my endometriosis story: procedures

Envious of other countries where they have shown support, sympathy and awareness to those suffering in endometriosis. There’s even an organisation to help endo-sufferers raise fund, and begin valuable scientific research to find a cure for this “invisible” illness.

I would like to start a campaign here in my homeland, gather all my endo-sisters because I know we are stronger together – let us not suffer in silence!

I always believe that when we help others, we all rise up. And I want you to know that you are not alone…

A procedure called hysteroscopy was done to me two days ago. But before I jump into that, let us begin with the basics.

There are several endometrial procedures one has to undergo to diagnose and manage – endometriosis.

ENDO FACTS:

1. It takes an average of 10 years to accurately diagnose endometriosis.

2. One in Ten (1 in 10) women gets affected by it.

3. that’s about 176 million women in the world have endometriosis.

4. 68% of women with endometriosis were misdiagnosed with another condition.

Endometrial procedures:

*ultrasound – to diagnose this illness or other causes of pelvic pain. This test uses high frequency sound waves to create images of what’s inside the body. It cannot tell however if you have endometriosis but still helpful to see if you have cyst formations. This I need to have yearly or as advised by my Ob to monitor the cysts, scars or adhesions due to endometriosis.

*laparoscopy – this is an invasive procedure which was done to me more than 5 years ago. During this test, the doctor will make tiny incisions to insert the laparoscope – in my case 5 incisions, to see the endometrial implants, some may have to collect sample for biopsy and remove adhesions.

*SISH (saline infusion sonography) – is a type of ultrasound where a small volume of saline is inserted into the uterus, which then allows the lining of the uterus to be clearly seen on uterine scan.

*hysteroscopy – using a hysteroscope, similar to that of laparoscopy, the doctor inserts that to view into the cervix and inside the uterus. It can also remove polyp/s like in my case, and get samples for lab testing.

These procedures are very crucial in diagnosing and management of this condition. Please see your doctor to help and guide you in your endo-journey.

Hope this post helps, supporting fellow endo-sisters an once of pain at a time. See you again.

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related articles and resources:

endometriosis is different from period pains

My Endometriosis Story: Journey through Pain

herbal supplements for Endometriosis

My endometriosis story: Journey through pain 2

My Endometriosis Story: Post Op

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354661

https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/what-is-hysteroscopy#1

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herbal supplements for Endometriosis

As promised, the following are the supplements I’ve been taking to alleviate symptoms and perhaps improve health. They’re either recommended or result of extensive research. Endo-sufferers may acquire some benefits from taking one of these supplements.

Ashwagandha (withania somniferia)

– may rhyme to that of black panther’s beloved homeland. It is an Indian herb and known to be a potent Ayurvedic medicine with many healthy benefits. Read previous post – The anti-stress Adaptogens

ashwagandha-plant_1024x

– Used for more than 2500 years, it is known as the “strength of the stallion” because it is traditionally used to strengthen the immune system and also referred to as the Indian Ginseng. I take this in capsule form since it is more practical than consuming it as food.

Cranberry

– became my instant favorite fruit/supplement. And here’s why; helps improve immune function, decreased blood pressure, high in vitamins C, A and K, prevent cancer, lower risk of Urinary Tract Infection aaand half a cup comtains only 25 calories. I usually add it in baking oatmeal cookies or drink store-bought organic cranberry juice. Also a great healthy snack as trail mix – combine with nuts like almonds, pistachios or hazelnuts, oats and other dried fruits.

food healthy red fruits

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite Pexels.com

Chasteberry (vitex agnus-cactus)

– This herb provides a precise indication which is to ease Endometriosis symptoms. A Mediterranean and Central Asia native, this tiny berry (as small as peppercorns) alleviates PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome) symptoms, increase lactation, and treat menstrual symptoms while balancing hormones. It’s said, that effect will take months to be noticeable.

chaste-berry

herbal health

 – perhaps, a separate post is needed for the advantages of taking chasteberry/vitex.

Evening primrose Oil

– from the seed of primrose hence the name, used by pregnant women to prevent high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia), shorten labor and prevent late deliveries. It is also used for PMS, breast pain, and most importantly endometriosis.

Image result for evening primrose oil

aloha.com

– Essential fatty acids are necessary in bodily functions but our bodies can’t produce them. Evening primrose oil contains “essential fatty acids” which is the building block for cell membranes and other hormones. Essential fatty acids also seem to help decrease inflammation related to conditions such as arthritis and eczema.

Raspberry

– I discovered this in tea bags from a local herb store while buying other supplements I mentioned above. This tastes so good and has many health benefits, too. It boosts fertility in women, aids the immune system, protects the heart, supports faster metabolism (ooh, I like!) and regulates hormones.

white ceramic cup on white saucer

Photo by Pixabay Pexels.com

– the tea is made from dried raspberry leaves and has a bunch of vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamins B, C, & E, potassium, iron and magnesium. So this tea, aside from its health benefits on women is also good for men and their cardiovascular health. Like peppermint, this tea is beneficial for those suffering from cold, flu, psoriasis, eczema, acne, obesity, indigestion and constipation.

