so as I briefly mentioned in my last blog post, that I was finally diagnosed with Endometriosis last month & took a few weeks off to research, process & make some changes.
My diagnosis came as a complete relief, after more than 10 years of being sent for ultrasound scans, blood tests, & even being initially diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Since I was a teenager I spent years of experiencing abnormally long periods, excruciating pain (during my cycle & also before it, during ovulation), which often left me feeling drained, anaemic, doubled up in pain & unable to concentrate. As well as making that time of the month a total burden on me, I also felt like a burden to my doctors. Now I feel completely vindicated & that it wasn’t just in my head.
What is endometriosis?
It’s when the endometrium tissue that lines the womb grows outside of it. Growing in other areas like on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, bowel & in extreme cases can even spread to other body parts like the lungs. It’s a condition that leaves you with chronic pain & some women also experience pain during sex, urination, or during bowel movements as well as stomach upset.
Prior to my diagnosis I had no idea about this illness & exactly how common it is. Endometriosis affects around 1.5million women in the UK & 5.5Million in the US alone. It’s crazy to know that a disease that affects so many women around the world can so often go completely undiagnosed. Even more frustrating is that symptoms can often be overlooked by doctors as Menorrhagia (abnormanly heavy period) & period pain.
I still have more tests to undergo, but have spoken to my gynaecologist about possible treatment options. Endometriosis can cause infertility & there is no known cure for it, however doctors can prescribe hormone treatment like the contraceptive pill or IUD. A common procedure is laparoscopic surgery to cut out the tissue. I haven’t had children yet it has been pretty tough news to process, & Im not really trying to rush to surgery without first trying a holistic approach.
As you may recall from a previous post I decided to go vegan on boxing day, & I have really felt the benefits since then. Through eating plant-based, I’ve helped to minimise the pain & have even seen my cycle start to regulate alittle. Dairy causes inflammation & is a known agitator of the condition, so im super happy I listened to my body & cut it out. It really makes me wonder about the hormones & antibiocs the meat industry use & how they can cause such havoc in our bodies (spiritually & physically).
I meditate more frequently & have actively sort to minimise stress in my life. I’ve joined a gym & taken on a personal trainer as weight gain is a symptom & has been an issue for me. I’m devoting time to passion projects & making a point to express myself. I am a firm believer in our bodies ability to heal itself if given the right nourishment. It’s not just what we eat that feeds us so I’ve decided to take a proactive approach to healing.
DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER
Sometimes we can feel as if we are demanding too much, & can be intimidated by medical professionals, but you must trust your gut. Especially when it comes to your health trust your gut & don’t take no for an answer. If you feel something is up consult your doctor & don’t be afraid to be persistent. In the UK it takes an average of 7.5 yrs before diagnosis, which could mean the difference between a healthy recovery & infertility so speak up!
I found some links to a helpful endometriosis sites:
- NHS website for UK readers
- Endometriosis foundation of America for those based in the states
- Endometriosis Australia
- Endometriosis in spanish for my spanish speaking friends
I really hope sharing my experience helps someone. Please comment on your experience & hit me up if you are going through this. Wishing you good health!
A x 💋