Kick Cramps to the Curb: 5 Natural Remedies for Endometriosis
Many women suffer from cramps during their period. However, chronic menstrual pain and excruciating cramping are not normal. For over 176 million million women throughout the world, this excruciating cramping is part of a condition known as endometriosis.
The inner lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium, contains tissue that is shed during menstruation. In some cases endometrial tissue implants into locations outside of the uterus and continues to grow (most commonly the ovaries, fallopian tube and onto other pelvic structures). Women with endometriosis often have significant pain, cramping, and may even struggle with infertility. It is not entirely known what causes endometriosis.
In addition to medications prescribed by your physician, several lifestyle changes have proven beneficial in women suffering from endometriosis.
Reduce Excess Estrogen: It is clear that excess fat can lead to increased estrogen production and availability in the body. This increase in hormones often influences the endometrial tissue and intensifies pain and bleeding. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding excess sources of estrogenic compounds can help alleviate symptoms. This includes reducing exposure to things like PCBs and BPA found in plastic and packaging materials.
Modify your Stress: Studies show that women with endometriosis are often found to have elevated levels of stress. Modifying this stress with physical activity and focusing on emotional health led to improved quality of life. Add in 10-15 minutes of meditation daily. You may need to begin with 2-3 minutes per day and slowly add more. Exercise can also be beneficial. Aim for low impact exercises like walking, swimming, and yoga.
Bump Up Omega-3′s: Research also suggests that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids was linked to a lowered risk of endometriosis. Adding these to your diet can be simple. Choose foods like flax seeds, tofu, salmon, and soybeans. Don’t worry if you’re new to cooking tofu, here are some great tips.
Try Acupunture: If you needed another reason to give this therapy a try, one study showed that women reported significant relief of painful periods and pelvic pain after acupuncture sessions. To assure your safety and the best results, visit a licensed practitioner who has treated patients with endometriosis before.
Add Turmeric: This amazing spice continues to show widespread anti-inflammatory benefits in many disease processes. If you are wiped out by painful periods, consider adding turmeric to your diet. It can be taken in capsule form, or better yet, add it to your meals!
Do you suffer from endometriosis? Tweet me @ShilpiMD to tell me what has helped you.