Spirulina

– yes, one of my favourites in the list and will also make a separate detailed post on this. Alongside chlorella, is the most talked about superfoods because of its powerful nutrition-packed profile. Believed to boost the immune system and detoxes heavy metals (especially arsenic), prevents cancer, reduces bad cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.

 spirulinabackground

Taking these supplements may require more validation by research and studies, but it has proven to be helpful in my case. There’s no harm in trying, in fact nature is the best physician. We might as well believe in these herbs God has blessed us, to help us and ease our sufferings.

 

“nature itself, is the best physician.”

– hippocrates

 

 

Sources/Further readings;

https://draxe.com/ashwagandha-benefits/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269142.php

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/chasteberry

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1006/evening-primrose-oil

https://aloha.com/magazine/articles/5-benefits-of-evening-primrose-oil

 

 

 

 

dealing with Diastolic Dysfunction

Diastolic Dysfunction as simplified in previous post – Explaining Diastolic dysfunction in simple terms, is a heart condition when diastole part is not functioning properly. 

medical-appointment-doctor-healthcare-40568.jpeg

Before treatment, it must be accurately diagnosed since it has similar symptoms as Systolic Heart Failure. 

Treatment – first means a change of lifestyle & medicine (some doctors call it Cardiac Rehab), or an invasive option which is surgery to replace a damaged heart valve. And the following managements should be prescribed and supervised by your cardiologist.

  • strict control of hypertension

  • aggressive treatment of coronary artery disease

  • use of diuretics to control pulmonary congestion

  • use of vasodilators to make blood vessels open up, increasing in the size of the blood vessels allows more blood to flow through. This lowers the blood pressure and lessens the workload of the heart

  • use of beta blocker or calcium channel blocker to relax the heart muscle

  • or an ACE inhibitor to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Helps the heart to pump more blood out to the body.

  • strict water and salt restriction to prevent congestion

  • weight control

How to take care of a family with Diastolic Dysfunction?

  • let them rest, shorten their working hours if possible

  • help reduce stress – anxiety and anger can increase heart rate and blood pressure. A relaxing and calm environment will help promote a stable heart rate and blood pressure

  • monitor their blood pressure and heart rate regularly

  • help them limit their salt intake

  • remind/give them their medicines on time

  • assist them to manage their weight and watch out for sudden weight gain that may be a sign of congestion

 

God bless your heart,
mitch.e

 

Medical References & Further Readings:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21861070

https://www.texasheart.org/heart-health/heart-information-center/topics/diastolic-dysfunction/

https://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/library/adult_health/car_diastolic_dysfunction/

https://academic.oup.com/bjaed/article/9/1/29/465857

 

 

Explaining Diastolic dysfunction in simple terms

This post will try to explain the condition called Diastolic Dysfunction in layman’s term.

First, we have to know the two parts to the pumping action of the heart. You can use the photo below as reference.

873730BD-C8D2-49A9-8428-C9CE4088FD0B.jpeg

1. Diastole – first part, when blood collects in the lower heart chambers (left & right ventricles)

2. Systole – second part happens once the ventricles contract and blood is pushed from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery and from the left ventricle into the aortic valves.

Diastolic Dysfunction refers to when diastole part is not functioning properly. The heart stiffens and ventricles do not relax so they cannot fill with blood and causes blood to “dam up” in other parts of the body.

Pressure in the ventricles then increases as blood from the next heartbeat tries to enter. This leads to extra pressure and fluid building up in the vessels of the lungs (referred to as pulmonary congestion) or in the vessels that lead back to the heart (referred to as systemic congestion).

Pulmonary congestion – causes fluid to leak from these vessels into the lung alveoli, causing pulmonary edema. This condition clogs oxygenation of blood in the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath and in worst case scenario even death if the condition is not discovered and treated actively.

The systemic congestion – has detrimental effects on other organs in the body such as the kidney and liver, as a result of poor organ perfusion. Swelling and congestion may also occur in the legs and within the abdomen.

Causes and Symptoms:

The major causes of Diastolic Dysfunction –

  • Obesity and unhealthy lifestyle

  • High blood pressure

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (the walls of the heart become thick and stiff)

  • Aortic stenosis (narrowing in one of the heart valves)

  • Coronary artery disease

  • Restrictive cardiomyopathy (scars or deposits that make the heart muscle stiff)

  • Aging

Symptoms can be from nothing to shortness of breath or labored breathing, unusual swelling of the legs/feet, and fast or irregular heart beat.

If you manifest the above symptoms and a family history of heart disease, consult a trusted Cardiologist and the following tests will help diagnose if you have Diastolic Dysfunction.

