Endometriosis. Ever since the word entered my vocabulary, a big unanswered question came with it. What causes it? Where does it come from?
It’s difficult to find a solution to something when you don’t know the definitive cause, right?
What causes endometriosis?
There are different theories out there on how cells that are similar to the endometrium end up outside the womb, but at this point there’s no absolute known cause.
One of the main ideas is that of retrograde menstruation in which menstrual blood containing endometrial cells flows back through your fallopian tubes and out into the pelvic cavity, rather than out of your body.
It has been shown that women with and without endometriosis have this happen. So, why do the cells stick in some and not others?
Other studies claim that endometrial tissue was misplaced during fetal development, that later develops into endometriosis lesions. But again, why in some and not in others? What’s the cause?
The explanation that I’ve always leaned towards is the connection with endo and a faulty immune system. That connection is explored in detail in the 2012 paper: “Is there an association between autoimmunity and endometriosis?”
The authors concluded that endometriosis includes blood markers of inflammatory cytokines and tissue specific autoantibodies. They also point out that endometriosis frequently occurs with other conditions such as thyroid disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
Another idea is that endometrial cells transport themselves through the lymphatic system. There’s a major lymphatic drainage point near your reproductive organs that can get stopped up if this system’s not flowing well. This makes sense to me too.
Perhaps it’s a combination of all of these ideas, along with something else that’s not being tended to.
Endometriosis: a symptom of something else?
Earlier this week I began to piece things together and a new possibility rolled around in my mind… What if endometriosis is actually a symptom of something else?
This possibility sprang to mind after reading Anthony William’s newest book, Medical Medium Thyroid Healing: The Truth behind Hashimoto’s, Graves’, Insomnia, Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Nodules & Epstein-Barr.
Light bulbs started to go off as I reviewed the chapter about symptoms of the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), which William discusses in more detail in his first book, Medical Medium. (I wrote more about that here.)
He claims that EBV is the causative factor behind most mysterious chronic illnesses.
There are different strains and stages of the EBV virus that impact you in different ways. According to William, conventional medicine is only aware now of the second stage of EBV, which shows up as mononucleosis (mono) or glandular fever. (Read more about the stages of EBV here.)
EBV’s easily transmitted via bodily fluids and you may have caught it without even knowing it. You may have shrugged off your initial symptoms as a cold or the flu.
William explained how in the virus’ early stages it goes after the reproductive system, because it feeds off of hormones. He says that EBV can cause cysts and fibroids.
In later stages EBV makes its home in your liver, spleen and thyroid, because it feeds off of toxins and heavy metals. It starts to wear down these vital organs, all of which play a big role with endometriosis.
When your liver gets worn down then your lymphatic system is impacted as well. When your lymphatic system gets clogged up then toxins, waste and hormones recirculate back into your body and the cycle continues.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from Anthony William is that the theory of autoimmune conditions is false. Your body is not attacking itself. Your body wants to find balance and protect you from harmful invaders.
The immune system reaction that goes on with “autoimmune” conditions is your immune system fighting off the virus. It’s going after EBV. The antibodies are there in response to a viral attack. The inflammatory reaction that happens comes from the virus, not from your body attacking its own tissues.
The Epstein Barr Virus & Endometriosis?
EBV’s a smart and evolving virus that does a number on your immune system. As it grows and prospers it does more and more damage to your body.
In the later stages it starts to impact your nervous system showing up as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, lupus, Lyme disease, tinnitus, vertigo and more.
I haven’t seen or heard Anthony William connect it with endometriosis, but I have an inkling that’s the case.
I Tweeted the question to him last week… What is the underlying cause behind endometriosis? But I didn’t hear back. Whomever runs his Twitter account is usually pretty responsive to me. I’ve even been re-tweeted a couple of times, which totally made my day 🙂
Since I didn’t hear back, I’m assuming, they don’t know the answer either. Maybe the question will spark a future blog post or podcast by Anthony William? One can hope.
In the meantime, I can’t stop thinking about this potential connection with endometriosis and EBV, one that I’ve always wondered about.
My History with EBV & endometriosis
Shortly after Thanksgiving my mom got really sick and was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was feeling really run down.
“I feel like how I did when I had mono,” she said.
“You had mono?” I asked. Well, that’s good to know. Ding, ding, ding!
William says that EBV can be passed down from your parents, so you’re born with the virus in your system. Seems that was the case for me.
Armed with this new knowledge I could see how EBV has played a key role in the decline of my health over the course of my life.
