Having Endometriosis & Adenomyosis; avoiding hysterectomy by lifestyle/diet change

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This is the continuation of post what to do when you have both endometriosis & adenomyosis. 

If you are like me, sadly, having both endometriosis and adenomyosis – we have natural alternatives to deal with these conditions. No need to suffer in silence, I know entirely how you feel and the infallible agony you are going through, for I’m experiencing it too!

I sympathised with my endo-sisters in their 20’s or 30’s who had hysterectomy as their last resort. That’s what most doctors would recommend to end patient’s complain about pain.

But is it the only cure?

If there’s anything we can do to avoid the ousting of our wombs or ovaries, we would definitely jump on it right? Most especially when we’re still trying to conceive. We are often confronted with varying dilemmas of whether to have it removed or not, take synthetic hormones to mask the symptoms and pain, and the endless misconception that the pain we are feeling is “normal” for women during their menstruation. 

In Endometriosis Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid, there are certain lifestyle choices that play a big role in the progression of endometriosis or adenomyosis. Foods can greatly influence the hormones, particularly estrogen balance, and can negatively affect us with these conditions. 

Both diseases are caused by what else – hormonal imbalance, usually an excessive of estrogen supply. The management for endometriosis and endometriosis is the conventional palliative therapy with pain medications and hormonal manipulation. Minor surgeries and the final course is hysterectomy. 

“Various published studies have shown that 12% of patients with Adenomyosis also have been diagnosed with Endometriosis in other sites outside the uterus, within the pelvis. As high as 62% of women who had hysterectomy were found to have this disease on pathology reports.” – alternativesurgery.com

Endo-diet for me seems unthinkable & impractical (pardon the candidness). Of course I want to be healthy but being able to eat only what is suggested ugh! is a punishment. And so I thought of improvising, tweaking it a little bit. I call it my hormone-helper nutrition. Long name alright, it is basically a diet of having mostly plant-based whole foods and some selected supplements. 

I still indulge on eating seafood, pork, free-range chicken but not red meat. I now avoid red meat, alcohol, artificial sweetener and other inflammatories. I also began reducing my calorie intake and monitor my calorie consumption. There’s a lot actually, but baby steps is crucial and really important.

So what is plant-based whole foods? 

Plant-based examples; almond milk, coconut sugar, whole grains, cereal, nuts, legumes, fruits – food that didn’t undergo processing. Organic and free from chemical or GMO’s. The supplements I’m taking are posted in herbal supplements. We may have different reactions and in Filipino saying “hiyang” when certain herb improves our situation. So I suggest to do baby steps, take supplements one at a time and monitor any response. 

Wellness practices – Lifestyle change

Exercise – when we sweat, our body releases endorphins. These are chemicals to help you become less sensitive to pain. It also triggers a positive feeling in the body, naming it “happy hormones”. Do you know that I went back to the gym and started doing dumbbell workouts, and I feel so good after workout. 

R and R (rest and relaxation) – living in constant pain can cause more stress. Making symptoms worse and you more anxious and sensitive to pain. So chill out, relax and practice deep breathing exercises. 

fitness girl hands lifestyle

Photo by Pexels.com

Acupuncture – this I have yet to try. It is a traditional Chinese therapy that uses fine needles to stimulate points in your body. It increases blood flow and releases natural pain-killing chemicals thus help us in pain during flare-ups. 

Counting Calories – which helps a lot in weight management. Using a mobile app to assist you, I have the free version of – Lose it! and thinking of upgrading to premium because of a continued effort to improve my condition.

lose-it-app

 

These are some points to consider or to try, paying tribute to my endo-community. I recently underwent some endometrial procedures, my doctor removed two benign polyps from my uterus (thank God) and so far I’m pain free! 

Having both endometriosis and adenomyosis should not dictate your life. It led however to a drastic awakening on my part, but I got up and continue to get up in spite the pain. Seek help and there’s always hope – #endohope.

 

 

 

Resources:

http://dietvsdisease.org

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression#1

https://www.thecut.com/swellness/2016/07/can-diet-and-nutrition-help-with-endometriosis.html

Read more:

My Endometriosis Story: Journey through Pain

endometriosis story: procedures 

endometriosis is different from period pains

herbal supplements for Endometriosis

endometriosis story: journey through pain 2

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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. 

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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.

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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