After my husband realized the extent of how much pain & suffering my endometriosis caused me, he couldn’t believe how much I did — and particularly while still smiling, when I was suffering. It’s sort of an unfortunate learned coping skill after years without relief, and years of doctors saying that what I was going through was normal (it’s not). The most frustrating thing about my experience is that I was prescribed NSAIDs to deal with the pain I was in, and I took them, a lot, under these doctors’ guidance. I carried a bottle of it with me. When I finally stopped taking them, I’d find bottles of them around our home — ones I had picked up here and there when I was out and about and needed them.
Taking them as I did, and under a doctor’s guidance — frustratingly, caused me horrible stomach & intestinal pain, and nausea. This lasted for years, even once I stopped using them (I’m still healing from this), and it’s one of the reasons why I want more people to know about endometriosis: so they don’t have to experience the pain I did, so they don’t have to try to treat the symptoms instead of the root cause, and suffer from doing that too.
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women.
Symptoms include: painful periods — several days before and several days into your cycle, tail end brown bleeding (brown bleeding at the end of your period), pain going to the bathroom, pelvic pain, excessive bleeding, infertility, fatigue, other gastrointestinal problems, nausea and fatigue.
I think I’ve read that it takes a majority of women an average of 7-10 years before being diagnosed. That’s 7-10 years of experiencing those symptoms — sometimes/often in an excruciating level of pain, before receiving an answer and potential relief. This is something I wouldn’t want any of my loved ones to go through. That’s what this awareness month is for: to share this info so that our loved ones who are suffering in silence will learn, maybe for the first time ever, that their pain isn’t normal, and that there is hope.
Places to start if you think you do have endometriosis?
Speakendo.com has some easy to read info about it. If you think your symptoms line up, I’d recommend scheduling an appointment with a NaProTechnology doctor. You can find a list of NaPro doctors in your area here. I’ve also found that functional medicine doctors are somewhat helpful, though they can’t perform surgery to diagnose or remove endo. I also recommend looking into doctors vetted by Nancy of Nancy’s Nook (an endometriosis education forum on facebook).
Secondly, I would recommend, as many of my NaPro doctors and functional medicine doctors have also recommended, to eliminate dairy, gluten, and inflammatory foods from your diet (things like sugar), as these things can make endometriosis symptoms worse (very true for me).
Lastly, since endometriosis affects your endocrine system, it’s recommended to remove endocrine-disrupting chemicals from your home — these are often found in things like soaps, detergent, deodorants, air fresheners, makeup, and other hygiene products.
I hope this info is helpful for you or someone you care about. ♥
And Products We Use:
After I shared this post on Instagram, I got a lot of requests to share the products that I use in our home considering what I wrote above about eliminating things that disrupt your endocrine system. Here’s a short list of what I use and like:
Manuka honey (great for face masks — and to use as a sugar replacement), our favorite toothpaste, our favorite all-purpose cleaner, my favorite deodorant, hand wash, magnesium body oil, eye cream, lipstick, and other makeup I love.
As for diet, we follow a mostly paleo diet. Some of my favorite recipes are from PaleoRunningMama. We do most of our grocery shopping at our local Kroger (we have a beautiful and amazing one!) and then some supplemental shopping from Thrive.com (Here’s 25% off your first order).