As mentioned, EBV feeds off heavy metals and toxins. It also thrives when it’s given eggs, dairy, corn, wheat, and pork. These are all foods that I ate a lot of as a kid. I drank milk three to four times a day on top of cheese, ice cream and lots of wheat. I fed the virus well.
As I grew up, new chemicals were introduced to the food supply along with genetically modified foods. All of these added to the growth of EBV in my body.
I struggled with painful periods from the start. I also had issues with my tonsils for as long as I can remember. Whenever I got sick my throat would hurt terribly. This got worse after I was officially diagnosed with mono or glandular fever (the second stage of EBV) when I was 15. Since then my tonsils and glands in my throat have always been swollen.
When I was 17 I started taking birth control pills, which I took for the next decade of my life. Little did I know then that EBV feeds off hormones!
The synthetic hormones in birth control pills and in many of the hormonal treatments offered for endometriosis are not easily processed out of your body and they wear down your liver. So, the chemical hormones linger in your body and serve as fuel for EBV.
When Stress Strikes EBV Does Too
As I read through Medical Medium: Thyroid Healing, I was reminded how EBV can lay dormant for years, silently building up its forces. It strikes when the immune system is already weakened due to major stress or a large influx of hormones that comes after giving birth, for example.
That’s why many ladies start to have thyroid issues after they have kids. The stress from child birth and the huge influx of hormones serves as a perfect situation for EBV to thrive.
EBV also feeds off excess adrenaline, so it flares up from stress.
Thinking back on my own life and when things got really bad with my health was a point when I was under a great amount of stress physically, emotionally and environmentally. It was the perfect mix for EBV to make itself known.
I got off the pill when I was 27 and the pain started to progress again with my periods. At the time I was living in a condo right off a major highway and across the street from a landfill. Underneath us lived a crazy angry neighbor who threatened our lives on many occasions, creating a stressful living environment.
All of this was mixed with the fact that I was going to school to get a master’s degree and working full time. I took little time for myself.
I literally burnt myself out and things steadily declined with my health. My periods were excruciating. This eventually led to finally being diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 29. A couple of years later I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s.
I began to have aches and pains in my joints and could feel that my lymph nodes were almost always swollen. I had migraines, tingling in my extremities, dizziness, heart palpitations, foggy thinking and constant fatigue no matter how much I slept.
All of these symptoms, William claims, are from late stages of EBV.
So, after reading all of the Medical Medium books and seeing the connections again and again with EBV and other “autoimmune” conditions, I can’t help but connect this with the endometriosis in my body.
Perhaps the endo is living in these spots because my immune system was weakened by EBV my whole life and not taking care of them. Those cells then are serving as fuel for EBV, which causes further inflammation and pain.
Perhaps the elevated cytokines found with endometriosis are a sign of the immune system tending to EBV. Perhaps it’s the virus causing all the inflammation and it’s feeding off endometrial cells because they’re full of hormones? Maybe that’s why the stray endometrial cells are similar to those found in the uterus but not exactly the same?
EBV has been living in my liver for who knows how long, messing with it’s ability to release toxins and synthetic hormones. Once my liver got wore out it went to work on my lymphatic system, which is always swollen, I can feel the blockages under my skin. If endo is spreading this way, maybe it’s getting stuck and re-circulating?
I felt better with endometriosis once I followed the “endo diet”, which makes sense since the foods on the avoid list are all those that feed EBV! Ding, ding, ding!
(If you want to get started with the endo diet check out my free course: Endo Diet Jump-start).
If the virus is a causative factor then it makes even more sense why the holistic path is the way to go. Adding in synthetic hormones of any kind only adds to the fire. They wear down your liver and feed EBV.
It also would explain why stress can be such a big trigger for pain.
On the Positive Side?
The Medical Medium books have helped me tremendously over the past year. I’m living with less pain, more energy and hope that this will continue.
My plan moving forward is to continue to follow the Medical Medium protocol for killing off EBV. I’m going after the virus. I believe this is the source of it all.
I’m grateful that I’ve been connected with this information and I hope that it serves as insight for you. Your body wants to heal, and please know it’s possible. It does take time, however. Considering I’ve been sick my whole life, it takes a while to turn that ship around.
I do believe that there are different layers to healing and that endometriosis is a complex dis-ease. While EBV attacks the physical, I do think there are other emotional and spiritual components that must be addressed as well.
I’ll be going deeper into these topics in the next couple of weeks, and in my upcoming book, Energetics of Endo so stay tuned!
Have you ever had mono? Do you have any other immune system conditions besides endometriosis? Have you followed the Medical Medium protocol for killing off EBV?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.