Endometriosis

Endometriosis  is the name given to the condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body.In endometriosis, cells like the ones in the lining of the womb grow elsewhere in the body. These cells react to the menstrual cycle each month and also bleed. However, there is no way for this blood to leave the body. This can cause inflammation, pain and the formation of scar tissue.

Each month these cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape.

If the endometrium grows within the muscular layer of the womb it is called adenomyosis, which is just a different type of endometriosis.

The commonest areas to be affected are:

The ovaries where cysts might appear; these are called chocolate cysts because they contain brown material (old blood).
The area behind the womb and in front of the rectum (large bowel). This space is called the Pouch of Douglas and endometriosis here often causes deep pain and painful intercourse (dyspareunia).

Less common sites include the bowel itself, the bladder and sites outside the pelvis including the navel (belly button) or operation scars.

Causes

  1. One popular theory focuses on a potential process known as retrograde menstruation. Retrograde menstruation can be thought of as backward flow during a period.

2.Another theory, also known as coelomic metaplasia, suggests that a layer of cells surrounding the ovaries and other cells within the pelvic region are able to change into endometrial cells that are much the same as normal endometrial tissue. It is not certain what causes this development, but evidence suggests irritation by retrograde menstrual flow or infections may be the culprit.

3.Transfer of endometrial tissues by a surgical procedure might be the cause for endometriosis implants seen in surgical scars (for example, episiotomy or cesarean section scars).

4.Some studies have shown alternations in the immune response in women with endometriosis, suggesting that abnormalities in the immune system may play a role in the development of the condition.

Endometriosis can have a significant impact on a woman’s life in a number of ways, including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Fatigue/lack of energy
  • Depression/isolation
  • Problems with a couple’s sex life/relationships
  • Inability to conceive 

Diagnosis

Scans, blood tests and internal examinations are not a conclusive way to diagnose endometriosis and a normal scan, blood test and internal examination does not mean that you do not have endometriosis.

The only definitive way to diagnose endometriosis is by a laparoscopy 

Because endometriosis manifests itself in a variety of ways and shares symptoms with other conditions, diagnosis can be difficult and often delayed.

Diet

  • Eliminate potential food allergens, including dairy, wheat (gluten), corn, soyvegetables (such as kale, spinach, and bell pepper).
  • Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
  • Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein.
  • Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or vegetable oil.
  • Reduce or eliminate trans fattyacids, found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, french fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, and limit foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat. Avoid foods with additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • Drink 6 – 8 glasses of filtered water daily.

Treatment

. The different treatments available for endometriosis aim to reduce the severity of symptoms and improve the quality of life for a woman living  with the condition

Treatment options available to women with endometriosis are:

  • Surgery
  • Hormone treatment
  • Pain relief    

Homoeopathic treatment 

Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach

According to the Materia Medica the following remedies in Endometriosis may be administered for the following conditions:

Apis mellifica: Menstruation disorders; Soreness and stinging pains, ovaritis, worse in right ovary; Great tenderness over abdomen uterine region.

Arsenicum album: Endometriosis; Menstruation disorders; Anxiety, exhaustion and restlessness; Catamenia (menstruation) too early and too copious attended by much suffering.

Bryonia: Ovaritis; Menstrual irregularities with gastric symptoms; Inter-menstrual pain with great pelvic soreness; Irritable mind.

Cimicifuga racemosa: Uterus disorders; Menses too profuse, dark, coagulated, scanty with backache, nervousness, irregular in time and amount, more flow, more pain; Pain across pelvis from hip to hip.

Cinchona officinalis: Circulation; Menstruation; Menses too early, dark, profuse, clotted with abdominal distention; Painful induration in vagina.

Conium maculatum: Menstruation disorders; Ovaritis; Cervicitis; Weakness of body and mind; Cutting pains in ovaries and uterus.

Hamamelis virginiana: Uterus disorders; Menses dark, profuse with soreness in abdomen; Metrorrhagia (breakthrough bleeding or spotting) occurring midway between menstrual periods.

Hydrastis canadensis: Menorrhagia and metrorrhagia (breakthrough bleeding) with fibroids; Uterus disorders; Vagina sore during sex, bleeding afterwards.

Iodium: Uterus disorders; Great weakness during menses; Menstruation irregular; Wedge-like pain from ovary to uterus; Sterility.

Lachesis : Uterine and ovarian pains, all relieved by the flow; Less the flow the more pain; Menstruation too scanty (blood black).

Lilium tigrinum: Uterus disorders; Prolapse of uterus; Congestion of uterus; Menses, early, dark, clotted offensive; Bloating feeling in uterine region.

Lycopodium clavatum: Menstruation disorders; Fibroma; Menses too late, last too long, too profuse; Coition painful; Catamenia suppressed readily, and for a long time, by fright; Chronic vaginal dryness; Miscarriage.

Phosphorus: Menstruation disorders; Slight hemorrhage from uterus; Uterine polyps; Infertility; Tearing in genital organs, and stitches upward from vagina into uterus.

Pulsatilla: Abnormal menstruation; Menses clotted, changeable, intermittent; Inflammation and prolapse of uterus.

Rhus toxicodendron: Dysmenorrhea (painful period); Menorrhagia (excess bleeding); Uterine infection, septic; Violent pain in vulva with menstrual discharge; Pelvic articulations stiff when beginning to move.

Sabina: Inter-menstrual flow; Excessive menstruation; Uterine hemorrhage, partly clotted, worse from least motion; Tendency to miscarriage; Shooting pain up the vagina.

Secale cornutum: Contraction of blood vessels and uterus; Weak uterus or bearing down pain with coldness; Menses irregular, continuous oozing of water blood.

Sepia: Menstruation disorders; Never well since puberty, childbirth after weaning or hormone pills; Weak uterus, bearing down sensation as if everything would escape through the vagina; Prolapsed bladder, uterus or vagina.

The list of the remedies may be quite exhaustive .The formation of cyst in the ovary suggests the sycotic and spread to the inner lining of the uterus and to the other organs, the syphilitic nature of the disease. Therefore antimiasmatic drugs would also help 

Pls note –The treatment for these conditions is always based upon the constitution of the patient and the medicines vary for each patient, depending upon the particular symptoms. The remedies mentioned here should be taken only after consulting a homoeopath or health care professional .

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Author: minal03

Homoeopathic Doctor ,an artist, Food blogger

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