Endometriosis is a condition that effects 10 percent of women who are of child-bearing age. It occurs when the tissues that normally grow inside the uterus grow in other locations. It is a notoriously painful condition, which many women have described as being more intense than child birth. Internal scar tissue may eventually develop, which is a known cause of infertility. Medical books provide differing explanations as to why this condition is so incredibly painful, but there are only guesses, and endometriosis is not well understood by the orthodox medical establishment.
Most doctors treat this condition by suppressing its symptoms with painkillers, or by placing women on birth control drugs that cause them to skip their monthly cycle. As a result of such neglect, endometriosis is a leading cause of infertility in the civilized world. The mainstream methods of suppressing endometriosis are usually futile. The only drugs that provide effective relief are extremely addictive, and all surgical attempts are largely failures. The most common long-term treatment is laparoscopic surgery to remove the excess tissues, but the condition has an extremely high recurrence rate despite surgical interventions. Some women get hysterectomies to eliminate endometriosis, but even in these cases, it sometimes returns in different places. Pregnancy is the only thing that reliably cures the condition, and it provides relief even in those rare cases when endometriosis is not completely cured. The condition always stops when menopause begins.
The disease can have a massive impact on the quality of life. Women with endometriosis have an 87% chance of depression, and an 88% chance of having mild to moderate anxiety. Sixty-three percent of endometrial women have severe anxiety problems. Endometriosis sufferers are four times more likely to have allergy problems, and they are also four times more likely to have migraines. Many women with severe endometriosis are forced to go on disability, because their symptoms are so severe. The Internet is riddled with horror stories about those who committed suicide due to their endometriosis pain.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
- Painful Periods
- Painful Intercourse
- Heavy or irregular bleeding
- Painful bowel movements or urination
- Loss of stale menstrual brown blood
- Excessive mood swings
- Lower back pain
- Loss of large menstrual blood clots
- Swollen abdomen
The Causes of Endometriosis
Traditional Chinese Medicine (ancient Chinese medicine) links endometriosis with liver problems. While T.C.M. can seem very confusing upon first glance, we have learned not to underestimate its usefulness. A study titled Chinese Herbal Medicine For Endometriosis, at Southampton University revealed that Chinese herbal medicine is more effective for endometriosis relief than mainstream treatments are, with no side effects.
The liver is the primary organ that is responsible for the elimination of toxins. When the liver is unsuccessful at flushing toxins, they sometimes remain in the liver forever. These liver toxins are the most common cause of liver impairment. The liver is responsible for the regulation of the sex hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Increases in estrogen will make endometriosis more severe, indicating yet another hormonal component of the condition and the condition's relationship to liver health. The fact that this condition is caused by liver dysfunction means that women who opt for mainstream treatments will eventually find themselves in a worse condition than they were beforehand. This is because all pharmaceuticals stress the liver and increase its toxicity.
The Endometriosis Association has done massive amounts of research on the connection between endometriosis and dioxin exposure. Dioxins are a byproduct of chlorination, which is used to bleach sanitary towels and tampons. The bleaching process is known to release dioxins that remain on consumer products. This exposure, particularly in the case of tampons, could cause endometriosis or worsen it.
It has been shown that alcoholic women (or former alcoholics) are more likely to have endometriosis. Heavy drinking places a massive strain on the liver.
Numerous studies have additionally linked a higher risk of endometriosis with women who have diets which are low in anti-oxidants, or who have above-average "free radicals" (oxidation) in the body. Oxidative damage is indicative of a bad diet overall, lacking in both fruits and vegetables. This can be easily fixed with dietary changes. Oxidative damage can also result from chlorine exposure.
The Korean study, "Association of Body Mass Index With Severity of Endometriosis in Korean Women", has linked endometriosis with small figured women, and the researchers noted that the thinner women are, the more severe the disease. Hormones have a dramatic effect upon a person's weight, and thin women tend to have smaller amounts of the hormone estrogen.
In the long term, the typical pharmaceutical methods for treating endometriosis will cause the disease to worsen. The prolonged use of either strong painkillers or oral contraceptives is very harmful to the liver.
Areas where endometrial tissue grows in the body become very inflamed, and the long-lasting inflammation prevents the body from properly healing. Therefore, one of the most important things for an endometriosis sufferer to do is reduce the amount of inflammation in the body.
Exercise in the week prior to menstruation can be very beneficial. Sweating is the only way to cleanse the lymph nodes, and endometriosis is a disease that is influenced by toxicity.
Those who are sexually active in healthy relationships are less likely to experience endometriosis attacks, and the attacks are less severe for them. Korean researchers have labeled endometriosis a "working woman's disease" for this reason. This insight has been ignored by the Western press due to political correctness. Intercourse shortly before menstruation will drastically reduce endometrial symptoms. The best effect is achieved when male hormones are directly injected into the patient, but we have opted to not explicitly explain. Becoming pregnant during this time is very unlikely.
- Eat organic, grass fed meat. Avoid processed and factory-farmed meats, because they contain growth hormones which will make the problems worse. Iron is essential, so beef must be part of the diet. Iron supplements are less safe and they are poorly absorbed.
- Avoid refined white sugar, white flour, and white rice. The chlorination process used to bleach foods will leave some dioxin residues in the food, because dioxins are always a byproduct of chlorine. The (white) refined variants of these foods are very inflammatory. Read the ingredients and purchase "evaporated cane juice" for sugar. Use only brown rice and whole wheat flour, and do not use any carbohydrates that are not completely homemade.
- Honey is actually an anti-inflammatory sweetener, so it too is recommended. It is the ideal sweetener whenever it is a viable option.
