterus responds.

The symptoms of endometriosis generally persist during childbearing years and subside after menopause. Approximately 30-40 percent of women with endometriosis experience infertility issues.

The endometrial growth causes pain and other subsequent problems because the menstrual blood is expelled through the vagina but the blood and tissue from the endometrial growths result in internal bleeding and inflammation and eventually scar tissues are formed. These endometrial growths are not usually cancerous. Although the precise cause of endometriosis is not known, excess estrogen secretion may trigger this condition.

Conventional treatments involve surgery to remove the endometrial growth and/or ovaries and in extreme cases even a hysterectomy may be advised. Unfortunately, research has shown that patients undergoing hysterectomies for endometriosis sometimes experience a regrowth of lesions.

Common drugs prescribed to treat endometriosis are Danazol (a male hormone derivative), progesterone, and birth control pills. Danazol shrinks the existing tissue and prevents ovulation. Progesterone has various side effects and cannot offer permanent pain control. A possible link between dioxin exposure and endometriosis has been uncovered by the Endometriosis Association. Dioxin is a toxic byproduct created from pesticide manufacturing, paper products, and bleached pulp. To enable the body to flush out these toxins, magnesium can be effective.

Natural Ways to Improve Endometriosis Symptoms:

-Nettle and Saw Palmetto -- decrease the production of endometrial tissue.
-Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids -- improve the immune system. A strong immune system will be able to destroy endometrial tissue as it accumulates in the body. Bioflavonoids help to relax muscles and reduce inflammation and pain.
-Wild Yam -- When taken prior to ovulation this can reduce endometrial symptoms. Helps to balance menstrual bleeding.
-Flax Seed Oil/Evening Primrose Oil/ Borage Oil -- Good sources of essential fatty acids that regulate the production of prostaglandin.
-Inositol and Choline -- Help the liver to process estrogen. Too much estrogen can lead to endometriosis symptoms.
-Phytoestrogens Vitex (chaste berry) and Dong Quai -- Hormone balancers may help reduce the build-up of endometrial tissue and the associated pain.
-Vitamin B-6 and 5-HTP -- Help with the metabolism of essential fatty acids.

Source: http://www.healthynewage.com/endometriosis.html

I was diagnosed with endometriosis 3 decades ago. After dealing with it through prayer, herbs, nutrients, and diet changes I find myself with 5 wonderful children that the doctor said I would be unable to bear.

Based on my experience, I would add to the above list:
-Probiotics -- normalize the environment in which the reproductive organs dwell.
-Cut out sugar -- promotes a hostile environment for healthy tissues.
-Eat organic fruits and veggies whenever possible -- they may cost more, but the long term cost to your health is not worth pinching pennies in the short run.
-Avoid tampons (and perhaps disposable pads) -- The bleaching process introduces tons of toxins which are readily absorbed by the tender tissues.
-Watch out for Pseudo Estrogens -- found in many processed products and especially in red meat.
-Chamomile -- provided the best pain relief for me, even when prescription medications did not touch it. The scrips wreaked havoc with my system.
- Another good source for essential fatty acids is a new product I have found, called Moxxor. It is made from green lipped mussels, hoki fish (much like salmon and krill, but without the heavy metal contaminants), and grape seed extract (for powerful anti-oxidant activity).

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