Nascent Health Clinics

Endometriosis

Endometriosis: What Is It, and How Naturopathic Medicine Can Help?

Endometriosis is a chronic and often debilitating condition that impacts about 1 in 10 women throughout their reproductive years, though as research improves it is believed that this number is much higher. It is characterized by the growth of endometrial tissue – the tissue that lines the uterus – outside of the uterus; these growths can occur throughout the body, but are typically seen on the ovaries, bowel, and throughout the pelvic and abdominal cavities.

Endometriosis: What Is It, and How Naturopathic Medicine Can Help?

Endometriosis is a chronic and often debilitating condition that impacts about 1 in 10 women throughout their reproductive years, though as research improves it is believed that this number is much higher. It is characterized by the growth of endometrial tissue – the tissue that lines the uterus – outside of the uterus; these growths can occur throughout the body, but are typically seen on the ovaries, bowel, and throughout the pelvic and abdominal cavities.

NDs want to address endometriosis as a totality, which often means working in tandem with other therapies and practitioners in order to build a network of support for you. Studies show acupuncture is especially effective in reducing endometriosis-related pain by improving blood flow in the area. Further, movement can also help improve circulation and help combat stagnation in the pelvic area. Gentle movement therapies like yoga and pelvic physiotherapy have been seen to significantly help improve mobility, joint and tissue health, and help mitigate pain.

Your story with Endometriosis deserves more than just management; it deserves a narrative of empowerment, understanding, and transformative healing. Join us at Nascent Health Clinics, where your well-being is not a destination; it’s a shared journey towards a balanced and flourishing life.

Symptoms To Expect With Endometriosis

At Nascent Health Clinics, we believe in empowering our patients with knowledge. We want you to feel your best and treat your symptoms as well as get down to the root cause.

Symptoms and their severity can fluctuate depending on the location and size of the growths, and it’s important to note that not everyone with endometriosis may experience these symptoms in the same way. Some people may experience debilitating pain alongside their periods, while others may not experience any symptoms at all. It should also be noted that some people who do not have endometriosis may still experience extreme pain and cramping. If you are wondering if you have endometriosis, it is important to know what to look for, to listen to your body, and to advocate for yourself if you experience any symptoms or changes in your health. 

Common symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Heavy, and often extremely painful periods
  • Excessive bleeding before, during or after your period
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination
  • Hip pain
  • Back pain
  • Significant changes or an increase in digestive issues, including chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Fertility challenges, including infertility

What Causes Endometriosis?

While the exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, growing research is continuously helping to shape and deepen our understanding of it, and the more we see that it is a complex disease with multifaceted causations. Inflammation and its impact on hormones, gut health, genetics, and environmental toxins have all been seen to contribute to the onset and progression of symptoms.

Diagnoses and Conventional Approaches

Getting a proper endometriosis diagnosis can be challenging. Due to its complexity and the fact that several symptoms can replicate those of heavy, painful periods, it is often misdiagnosed and dismissed as menstruation. As such, it is not uncommon for it to take up to 10 – 15 years to receive a proper diagnosis. 

The most common conventional method when diagnosing endometriosis is by a laparoscopic surgery, where a scope is inserted through the navel to look for endometrial lesions and growths outside of the uterus. If growths are found, options within conventional medicine are fairly limited as to what support looks like, and include:

  • Hormonal birth control
  • Medications that induce menopause
  • Surgically removing the endometrial growths and lesions 
  • Hysterectomy

While these methods can help manage symptoms temporarily, they do not address the foundations as to what is causing the symptoms in the first place. Surgery is invasive, and cannot guarantee that the endometrial growths won’t return, especially without taking preventative measures and therapies afterwards. Hormonal birth control can help mitigate symptoms as long as the pills are taken routinely, but research shows that symptoms return and often worsen once the medication is stopped. Further, birth control medications, menopause-inducing pharmaceuticals, and hysterectomies are invasive, can cause other life-changing symptoms and complications to develop, and are not compatible and conducive with fertility goals. 

Fortunately, when looking beyond the scope of conventional medicine, there are several other options available within alternative medicine that help you navigate living with endometriosis more easily, holistically, and without having to put your life and health goals on hold.

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What Naturopathic Doctors Look For:

Inflammation

NDs understand the strong connection between endometriosis and inflammation. Inflammation affects everything, from hormones to gut health to proper functionality throughout the whole body. Research shows that endometrial lesions are major sources of inflammation, which can cause irritation within the area and further exasperate pain. They will work with you to identify any sources of inflammation within the body, the foundational causes that may be causing the inflammation, and what can be done to mitigate it as much as possible. NDs can help manage inflammatory responses in the body through improved dietary choices, balancing nutrition deficiencies through supplements, and recommending lifestyle changes that can help manage stress and toxin exposure.

Inflammation

NDs understand the strong connection between endometriosis and inflammation. Inflammation affects everything, from hormones to gut health to proper functionality throughout the whole body. Research shows that endometrial lesions are major sources of inflammation, which can cause irritation within the area and further exasperate pain. They will work with you to identify any sources of inflammation within the body, the foundational causes that may be causing the inflammation, and what can be done to mitigate it as much as possible. NDs can help manage inflammatory responses in the body through improved dietary choices, balancing nutrition deficiencies through supplements, and recommending lifestyle changes that can help manage stress and toxin exposure.

