Endometriosis – causes

I cringe when I hear people saying “there is no known cause nor cure for endometriosis.”

Obviously there is a cause.

And obviously once this is determined, actions can be put in place to help balance the issues.

Endometriosis is a condition affecting women and their reproductive system. The endometrial tissue becomes inflamed and fragments to disperse around the pelvic cavity (travels up through the Fallopian tubes) and can latch onto any part of the pelvis but typically the back of the uterus, the Fallopian tubes, ovaries, bowel, pelvic ligaments.

The tissue responds to monthly hormone changes and will shed just as tissue contained in the uterus does.

This shedded blood can create severe pain for the woman, often crippling her in pain. The other key features are heavy, clotty periods. Sometimes a shorter cycle, PMS, mood changes such as depression, anxiety, OCD and fatigue (short term and long term due to low iron levels).

In Australia the stats are one in nine women up to one in five women are affected with endometriosis.

It only affects women who are fertile and once menopause arrives, the body tends to settle down as periods stop.

It has been revealed that doctors have misled women saying that pregnancy will fix endometriosis and this is a myth.

Balancing your hormones will work!

In my experience of helping women for over 20+ years in my natural medicine clinic/nursing/pharma the causes are usually due to a hormone imbalance. Interestingly doctors agree with this but still say they don’t know what causes it.

Maybe this falls firmly in the holistic approach – ie why do hormones go out of balance in the first place.

I will discuss what I know and some suggestions, baring in mind a saliva hormone test will confirm your hormone blend/mix/imbalance, rather than trying to guess. You can order that with a 30 minute consultation with me here.

The main hormones I find out are:

  1. Cortisol
  2. Estrogen
  3. Insulin

These hormones are affecting by many things, including foods. I will out line the common ones below.

  1. Cortisol

Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in response to the time of day (it goes up first thing in the morning when the sun rises), infections  and stress.

Its role is multiple. Aside from cortisol’s role governing our 24 hour body clock (diurnal variation), it prepares the body for an attack/life threatening experience.

It is released when we have a virus, bacteria, fungal attack.

And when the body feels under stress or attack. Stress = increase in cortisol.

Study, work, relationships, uncertainty, finances are all very triggering stress events for women.

It’s this release of cortisol commences a cascade of smaller events, including rises in inflammatory markers and inflammation.

“Stickiness” and inflamed tissue is a key feature of endometriosis.

Reducing high levels of stress (and therefor cortisol) can settle the condition down.

2. Estrogen

Estrogen is considered the female hormone even though men also produce it. When it is in balance, it makes a woman feel content and happy. When it is out of balance, it promotes reproductive tissue to grow, and in the presence of inflammation may create endometriosis.

It is the hormone responsible for the Bridget Jones emotions – happy/sad in the blink of an eye, heavy periods and the proliferation of endometrial tissue.

To help the body detoxify excess amounts, eat foods high in fibre and green in colour.

Broccoli, sprouts, green leafy veggies, help the liver detoxify estrogens. Fibre is important for the bowel but avoid grains. These have been proven to be pro-inflammatory (ie grains and gluten, such as wheat, rye, oats and barley may cause inflammation).

Use clean body products including hair products, skin and deodorants. Minimise toxins in the house as chemicals are well known hormone disruptors.

More hormone disruptors are found on this link here.

3. Insulin

Insulin is a hormone we release as our blood sugar rises. Its role is to take sugar (glucose) into the cells.

If a person eats a large amount of carbohydrates (sugar rich foods) in one meal, then the sugar in the blood stream rises. This leads to a spike in insulin levels. Insulin seems to aggravate endometriosis and certainly sugars create inflammation.

Take away foods, fruit smoothies, pizzas, breads, flavoured milks, lollies, chips are all high in carbohydrates (ie sugars).

Balancing sugar levels by eating protein with each meal is a powerful way to mitigate swinging insulin levels.

Protein + carb never carbs on their own.

Medically endometriosis is managed not very well. Doctors will tell you they do not have much in their tool kit (only the pill and surgery). Being told that there is no know cause or treatment is simply untrue. This is definitely one area that lifestyle and balancing hormones can lead to resolution and a return of a normal period cycle.

 

Obviously finding out your own hormone portfolio can be liberating and the perfect platform to start balancing your hormones and endometriosis.

You can order your test kit here.

If you are on the pill or have a mirena, let us know once you purchase and we will advise what steps to do.