Causes and Natural Treatments for Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a problem that most commonly effects 10-20% of women of child bearing age.
It occurs when the surrounding tissue of the womb becomes irritated, leading to scar tissues and adhesions which cause the pelvic tissue and organs to stick to each other, creating discomfort and pain.
One of the touted causes of Endometriosis is external chemicals from diet and lifestyle habits which produce "xeno-estrogens", which mimic the process of estrogen in the body in a harmful way.
As the condition becomes more common, more and more women are looking for ways to avoid surgery and/or to prevent and reduce spreading of this condition with natural, less invasive remedies.
So, what is endometriosis exactly?
Endometriosis is a common and often painful disorder of the female reproductive system.
It typically is diagnosed when a specialised type of tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus, called the endometrium, becomes implanted outside of the uterus. This happens most commonly on the fallopian tubes, ovaries or the tissue lining your pelvis.
When endometrial tissue is located in other parts of the body, it continues to act in its normal way by thickening, breaking down and bleeding each month as your hormone levels rise and fall.
Because there’s nowhere for the blood from this mis-located tissue to exit your body, it becomes trapped and surrounding tissue can become irritated. This can lead to cysts, scar tissue and adhesions, and fertility problems, not to mention severe pain.
Doctors find it difficult to treat this condition without invasive procedures, but luckily there are a number of natural treatments for endometriosis that can not only alleviate pain and even heal the problem, but also reduce the risk for endometriosis all together.
Whether you or someone you know suffers from endometriosis or is looking to prevent it from occurring altogether, these five natural treatment options can help.
1. Whole Foods That Heal
A healthy diet of course impacts so many aspects of our health, and there are certain foods in nature that offer specific nutrients that target women's reproductive health.
In particular, mother nature offers one-seeded foods specifically for the benefit of women's health, such as:
It is important to include a variety of these foods in the diet regularly to support healthy reproductive organs.
Additionally, Flaxseed is one of best foods to include in your diet, both ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil.
Flaxseed contains generous amounts of compounds called lignans, which are known to help remit endometrial and breast cancer.
While endometriosis is not the same as endometrial cancer, they both involve uncontrolled growth of endometrial tissue and flaxseed can help treat it.
If you’re not following a plant-based diet, you’re definitely going to want to consume even more flaxseed since animal products naturally inhibit lignans.
Peanuts, soybeans and other legumes are also exceptional for helping to heal endometriosis naturally.
The papery red membrane around Spanish peanuts is the original source of oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs), or substances that also may help control hormone-dependent cancers and possibly endometriosis.
Alfalfa sprouts also help with endometriosis because they contain phytoestrogens, so use them liberally on salads, sandwiches, soups, and more.
2. Reduce Toxin Exposure
Reducing exposure to toxins from the environment, foods, cosmetics, personal care and household products is vital for natural healing.
Toxic overload can very easily lead to endometriosis and cause flare ups, so by limiting our exposure as much as possible, we can help protect our bodies and health and reduce pain.
It is believed that one of the main causes of Endometriosis over time is the accumulation of toxic overwhelm, caused by regular unconscious lifestyle habits that produce harmful elements called xeno-estrogens.
Some examples of things to avoid include:
- Storing food in plastic wraps and containers
- Microwaving food, particularly in plastic
- Pesticide and herbicide sprayed produce (choose organic or rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar and water before consuming to reduce residue)
- Animal products raised with hormones and animal fat where xeno-estrogens tend to concentrate. Only choose pasture raised, organic.
Try and get as much fresh air and sunlight as possible, practice Earthing or grounding techniques, cut out unnecessary toxic chemicals by choosing more natural, organic options for personal care products like laundry detergent, cosmetics, and even pads and tampons.
Encouraging plenty of toxin excretion from our bodies is also important, through sweat (exercise daily if possible, even if it’s a walk), bowel movements (ensure you’re regular with the Get Things Moving Daily Fiber Blend), urination (drink more water than you think you need every day), and respiration of fresh air (yoga and meditation can help you train your breathing).
Check out the natural care products at our store for healthier alternatives to all personal care items so that you can feel better about what your body is exposed to. You’d be shocked at the number of chemicals in many of your everyday products that cause slow but sure harm to your health.
Learn more in Natural DIY Alternatives to Chemical Laundry Soaps.
3. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is one of the leading known causes and contributors to endometriosis flare ups.
By practicing simple techniques that help to reduce inflammation and by avoiding inflammatory foods and products, you can help control and mitigate your endometriosis pain as well as significantly improve your day-to-day and many aspects of your life.
A plant-based diet has been shown to be incredibly helpful, with a focus on omega-3 fatty acids from sources such as:
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Flax seeds and flax oil
- Edamame and soybean oil.
Ensure you eat a variety of vegetables and whole unrefined grains, eat plenty of fruit early in the day to support your natural digestive cycle and be conscious of your snack choices - go with avocados, raw nuts (almonds, macadamias, brazil nuts etc) and dried fruit, apples, bananas etc.
Berries in particular should be eaten everyday, as they are known as nature's protector/inhibitors, containing compounds that reduce inflammation.
Cutting down on foods and activities that cause inflammation is important too i.e.
Alcohol, smoking, caffeine, processed sugar and refined carbs, processed animal products all create inflammatory responses in the body, and in turn, your risk of endometriosis, not to mention lower your overall health and wellness.
Learn more in 5 Dietary Tips to Fight Inflammation in the Body.
4. Try a Detox
There’s nothing that can't be improved with some type of cleanse or detox, and endometriosis is no exception.
A detox helps flush out any stubborn toxins from your body, reduce inflammation, and give your entire digestive system a well-deserved break.
You can do a detox in a number of ways, but a water or juice fast is the most effective and will provide the most relief.
A water fast is not always recommended unless you have access to supervision or you're an experienced "faster", but a juice or raw food cleanse is a great way to go for multiple days.
Prepare homemade, fresh juices when possible, but the Raw Juice Powders are excellent options on the go or if you don’t have a juicer. Do this for 3-7 days to gauge results, before continuing.
Before a fast or cleanse, it is always a good idea to cleanse the digestive tract of any residual debris prior to starting by having a colonic or by doing a natural colon cleanse. Our Cleanse Me protocol will effectively flush out any accumulated waste from your digestive system with its combination of Bentonite clay, Psyllium Husk, and ground Flaxseed so that your body is ready to heal and absorb nutrients efficiently.
5. Use Essential Oils
Essential oils have always been a natural pain solution, and their help as natural treatments for endometriosis shouldn’t be underestimated.
Certain essential oils are particularly beneficial for those with endometriosis. Clary Calm, for example, is a blend of oils known for balancing hormones naturally and the primary oil, Clary Sage, is beneficial for treating PMS.
Other essential oils known for reducing pain like lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary and more can also help during endometriosis flare ups. Make sure you choose a high quality, potent line of oils like doTERRA to ensure you’re getting the best results and purest ingredients.
Learn more in What is Estrogen Dominance and What to Do About It.
Endometriosis is becoming more and more common, likely due to our high exposure to toxins, inflammation, poor diet and because we are simply learning more about the disease and can better diagnose it.
It’s actually the second leading reason for hysterectomies and is becoming increasingly common in women in their thirties and forties, especially if they’ve never been pregnant.
Endometriosis has a wide range of side effects that can be equally or more uncomfortable, like painful menstrual periods, abnormal vaginal bleeding, loss of fertility, and more.
By following a plant-based diet, a healthy lifestyle, and adding a few lifestyle tweaks, you can reduce your risk of endometriosis and its side effects, while also reducing pain and discomfort in your day-to-day life.
Tolman Self Care.