Endometriosis can cause severe fatigue and tiredness and this issue is very common for most sufferers. It is one of the symptoms of the disease that is often over-looked by doctors.
Tiredness with long term illness as a symptom has many causes but is usually caused by the body trying to cope with the damage caused by disease.
When the immune system is trying to eliminate endometriosis, cytokines, which are also know as inflammatory toxins are secreted by the tissue. This in turn causes fatigue due to the chemicals being released.
Sometimes this fatigue is a response in the body to make you take is easy to ensure healing can take place.
For many the only way to escape or cope with the tiredness and exhaustion is to sleep. But even getting sufficient sleep does not seem to help with the fatigue and many wake up feeling just as tired.
Here are a few suggestions that may help you overcome the feeling of constant fatigue
Tiredness is a key signal from your body that it is trying to deal with an imbalance in health. When we have a virus like the flu we can feel very drained.
It is nature’s way of making us stop, so that we rest up and let the body deal with whatever is wrong with our health. We need that energy for healing, for cell repair, wound healing, killing viruses, and to repair the body.
Many of us in the West are dehydrated and we do not drink enough water. This can easily lead to fatigue. There are many healing benefits to water and if we do not get enough we start to feel sluggish and lethargic. DRINKING MORE WATER will be a good start to regaining some energy.
Just trying to cope with long-term illness
Many of you will be suffering from the tiredness that comes from the sheer slog, of trying to cope over a long period of time with a debilitating illness. This is natural. You need to do things that distract you, focus you and put your concentration outside of yourself.
This could include taking up new hobbies that are not taxing but are more relaxing. Past-times like needle-crafts, artwork, writing - are all good for distraction. You could express your feelings about endometriosis through writing.
Undertaking a detox can help to reduce the feelings of tiredness. The more you detox your body and get rid of the toxins that are taxing your system, the quicker you will feel the benefits; gradually you will start to regain some energy.
Some of the drug therapy for endometriosis can have side-effects that cause tiredness. If you are able to reduce your drug intake the less strain you will be putting on your body.
It can be quite common to find those suffering from endometriosis also have a thyroid problem causing hypothyroidism.
Get your thyroid levels checked. The thyroid is the engine of the entire body and it controls every function of the body. If your thyroid levels are running low you will suffer fatigue, low body temperature, hair loss, compromised immune system, constipation, weakness, muscle pains, weight gain, depression, anxiety and many other issues related to your metabolism.
A quick blood test can diagnose a thyroid problem. You need to check levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), Free T4 (storage hormone), Free T3 (active thyroid hormone) and thyroid antibodies to check for any autoimmune issues.
A full iron panel would also be of benefit as thyroid hormones will not work properly without optimal iron levels.
Not many people really understand or have heard of adrenal fatigue, but your adrenals can take a real bashing from the stress of endometriosis. Your adrenals can be running on overdrive and pumping out too much cortisol, or they can be suffering from over-use and the output of cortisol starts to flag.
Either way, it can be confusing to diagnose what is happening just by symptoms as both high and low cortisol can produce similar symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, jittery feeling, insomnia and compromised immune response.
You need to do a cortisol saliva test to check what is really going on. Blood tests for cortisol are not accurate as they measure total cortisol in your body, and not the actual cortisol that is bio-available for your body to use.
You can buy tests online which you do at home and post back to the lab, who then email the results back to you. You need to do the test that checks your levels four times a day, so that you get a better idea of your adrenal cortisol curve. Your cortisol should gradually reduce through the day, starting highest first thing in the morning.
Once you know what is happening with your cortisol levels you can treat accordingly. There are many adaptogen herbs that can help reduce cortisol, and for low cortisol you can support your adrenals with adrenal cortex supplements.
It is well known that exercise helps with tiredness and depression because of the release of endorphins by the brain - those hormones responsible for the 'feel good' factor.
Undertaking exercise can be really hard for many endo girls due to pain or the pain and exhaustion combination. But even gentle exercise like yoga and walking can be very beneficial and being in the sunlight will also help.
Many have reported that one of the unexpected benefits of following a healthy nutritious diet that is geared to help with the symptoms of endometriosis, are also finding that they have improvement in their energy levels.
There are many levels of health benefits that can be gained through diet - reduce symptoms, tackle Candida, help with IBS, reduce weight, detox from past drug intake and toxic chemical over-load, reduce oestrogen dominance, cleans the liver (the hardest working detox organ in the body), and even improved eyesight and complexion.
Also make sure all your vitamins and minerals are in balance and include various supplements to help.
There is lots of advice about nutrition on the 'Diet' page - which is a good starting point.