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.
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.
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.
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
– 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.
– 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 contains 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.
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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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)
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.