I know from personal experience how drained and exhausted you can feel with Endometriosis. For many women this feeling of exhaustion can be constant and you wonder how you are going to get through the day. I am convinced that in my own case that I did actually suffer from ME at the same time that I had endometriosis – the issue of a compromised immune system. Thankfully, the help of a great homeopath helped to re-balance my system as well as help with endometriosis.
Why are you so tired!
Why women with Endometriosis suffer so badly from exhaustion is not clearly understood.
There have been various ideas put forward, both from the medical profession and from Endo sufferers themselves. It is a natural process of the body to feel tired when dealing with viruses, bugs, colds and so on.
We naturally feel tired when the body is working hard to heal itself. It is a natural mechanism which nature has built into our systems so that we stop rushing around trying to carry on as normal and the body can then use spare reserves of energy to heal, repair and recuperate.
Women with Endo are more prone to a whole range of other health issues as well as Endometriosis. It is no wonder that they feel exhausted. Their bodies are working overtime trying to cope.
Some in the medical field feel the main reason for fatigue is caused by the body trying to cope with the chemical changes in the body and trying to manage the inflammation the disease causes.
What actually is the state of exhaustion! To state the obvious - it is lack of energy. All our energy comes from the food we eat. Food is fuel. Lots of women with Endo have various digestive problems. If we have a compromised digestive system then we are not going to assimilate our food so well. You can support your digestive system with digestive enzymes, probiotics and a healthy anti-inflammatory diet.
Then there is the whole subject of STRESS. Stress will upset the digestive system, stress will deplete energy reserves, and trying to cope with the myriad of effects and symptoms caused by Endometriosis is stressful. So you become stuck in a vicious circle because stress makes endometriosis worse and is the common cause of and endometriosis flare.
Endometriosis also causes a great deal of pain symptoms - this too will cause tiredness and exhaustion. When the body is trying to cope with constant pain it puts a strain on our adrenal glands and on our central nervous system.
Without extra energy reserves it becomes very, very hard to deal with practical issues like daily chores, trying to hold down a job, and simply looking after yourself.
You do need to take extra rest when trying to deal with Endo, but you also need to feel as though you have some quality of life. If you are too tired all the time, then you end up with yet another layer of depression caused by the fact that you are so tired you cannot enjoy normal activities without feeling like a zombie.
There needs to be a balance. You need to take enough rest so that you can give your body chance to heal, but you also need to be taking an active part in your own life so that you can feel a sense of achievement, a sense that endo has not taken over your entire life.
Boosting your body's energy
On a day-to-day basis, the average person will use stimulants to boost energy supplies and performance. This comes in the form of caffeinated drinks including coffee, tea and cola, which are among the most popular drinks in the Western world, all of which are stimulants derived from herbs.
What many people do not realise, however, is that over-reliance on stimulants can be addictive and destructive to our overall health. These drinks are really bad for the system in the long term and even more so for women with endometriosis.
While it is true that natural substances can increase energy levels in a number of ways, there is an important distinction to be made between those substances which are purely noted for their 'quick stimulant' action and other natural substances that fall into the category of 'system boosters'.
Most stimulants work through the nervous and circulatory systems to provide an immediate, but short-lived, increase in alertness. Some may also temporarily boost brain function and elevate the mood. The downside of many stimulants is that their quick action frequently leads to addiction and abuse.
System boosters, on the other hand, comprise certain herbs, vitamins, minerals and other natural nutrients, that provide a more sustained and gradual release of energy. On the whole, system boosters are considered to be non-addictive and far safer to use that stimulants. Some herbal system boosters can also act as overall nervous system strengtheners.
Two of the most popular and widely recommended system boosters are the herbs Guarana and Ginseng.
Many of you will have heard about Ginseng which has been gaining popularity in the West since the 1960's. In Russia, where interest in this herb has been particularly extensive, Soviet researchers claim their studies have shown that extracts of ginseng can boost immunity, inhibit cancer, stimulate physical and mental activity, increase energy and physical stamina, improve endocrine glandular function and have variable effects on blood pressure and blood sugar.
Benefits attributed to Ginseng
Numerous studies have confirmed that Ginseng acts primarily as a system booster. It is said to be especially useful for debilitating states, particularly during and after illness or in old age. It has been shown to improve the body's ability to utilise oxygen, thereby increase mental and physical stamina, aiding concentration and memory, and improving the body's overall response to stress.
For centuries, the Maues and other native Indian tribes of the Amazon Rainforest have revered Guarana as legendary as a highly potent 'sacred elixir' sent by the gods to provide medicine and food.
It wasn't until 1973 that research into the benefits of Guarana produced the first evidence that it acts a nervine, or nervous system tonic. Unlike caffeine in coffee, however, Guarana acts slowly on the body to gently stimulate the system to prevent fatigue, thereby aiding concentration and improving both intellectual activity and physical stamina.
Further research has revealed that, like Ginseng, Guarana has an 'adaptogenic' effect on the body, which normalises body functions. Because of this, it is thought to be particularly helpful in building up the immune system and helping the body to adjust its various functions to enable it to cope more effectively with stress.
Guarana is the herbal approach that I use myself to give me extra energy both physically and mentally. The effects and benefits are quite noticeable but gentle. I have used it for reasonably prolonged periods when I have a long-term project to undertake, which requires either physical or mental stamina. I have not noticed any side-effects when using Guarana or when I have stopped using it.
Other natural energy boosters include maca which is full of nutrients, moringa also full of nutrients, staying hydrated, ensure your blood sugars are stable, getting some fresh air and sunshine, doing deep breathing and ensuring you are getting all your required nutrients.
Having more energy available will help you to look after yourself better. You will be able to do more things that help you with your well-being like taking some gentle exercise, which in turn will release those endorphins into your system and will help to reduce the amount of pain you suffer. Having energy will lift your spirits which will improve your immune system.
Some of you may be sensitive to certain supplements and it is advised to start with a small dose to see how your body reacts.