What is Endometriosis? An often painful gynecological disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside instead. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. Endometriosis can cause pain, in varying severity, especially during and just before your period. Typically menstrual pain for those with Endometriosis is far worse than the norm and tends to increase over time. Other symptoms include excessive bleeding, fatigue, bloating, nausea, headaches, pain with bowel movements/urination, pain with intercourse, diarrhea, constipation and infertility.
Personally, I don’t experience all of the symptoms listed above and some months are far better than others for me. There are months where I am so debilitated by my period that it leaves me curled up in a ball unable to go to work, where my only relief from the back and pelvic cramps is a heating pad or hot bath and where I am so bloated that I can’t fit into my jeans or pants. I start to experience my symptoms about a week before my period. During this week, I generally experience the extreme fatigue, bloating, sometimes spotting, headaches, body aches and pelvic pain. I have been known to exude flu like symptoms, even a sore throat and to only get two really good weeks out of a month.
So why am I writing all of this now? Good question. I have recently been doing a lot of research about Endometriosis, as it seems to have worsened again for me this year, and have come across some interesting blogs on the topic. I thought that I would write a brief overview of my own story
I was diagnosed with Endometriosis in 2007 after I stopped taking the birth control pill. I then noticed differences in my periods and menstrual cramps as well as some IBS like symptoms. In 2008, a laparoscopy was performed and many of the endometrial polyps were removed at this time. The procedure did bring significant relief to the pain I had been experiencing. However in 2011, when I began my road to fitness and clean eating, I noticed some drastic changes in my symptoms for the better and although the majority of these symptoms will clearly never go away, the lifestyle I lead certainly helps.
As long as I keep my diet consistently clean (I tend to find gluten free works for me) and don’t stray too far from those clean foods, stay as stress free as possible and continue training as I do then I am able to at least minimize the bloating, headaches, IBS symptoms, etc. The other pain associated with my period, changes constantly, making some months bearable while others are extremely debilitating. Hence the frustration living with this condition overall.
Until next time,