When one suffers from endometriosis this is when the tissue makes up the uterine lining (the lining of the womb) is present on other organs inside your body. Endometriosis is usually found in the lower abdomen, or pelvis, but can appear anywhere in the body. Women with endometriosis often have lower abdominal pain, pain with periods, or pain with sexual intercourse, and may report having a hard time getting pregnant. On the other hand, some women with endometriosis may not have any symptoms at all. Endometriosis is estimated to affect between 3 percent and 10 percent of reproductive-aged women.
The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but uncontrolled inflammation plays a major role in the progression and severity of this condition, as shown in multiple studies. Resistance to progesterone is also one of the key features of endometriosis, and inflammation is one of the most common factors causing progesterone resistance.
More and more research is showing that root site for inflammation and immune system and hormonal dysregulation is the GUT. Inflammation gets out of control when our immune system is not working properly, and when we consider that 75 to 80 percent of our immune system is in and around our gut, then the importance of a properly functioning gut becomes apparent.
There can be many reasons for the gut to not to be functioning optimally. Some causes which are frequently missed are food sensitivities and allergies, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, lack of a healthy gut microbiome ( Gut bacteria ), and excessive intake of toxins, chemicals and hormones which ultimately overwhelms our immune system and leads to, you guessed it INFLAMMATION.
So the first steps in managing patients with endometriosis should primarily focus on healing the gut. Changing diet is the first step. Mediterranean or Anti Inflammatory diet is probably the best. Foods that you are allergic or sensitive to should be removed, and if you have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, then this needs to be treated and the damaged gut lining needs to be healed. Replacing and repopulating the gut with good bacteria by using high quality probiotics and prebiotics is also important. Moderate and regular aerobic and anaerobic exercise and mind-body therapies to calm down our sympathetic nervous system help in decreasing inflammation. In some cases using Bioidentical hormone therapy is also an appropriate treatment.
Our body has an amazing capacity to heal, provided we give it proper support and tools.
If you have more questions or would like to schedule to an appointment with me please give my office a call.
Dr. Shah, MD
Mandala Integrative Medicine