Here’s What You Need To Know About Endometriosis

What You Must Know About Endometriosis

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“Lund, I., and T. Lundeberg. “Endometriosis pain and acupuncture.” Acupuncture and Related Therapies 3, no. 2 (2015): 19-23./ref] In Advertisements fact, in a 2009 data analysis in the Cochrane Database for Systematic Reviews, researchers looked at how acupuncture helped women with …”

Endometriosis is a complicated disease. Even though it affects about 10 percent of women, it is misunderstood.[ref]Farland, Leslie V., Simon Lorrain, Stacey A. Missmer, Laureen Dartois, Iris Cervenka, Isabelle Savoye, Sylvie Mesrine, Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault, and Marina Kvaskoff. “Endometriosis and the risk of skin cancer: a prospective cohort study.” Cancer Causes & Control (2017): 1-9.[/ref] The side effects range far and wide, while the symptoms are different for each woman. At times, there might not be any symptoms at all! Up to 50 percent of women are thought to have “silent” endometriosis.[ref]Endometriosis: Overview. U.S. National Library of Medicine.[/ref] so it’s important to learn what you can.

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis develops when endometrial tissue, or the tissue inside the womb, grows outside of it. For some women, this causes no pain at all. Others may feel intense pain that shows up during menstruation. This is why it’s easy to mistake the pain for bad period cramps. It might also hurt during or after sex.

Pain often shows up in the lower belly, but it can spread to the back

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and legs. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also crop up. You can see why it’s often mistaken for cramps.

Things are most painful when the endometrial tissue builds up. Since it isn’t shed during a period, it can stick together or become inflamed. In some women, the tissue breaks down.[ref]Endometriosis: Overview. U.S. National Library of Medicine.[/ref]

Endometriosis is actually the reason behind 40 to 60 percent of extremely painful periods. It’s also the cause of 20 to 30 percent of low fertility cases.[ref]Sayasneh, Ahmad, Dimitris Tsivos, and Robin Crawford. “Endometriosis and ovarian cancer: a systematic review.” ISRN obstetrics and gynecology 2011 (2011).[/ref]

What You Need To Know About Endometriosis

1. Alcohol And Caffeine Increase Risk

Alcohol and caffeine aggravate the effects of endometriosis

While you can’t prevent endometriosis, limiting alcohol and caffeine intake may help. Both increase estrogen levels, a hormone that controls menstruation. Every month, estrogen thickens the lining of your uterus. The more estrogen you have, the more tissue will

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develop.

If you consume alcohol, restrict boozy drinks to one per day. Caffeinated beverages, like soda and green tea, should also be limited to one a day.[ref]Endometriosis. WomensHealth.gov, Office of Women’s Health.[/ref]

2. Diagnosis Is Often Late

Most people mistake endometriosis for cramps

Remember, endometriosis might come off as cramps. This makes it hard to catch! Most women think it’s perfectly normal.

To avoid delayed diagnosis, regularly visit a gynecologist. She’ll ask you about your period, so be honest about pain and what you’re feeling. If endometriosis is diagnosed early, management will be so much easier.[ref]Endometriosis: Overview. U.S. National Library of Medicine.[/ref]

3. Raises Skin Cancer Risk

People with fairer skin are more prone to endometriosis

Interestingly, endometriosis is associated with skin cancer. The common link? Fair skin and red hair. According to research, women with light complexions tend to

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have a family history of both endometriosis and skin cancer.

A hormonal pathway might be at play, as estrogen influences skin pigmentation. The hormone-dependent nature of endometriosis suggests that it increases vulnerability to skin damage.[ref]Farland, Leslie V., Simon Lorrain, Stacey A. Missmer, Laureen Dartois, Iris Cervenka, Isabelle Savoye, Sylvie Mesrine, Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault, and Marina Kvaskoff. “Endometriosis and the risk of skin cancer: a prospective cohort study.” Cancer Causes & Control (2017): 1-9.[/ref]

If you have fair skin and endometriosis, take extra care of your skin.

4. Increases Autoimmune Disease

Endometriosis is linked to auto immune disease

Estrogen is thought to play a role in autoimmune disease. Plus, women with endometriosis often have an overactive antibodies, but low activity of immune cells. Together, these factors raise the risk of autoimmune problems.[ref]Matalliotakis, I., H. Cakmak, M. Matalliotakis, D. Kappou, and A. Arici. “High rate of allergies among women with endometriosis.” Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology 32, no. 3 (2012): 291-293.[/ref]

Other immune problems, like allergies and asthma, are also

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more common in diagnosed women.[ref]Endometriosis. WomensHealth.gov, Office of Women’s Health.[/ref]

5. Increases Heart Diseases Risk

Endometriosis causes stress, increased cholesterol and inflammation

Endometriosis is also linked to inflammation, oxidative stress, and higher bad “LDL” cholesterol. Together, these factors a setup for heart disease. The Journal of Obstetrics And Gynaecology also shares that endometriosis and heart disease share a common genetic link.[ref]Matalliotakis, I., H. Cakmak, M. Matalliotakis, D. Kappou, and A. Arici. “High rate of allergies among women with endometriosis.” Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology 32, no. 3 (2012): 291-293.[/ref]

It’s yet another reason to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, especially if you have endometriosis. Focus on cutting back on salt, managing cholesterol levels, and staying active.

6. Enhances Ovarian Cancer Risk

Endometriosis may increase the risk of ovarian cancer

Considering the parts that endometriosis affects, the high risk of reproductive cancer is no surprise. Specifically,

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ovarian cancer is the most prevalent.[ref]Kvaskoff, Marina, Fan Mu, Kathryn L. Terry, Holly R. Harris, Elizabeth M. Poole, Leslie Farland, and Stacey A. Missmer. “Endometriosis: a high-risk population for major chronic diseases?.” Human reproduction update 21, no. 4 (2015): 500-516.[/ref]

In this case, angiogenesis is the common link. This is when new blood vessels form from old ones. According to various studies, certain markers relating to angiogenesis show up in both conditions.[ref] Sayasneh, Ahmad, Dimitris Tsivos, and Robin Crawford. “Endometriosis and ovarian cancer: a systematic review.” ISRN obstetrics and gynecology 2011 (2011).[/ref]

7. Acupuncture May Help

Although there is no cure, acupuncture eases pain

Typical treatment for endometriosis calls for pain killers, birth control, medicine that stops hormone production, or surgery. However, acupuncture provides a more natural option.

As an ancient Chinese practice, acupuncture is designed to relieve pain. This is exactly what a woman with endometriosis needs![ref]Lund, I., and T. Lundeberg. “Endometriosis pain and acupuncture.” Acupuncture and Related Therapies 3, no. 2 (2015): 19-23./ref] In

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fact, in a 2009 data analysis in the Cochrane Database for Systematic Reviews, researchers looked at how acupuncture helped women with endometriosis. The rate of effectiveness was an impressive 91.9 percent.[ref]Zhu, Xiaoshu, Kindreth D. Hamilton, and Ewan D. McNicol. “Acupuncture for pain in endometriosis.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev 9 (2009).[/ref]

It’s possible to manage endometriosis. Use it as motivation to eat well and exercise. With your doctor’s help, you can live pain free.