I found out last week that my Endometriosis is back, and is worse than before. This was quite a surprise to me considering that I had surgery 9 months ago (when Endo was first diagnosed) to clear out all of the endometrial cells from my abdomen, and just ended hormone suppression therapy 6 months ago. I was told that I needed surgery again followed by ongoing, long-term hormone therapies. Last fall the doctors said “it could come back”, but I was thinking years from now. I had no expectation it would reoccur this quickly. What was the value of having surgery when I wasn’t suffering from any of the symptoms so many women face with this disease? The only symptom that has impacted me thus far is compromised fertility, which is a big one, but it is not one that comes with the debilitating pain that so many women experience.
So, I started doing a LOT of research to learn more about the condition so that I can make some informed decisions about the path that makes the most sense for me. I decided to write this blog to share what I am learning in case it helps others who are going through this too.
I was surprised to find that Endo is an auto-immune disorder, with links to hypothyroidism and chronic yeast infections. That it is caused by hormonal imbalances, specifically long-term estrogen dominance and the body not making enough progesterone to offset the effects of estrogen. That there is no cure, and even menopause and hysterectomies don’t completely rid a person of the disease, although they lessen the symptoms. And that hormone therapies are not shown to have any kind of effect on preserving or increasing fertility rates.
My first line of defense, until I can become even smarter, is to employ a healing diet to jumpstart my body’s immune system, reduce inflammation, improve my digestive system and do my best to balance out my hormones naturally by controlling better what I put into my body for nourishment. I bought a 3HP blender, and am (at least initially) following Jeff Primack’s Conquering Any Disease food healing protocol. He doesn’t currently have a specific protocol for endometriosis, and when I reached out to his organization to ask for one, I was told he wouldn’t provide this specific advice since he isn’t a doctor or nutritionist and to instead buy his products and attend his seminars – nice! So I am using the guidance provided for other related issues as a starting point. And will continue to look for other resources to help me along my journey.
Basically, the following “food groups” are out: wheat, anything made with yeast, sugar, coffee, alcohol, dairy, most oils (other than coconut, olive, avocado, hemp and flax), most meats (organic chicken and ocean fishes ok), and soy, to name a few. And all of these foods are replaced with anti-inflammatory, organic, whole fruits and vegetables (some raw in “smoothies” and some cooked), organic chicken and ocean fish.
While most of my life to this point I would have resisted making these changes, I am at a place now where I embrace them if they will keep me out of the OR and off of constant medications for the next 10+ years. I am excited to see what impact these changes will have for me, other than the obvious weight loss benefits, which I am already starting to see in the first 5 days. And I am ready to learn the lessons I am mean to learn from this experience.
Tell me about your experiences making changes to manage Endo with minimal medical intervention. What has worked for you?