Manage endometriosis successfully and be pain free

Endometriosis is a complex and often misunderstood condition that affects millions of women worldwide. It occurs when the tissue similar to the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium, grows outside the uterus. This misplaced tissue can be found in various areas of the body, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic lining, and even distant organs like the bladder or intestines. Unlike the normal endometrial tissue that sheds during menstruation, the displaced endometrial tissue has no means of exit from the body. This can lead to the formation of painful adhesions, scar tissue, and the development of cysts, causing a range of symptoms and complications. Early warning signs It is often difficult to evaluate endometriosis by physical examination and clinical history review. The warning signs include: Presentation and Diagnosis Endometriosis most often occurs on or around reproductive organs in the pelvis or abdomen, including: More rarely, it can also grow on and around the: Endometrial tissue growing in these areas does not shed during a menstrual cycle like healthy endometrial tissue inside the uterus does. The buildup of abnormal tissue outside the uterus can lead to inflammation, scarring and painful cysts. It can also lead to adhesions – the buildup of fibrous tissues between reproductive organs that causes them to “stick” together. Diagnosing endometriosis requires a combination of medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI. A definitive diagnosis can only be made through laparoscopy, a surgical procedure in which a thin tube with a camera is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to view the pelvic organs and remove any abnormal tissue for biopsy. Some of the procedures to diagnose a suspected case of endometriosis are Diagnosis delays – it’s something else A US survey found that 75.2% of endometriosis sufferers were initially misdiagnosed as either having another physical disorder or mental health issue and many doctors choose to go down the route of symptom management like pain relief or hormonal medication without any formal diagnosis.  For those that insist on finding an answer to their debilitating symptoms, pursuing the issue takes time and patience. A US study found that 23.5% of endometriosis patients see 5 or more physicians before receiving a diagnosis. And the more physicians patients saw, the longer the diagnostic delay. Those that only saw 1 to 2 doctors received a diagnosis in 1 to 2 years, while this increased to 7 to 8 years for those that saw 5 to 9 physicians. Why is there such a delay in the diagnosis of endometriosis? Studies have found that women are less likely to feel listened to and taken seriously, and are assumed to have a higher pain threshold. One of the main side effects of endometriosis is chronic pain, and because endometriosis patients don’t receive a definitive diagnosis until they’ve had laparoscopic surgery, not having their pain believed can be particularly harmful. Activists have used the term ‘gender health gap’ to bring together evidence that would suggest that your gender has a bearing on your experience with doctors and the healthcare you receive. Studies that point out that women are 25% less likely than men to receive pain relief have been used to back up the notion of gender bias in medicine.  In a study published in 2018, entitled “Brave Men” and “Emotional Women”, researchers concluded that pain experienced by women was often described as medically inexplicable, as there was often no visible cause for their pain. As a result, healthcare professionals often attributed the pain to a psychological rather than physical cause. This was due to the absence of any visible or diagnostic evidence of illness.  Studies have found that in addition to medical professionals assuming that women have higher pain thresholds, there is also an assumption that they are more emotionally unstable. Research published in 2001 found that when women came to their doctors with legitimate concerns of chronic pain, they were more likely to be described as “emotional”, and their pain to be “psychogenic”, and “not real” by their medical expert. This is especially harmful for endometriosis patients who already face long diagnosis waiting periods and may not feel like they’re listened to.  The gender health gap, especially as it relates to endometriosis, has historical roots in medical practice. Endometriosis.org explains that pain associated with endometriosis is often dismissed because “‘women’s problems’ perplexed nineteenth-century doctors, who saw them as indicative of unstable and delicate psychological constitutions. Even though attitudes […] have improved during the twentieth century, some of the old beliefs still linger unconsciously, and affect the medical profession’s attitudes towards complaints including period pain.” In 2014, Brigham and Women’s hospital in the U.S. said that medical developments that look into the way conditions are treated and diagnosed “routinely fail to consider the crucial impact of sex and gender. This happens in the earliest stages of research when females are excluded from animal and human studies or the sex of the animals isn’t stated in the published results.” This would suggest that in order to tackle the gender health gap and improve medical understanding of conditions like endometriosis, medical research that includes and prioritizes the experiences of people who identify as women need to take place in higher numbers.  The lack of medical research on endometriosis leads to less medical education on the disease, and can result in serious delays in the period of time it takes to receive an endometriosis diagnosis and how much your doctors understand about the condition.  Misdiagnoses Many women with endometriosis who have gastrointestinal symptoms are often misdiagnosed as If symptoms are cyclical in nature, it’s a sign indicating endometriosis. Some women may have symptoms throughout the cycle in chronic cases but the symptoms do aggravate during menstruation Origin of Endometriosis The origin of endometriosis is still not well defined. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the development of endometriosis and Dr David Redwine has proposed the most viable theory – Mulleriosis – that appears to cover all the salient features of endometriosis. His theory favours a genetically-driven embryonic origin…

