Endometriosis has been on the increase, and there are many questions about why this is happening.
It is possible that it is related to high estrogen, or low progesterone levels, or both. Another newly emerging theory is one of Progesterone resistance. Whatever the basis, endometriosis seems to occur while there is estrogen dominance.
There is now growing evidence that suggests that hormonal imbalances may be related toinflammation, which can be switched on by different factors like diet, various environmental toxins, and stress.
The good news is that there are ways in which hormones can be rebalanced – without recourse to drugs or surgery.
Endometriosis occurs when the same type of tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis can occur on the Fallopian tubes, the ovaries, the outside of the uterus, or on the intestines.
Each month this displaced tissue responds to the cyclical rise in estrogen, by becoming engorged through the first half of the cycle, and often release a small amount of blood in the second half, which causes repeated irritation to the surrounding tissue.
Over time this irritation can cause scarring or adhesions inside the reproductive organs, or around the intestines, which can contribute to fertility issues and increased menstrual irregularities or abdominal pains.
Some 3 to 10 percent of all women have endometriosis, while 9 to 50 percent of infertility is caused, or affected by, this condition.
Traditionally endometriosis has been treated medically with ovarian suppression to reduce hormonal function, or surgically by excision of the displaced endometrial tissue.
A newer approach associates endometriosis with high levels of inflammation, which causes the hormonal imbalance, or disturbed sensitivity of the hormone receptors present on uterine tissue.
Inflammation can be caused by a nutritional environment filled with sugar and various toxins like high levels of dioxins and xenoestrogens, (false synthetic estrogens found in many of our everyday cosmetic products and foods, like meat and milk, agricultural pesticides, phalates released by plastic containers into foods and water). Inflammation can also be caused by prolonged stress.
Therefore the following can help with reducing endometriosis
A) Adjust diet
i) Low glycemic foods are best to avoid high sugar release.
ii) Foods with a low inflammatory profile – there are food sensitivity tests that can be done for this so that you can reduce or avoid the food that might be causing your inflammation.
iii) There is also evidence that a group of plant chemicals called flavones can inhibit aromatase, the enzyme that converts androgens to estrogens. Good food sources of flavones celery and parsley. Cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy, contain compounds called indoles, which appear to improve estrogen metabolism and excretion. These food groups are especially helpful in the second half of your menstrual cycle.
B) Minimise xenoestrogens in your environment.
Use only organic foods and cosmetics where possible. Soak fruit and vegetables in water for 15 minutes before consumption. NEVER microwave food in plastic wrap or containers. Store your food and water in glass containers.
C) Adjust exercise
High intensity interval training is the best way to improve insulin sensitivity and control blood sugar.
D) Reduce stress
Yoga, Pilates, meditation, counselling, lifestyle changes, better sleep – all help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
E) Correct Supplements
The right anti-inflammatory supplements – turmeric, omega 3, Vit C. Magnesium selenium and zinc are also important.
F) Rebalance your Hormones
Using bioidentical progesterone prescribed and monitored by a doctor with experience doing this.