Endometriosis is a painful fact of life for many women. This article will discuss some useful, unique ideas that you can try to ease endometriosis pain.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometrium is the medical term for the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus. During the childbearing years, except during pregnancy, women shed this lining once a month in a process known as menstruation. Endometriosis occurs when cells from the lining of the uterus attach to areas outside the uterus. These cells bleed in response to the hormones of the menstrual cycle, creating symptoms such as
- Severe cramping during periods
- Lower back and pelvic pain
- Painful intercourse
- Pain during urination and bowel movements
There are several medical treatments for this condition, such as hormone therapy and aromatase inhibitors, but this article will focus on some natural methods you can try to ease endometriosis pain.
Natural Methods to Ease Endometriosis Pain
Modify Your Diet
Limit red meat. The high fat content in red meat may encourage the body to produce more prostaglandins, which in turn may cause the body to make more estrogen. Extra estrogen will stimulate endometrial tissue growth, possibly making endometriosis worse. Studies indicate that a diet low in fruits and vegetables is linked to endometriosis, too.Add more of these foods to your diet to ease endometriosis pain:
All of these are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the body and may also help ease endometriosis pain. Walnuts are another good source of Omega-3. Check food labels and avoid processed foods, especially those containing trans fats. These dangerous artificial fats can raise your risk of endometriosis by as much as 48 percent. Avoid or reduce caffeine, and don’t drink alcohol. For some women, gluten, refined sugar and dairy products may also be triggers for endometriosis pain.
One of the oldest methods to ease endometriosis pain is also one of the best. A heating pad will help relieve painful cramping. A hot water bottle may even be a little better as it places some gentle, warm pressure on the painful area. A warm bath is also a good idea.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise induces the brain to release natural pain-killing chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins may help to both ease endometriosis pain and naturally elevate your mood. Regular exercise may also reduce estrogen levels, which may help to reduce endometrial tissue growth and bleeding.
Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family. The bright yellow spice is one of the ingredients in curry powder. It contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Curcumin may help reduce inflammation in the body, which in turn will ease pain. Antioxidants help to protect cells from damage. Combine turmeric with ginger for an even more powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Both ginger and turmeric can be found online and in the spice section at the supermarket and natural foods stores. There are lots of ways to use these spices in creative dishes that may also help ease endometriosis pain. Curcumin may also help reduce estradiol levels. Estradiol is one of the three major forms of estrogen in women and is the strongest form. Less of this estrogen may help reduce stimulation of endometrial tissue.
Massaging the pelvic area, abdomen, back and sides just before the menstrual period begins may be helpful for pain.
Increase Intake of Vegetables
Eat more broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bok choy and Brussels sprouts. These cruciferous vegetables contain a substance known as diindolylmethane, or DIM. It may be helpful in controlling excess bleeding from endometriosis. Load up on carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash. These foods are rich in beta-carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, which is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-system enhancer.
Chaste tree, also called vitex, may help balance hormones. Motherwort is a mild sedative and may help ease endometriosis pain and cramping. Rosemary, pycnogenol derived from pine bark and green tea have all shown to be possibly helpful as well. Always consult with your physician before beginning the use of an herbal supplement.
Try some of these simple ideas to see if they will help ease your endometriosis pain.