Navigating Endometriosis: Latest Insights and Natural Treatment Strategies from Functional Medicine

Endometriosis is a complex and often misunderstood condition that affects millions of women worldwide. It occurs when the tissue similar to the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium, grows outside the uterus. This misplaced tissue can be found in various areas of the body, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic lining, and even distant organs like the bladder or intestines. Unlike the normal endometrial tissue that sheds during menstruation, the displaced endometrial tissue has no means of exit from the body. This can lead to the formation of painful adhesions, scar tissue, and the development of cysts, causing a range of symptoms and complications. Early warning signs It is often difficult to evaluate endometriosis by physical examination and clinical history review. The warning signs include: Presentation and Diagnosis Endometriosis most often occurs on or around reproductive organs in the pelvis or abdomen, including: More rarely, it can also grow on and around the: Endometrial tissue growing in these areas does not shed during a menstrual cycle like healthy endometrial tissue inside the uterus does. The buildup of abnormal tissue outside the uterus can lead to inflammation, scarring and painful cysts. It can also lead to adhesions – the buildup of fibrous tissues between reproductive organs that causes them to “stick” together. Diagnosing endometriosis requires a combination of medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI. A definitive diagnosis can only be made through laparoscopy, a surgical procedure in which a thin tube with a camera is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to view the pelvic organs and remove any abnormal tissue for biopsy. Some of the procedures to diagnose a suspected case of endometriosis are Diagnosis delays – it’s something else A US survey found that 75.2% of endometriosis sufferers were initially misdiagnosed as either having another physical disorder or mental health issue and many doctors choose to go down the route of symptom management like pain relief or hormonal medication without any formal diagnosis.  For those that insist on finding an answer to their debilitating symptoms, pursuing the issue takes time and patience. A US study found that 23.5% of endometriosis patients see 5 or more physicians before receiving a diagnosis. And the more physicians patients saw, the longer the diagnostic delay. Those that only saw 1 to 2 doctors received a diagnosis in 1 to 2 years, while this increased to 7 to 8 years for those that saw 5 to 9 physicians. Why is there such a delay in the diagnosis of endometriosis? Studies have found that women are less likely to feel listened to and taken seriously, and are assumed to have a higher pain threshold. One of the main side effects of endometriosis is chronic pain, and because endometriosis patients don’t receive a definitive diagnosis until they’ve had laparoscopic surgery, not having their pain believed can be particularly harmful. Activists have used the term ‘gender health gap’ to bring together evidence that would suggest that your gender has a bearing on your experience with doctors and the healthcare you receive. Studies that point out that women are 25% less likely than men to receive pain relief have been used to back up the notion of gender bias in medicine.  In a study published in 2018, entitled “Brave Men” and “Emotional Women”, researchers concluded that pain experienced by women was often described as medically inexplicable, as there was often no visible cause for their pain. As a result, healthcare professionals often attributed the pain to a psychological rather than physical cause. This was due to the absence of any visible or diagnostic evidence of illness.  Studies have found that in addition to medical professionals assuming that women have higher pain thresholds, there is also an assumption that they are more emotionally unstable. Research published in 2001 found that when women came to their doctors with legitimate concerns of chronic pain, they were more likely to be described as “emotional”, and their pain to be “psychogenic”, and “not real” by their medical expert. This is especially harmful for endometriosis patients who already face long diagnosis waiting periods and may not feel like they’re listened to.  The gender health gap, especially as it relates to endometriosis, has historical roots in medical practice. Endometriosis.org explains that pain associated with endometriosis is often dismissed because “‘women’s problems’ perplexed nineteenth-century doctors, who saw them as indicative of unstable and delicate psychological constitutions. Even though attitudes […] have improved during the twentieth century, some of the old beliefs still linger unconsciously, and affect the medical profession’s attitudes towards complaints including period pain.” In 2014, Brigham and Women’s hospital in the U.S. said that medical developments that look into the way conditions are treated and diagnosed “routinely fail to consider the crucial impact of sex and gender. This happens in the earliest stages of research when females are excluded from animal and human studies or the sex of the animals isn’t stated in the published results.” This would suggest that in order to tackle the gender health gap and improve medical understanding of conditions like endometriosis, medical research that includes and prioritizes the experiences of people who identify as women need to take place in higher numbers.  The lack of medical research on endometriosis leads to less medical education on the disease, and can result in serious delays in the period of time it takes to receive an endometriosis diagnosis and how much your doctors understand about the condition.  Misdiagnoses Many women with endometriosis who have gastrointestinal symptoms are often misdiagnosed as If symptoms are cyclical in nature, it’s a sign indicating endometriosis. Some women may have symptoms throughout the cycle in chronic cases but the symptoms do aggravate during menstruation Origin of Endometriosis The origin of endometriosis is still not well defined. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the development of endometriosis and Dr David Redwine has proposed the most viable theory – Mulleriosis – that appears to cover all the salient features of endometriosis. His theory favours a genetically-driven embryonic origin…

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