A Question I am Often asked is –
Am I at Risk of Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is one of the most common health issues experienced among women and one of the leading causes of infertility. How common? It’s estimated that over 176 million women worldwide suffer from endometriosis symptoms. I will guide you through the facts as to – Are you at Risk of Endometriosis, What are the Risk Factors, What is Endometriosis and the Possible Causes. You will learn areas of Prevention, Self -Help, Natural Treatments that will help both in treatment and prevention.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a female medical condition caused by the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue, the inner lining of a female’s uterus
Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells (endometrial cells) similar to those that form the inside or lining the tissue of the uterus, but in a location outside of the uterus.
Endometrial cells are the lining cells of the uterus and are cells that are shed each month during menstruation.
Endometriosis occurs when cells like the lining of the uterus grow in or on tissues outside the uterus; these areas are called endometriosis implants.
These implants are most commonly found on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines, and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity.
They can also be found in the vagina, cervix, and bladder, although less commonly than other locations in the pelvis.
Rarely, endometriosis implants can occur outside the pelvis, on the liver, in old surgery scars, and even in or around the lung or brain.
Endometrial implants (fragments of endometrial mucosa implanted on pelvic structure), while they can cause problems, are benign (not cancerous).
Are You at Risk of Endometriosis?
Several factors put you at higher risk of developing endometriosis, such as:
- Never giving birth
- One or more relatives (mother, aunt or sister) with endometriosis
- Any medical condition that prevents the normal passage of menstrual flow out of the body (this can include taking the contraceptive pill)
- History of pelvic infection
- Uterine abnormalities
Endometriosis usually develops some years after the onset of menstruation, however it has been found to occur in girls as young as 11 years of age.
Signs and symptoms of endometriosis end temporarily with pregnancy and end permanently with menopause, unless you’re taking estrogen.
Possible Causes of Endometriosis!
It is not exactly certain what the cause of endometriosis is, some possible explanations include:
- Retrograde menstruation. This is the most likely explanation for endometriosis. In retrograde menstruation, menstrual blood containing endometrial cells flows back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity instead of out of the body. These displaced endometrial cells stick to the pelvic walls and surfaces of pelvic organs, where they grow and continue to thicken and bleed over the course of each menstrual cycle.
- Embryonic cell growth. The cells lining the abdominal and pelvic cavities come from embryonic cells. When one or more small areas of the abdominal lining turn into endometrial tissue, endometriosis can develop.
- Surgical scar implantation. After a surgery, such as a hysterectomy or C-section, endometrial cells may attach to a surgical incision.
- Endometrial cells transport. The blood vessels or tissue fluid (lymphatic) system may transport endometrial cells to other parts of the body.
- Immune system disorder. It’s possible that a problem with the immune system may make the body unable to recognize and destroy endometrial tissue that’s growing outside the uterus. It can be inadequate development also of the immune system during the formative years of growing up.
- Inadequate nutrition during childhood and adolescent years
- Shock or Trauma This could be the result of an accident, attack or rape, as a as we know stress can be the baseline cause for many abnormalities of health
Preventative Measures for Endometriosis!
As the actual causes of endometriosis are still uncertain, research has found that falling pregnant before the age of 30 will diminish your chances. It has also been found that regular exercise and a diet including a wide selection of vegetables and fruit from young age helps in the preventing the development of this condition.
Endometriosis cannot be prevented because many of the causes of the condition are still unknown. However, researchers have found that early pregnancy helps to diminish your chances of endometriosis. They have also found that regular exercise from a young age helps to prevent the development of this condition. It appears to occur less in woman who follow healthy lifestyles – implementing a healthy diet, regular exercise and not engaging in habits that are harmful such as smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and the taking of illegal drugs or excessive consumption of over the counter medications such as painkillers etc.
Simple Strategies to Maintain Healthy Hormone Function
Depending on the severity of the symptoms you may find it necessary to attend a consult with a Naturopathic Practitioner for Professional treatments to be applied to assist with the symptoms and healing of the condition. Herbal Formulas can be prescribed and formulated for your individual symptoms. These will be of pharmaceutical, medicinal grade therefore being able to support your body far more effectively. Within your consult dietary changes, vitamin supplements and also homeopathic treatment may be necessary to give your body the best chance to repair.
Self Help Suggestions!
Reduce your Exposure to Chemicals: there is increasing evidence that chronic exposure to the environmental chemicals dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is associated with an increased prevalence and severity of endometriosis. These chemicals are mainly found from chemical additives and preservatives found in processed foods, over the counter vitamin supplements: Prescribed and over the counter medications. Evidence has shown that woman with a diet that included high amounts in animal fat, dairy, red meat, chips, chocolate and processed cold meats such as ham were at a higher risk of endometriosis. Other areas where woman are more susceptible is if they engage in negative and destructive habits such as excessive intake of alcohol, smoking or taking a medications or illicit drugs.
Change the Foods you Eat: Evidence has shown that having a diet with a greater quantity of Fresh Vegetables, Fruit Organic meat and chicken, also including fish. There was a definite reduction with the associated risk.
Detoxification: Detoxing on a regular basis helps and supports the body’s unique healing process. This can be as simple as eliminating coffee, alcohol, increasing your intake of filtered water, herbal teas such as Green tea, White Tea, Lemon and Ginger Tea. Only eating organic meat, chicken, fish and vegetables for one to two weeks. Do this every 3 – 4 months it is a Great support for your body.
Bathing is a great way to support your body with the detoxification process. So at least one to two times a week, Enjoy a bubble bath with a cup of Epsom Salts, a couple of drops of Lavender oil and a tablespoon of coconut oil. This also helps with coping with stress as well.
Manage your Stress – To help with managing stress more effectively is a Key to Enjoying Optimal Health No Matter What. Choose positive people to be in your life that are going to support you with positive health changes and lifestyle decisions.
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