Endometriosis: Eliminate The sharp Abdominal Pain

This is a hot topic at the moment and I usually see a lot of Endometriosis patients presenting with other issues. They come to see me for their insidious groin, hip or lower back pain and once I start my questioning or get to the point of asking if they have had any surgery or been diagnosed with a medical condition, this is where it all comes to light that they are suffering from Endometriosis and has had several surgeries to help ease their symptoms.

Some patients just don’t see the link between their Endometriosis and the lower back pain, hip or groin pain they are experiencing. Please refer to my blogs on these issues as they are very interesting reads. 

Endometriosis produces extra cells where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) and they are then found elsewhere in the body. This condition affects 1 in 10 women in the UK. 

Endometriosis produces extra cells where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) and they are then found elsewhere in the body. This condition affects 1 in 10 women in the UK.

So, we must ask the question what happens to that blood which can’t escape and what is the consequence to your pelvic region? Read below to the 1st most important aspect in tackling Endometriosis in my opinion.

endometriosis

Occasionally these Endometriosis cells, rather than growing on or very near the surface, grow deeper into tissues and organs, such as the bowel, bladder and the vagina causing a painful condition which used to be known as “Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis” and is now called Deep Endometriosis (DE).

The internal scaring tissue is quite significant because it will change sensation and tension to the organs. Can you imagine your bladder having scar tissue attached to it like a spider web what affect will that have on your incontinence? Please refer to my incontinence blog on my web page. Nothing should be viewed in isolation there are connecting’s and overlaps throughout the body and different health professionals should not just view the body one dimensional and offer a blanket approach.

Also, when you have surgery and remove these cells around fallopian tube and ovaries what rehabilitation should you undertake? Most surgeries are done by keyhole surgery so external scarring is usually not so bad first time around but internally there is scarring and changes to skin sensation due to surgery.
In the UK, around 1.5 million women and those assigned female at birth are currently living with Endometriosis, regardless of race or ethnicity. Endometriosis can affect you from puberty to menopause, although the impact may be felt for life.

One key element of handling Endometriosis is through changes in diet. You will be amazed how many patients I see who don’t really commit to Physiotherapy and well-being. I have had patients give me £200 every two weeks to see them for the hip pain they still have 1 year after having hip replacement surgery.

I have done my part and maybe the other therapist has done their job but they didn’t commit to the advice of the health professional.

So they keep on chasing that one stretch or the one therapist who is going to make their pain go away. Its 80% patient and 20% therapist. How much do you value yourself to look after your issue and demand better from your Health Professional?

So commit to cleaning up your diet and whilst it doesn’t guarantee that within a few weeks you will see a difference but maybe in months to years you will. This all needs time in order for changes to take effect and the success will be dependent on how much you commit to healthy eating without taking days off. Be aware that changes are not easy, because if making changes were easy we would all be doing it. If you commit to balancing your hormones through diet yes it’s an effort but dealing with pain is consuming. Controlling the controllable is a start.

Hormone Balancing through food : Getting To The Root Of Endometriosis

We know that lifestyle strategies which decrease inflammation, improve the immune system, support the liver and hormonal balance can go a long way in treating Endometriosis. In addition to exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep, a large portion of these lifestyle changes are linked to diet. To ensure that you are giving your bodies a fighting chance at treating Endometriosis, we should be consuming a diet that ticks the following boxes:

  • Improves immune function – foods containing phytonutrients such as leafy green vegetables; berries; and seeds such as flaxseed.
  • Supports general detoxification – fibrous foods such as beans; wholegrains for B vitamins; leafy green vegetables; other nutrient-rich vegetables such as artichokes, beetroot and carrots; healthy, clean proteins such as those found in salmon (this also contains omega 3, which contributes to the improvement of immune function).
  • Supports oestrogen detoxification – sulforaphane-containing vegetables and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower.

Supplements That Can Help Alleviate Endometriosis:

  • Milk thistle – this contains silymarin, which supports the health of liver cells
    Oil of evening primrose – aids with general hormone balance
  • Vitamin B6 – essential for immune function and metabolising proteins, carbs, and fats
  • Probiotics – supports bacterial balance in your gut and decreases inflammation, which means that you’re more able to detox your oestrogen.
  • Diindolylmethane (DIM) – a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables which supports the liver’s detoxification function and controls oestrogen metabolism

The 2nd step to tackle your Endometriosis in my opinion is looking at you structurally specially to assess your pelvis, sacrum in three planes in a frontal, sagittal and transverse view.

What if your pelvis is stuck in a rotation and is pulling on your scar tissue attached to your lower abdomen or bladder and certain positions as your turn in bed or during exercises you feel like you want to go to toilet or you are unable to hold your urine when sneezing or during exercises or you get a deep stabbing pain in your lower abdomen during the night or feel like something is moving in your stomach.

All of the above point to scarring and scar tissue, which is increased depending on surgeries for endometriosis or childbirth C-section or vaginal delivery please read my C-section blog for more information. Both scenarios will influence your body and especially your pelvic girdle which connects the lower body to the upper body so very important for alignment and body function also your injury history will also influence this relationship to the rest of the body.

This is a unique condition, and a blanket approach is not the answer and this has failed many women. A much more structural view needs to be taken with your Health Professional. One thing for sure is that core exercises and doing Yoga, Pilates as I said for a small majority will be helpful but for the majority this won’t help at all.

Medication for Endometriosis

Endometriosis can be treated by taking hormones which shrink areas of Endometriosis by preventing abnormal cells from growing. As with taking any medication this does have its own side effects. Hormones can produce side effects and are not suitable for women who want to get pregnant. They may also not provide sufficient pain relief in some women.

Surgery for Endometriosis

Keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery can be done to remove areas affected by Endometriosis and can reduce pain in many women, but the procedure is complex with a risk of damage to surrounding organs like blood vessels, bowel and the bladder.

My message to you

So in my opinion you need a medical opinion that fits you as an individual, then we need to have a nutritional view and Physiotherapist who understands structure and movement not just a women health and Kegel exercises. Much more understanding is needed on how internal structures, and scarring is having effect on you and each person’s journey is different and should be treated as such. Please do not suffer is silence, search for the right fit for you.

Please get in touch with your Women’s Health Movement Physiotherapist maybe drop by and have a chat here in Hackney.

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