Helpful Tips For Coping With Endometriosis
While modern innovations in medicine have allowed us to make remarkable leaps when it comes to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of various diseases, there are still a large number of conditions that remain a mystery in many ways.
One of these is endometriosis, a condition that could affect anywhere between 1 in 10 and 5 in 10 women – the exact numbers are not known.
What is also not known is the actual cause of this condition, which can cause excruciating pain in its sufferers, as well as a range of other serious symptoms. These can include debilitating periods, difficulty conceiving, fatigue, and bleeding in between periods.
Things People Might Not Understand About Endometriosis
While the root cause of endometriosis is still a puzzle for doctors and scientists, the condition, in general, can often be a source of bafflement for those who do not suffer from its often life-altering symptoms.
In fact, there are many common misconceptions about the condition, which can cause sufferers to be misunderstood or even to be deprived of the appropriate care and support they really need.
Here are some facts about endometriosis that might surprise many of us who do not battle with the disease but which sufferers are most likely all too familiar with.
It Can Take Years To Get A Diagnosis
One of the many unfortunate aspects of endometriosis is how difficult it is to diagnose. In fact, the condition can only be officially diagnosed with the help of a procedure known as a laparoscopy to search for evidence of the condition, known as endometrial lesions.
Without this procedure, your doctor can only guess the truth behind your symptoms, and because those symptoms can be so complex and vary widely from one person to another, this can make getting an official diagnosis even more difficult.
Symptoms Can Strike At Any Time
While endometriosis symptoms are generally associated with periods, the truth is that symptoms can flare up at any time, including during sex or when using the toilet.
Because it can cause symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea, and nausea – usually during periods, but not always – endometriosis can often be mistaken for conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or ovarian cysts.
Finding Relief May Require Experimentation
Because endometriosis affects different people in different ways, what gives relief to one sufferer may not help another.
As a result, finding the right treatment and the most effective forms of pain management can take some time and require a period of trial and error as you experiment with different medications or treatments to find the one that benefits you the most.
Coping With The Condition
While there is sadly no cure for endometriosis, there are a number of things that sufferers can do to help ease their symptoms, including various prescription medications and home remedies.
The pain caused by endometriosis is arguably one of the worst symptoms that sufferers have to deal with on a regular basis. As a result, finding effective pain relief and pain management techniques is crucial in order to maintain a good quality of life. Here are some helpful methods for coping with the pain caused by endometriosis.
Try Heat Pads
Applying heat to your painful muscles can help soothe the discomfort. Wireless heat pads can easily be obtained online; you can also use hot water bottles or microwave wheat bags that can be warmed up in just seconds.
There are a few different medications you can use to help with your endometriosis symptoms. Anti-inflammatories, including ibuprofen and paracetamol, can be used either individually or together to ease severe pain, although sufferers must be careful not to use these medications too often. Various hormone treatments are also commonly used in the treatment of endometriosis.
These include the combined oral contraceptive pill, contraceptive implants, and intrauterine systems. Discuss these different forms of treatment with your doctor or specialist to help you choose the medication or treatment that will work best for you.
Improving Your Overall Wellbeing
If you suffer from endometriosis, it’s important to focus on improving your general health to help you manage your symptoms as best you can. Some of the things you can do to boost your well-being include:
Eating A Healthy Diet
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals may help to ease the condition, as one study has indicated a potential link between a diet lacking in vegetables and endometriosis.
Eating the right foods will also help improve your health in general, and if endometriosis is playing havoc with your digestive system, the fibre found in vegetables can help to keep you regular and reduce those particular symptoms.
If you struggle with fatigue and depression as a result of your endometriosis, you may wish to consider taking vitamin supplements.
For instance, if you have particularly heavy periods, and/or bleeding in between your periods, following a consultation with your doctor, you may decide to take extra iron to prevent feelings of lethargy and even anaemia.
Other vitamins have their own unique benefits which may also help you to feel stronger and healthier. Notably, Vitamin B can help you when you are feeling low-energy and fatigued, while Vitamin D is known for easing feelings of anxiety and depression.
Enjoying Everything In Moderation
Another healthy practice to incorporate into your lifestyle is a focus on moderation. This can include limiting how much alcohol and caffeine you drink and trying not to eat too many unhealthy foods on a regular basis.
Maintaining Your Quality Of Life
Endometriosis can be a challenging condition for many of its sufferers, not just physically but mentally as well, which is why incorporating regular doses of self-care into your routine is essential to help you maintain a good quality of life.
Here are some simple strategies you can use to boost your mood and hopefully even reduce your symptoms over time.
• Total Relaxation – Activities that promote a total state of peace and relaxation can be helpful when it comes to managing the stress associated with this condition. These can include meditation, mindfulness apps, yoga, and tai chi. Even going for regular walks in your local park can help, as a gentle exercise in green open spaces has a range of benefits for both the mind and body.
• Try Aromatherapy – Using essential oils may help to lift your mood and ease anxiety caused by endometriosis. Use an oil diffuser or – depending on the oil – place a couple of drops on your pillow or perhaps even add a drop or two to your bath water.
The aromatic scents of these oils can help you to feel more relaxed and comforted, although be careful to do some research regarding the properties of the oils you are considering using, as some can be applied topically while others cannot.
While there is no doubt that living with endometriosis can be incredibly difficult at times if you suffer from this condition, it’s important to try and maintain a positive, proactive approach and do all you can to find the treatments and techniques that ease your symptoms most effectively.
You may also find it helpful to join a support group or find communities of fellow sufferers locally or online. Having other people to talk to who understand exactly how you feel can make the world of difference when it comes to combatting the psychological aspect of this condition.