If there was ever a condition in need of awareness, endometriosis is it. Most people I meet today haven’t heard of endometriosis, even though one in ten women have it.
I first heard about it from a co-worker. She mentioned it to me after I missed another day of work, because of the excruciating pain with my period.
When I turned to the Internet to learn more about this mysterious condition, I was faced with dire news that left me feeling sad and hopeless. There’s no cure. It’s only going to get worse. You may never get pregnant.
Fear flowed through my body. I couldn’t imagine things getting worse. The pain was already excruciating and it was impacting every day of my life. What if I’m never able to have children of my own?
Please don’t lose hope.
I’m grateful for the positive stories I found online from other ladies with endometriosis. These ladies were able to manage their pain through natural methods.
This gave me hope and provided another option outside of what the doctors offered, which was limited to synthetic hormonal treatments and future surgeries.
The pain from endometriosis forced me down a new path of wellness. Since that time I’ve been able to naturally manage endometriosis and feel better than I have in years!
I’ve made it my mission to share a light within this community of women with a disease that can bring with it a lot of darkness.
Because I remember that darkness all too well.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with endometriosis, or know someone who has, please don’t lose hope.
Here are ten things I wish I knew when I first heard the word “endometriosis”.
#1.) It’s possible to feel better without the drugs offered.
After I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis in 2011, the treatment options offered to me were to get back on birth control pills or take Lupron, a GnRH inhibitor that turns off your body’s natural estrogen production.
Both of these options impact the workings of your brain and have long-term impacts on your mental and physical health.
A recent study showed that women who take hormonal contraception are more likely to experience depression and Lupron can have a lasting negative impact on your bone health, among other things.
While these options might help temporarily, they are not long-term solutions and carry with them many side effects. Please research the impacts before blindly putting them into your body. Consider all options and what’s best for your body.
#2.) What you eat plays a big role in how you feel.
Steer clear of inflammatory foods and drinks such as processed wheat, dairy, fried foods, sugar and alcohol and instead fill your body with nutritious foods. Think fruits and veggies. Super foods.
To help you get started check out my course, Endo Diet Jump-start. Learn more and register here.
#3.) Nearly 80% of your immune system’s in the lining of your gut.
If you can get your digestive system in order your body will have a much better chance at healing itself, resulting in less pain and digestive issues. (Here’s a simple way to strengthen your digestion.)
#4.) Pay attention to what you put on your skin.
Endometriosis is fueled by excess estrogen. Many of the products that we come in contact with have xenoestrogens in them. These are chemical imitators of estrogen that linger in your body. Avoid them. (I’m a big fan of 100% Pure. Check them out here.)
#5.) Find ways to manage stress.
Stress plays a big role with your hormones and can create an inflammatory reaction in your body. Life is stressful. It’s not going to go away. Find ways to implement stress-reducing activities into your day. I’ve had success with meditation, massage therapy, yoga, coloring and infrared sauna time.
Sometimes all it takes is a couple of long deep breaths to calm things down. (Check out my guided breathing exercises here).
#6.) It’s Ok to rest.
Your body goes through so much. Don’t feel guilty if you have to say “no”, if you have to call into work, if you don’t get done all that needs to get done. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it.
#7.) Find support.
Living with a misunderstood invisible illness is tough. Especially when it’s one that impacts your fertility. It’s really helpful to connect with other ladies who understand.
I remember when I was first diagnosed with endometriosis and how fearful I was of all the negative information I was pulling in. I had to separate myself from that.
I became conscious of the energy that I was around and shifted towards a community of women who believed that they could get better.
I started a group for positive ladies who support natural methods called Peace with Endo Connect. Find out more and join us here.
#8.) Find a way to creatively express yourself.
A creative outlet gives you space to release. Sometimes it’s hard to express otherwise. Perhaps you like to write, sing, paint, cook, crochet or color. This helps get your mind off the pain and into the present moment.
#9.) You are whole and complete.
It’s easy to get down on your body, to feel broken. Remember that your body is only a shell to something much bigger. The true you is perfect. The acknowledgement of the separation from my physical shell helped me deal with the notion of a life with chronic pain.
