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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endometriosis is different from period pains

she has what?

Saw this battle cry unanimous for all of us suffering from endometriosis.

Living with endometriosis means a lot of patience when dealing with scrutiny and misunderstanding from people. They’d ask me, what do you feel? And I often replied, “indescribable pain.”

 

 

So what is really the difference between a regular menstrual discomfort and endometriosis?

Read full post;

My Endometriosis Story: Journey through Pain

The female reproductive organs are shown with red patches of endometriosis located on the ovaries and on the outside of the uterus. The uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina, and areas of endometriosis are labeled.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH, USA

In order to understand completely one’s affliction is to have one. Pondering through the imponderable – a condition that is widely misunderstood and how to live above “it.” The dilemmas we endo-sufferers usually encounter are finding the best and sympathetic doctors, accurate diagnosis that will not take years, and having the right treatment/managements. It all begins with understanding this condition.

 

Endometriosis is an ailment while menstrual pain is merely a symptom, an indication.

Menstrual cramps last about two days only while in Endometriosis, it can be everyday or intermittent. Cramps can be considered normal if it’s not disabling and severe.

It would be best to see your doctor if your menstruation starts to feel odd, irregular and or extremely painful. 

After chatting with an #endosister this morning who has yet again been overlooked and told her symptoms are just gastro related…I thought it was important to share this. Never stop fighting for answers and advocating for yourself. You know your body best.💪🏼💕 — I’ve always had severe GI symptoms associated with my Endo. How many of you initially presented with GI symptoms which lead to your diagnosis? Please comment and share your experiences below.👇🏼❤️ . . . Image via @dririsorbuch #endofact #endometriosis #theendoproject #endostory #myendostory #endometriosisawareness #adenomyosis #pelvicpain #chronicillness #invisibleillness #womenshealth #endosisters #endostrong #endocommunity #endowarrior

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I’m currently writing this post prior to an endometrial procedure. Yeah a bit worried, but I’m placing everything in God’s hands. The thing with endometriosis is that you can never be complacent, even in the absence of pain, one has to continuously see a doctor and a regular check-up/diagnostic test is crucial. There’s no other way to monitor our condition but through periodical ultrasound.

I always feel the need to reach out to my fellow 176 million endo-sisters worldwide through writing and sharing my journey. Hope is definitely a powerful driving force that renders us strength and courage especially in this trying times.

 

Women empower woman. Every day your stories and your courage inspire, support and empower others. At @theendoproject we share all of our community stories for this very reason. Story telling is powerful stuff and we are much stronger together. I’m so proud to be a part of this community and to be an #endosister ❤️ — We would love to know how far our #endocommunity reaches. Please comment below and tell us where you are in the world!👇🏼🌏 — If you would like share your #endostory please send an email to helloendoproject@gmail.com. 📝 . . . Image via @treatingendo #endometriosis #theendoproject #endostory #myendostory #endometriosisawareness #adenomyosis #pelvicpain #chronicillness #invisibleillness #womenshealth #endosisters #endostrong #endocommunity #endowarrior

A post shared by The Endo Project (@theendoproject) on

Tried some supplements to alleviate its symptoms and help my body counteract the side-effects of taking various pharmaceutically made hormones. Sharing in the post herbal supplements for Endometriosis.

This blog aims to help endo-sufferers find hope, ease symptoms, prevent avoidable complications and to spread awareness and understanding of their families and friends.

RELATED RESOURCES:

https://www.webmd.com/women/endometriosis/ss/slideshow-endometriosis-overview

http://endometriosis.org/resources/articles/facts-about-endometriosis/

https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/endometri/conditioninfo

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

 

 

 

 

My endometriosis story: Journey through pain 2

I do not know how to begin my next personal entry. I’m pretty sure others would be eager to learn that my condition became worse. While a few close family and friends are immensely concern and worried.

I believe there’s a power to every story.

Not just for endo-sufferers like me, but for everyone…

For the last 7 years, I have lived with endometriosis, talked about it in previous posts;

Recently, I have been getting sicker. Been bleeding for more than a month now. And so I decided to see my trusted doctors, one happens to be a good friend of mine.

I’ve missed them, it’s been a long time since my last check-up. They’re genuinely compassionate, I can feel it. And they talk to me straight, only mere facts, without any sugar-coating.

My years with endometriosis is exhausting, there are times I refused to visit a local specialist because I know she’d remind me the same dismal news. It’s also tiring to always explain my condition, the more if inquisitor is clueless about this “incurable” disease. And to my fellow endo-sufferers, surely you can relate – people often think we make all these up or it’s all in our heads. Sadly, it’s pain who is talking. I tried to mask the affliction by managing my weight. Taking different medicines, oral therapy (hormones), supplements and herbal, to the point of repugnance is a daily norm.

First, I had an ultrasound followed by SISH (Saline Infusion Sonohysterography). Both are endometrial procedures to diagnose and identify the cause of this haemorrhage. After a thorough and cautious examination, they found a polyp & among other complications of endometriosis. Something unfamiliar to me, seeing it from the monitor I thought it was a fetus (I wish!) but oh no, it was a tubulocystic structure called hydrosalpinx.

it was a tubulocystic structure called hydrosalpinx.

Hypdrosalpinx – is a type of fallopian tube blockage. Read it here hydrosalpinx, causes and treatment. Distended in my abdomen, it appeared sausage like and a probable complication of endometriosis. Along with other pelvic adhesions, I was told that conceiving is now non-viable. It is easy to succumb and dwell on despair and sadness when one is overwhelmed with trials. And so I try to see something good, something to be thankful for in my everyday life. Waking up pain-free is what I cherish the most, being able to take no medication for a day is next.

We, together with my loving family and trusted doctors, deal with it one at a time. And it helps to be hopeful, hope gives us incredible strength.

hope gives us incredible strength.

My endo-sisters our journey through pain is much sweeter if we hold on to our family, to our loved ones, if we face it together. Facing it alone will just makes things worse and heavier. I thank God for I found a local community that I can relate with, and to be part of an international organization that’s united in one goal – to end endo. 

 

Reference/s:

http://www.verywellfamily.com

http://www.endometriosis.org

http://www.endohope.org

 

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