Endometriosis….by definition is an inflammatory condition characterised by the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside of the uterus, mainly on pelvic structures and rarely at other body sites such as the lungs. The statistics of women with endometriosis is quite staggering (approx. 1 to 10% of all women) and sadly is growing. I am just one of the many women diagnosed with endo.
Do I wear my endo as a badge? No. I do not. I do not believe any illness gets the right to define who a person is and so I am merely someone who has endometriosis but no it does not define me.
So, let’s get personal. When I was younger my poor Mum tried on numerous occasions to have the “period chat” with me. My response….”that’s nice….I’m not interested”. Not exactly the chat I think my Mum had anticipated….. But I was a tom boy…. why would I have to deal with such things…..[insert hysterically laughing emoji]. Well, the universe, Mother Nature or whoever you believe in had other ideas. Not only did I wake one night with excruciating pain in my guts thinking my Grandmother had accidentally poisoned me only to be greeted by a period, but after it had finished, I did not tell anyone about it because of course that sort of thing was done and dusted never to happen again. Well, once again, I obviously had missed the message, because 1 week later my period came back with a vengeance whilst we were on holiday, and to be honest scarred me for life. I flooded in the car and had to do the walk of shame through a shopping centre with blood running down my legs and wait in a toilet cubicle for my mum to buy me new clothes. Let’s just say I am now 43 years old and only now can confidently wear white pants when I have my period. What an initiation!
Fast forward a few years and my period journey had not really been a happy one. I would flood like no tomorrow. School was a total nightmare. I would pile layer upon layer of toilet paper on top of my sanitary pad just to see if I could make it last that little bit longer. The pain was excruciating and the clots, well that’s not exactly something I think any teenage girl needs to experience. I used to pass out, vomit, be completely immobilised by the pain but push through it because “this is what having your period is like”……SPOILER ALERT….”It’s not!”. This my friends, is endometriosis. Hormonal imbalance and just downright plain nasty.
Over the years I have tried almost everything to help. The defining moment for me was when my husband caught me sitting on the toilet, slamming my head against the shower cubicle, completely delirious to what I was doing but just needing to stop the pain. After a right talking to I decided enough was enough and this was NOT ok and would not be repeated. I had recently graduated in Naturopathy so I had a wealth of herbs and nutrients at my disposal to “cure” me…..There is no cure as such but let me tell you it is modifiable.
Fast forward a few more years and I was told I am sorry but it is most likely that you will never have kids. Not a statement I was willing to sit with needless to say. Did you know that up to 50% of infertile women have endometriosis? Surgery is an option that is often given but in the majority of cases this is only a short term fix. Luckily I persisted with dietary changes, herbal and nutritional support and we fell pregnant but sadly this is not everyone’s story. Diagnosis of endometriosis is often delayed and precious time is often lost. Post having our son, my periods were a lot tamer. Still painful and heavy but “not pass out and vomit pain”. My nose still bled and so did my belly button coming into my period so I obviously have endometrial tissue there as well but all in all each month was more bearable.
I still struggle to replenish my iron levels between cycles due to the heavy amount of loss I experience each month but the most significant difference I have noticed in my symptoms has been since starting a German Diet Program called Metabolic Balance®. I didn’t do Metabolic Balance® for my endometriosis. I studied and incorporated it into my practice because I was so impressed with the sustainable results I was seeing. In Germany gynecologists are finding a vast reduction in hormonal symptoms in their patients who are following the diet. Plus it has the added bonus of recalibrating the metabolism so is fantastic for weight loss, cholesterol reduction, diabetes control and management as well as thyroid conditions. Since starting my own Metabolic Balance® food plan my levels of inflammation throughout my entire body have dramatically reduced. Did you know there’s a strong correlation between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and endometriosis? So not only do the inflammatory drivers that are active during your period cause pain and bloating that are cycle related, most endo sufferers also suffer pain, bloating and bowel issues in between their cycle. Definitely not ideal or pleasant. So since starting Metabolic Balance® back in October I have less incidence of stomach pain, bloating, and gut inflammation in between my cycle. My period is less severe, I no-longer pass out from pain and my nose doesn’t bleed anymore.
So I guess what I am saying is there are answers out there. There is treatment and depending on the severity the results will vary but mostly, there is HOPE. No-one should ever have to experience the crippling pain and agony of endometriosis. I found herbs and nutrients helped me considerably but Metabolic Balance® was a game-changer. If you are interested in finding out more on how I can help you or whether Metabolic Balance® can help you, please contact me. No-one should have to suffer.