Here are some great tips from Charlie of naturally remedies and supplements she uses to help manage her endometriosis with success
Charlie's advice ......
I am 29 years old and live in Plymouth, England. I am sure I have Endometriosis, though I am not officially diagnosed since I declined the Laparoscopy. I didn't want an operation if it was purely to diagnose me. I was concerned about the "Laparoscopy" aggravating my condition and causing the spread of endometrial lesions/ growths/ whatever.
I didn't want to undergo something that wasn't 100% necessary. Other tests that I underwent ruled out the likelihood of other possible causes (such as cancer), but did not confirm "Endometriosis". My sore abdomen was examined by the GP, I had blood tests, a cervical pap smear, my vagina was physically examined. I had an ultrasound scan; an internal ultrasound scan and a sample was taken from my cervix with the help of a scalpel.
This was all not very pleasant, as I'm sure most of you know from experience. My main symptoms have been pain and swelling around the time of my period to such an extent that I could not function most of the time.
I would experience cramps that I’m sure are normally associated with childbirth!! My womb and large intestines felt very much as though they were tied up, twisted and blocked by swelling/ twisting during my period and the week afterwards.
Trapped wind caused problems and bowel movements were agony - to the extent where I have nearly passed out. I also felt extremely tired, sluggish and bad-tempered due. I feared being on my own with the pain and I feared that my insides might actually tear or rupture. I want to share my ideas to help with the pain since there are so many people who seem to be in so much agony and distress.
We do not know what causes Endometriosis and this makes it really hard to then know how to treat it. It is a kind of disorder in the body, where parts of our womb lining seem to have got where they shouldn't and cause all sorts of agony. The main question for me was, what can I do to help my body become healthier and more functional, to prevent what is there from worsening or even to heal?
Her tips for managing symptoms
1) Acupuncture - this requires patience, because it does not provide results straight away, but it did seem to help me, so I would recommend it. I did this for nearly a year.
2) Evening Primrose Oil, which I take with Cod Liver Oil since I also struggle with aching joints and muscles sometimes. Evening primrose oil helps to regulate hormones.
3) Multivitamin and multi-mineral tablet. I do eat healthily, but I figure it can't hurt. Certainly, the stress of the pain I experience and blood loss is likely to take from my body's resources in some way.
4) Avoid inflammatory foods – my symptoms are so much better for going on an anti-inflammatory diet
5) Yoga. I do the Salute to the Sun series most days at present.
6) Being on the contraceptive pill or patch seems to reduce symptoms, though I do worry about what impact it has long term on Endometriosis. I cannot make up my mind on this one.
The other question for me was, what can I do to help at the time of my period to reduce pain?
1) Mefenamic Acid (anti-inflammatory drug) prescribed by my GP does work if I take it from just before my period all the way through. If I take it sporadically, it is not so effective since my body has then had a chance to swell and then gets to the point where I feel the pain too much. I have started substituting this for my own ginger tea (liberal amount of ginger grated into a teapot, sieved and served with Manuka honey) since ginger has an anti-inflammatory effect naturally and aids digestion.
2) Drink lots of water/ fluids. This seems to help my bowel function too.
3) Apply a heated lavender and wheat-grass bag to abdomen.
4) Doing yoga stretches (avoid inverted poses during menstruation) My Iyengar Yoga book has specific poses to help menstrual pain.
5) Exercise. Last time, after my ginger tea and my stretches, I headed out on a bicycle with a friend in the woods. Although I was nervous and I did have to stop a couple of times due to feeling faint, I do think it really helped me to get things moving. My period seemed shorter and really was less painful. I definitely functioned better than usual.
6) Calendula cream applied to abdomen seems to help calm. I hope this helps.
I wanted to have something positive to give you all hope. I say: do everything you can to improve the quality of your life. Look for the long term, not just quick fix solutions.
Look for the least disruptive, least risky, most natural route. I feel that my bowels and womb have become less twisted and that my endometriosis is no longer taking over my life completely.
Share with others the best treatment you have personally found for your endometriosis. Was it by finding an excellent surgeon, or maybe using natural treatments? How many different treatments have you tried before finally finding something that works?