The pain part was not “me”. This notion helped me find a bigger purpose and lead me down a path towards true peace.
#10.) Love is greater than fear.
When you pause and reconnect with your true self via meditation or creative activity, you tap into a space of love. I believe this is a direct pathway to a higher source of love and peace.
Faith is what keeps me moving in a positive direction. Regardless of what goes on outside, it helps me to know that it’s all going to be Ok.
On the Positive Side?
Endometriosis forced me to take better care of myself. It took me down a road to great discoveries and a truth that it’s possible to feel better. I’m here to remind you of that.
If you want to dig deeper into the lessons I’ve learned on my journey with endometriosis, check out my book: From Pain to Peace With Endo.
If you need further support and guidance I do offer one-on-one health coaching. Find out more & schedule time to chat with me here.
Please know that you are not alone in this love. Don’t lose hope.
Thank you for sharing! I have Stage 4 Endo and have had a multitude of surgeries,but the pain is never-ending.Two IVF/ICSI cycles later,I am not yet pregnant and. Struggle with chronic shoulder pain aswell.Thank you for this article
Much love to you Anneeda.
I have stage 4 also, multiple surgeries. I had ivf and it failed 😣 then i began taking folic acid everyday for 3 months then had a months break then another three months on folic acid.Ialso used an app called ovia to track my fertile days, had myy lg 2012 and lb 2015 buy doing this both natural conception x
Good luck Natalie! I hope you are blessed with a little miracle.
I’m checking out purity cosmetics for skin and hair. Is there a company that’s natural that sells makeup that you like? I’ve tried a few and they were not great.
Hi Lindsay – I like 100% Pure and occasionally use bareMinerals. I don’t wear a ton of makeup. I find it’s better for my skin that way 🙂
There’s many things I wish I knew when I was first diagnosed with endometriosis! especially those nasty birth control pills and hormonal treatments!However, 7 years after my first laparoscopy and I am now 33 weeks pregnant at 24 years old and have never felt better (pain free) in my life! Thank you for sharing
That’s awesome Gemma. Congrats!
Thank you for sharing. I’ve just had my second surgery. My first was a nearly complete hystorectomy but I still have my right ovary. There’s so much that’s changed but big the pain. My pain is mostly in my back and it’s really bad, all the time.
I am very very fortunate that this did not start until I was able to have 3 beautiful daughters. Believe me I do not take that for granted. My sister has 1 child and if I had had a healthy uterus I’d have carried a child for her. Much love to you all x
I forgot to add mine was severe stage 4 endometriomas plus adenomiosis
Much love to you.
My endometriosis was so sever it wrapped around and grew through my colon. I’ve had two partial colectomies. I also had a partial hysterectomy, leaving me with one ovary. However, since the one ovary continued to produce estrogen, the endometriosis returned. When my second ovary was removed, I immediately went into menopause. To help with the effects caused by menopause, my doctor put me on a low dose of estrogen, only to have the endometriosis return again. So, another surgery was performed. I completely stopped taking estrogen. The abdominal pain has completely subsided, but I’ve never recovered from the back pain. However, the back pain could be attributed to carrying twins. Since my body was forced into early menopause, I had the side effects for many years and continue to have night sweats. If your doctor suggests having your ovary removed, just know it may not relieve all of the back pain. But, if you do decide to have your ovary removed, you are all but guaranteed to be endometriosis free, providing they don’t put you on an estrogen supplement. I am offering this information in case you ever need to make a future decision about having your remaining ovary removed. I hope you find a solution for your back pain, I know how awful it can be. Best wishes.
I have now had 7 surgeries to remove my endometriosis. I was diagnosed at age 19. I am now 36. I had to have both my appendix and gallbladder removed as well as a surgery to disconnect my intestines from my abdomen wall due to scar tissue. I did both a Depot Provera and Lupron treatment arc. Neither were fun! No children yet as I haven’t found the right person. Prayers for all of you fighting this painful disease.