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Endometriosis & Naturopathic Medicine



Endometriosis affects 1 in 9 women in Australia 

Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease, the the presence of endometrial tissue is found outside of the uterine cavity. Endometriosis in an inflammatory condition that if affected by hormones particularly oestrogen causing the following symptoms in many sufferers: 

Painful periods

Ovulation pain

Painful sexually intercourse

Pain throughout the cycle  

Constipation & painful defecation 

Infertility 50% off suffers 


A 2019 report by the commissioned by the Australian government estimates the economic of endometriosis on the Australian economy to be $7.4 Billion per year. It takes on average 6.5 years for a woman to be diagnosed with Laparoscopy & biopsy the only way to diagnose endometriosis correctly. 


What causes Endometriosis? 

This is still a bit of an unknown. Some theories are being researched with many factors driving the development of the disease. A cumulation of epigenetic drivers, hormonal factors, inflammation & immunological factors are believed to be involved.  


Impaired immune response in women with endometriosis is believed to be a factor. The immune system of sufferers is believed to have a reduced ability to remove endometrial tissue and suppress its growth contributing to the development of the disease. 


Endometriosis requires oestrogen for continued growth, this is why many times hormonal birth control is used to reduce growth post-surgery. Many women with endometriosis have impaired oestrogen production, more so endometriotic cysts growths can further drive the production of oestrogen, creating a vicious cycle.  


Inflammation and endometriosis is well known through elevated levels of inflammatory markers CRP and CA-125 in sufferers. Anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful in reducing symptoms so it suggests an inflammatory cascade is present. This high inflammatory state can drive progesterone resistance meaning that progesterone is not utilised and oestrogen proliferates the growth of the endometriosis cells. This chronic inflammation can also drive a hypersensitive increase pain perception.  


Risk factors

There are some factors that are associated with the prevalence of endometriosis. These include:


Genetic Factors - there is a 5.2 fold increase having a direct female relative with the disease. 

Hormonal Factors- women with early menarche (start of periods), short and heavy cycles at at higher risk


Immune Factors - women with endometriosis are more likely to suffer immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, auto-immune thyroid and multiple sclerosis  


Digestive bacterial contamination - women with bacterial contamination of the endometrium are more likely to develop endometriosis 


Naturopathic Approach to Endometriosis  

The Naturopathic management of endometriosis looks at identifying sources of inflammation such as poor gut health, intolerances, dietary and lifestyle causes or environmental triggers and reducing these.


Hormonal detoxification of oestrogen can also play a huge role in managing symptoms. We look at the impact of the nervous system and stress on driving inflammation and any immune system dysfunction. We also support women with guidance around lifestyle choices such as an anti-inflammatory diet, individual dietary triggers, movement and stress reduction.


With an emphasise on the quality of life for the endometriosis sufferer, we focus on

Reducing Period Pain

Improving energy

Understanding your own individual endometriosis triggers

Reducing the likelihood of endometriosis returning post-op

Supporting fertility in when trying to conceive with endometriosis


Reach out today if you for a natural approach to endometriosis symptoms.


References 

Chantalat E, Valera MC, Vaysse C, Noirrit E, Rusidze M, Weyl A, Vergriete K, Buscail E, Lluel P, Fontaine C, Arnal JF, Lenfant F. Estrogen Receptors and Endometriosis. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Apr 17;21(8):2815. doi: 10.3390/ijms21082815 


Králíčková M, Vetvicka V. Immunological aspects of endometriosis: a review. Ann Transl Med. 2015 Jul;3(11):153. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2305-5839.2015.06.08. 


Khan KN, Fujishita A, Hiraki K, Kitajima M, Nakashima M, Fushiki S, Kitawaki J. Bacterial contamination hypothesis: a new concept in endometriosis. Reprod Med Biol. 2018 Jan 18;17(2):125-133. doi: 10.1002/rmb2.12083. PMID: 29692669; PMCID: PMC5902457.


Rahmioglu, N., Montgomery, G. W., & Zondervan, K. T. (2015). Genetics of endometriosis. Women's health, 11(5), 577-586. doi:10.2217/whe.15.41

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