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Understanding Endometriosis – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments

Endometriosis is something close to our hearts at Face Fit, with a third of our staff having been diagnosed (read Clinic Manager Ashleigh’s Journey to Endometriosis  Diagnosis). With March being Endometriosis Awareness month, we share what endometriosis is, what the symptoms are, how it is diagnosed and treated, and how naturopathy can support alongside medical management.

 

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrium), grows outside of this area. Commonly attaching to the ovaries/ abdomen area, it has also been found on most other organs in the body. Endometriosis affects at least 1 in 9 women.

Woman holding stomach caused by endometriosis cramps

Symptoms of endometriosis

Endometriosis is a whole body disease with symptoms varying from person-to-person. The most common symptoms include:

  • Painful periods, pelvic pain, pain with ovulation
  • Back pain
  • Pain with passing of a stool
  • Frequent and/ or painful urination
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Irregular or heavy periods
  • Infertility/difficulty falling pregnant
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive symptoms including: diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and nausea

 

Severity of these symptoms is not related to the severity of the disease.

 

How does endometriosis impact someone?

Due to the chronic nature of Endometriosis, it can impact someone’s life in many different ways. This may look like:

  • Difficulty socialising and maintaining relationships
  • Mental Wellbeing/ Depression/ anxiety
  • High medical/ support costs
  • Inability to attend work
  • Difficulty keeping to a schedule/ keeping plans
  • Difficulty participating in regular physical activity

 

Diagnosis and Treatment

The gold standard in endometriosis diagnosis is through surgical laparoscopy, which may be recommended after a pelvic ultrasound. If diagnosed, excision surgery (during your laparoscopy) is most commonly used to remove the unwanted endometrial tissue, from where it’s not meant to be growing. Ideally surgery will improve quality of life, reduce pain and severity of symptoms and is sometimes used to enhance fertility. Endometriosis usually grows back so people may need multiple surgeries throughout their lifetime.

Other common medical treatments may include hormonal therapies and the IUD (Mirena). Support can also be provided by: physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians, nutritionists, naturopaths and acupuncturists.

 

How can Naturopathy support me alongside Medical Management?

Naturopathy works on supporting the body as a whole, making sure your body has the right nutrients for optimising your health and the body systems that can affect endometriosis. Naturopathy can also help support you with other symptoms that can occur with endometriosis such as digestive complaints, fatigue and heavy periods.

 

How can I support someone with endometriosis?

Tips for people to support their friends, patients and loved ones suffering from endometriosis may include:

  • Learning about endometriosis, its symptoms and how it impacts people 
  • Being supportive and listening to their needs
  • Being understanding if they have to cancel or change plans 
  • Giving them a helping hand on the days they may not feel up to getting off the couch (heat up that hot water bottle for them)
  • Donating to foundations/research for endometriosis – you can donate to organisations such as Endometriosis Australia to support people with endometriosis and research for treatment. 

 

Endometriosis Support At Face Fit

Face Fit Naturopath, EvieEndometriosis is something close to our hearts at Face Fit, with a third of our staff having been diagnosed.

Our Naturopath Evie supports each of us with our own unique treatment plan and supplements tailored to our individual symptoms.

If you need support on your own journey with Endo, don’t hesitate to give us a call and book in for a consultation.

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