  • Chest X-ray

  • Echocardiogram (ECG)

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

 

God bless your heart,

mitch.e

 

Medical references and for Further reading:

https://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/library/adult_health/car_diastolic_dysfunction/

https://academic.oup.com/cardiovascres/article/45/4/813/299300

https://www.news-medical.net/health/Diastolic-Dysfunction-Causes.aspx

https://www.healio.com/cardiology/learn-the-heart/cardiology-review/topic-reviews/diastolic-dysfunction

 

 

My Endometriosis Story: Post Op

God decided to do certain things in a certain way,

and why He did this is a secret known only to Him.

– Paulo Coelho

Pre – operation, I would have diarrhea and extreme lower back pain every menstrual period. The reason for this was explained later on by the laparoscopy procedure done to me. They found out that my posterior uterus adhered to the intestines already. And you could imagine the monthly agony I went through, I felt like dying every time. Area/s affected by endometriosis will most likely manifest symptoms of pain & discomfort yet some cases I read are asymptomatic (oh lucky them!)

To simplify its definition – Our womb (uterus) is where a baby grows when pregnant. Endometriosis is a disease in which the kind of tissue that grows inside the uterus grows outside the uterus.

Our womb (uterus) is where a baby grows when pregnant.

Endometriosis is a disease in which the kind of tissue that grows inside the uterus grows outside the uterus.

The procedure provided a great relief but it was short-lived. For new findings of cysts, adenomyosis and enlargement of uterus were seen recently as bleeding becomes heavy again. I regret relying on the temporary relief of surgery. I thought that was it and oblivious of what could have been a chance for me to be healthy-er.

Many studies showed that unhealthy diet, chemicals and environmental pollution, lifestyle and mostly stress, compounded over time are the culprits behind our afflictions. Though there is no clear explanation for the cause of this illness, I believe that I’m guilty on the “work-related” stress, environmental factors and unhealthy eating which brought me to this present state of health.

it’s not too late…

There’s hope.

About a month ago, I become a member of Endometriosis Philippines Group, and it’s heartwarming to belong to a group that knows exactly what you’re going through, to have an advocacy and bring awareness to this disease.

Next post I will share the medicines, supplements, homeopathic medicines and vitamins I took or currently taking, which provided relief or just a waste of money. Of course, my body’s reaction can be entirely different from yours.

herbal supplements for Endometriosis

Still hoping to help other Endo-sufferers.

Thanks for your time.

mitch.e

 

Learn more:

My Endometriosis Story: Journey through Pain 

What is Endometriosis, signs and symptoms (UCLA-ObGyn)

Endometriosis- Symptoms and Causes by Mayo Clinic

16 Endometriosis Symptoms www.medicinenet.com

Our group – Endometriosis Philippines Discussion Group

My Endometriosis Story: Journey through Pain

Today, I’m sharing something more personal or perhaps painful. My life with Endometriosis.  I’ve been afflicted with Endometriosis before I was even diagnosed many years ago. Symptoms like painful periods (dysmenorrhea) and excessive bleeding (menorraghia) disrupted and sometimes crippled my normal daily living.

I’ve been afflicted with Endometriosis before I was even diagnosed many years ago.

Whenever people asked me about my condition, most of them have no idea about it. They’re far more clueless here in the Philippines, where more “popular” diseases are given focus. And I’m hoping that sharing my story will help others and bring awareness to this incurable condition.

Endometriosis affects one of ten women in the reproductive age or roughly 176 women million are affected around the world.

It is considered incurable since there’s no specific cure available and it takes an average of 7 years to diagnose this condition accurately. The options available to manage discomfort is either to take hormonal therapy which I’m now having or surgically removed it (hysterectomy).

Sometime ago, I underwent surgery and laparoscopy to removed some cysts and adhesions in my body. Biopsy revealed the cysts to be non-malignant and everything seemed to be a temporary ease. For about a year I was relieved of discomfort. But even before I thought I’m “Endometriosis-free” my menstrual pains hit again. This time coupled with headache, dizziness and weakness (malaise).

I went to see a new Ob-Gyne here in Cebu because we reside here already. She reminded me that this condition is lifetime unless I’ll have hysterectomy or early menopause. I was given two choices – oral hormonal therapy or via injections. I opted for the least intimidating one – oral therapy. This, according to my Ob-Gyne will control my hormones in revolt. The recent ultrasound displayed new cysts on both ovaries, Fallopian tubes adhering to the ovary/uterus, and uterus grew slightly bigger.  It sounded familiar to me, or maybe I’m already immune with medical revelations as such. What my doctor did to me after this disclosure was heart-warming, she gave me a hug that comforted me up to this very day. I wish all doctors are like her…

Months of therapy, so far, pains feel bearable. Occasional headaches but I guess that’s due to my allergic rhinitis. I’m gaining weight, oh no! But I prefer this than excruciating pain, for sufferers like me this is much better.

– for sufferers like me this is much better.

Story continues on next post…

Thanks for your time,

mitch.e

References:
http://endometriosis.org/resources/articles/facts-about-endometriosis/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354656

Read next:

My Endometriosis Story: Post Op