Endometriosis

woman with endometriosis

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a non-malignant disorder in which functioning uterine lining (endometrial tissue) is present outside of the uterus and enlarges in response to fluctuations in estrogen which presses on nerves and causes pain.

What are the symptoms of Endometriosis?

  • Pelvic pain
  • Pelvic mass
  • Change in menses
  • Painful menses, menstrual cramping, back pain
  • Infertility

What is the naturopathic treatment for Endometriosis?

Endometriosis responds very well to naturopathic treatment as we address the root cause of the problem. The key steps to treat endometriosis with natural medicine are:

  • Resolve estrogen dominance
  • Balance hormones
  • Help the liver to detoxify xenoestrogens like pollutants, pesticides and chemicals
  • Acupuncture to relieve pain and stimulate the body to resolve endometriosis tissue
  • Normalize the activity of cells lining the uterus to reduce the escape of tissue out of the uterus

Can Registered Massage Therapy help Endometriosis?

Massage therapy can be very helpful in treating pelvic pain associated with endometriosis. Gentle massage to the lower back, abdomen, glutes, hips and legs can reduce muscle tension, relieve pain and address any postural changes that result from a chronic pain situation. Massage can also help to increase relaxation and a general feeling of well being which is helpful when dealing with pain.

Endometriosis and Natural Medicine Research

Resveratrol :

Supplementation with resveratrol may improve the effect of oral contraceptives in the treatment of endometriosis-associated dysmenorrhoea. Source: Int J Womens Health 2012; 4: 543-549.

Supplementation with resveratrol as well as an oral contraceptive was found to significantly improve and even resolve dysmenorrhea and pelvic pain in endometriosis patients. Source: Int J Womens Health. 2012;4:543-9. Epub 2012 Oct 10

Immune System:

Excess p40 in the peritoneal fluid of endometriosis patients may be related to the natural killer cell defect that is associated with the condition. Source: J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998 Mar;83(3):911-6.

Inadequate immune and neuroendocrine responses are thought to play a part in the pathophysiology of endometriosis, particularly adhesion molecules, protein-glycan ineractions and pro-angiogenic mediators. Source: Semin Immunopathol. 2007 June; 29(2): 193–210.

Development of endometriosis is facilitated by quantity and quality of endometrial cells in peritoneal fluid (PF), increase inflammatory activity in PF, increased endometrial-peritoneal adhesion and angiogenesis, and increased production of autoantibodies against endometrial cells. Source: Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2003; 1: 123.

Pollutants:

Exposure to environmental pollutants, particularly dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls, were found to increase risk of endometriosis in women. Source: Environ Health Perspect. 2009 July; 117(7): 1070–1075.

In women aged 20-40, the sum of all polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners were 1.6 times higher in the 40 women diagnosed with endometriosis than in controls. Source: Environ Health Perspect. 2006 July; 114(7): A404.

Dioxin, a contaminant of industrial combustion processes, is largely thought to play a part in the etiology of endometriosis. However, this study found that serum levels of 100 ppt or higher did not have significant risk for endometriosis. Source: Environ Health Perspect. 2002 July; 110(7): 629–634.

Level of exposure to polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) was found to not increase risk of endometriosis. But, higher levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) exposure did increase risk.   Source: Ann Epidemiol. 2007 July; 17(7): 503–510.

In a study of infertile women with endometriosis, 8 individuals with endometriosis were found to be dioxin positive compared to 1 woman in the control, suggesting a link between dioxin exposure and endometriosis. Source: Hum Reprod. 1997 Feb;12(2):373-5.

Exposure to environmental toxicants induces an inflammatory-like endometrial response that may advance the development of endometriosis.  Source: Fertil Steril. 2008 May; 89(5 Suppl): 1287–1298.

Summed and estrogenic polychlorinated biphenyls were found to not be associated with endometriosis risk.  Source: Environ Health Perspect. 2010 September; 118(9): 1280–1285.

Hormones:

Loss of progesterone signaling in the endometrium may be part of the development of endometriosis, and progesterone resistance is commonly observed in endometriosis patients. Source: Semin Reprod Med. 2010 Jan;28(1):36-43. Epub 2010 Jan 26.

Iron:

Iron overload has been observed in the peritoneal fluid, endometriotic lesions, peritoneum and macrophages of endometriosis patients, suggesting it may a contributing factor in the development of endometriosis. Source: Mol Hum Reprod. 2008 Jul;14(7):377-85. Epub 2008 May 28.

Magnesium:

No correlation was observed between Mg concentration in the peritoneal fluid and HAMA score in endometriosis patients, suggesting a systemic disorder that might affect Mg transport through the cell membrane. Source: Psychiatr Danub. 2010 Mar;22(1):64-7.

Phytochemicals:

The phytochemicals Diindolylmethane (DIM), its precursor Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), and cogener, 2-(Indol-3-ylmethyl)-3,3’diindolylmethane (LTR-1) were found to prevent or reduce symptoms of mastalgia and endometriosis. Source: United States Patent 7,384,972; June 10, 2008

N-acetylcysteine:

Supplementation with N-acetylcysteine was found to decrease cyst mean diameter, compared to a significant increase in untreated patients. Source: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:240702.