Endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when the cells from the uterine lining (the endometrium) grow elsewhere in the abdominal cavity. There are several theories as to why this happens.

One theory is that it involves a hormonal imbalance (such as an oestrogen to progesterone ratio imbalance), other possibilities are immunological dysfunction and/or inflammation.

Also, the liver is the primary site of hormonal conjugation and elimination and it has been found that a significant number of endometriosis patients have a history of impaired liver function.

Lymphatic transportation of endometrial tissue to atopic sites is another theory that has
been surmised.

Stress and bowel toxicity are other possible reasons or aggravating factors.

The pain associated with endometriosis occurs, because although the endometrium cells are not in the uterus, they respond to the normal hormonal changes which control menstruation and therefore break down and bleed each month. If there is nowhere for the blood to escape to, then the blood accumulates in the body cavities and can cause pressure and pain until it is slowly absorbed by the body.
If there are endometrial cells in the bowel, then blood may be noticed passing in the bowel motion.
The endometrial tissue can also eventually cause scar tissue to form, which can cause pain and problems in adjacent organs.

Endometriosis is most commonly associated with pain, including dysmenorrhoea, dyspareunia (deep pain on intercourse), chronic pelvic pain and ovulation pain.
However about one third of women diagnosed with endometriosis have no pain. Also there is no association between the severity of the endometriosis and either the occurrence or the severity of pain.
Endometriosis can also cause anaemia and infertility.

Natural treatments often revolve around the symptoms being experienced. Therefore, if pain and cramping are being felt, then anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic herbs such as White Willow bark, Corydalis, Chamomile, Raspberry Leaf, Ginger, Licorice and Wild yam are soothing and pain relieving.
While herbs such as Cramp bark, Kavakava, and Valerian are very effective in relieving spasmodic cramping.

If flow is sluggish, dark and clotted the appropriate herb would be Dong Quai which can often correct these symptoms as it is a wonderful tonifying herb as well as being anti-spasmodic.
Gotu Kola and Dan Shen are herbs which may be used to help reduce the formation of adhesions.

Herbs such as Kavakava, Chamomile and Motherwort are also very useful to help ease the anxiety that often accompanies endometriosis.

In some instances the bleeding may be abnormally heavy, in which case herbs such as Beth root,Lady’s mantle and Shepherds Purse would be indicated as they are astringents and can also help ease inflammatory symptoms.

However, probably the most specifically indicated herb is Vitex agnus castus, although it may need higher doses to be effective and is often used in conjunction with the herbs previously mentioned.
Contact us if you need a herbal blend made specifically for you.

Because of the possible involvement of the liver, it is appropriate in all cases to add herbs such as St Mary’s Thistle, Dandelion Root and Globe Artichoke that tonify the liver, help detoxify the body and accelerate the hepatic breakdown of oestrogens.

Also because of the possible involvement of the lymphatic and immune systems
the use of herbs such as Echinacea, Pokeroot, Pau D’arco and Astragalus may well
be indicated.

In many cases great improvement is seen when the bowel is treated, often just with the addition of slippery elm powder to the diet, but at times with the addition of raw beetroot juice or other herbs the ease bowel congestion.
See pages on Bowel – improving action’.

Colloidal minerals are of great benefit as they contain all minerals needed
to heal. They help prevent iron deficiency from excessive blood loss. Zinc aids
tissue repair and magnesium helps to prevent cramping.
See page on  Minerals – why we need to supplement’.

Because of prostaglandin abnormalities endometriosis has also been beneficially helped by greatly increasing essential fatty acid levels.
Around three to five meals of fish are needed weekly or about 2000-3000 mg of fish oil daily.
Evening primrose oil can also be used. These may need to be used long-term before noticeable results are realised. Evening primrose oil is also very effective in treating the depression and irritability that often accompanies endometriosis.
Use 3000 mg twice daily.
Go to On-line shop for Organic Evening primrose oil and Fish oils.

Vitamin E has been shown to decrease adhesion formation. Start with 500 IU daily. Do not take high doses of vitamin E immediately before or after surgery.

Procyanidine (OPC),  Grapeseed extracts or other strong antioxidants have also been reported to be beneficial in the control of pain and the reduction in adhesions. Ideally take OPC between 150-300 mg /daily.