Hormonal Imbalances and Androgenic Symptoms

Elevated levels of androgens can result in symptoms such as acne, hirsutism (excess hair growth, particularly in areas where men typically grow hair), and male-pattern baldness.

Underlying Cause: The overproduction of androgens, often associated with insulin resistance, can lead to these outwardly visible symptoms.

Diet and Gut Health

The health of the bacteria within your gut microbiome plays a huge factor. The types of foods you eat and the types of bacteria that live in your gut have a huge impact on your health, especially when it comes to endometriosis. Research shows that endo is known to cause changes to the types and growth patterns of the bacterial bugs that live in our gut. People with endometriosis have been seen with different types and overgrowths of “bad” bugs within their microbiomes. Gram negative bugs are one type of bacteria commonly seen flourishing in endometrial growth environments, and have been heavily linked to causing or worsening inflammation. Overgrowths of gram negative bugs can also create an imbalance in the gut, resulting in either creating and/or exacerbating digestive issues like chronic constipation. Further, constipation adds pressure in the pelvic cavity, which can worsen pain and discomfort in the area. Improving your diet by eating foods that are rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help. NDs can walk you through what dietary and supplement changes you can make to decrease inflammation, rebalance gut health, and help ensure your microbiome is full of the good kinds of bugs your body needs to function as optimally as possible.

Diet and Gut Health

The health of the bacteria within your gut microbiome plays a huge factor. The types of foods you eat and the types of bacteria that live in your gut have a huge impact on your health, especially when it comes to endometriosis. Research shows that endo is known to cause changes to the types and growth patterns of the bacterial bugs that live in our gut. People with endometriosis have been seen with different types and overgrowths of “bad” bugs within their microbiomes. Gram negative bugs are one type of bacteria commonly seen flourishing in endometrial growth environments, and have been heavily linked to causing or worsening inflammation. Overgrowths of gram negative bugs can also create an imbalance in the gut, resulting in either creating and/or exacerbating digestive issues like chronic constipation. Further, constipation adds pressure in the pelvic cavity, which can worsen pain and discomfort in the area. Improving your diet by eating foods that are rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help. NDs can walk you through what dietary and supplement changes you can make to decrease inflammation, rebalance gut health, and help ensure your microbiome is full of the good kinds of bugs your body needs to function as optimally as possible.

Pain

NDs know that pain can be a huge part of living with endometriosis, and so will take your pain seriously. They understand that there is more at play than just menstruation. They will ask and listen to your pain; is it chronic? How does it coincide with your period? Where in your body do you experience pain? Where and when does it worsen? Do you experience pain with intercourse? Do you experience painful bowel movements, and if yes, when do you notice it most often? All of these factors provide insight into not only diagnosing endometriosis, but also in helping to manage symptoms as best as possible.

Pain

NDs know that pain can be a huge part of living with endometriosis, and so will take your pain seriously. They understand that there is more at play than just menstruation. They will ask and listen to your pain; is it chronic? How does it coincide with your period? Where in your body do you experience pain? Where and when does it worsen? Do you experience pain with intercourse? Do you experience painful bowel movements, and if yes, when do you notice it most often? All of these factors provide insight into not only diagnosing endometriosis, but also in helping to manage symptoms as best as possible.

Immune Function

A healthy, functioning immune system can scan our body, identify any areas in need of TLC, and send out a response to help rebalance that area to a state of healthy functionality. When endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, the immune system of someone without endometriosis is able to go in, identify these lesions and clear them up. The immune system of a person with endometriosis, however, is unable to do so. This is because endometriosis releases inflammatory signals out into the surrounding area, which not only causes local inflammation but also triggers the immune system to send out an inflammatory reaction to the lesion as well, leading to a double dose of inflammation in that area. This increase in excessive inflammation prevents the immune system from accessing the area to clean it out, which not only results in not only exasperating the endometrial symptoms, but causing other issues like scar tissue and damage to form on the surrounding tissues as well. NDs can help recalibrate optimal immune function, which helps your body clean out these lesions without exasperating any existing trauma in the area and making it worse.

Immune Function

A healthy, functioning immune system can scan our body, identify any areas in need of TLC, and send out a response to help rebalance that area to a state of healthy functionality. When endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, the immune system of someone without endometriosis is able to go in, identify these lesions and clear them up. The immune system of a person with endometriosis, however, is unable to do so. This is because endometriosis releases inflammatory signals out into the surrounding area, which not only causes local inflammation but also triggers the immune system to send out an inflammatory reaction to the lesion as well, leading to a double dose of inflammation in that area. This increase in excessive inflammation prevents the immune system from accessing the area to clean it out, which not only results in not only exasperating the endometrial symptoms, but causing other issues like scar tissue and damage to form on the surrounding tissues as well. NDs can help recalibrate optimal immune function, which helps your body clean out these lesions without exasperating any existing trauma in the area and making it worse.

Book Your Consultation

Ready to take control of your Endometriosis journey? Schedule a consultation with our naturopathic doctors today. Your personalized treatment plan awaits, guiding you toward hormonal balance and overall well-being.

Book Your Consultation

Ready to take control of your Endometriosis journey? Schedule a consultation with our naturopathic doctors today. Your personalized treatment plan awaits, guiding you toward hormonal balance and overall well-being.

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