Endometriosis is challenging to deal with emotionally and physically. However, you should take the necessary steps to combat associated pain to live a quality life. Ulas Bozdogan, MD admits that there are ways of coping with this condition.
The disorder is characterized by endometrial tissue growth outside the uterus. The tissues are normally found in the Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the pelvic lining. It can also be found around the bowel and bladder.
The condition affects one in every ten women in the US and can have long-term symptoms during your reproductive years from 12-60 years. Pelvic pain is the main symptom and it’s associated with the menstrual cycle. Most women experience cramps during menstruation which can worsen. Below are some coping mechanisms to help you manage the condition.
Watch Your Diet
Eat the right foods to protect you from endometriosis. Diet is linked to estrogen activity, inflammation, and prostaglandin metabolism. Insecticides and pesticides you ingest through certain foods nutrients are risk factors for endometriosis.
Take More Vegetables and Fruits
There is a link between low vegetable and fruit intake and red meat with the development of endometriosis. Eating more vegetables and fruits reduces the risks of endometriosis by up to 40%. Consequently, the high consumption of beef or red meat increases your risk to 80%.
Specialists suggest you lower your consumption of red meat. Red meat produces prostaglandins leading to the production of more estrogen. Higher estrogen levels cause rapid growth of endometriosis as you have excess endometrial tissue growth.
Boost Your Consumption of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The type of fat your body ingests makes the difference. Your risk is lowered by 22% if you consume the least amount. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax seeds, and salmon.
Your pain may scare you from exercising, but regular exercise reduces your pain as workouts lower your estrogen levels. This decreases discomfort and pain. Exercise does the following:
- Reduces stress
- Encourages blood circulation to your organs
- Decreases estrogen production
- Releases more endorphins to your brain relieving your pain
Women who exercise regularly have a low chance of developing endometriosis. High-intensity exercise lowers your risk by 75%. These exercises include running, swimming, and biking. Low-intensity exercises like yoga offer some endometriosis relief.
Manage Your Stress
Your stress levels can skyrocket due to endometriosis and the painful symptoms. This can affect your life, personal relationships, work, and family. Endometriosis symptoms can worsen your stress and keep you in a never-ending cycle.
Use relaxation techniques to manage your stress by refocusing on calming things to reduce stress hormone activity. Relaxation techniques include autogenic training, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing. If one relaxing technique doesn’t work, try another. Finding the best takes practice and time.
Alternative therapies can treat endometriosis and relieve symptoms. The therapies range from alternative and complementary medicines. These include acupuncture, osteopathic manipulative treatment, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary, and vitamin supplements.
Consult your doctor for a list of medication options. The specialists will discuss the risks and benefits of these medications. Doctors also consider your age and severity of symptoms. Over the counter and prescription medications give you pain relief. Examples include ibuprofen, naproxen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Hormone therapy also works.
The above coping mechanisms help you manage your endometriosis symptoms. The specialist can also suggest surgery. Consult your doctor to get advice on how to deal with the symptoms. Do this before taking any medications if you want to get pregnant as some medications may hinder that possibility.