Endometriosis story

  These stories can help other women so they do not feel so alone when trying to cope with effects of this disease.

Not sure if I have endometriosis, but a little scared...

by Grace
(Texas, USA)

Although I consider myself relatively healthy, there are some symptoms I experience that I am concerned may be connected to endometriosis.

I have not been formally diagnosed yet, but considering my family history of the disease, I'm scared that history may be repeating itself and want more information.

Background: I am eighteen going on nineteen, ~5'3" tall and 128-130 lbs right now (although I am casually working on losing weight). My period started soon after turning eleven, and I have been dealing with monthly misery ever since.

Here's the symptoms that worry me most.

1) Tight, constricting chest pain around my period, sometimes in conjunction with nasty pelvic cramps. I am due to have my period soon and have had a VERY stressful few months (lots of school work, leadership responsibilities, plentiful family stress, preparing for college), and this pain has returned with a vengeance. Maybe there's a connection?

2) Noticeable bowel issues around my period--ie, diarrhoea with VERY STRONG shooting pain lasting long after a B.M.

3) Shortness of breath that worsens when I exercise around my period. Not sure if this relates, but it happens too.

Also experience in conjunction with my period: bloating, fatigue, difficulty concentrating blood sugar issues (ie, constantly hungry), extreme depression and moodiness.

I have only talked to one doctor about it--a pediatrician--and he did not seem very concerned about the pain, even though I was. Last summer, I had several blood tests (estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, thyroid, cortisol, prolactin, if I remember them all correctly) and a pelvic ultrasound done.

Ultrasound came back normal, and the only abnormalities from the blood draw were (slightly) elevated levels of cortisol and prolactin.

Here's my questions for those of you already diagnosed:

1) Can endometriosis manifest itself in the chest cavity, and if so, how common is it?

2) Is it possible for endometriosis tissue to not show up on an ultrasound and thus possibly go unnoticed?

3) Does bleeding have to be heavy?

I'd appreciate all of your help. Thanks!

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