Do you experience heavy periods, pain with menstruation, bowel problems such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or even fertility issues? Then you could be suffering from endometriosis. In this article we will learn how Naturopathy and Exercise Treat Endometriosis
What is endometriosis? Endometriosis is a reproductive condition causing heavy and painful periods in 1 in 10 menstruating women.
Usually, what occurs is that endometrial tissue builds up and is shed if a woman does not fall pregnant. However, in endometriosis, endometrial tissue attaches to organs outside the uterus.
This misplaced tissue responds to hormonal changes by breaking down and building up as endometrial tissue does, however, because it’s outside of where it should normally be, it causes swelling and inflammation around the endometrial tissue and organs. That is what causes the pain.
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
For a definitive diagnosis, Endometriosis is greatly confirmed through diagnostic laparoscopy. But often it is also dismissed as ‘painful periods’, not investigating symptoms further as symptoms associated with endometriosis are often confused with similar conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or pelvic inflammatory disease. Due to these factors, the average time between the onset of endometriosis–related symptoms and diagnosis is eight years.
What is mostly the perception of endometriosis?
The perception most have is that painful periods are ‘normal’. Period pain is our body signaling to us that something is not right. It is common for mild cramping to occur just before your period, or on the first or second day. Although, if you are experiencing pain for several days that interfere with your everyday life, causing you to cancel plans and pop painkillers – this is not normal.
Naturopathy and exercise physiology are excellent tools that have been shown to be effective in reducing period pain and promoting healthy menstrual cycles and for overall endometriosis treatment.
How endometriosis can affect an individual
Endometriosis affects everyone differently – this is where herbal medicine is a game-changer. Natural medicine utilises nutrition, herbal medicine, and supplementation to down–regulate inflammatory markers, reduce excessive bleeding, modulate hormone levels, and relax the smooth muscle to improve symptoms associated with endometriosis.
Depending on the symptoms you are experiencing, a Naturopath will select herbs that are relevant to your presentation and support you holistically.
A few of our favourite herbs for dampening down endometriosis-related symptoms and making that time of the month more manageable include ginger, cramp bark, wild yam, shepherd’s purse, and peony. However, it is important to note that self-prescribing herbs are unsafe and you should only use herbs under the guidance of a qualified naturopath.
How can Atkins Health help with endometriosis treatment?
If you are continually in pain, as is often the case in endometriosis, you tend to naturally hold your muscles in a tight position causing the pelvic floor to lose its ability to contract and relax, resulting in an overactive pelvic floor. An overactive pelvic floor can lead to pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, and pain going to the toilet. However, exercise physiology supports a reduction in pain symptoms and functionality.
Exercise physiologists recommend gentle movements to help release tense muscles, prescribe stretching and release exercises, regulate your pain response, and provide strategies to support pelvic floor function – reducing the severity of pelvic pain.
If you are dreading that time of the month… this is your sign to reach out. We are here for you. Use the form below to contact Atkins Health.
This article is a guest post written by The Feel Good Society. Get in contact with The Feel Good Society to get two valuable client resources: ‘Painful Periods Mini eGuide’ and ‘Happy Hormones Guide Book’.