Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, causing a range of symptoms such as painful periods, painful intercourse and fertility problems. The most common conventional treatments for endometriosis are surgery and hormone medication, however, naturopathic treatment can negate the need for these by providing symptomatic relief and optimising the health of the female reproductive system.
Naturopathic treatment for endometriosis may include:
Avoid foods that are known to cause inflammation, such as processed foods and meats, sugar, alcohol, saturated fats and trans fats. Include nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods such as seasonal vegetables and fruits, some whole grains, and lean proteins. Adopting a plant-based diet and drinking plenty of filtered water are helpful in reducing inflammation – aim for about 40mls of water per kilo of body weight.
Specific herbs, such as Paeonia, Chaste Tree and Ladies Mantle have been shown to reduce symptoms of endometriosis and improve the overall health of the female reproductive organs. There are a range of additional helpful herbs that help to modulate hormone production, reduce inflammation and support liver function/detoxification, all of which are beneficial for endometriosis and can be tailored to the individual’s symptom presentation. Herbal medicine can also help to regulate the flow of the period to reduce heavy flow (which can lead to other issues involving iron stores and energy levels).
Targeted nutrients can help to reduce pain and inflammation and other symptoms associated with endometriosis. Choose high quality supplements (sourced from highly bioavailable sources) including omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, probiotics, and curcumin. Obtaining an individualised prescription from a qualified healthcare practitioner is essential for correct nutrients and dosage.
Regular exercise reduces inflammation, regulates hormone production and enhances detoxification which is beneficial for the management of endometriosis. Including lower impact exercises such as yoga, pilates, and swimming provide the same benefits and can improve stress management and sleep quality.
Both chronic and acute stress aggravates inflammation and symptoms of endometriosis, so it is important to manage stress by including regular (daily is optimal) practices such as meditation, diaphragmatic breathing and other activities that make you feel relaxed and calm.
If you suffer from endometriosis or have a family history of this condition, reach out to our Naturopath, Belle, who can provide an individualised treatment plan including a list of helpful and harmful foods, herbal medicine prescription, nutritional supplement prescription and lifestyle modifications that are helpful in the management and treatment of endometriosis.
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