Treatment For Endometriosis

Can A Diet For Endometriosis Help?

By: - Disease & Illness - November 23, 2011
treatment for endometriosis can a diet for endometriosis help

If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis or you believe you may have it and waiting for a final diagnosis, there is no cure for this disease, but there are methods of treatment for endometriosis that will focus on relieving the main symptoms, generally pain and infertility. There are medical treatments, surgical treatments and even alternate treatment methods that you may be interested in learning about as you go through the process to find the best treatment for endometriosis for your individual situation. Treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms and if you have plans to become pregnant at any time in the future.

The most common and usually first method of treatment when you have been diagnosed with endometriosis is over the counter pain reliever. NSAIDS, or Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are usually the first line of defense against endometriosis and are also used for relief from cramps due to your menstrual cycle and general pelvic pain. Some of these you may recognize that are available over the counter are Motrin and Advil.

It is useful to know that these medications will only help the pain, they will not have any effect on the endometrial growths. They can, however, decrease prostaglandin production. Prostaglandins are lipid compounds in the body that can help ease pain naturally. Since only a surgical procedure called a laparoscopy can definitely diagnose endometriosis, many women will be blindly given these medications to see if they help. If you are suspected of having endometriosis and the NSADS seem to help, there will probably be no other medical intervention unless you are having problems with infertility. If you are planning on having children, these pain relievers will probably be your only choice until you make the decision to be finished with child bearing.

Another common treatment for endometriosis is hormone therapy. There are several kinds of hormone treatments you can undergo including using Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs or more commonly known as GnRH analogs. The GnRH analogs have been used successfully to reduce pain in the affected areas as well as decrease the size of the endometrial growths. This is done by slowing the production of estrogen in the body by manipulating the message received by the pituitary gland. When you start taking GnRH analogs, you will essentially stop menstruation and enter menopause early. The GnRH analogs are typically given through injection or inhaled through a nasal apparatus.

If you choose to get GnRH analogs put into your body, there will be side effects. Some of the most common side effects will include hot flashes, irregular vaginal bleeding, vaginal dryness, fatigue, mood changes and loss of bone density. Usually these side effects can be kept under control by adding small amounts of estrogen back in, but not enough to start your menstrual cycle again nor enough to get pregnant.

Oral contraceptives are also used in order to treat endometriosis. Commonly known as the birth control pill, these pills can be used to treat endometriosis by stopping you from having your period. In the normal use of birth control pills, you will have a week of placebo pills, but when used to treat endometriosis, you will skip the placebo pills and take the oral contraceptives continuously. You may experience some side effects with these including weight gain, nausea and irregular bleeding.

Progestins are another option you can take to treat endometriosis. These pills are more potent than birth control pills and are commonly given to women who cannot get pain relief from over the counter medications and who cannot take birth control for various reasons. Side effects of progestins include bloating, weight gain, breast tenderness, irregular bleeding and depression.

If you are not interested in a medical treatment for this condition, there are some alternate treatments available. One of these is a diet for endometriosis. If you remember up above, it was mentioned that prostaglandins are partly to cause for the pain and discomfort felt by those who suffer from endometriosis and we get these partially from our diets. There are theories that when we change our diet, we will be able to manipulate the pain caused by the prostaglandins.

If you are interested in using diet for endometriosis, you should know there isn’t really a set plan, but there are great guidelines on what you should add to your diet and what you should remove. For instance, adding omega-3 fatty acid producing oils can be excellent. Some of these are walnut oil and flax oil or flax seed. You should be removing other oils from your diet like saturated fat, butter and other animal derived oils and fats.

It is also important in the diet for endometriosis that you are getting a lot of fiber, at least 25 grams of fiber per day is recommended. These sources of fiber include whole grains, beans, brown rice, oatmeal, vegetables and fruits. You should also try to have one to two servings daily of leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, spinach or add broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage.

It is important when changing your diet to one that will help endometriosis that you stay away from alcohol, caffeine and sugar as much as possible.

Surgery is the final option for endometriosis treatment that will be discussed here. Surgical treatment is primarily used only when the symptoms of your endometriosis are severe or there has been no response to other medical treatments. Surgery is generally done by using a laparoscopy and laser combination to eradicate the endometrial growths. These surgical treatments will require an overnight hospital stay as well as a small incision in the abdomen.

Surgical treatments can be very good at stopping the pain of endometriosis and may be a great way for women who want to have children get rid of the endometriosis long enough to have a child. There is about a 40% recurrence rate of endometriosis even after surgery has been done.

With so many treatment options available, it is important for any woman who is going through this to have a solid support system and a doctor that is trustworthy.