- Do not use homogenized milk. It is one of the most inflammatory food items available. If milk is needed, purchase non-homogenized (creamline) milk from a health food store. In some cases, heavy cream can be used as a perfect substitute to milk, and it is not homogenized.
- Avoid all soy products. Soy contains phytoestrogens, which are compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. They can cause major hormone instability, which will worsen the endometriosis.
- Reduce the intake of processed foods. Virtually all of the chemical additives are inflammatory to the body.
- Dioxins can also be found in municipal drinking water, because it contains chlorine. Women with endometriosis should purchase spring water, or use a Berkey water filter. A shower filter that removes chlorine is prudent, because inhaled chlorine vapors are extremely inflammatory.
Curing endometriosis is a process of providing the body with the nutrients that it needs to heal the liver, while keeping inflammation low, and flushing any toxins out of the body. For information about performing a liver cleanse, see the Cleansing and Detoxifying section of the Wellness chapter. We furthermore recommend the following supplements for endometriosis sufferers.
- All of the B vitamins strengthen the liver, and directly assist the body in disposing of excess estrogen.
- Licorice is one of the most commonly used herbs in China, and it is well known for its beneficial effect on the liver.
- Dandelion strengthens the liver and kidneys.
- Milk thistle is renowned for strengthening the liver.
- Selenium has been historically given to cows by farmers to prevent endometriosis. Endometriosis hinders fertility, so farmers work hard to prevent a disease that results in fewer calves. The best single source of selenium is Brazil nuts, followed by tuna, cod, and meats. It can also be purchased in supplement form.
- Vitamin E is known to ensure that animals have healthy uterine linings, and it has been used by farmers since the 1930's. Vitamin E and selenium are believed to work together to prevent damage to cell membranes, and protect against oxidation. Do not take blood thinners like vitamin E during the menstrual period, because they will increase bleeding.
- Due to the link between endometriosis and dioxins, it would be wise to supplement with chlorophyll. Chlorophyll can remove dioxins from the body, and it can be purchased as a liquid concentrate.
- Folate or folic acid. Folate is necessary for the body to make heme (the iron-containing, non-protein part of hemoglobin) for the red blood cells. Too little folate can cause nutritional megoblastic anemia (large red blood cells that cannot transport oxygen well). It is known to help regulate and balance the hormones. Alcohol reduces the absorption of folic acid, and increases the kidney's excretion of it. Folic acid assists in the chelation of lead, and helps the body to properly utilize zinc. There is a strong connection between folate and the liver, because liver disease increases the loss of folate.
- Radishes were used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to cure endometriosis, and to fix liver problems, including jaundice. It would be wise to include them in the diet.
- Alcohol should be avoided, with the exception of an occasional glass of red wine. Greater amounts will weaken an already impaired liver.
- Gelatin is the only common ingredient in endometriosis-related pharmaceuticals. While it is purported to be an "inactive ingredient", many sufferers have noticed that eating foods high in gelatin during menstruation is beneficial. Endometriosis sufferers finally have a bona fide health reason to eat gummy bears.
- Cannabis ("marijuana") is often recommended by doctors in U.S. states that allow medical marijuana use. In addition to helping with the pain, it also seems to reduce the inflammation issues. Some sufferers proclaim that marijuana is more effective in helping with endometriosis than the expensive prescription pain medications. Cannabis does not harm the kidneys, is not addictive, and it helps to suppress the nausea that often accompanies the pain.
Castor Oil Transdermal Packs
At the beginning of menstruation, when the first symptoms of cramping become noticeable, a castor oil transdermal pack can dramatically reduce the severity of symptoms throughout the cycle. This is the basic procedure:
- A wash cloth should be soaked in pure, cold-pressed castor oil that is obtained from a health food store.
- The wash cloth should be placed on bare skin on the lower stomach.
- Put a piece of plastic on top of the cloth, such as a plastic grocery bag.
- Place a hot water bottle on top of that. The water should be made as hot as possible, so long as the patient can tolerate it.
- Leave this in place for at least 30 minutes.
The above procedure can also be done repeatedly during the cycle to provide relief. However, one treatment is usually enough to provide massive relief.
Women should use only dioxin-free, unchlorinated feminine products, especially tampons. Consuming Brazil nuts is ideal, because they contain folate, selenium, and magnesium, which have all been shown to reduce menstrual cramps.
Oxford Academic, Recurrence of endometriosis and its control -- http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/content/15/4/441.long
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Effect of oral folic acid supplements on zinc, copper, and iron absorption and excretion. -- http://www.ajcn.org/content/39/4/535
National Institutes of Health, Depressive symptoms, anxiety, and quality of life in women with pelvic endometriosis. -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19010584
National Institutes of Health, Chinese herbal medicine for endometriosis. -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19588398
Endometriosis Association, Toxins in the Environment -- http://www.endometriosisassn.org/environment.html
National Institutes of Health, MAST scores, alcohol consumption, and gynecological symptoms in endometriosis patients. -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8488967
National Institutes of Health, Endometriosis: a disease of oxidative stress? -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10101808
National Institutes of Health, Women with endometriosis improved their peripheral antioxidant markers after the application of a high antioxidant diet. -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19476631
National Institutes of Health, Association of body mass index with severity of endometriosis in Korean women -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19070854
National Institutes of Health, Selenium Intakes -- http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/selenium/#h2
National Institutes of Health, Chelation in metal intoxication. XXIV: Influence of various components of vitamin B complex on the therapeutic efficacy of disodium calcium versenate in lead intoxication. -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3104896