It can be really overwhelming. Is endometriosis natural treatment the right approach for me?
Whether endometriosis natural treatment is the right therapy for you will depend entirely on what your desired end point is.
For some women, they seek endometriosis natural treatment because they wish to improve their fertility.
Some women choose a natural treatment for endometriosis entirely for symptom relief.
The most important thing is that you find a team of practitioners whose common goal is to devote their time with you to significantly improving your quality of life.
Before we explain what endometriosis natural treatment is, we need to step back and take a moment to understand what endometriosis is and how it affects women living with this condition.
Understanding endometriosis and how it differs from adenomyosis and endometrioma.
The word endometriosis is of Greek origin.
Wherever a word ends in ‘osis’ we know it is referring to a disease process.
The first syllable ‘endo’ mean inside and the middle syllable ‘metri’ comes from ‘metra’ for womb.
Therefore, ‘endometriosis’ is a disease inside the womb.
Except we now know that the disease itself relates to tissue, endometrial tissue, which would normally be located inside the womb grows outside the womb.
Therefore, the location of the endometrial tissue dictates the name of the pathology.
Endometrial tissue which grows on or inside the ovary is called an endometrioma referring to it being a cyst-like structure.
Endometrial tissue which grows within the muscle layer of the wall of the uterus is called adenomyosis.
It is possible for endometrial tissue to grow in other places like the uterine ligaments, bladder, large intestine, the wider pelvic cavity and more rarely, the lungs and nasal cavity.
How are women with endometriosis different from women who don’t have it?
The most common symptom associated with endometriosis is period pain (dysmenorrhoea), although some women don’t know they have endometriosis because they experience no obvious signs or symptoms.
However, the more common profile of a woman living with endometriosis includes some or all of the following:
- extremely painful periods (dysmenorrhoea)
- infertility (only an issue if trying to conceive)
- heavy menstrual loss (menorrhagia)
- unpredictable timing of the menstrual bleed
- painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia)
- pelvic pain increasing towards the end of the menstrual bleed
- pelvic pain prior to ovulation and prior to menstruation
- isolated pelvic pain
- family history of endometriosis
- if endometriosis is located in the bowel or bladder then pain on bowel motions or urination may be present.
What causes endometriosis?
The precise mechanism behind endometriosis is unclear.
What we do know is that once menopause has passed, women living with endometriosis generally observe a cessation of the signs and symptoms they associate with their disease.
Likewise, when women are pregnant they also experience a cessation of their signs and symptoms.
The common thread between those two things is suspension of the normal, cyclical hormonal cascade associated with the menstrual cycle.
The common hormonal link is oestrogen – the hormone produced in the ovaries to help build menstrual tissue in the uterus.
It is likely that women with endometriosis have endometrial tissue outside the uterus.
This tissue responds to the normal spike in oestrogen that occurs in the menstrual cycle.
With this spike, women with endometriosis produce ‘extra’ endometrial tissue and experience pain and heavy menstrual loss.
Why some women have abnormal endometrial tissue when others don’t is not clear.
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
The gold standard for endometriosis diagnosis is laparascopy and hysteroscopy.
These procedures involve small cameras being inserted into the pelvic cavity and uterus (under anaesthetic) to allow your gynaecologist to have a look around.
How might my doctor treat endometriosis?
Again, this depends on what therapeutic outcome you are trying to achieve.
Many of the medications associated with reducing the signs and symptoms associated with endometriosis will also make you (while you are taking them) infertile.
Therefore, women seeking to conceive cannot take these medications and so this is one reason they may seek endometriosis natural treatment with acupuncture and herbal medicine.
Surgery is another treatment – the idea being removing the endometriosis provides a window of opportunity for conception.
Pain management is another treatment option involving medication to manage pain or more advanced procedures involving pain specialists.
A great resource for women living with endometriosis is QENDO (Endometriosis Queensland).
What is endometriosis natural treatment and what are my options?
Endometriosis natural treatment is a non-surgical, non-hormonal approach to the management of signs and symptoms associated with endometriosis.
The natural therapy treatment for endometriosis you choose will determine the approach taken by your practitioner.
A naturopath will work with diet, lifestyle, supplements and maybe herbs.
An acupuncture Brisbane practitioner like Peter Kington will support your desired therapeutic outcome with acupuncture, diet and lifestyle suggestions and where appropriate, herbal medicine.
Does endometriosis natural treatment with acupuncture replace standard medical care?
In short, never.
The great thing about acupuncture is that it sits beautifully alongside any medical care you might be receiving.
The application of acupuncture is dependent on your practitioner constructing a Chinese medicine diagnosis.
The Chinese medicine diagnosis is unique to the practice of Chinese medicine.
Your practitioner arrives at this diagnosis after the careful gathering and analysis of your unique set of signs and symptoms.
Acupuncture points and herbal formulas are applied according to this diagnosis.
While your diagnosis of ‘endometriosis’ is of interest to your acupuncture practitioner, it is not essential because acupuncturists will always rely on your unique presentation of signs and symptoms.
Your Chinese medicine diagnosis never replaces your medical diagnosis of endometriosis but sits alongside it, providing a framework for your endometriosis natural treatment.
What makes the information in this blog more reliable than anything else I’ve read about endometriosis?
The author of this blog is Brisbane acupuncture practitioner Peter Kington.
Having been in practice since 2005, you will be in experienced hands with an experienced practitioner able to speak with you in a language you will understand.
In addition to his acupuncture skills, Peter has a Master of Reproductive Medicine from the University of NSW so has a deep understanding of the medical approach to endometriosis.
Peter is an in-demand practitioner educator and teaches colleagues in Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America.
Peter lectures across a wide area of health conditions including endometriosis natural treatment options with herbal medicine and acupuncture.
This combined approach helps him to deliver considered and individualised endometriosis natural treatment to you.