Alternative Treatments for Endometriosis
Having endometriosis can significantly affect a woman's ability to conceive, and although there are questions as to why, endometriosis is on the rise among American women-as is infertility. Some feel that higher than normal estrogen levels are a contributing factor to increase in endometriosis, although others feel it is linked to an immune dysfunction, and often seems to run in families. American women currently have the highest levels of estrogen in the entire world. This excess estrogen possibly comes from xenoestrogens which are more and more common in our milk and meat, as well as in agricultural pesticides, and the chemicals which come from certain plastics when heated in a microwave. Excess weight can often mean excess estrogen, so it's vitally important to try and get your weight down within the normal range.
What is Endometriosis?
Every month a woman's body sloughs off the tissue inside the uterus after it thickens through the normal monthly period. In the case of endometriosis, this tissue can migrate to other parts of the body, attach and grow. Typically the endometrial tissue will appear on the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, outside the uterus, or on the intestines, then every single month after the tissue attaches somewhere it shouldn't, it will engorge in the first half of the menstrual cycle, and release small amounts of blood during the second half, causing irritation to the surrounding tissue. As time passes, scarring and adhesions can develop, eventually causing infertility. Symptoms of endometriosis can be chronic pelvic pain, painful sex, bloating or discomfort in the pelvic region between ovulation and your period.
Natural and Alternative Treatments
Many women have seen high success rates in the treatment of endometriosis-and, by extension, infertility, by using a combination of nutritional and dietary changes, exercise, and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, meditation any method which alleviates daily stress. Not only can these changes in lifestyle affect endometriosis in a positive way, they can improve overall health. To the extent possible, limit your xenoestrogen exposure by eating organic fruit, vegetables, dairy products, beef and chicken. Organic foods contain no added growth hormones, making them safe and healthy. Cold-water fish is a good, healthy choice, as it is rich in the good fats. Get plenty of fiber in your diet in order to help clear any excess estrogen from your body, and severely limit your alcohol intake. Avoid microwaving your foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap, and try to limit the use of plastics or plastic wrap in food storage.
Emotions can have a huge impact on our overall health, and in the case of endometriosis, stress can definitely increase your risk and worsen existing endometriosis. Most women have a wide array of unresolved emotional issues, so dealing with those issues now, in combination with dietary and exercise changes, can decisively improve your health, and therefore your fertility.
Acupuncture Can Help Endometriosis
Traditional Chinese medicine has incorporated acupuncture for thousands of years in the treatment of infertility and endometriosis. Acupuncture points will vary from person to person, although the points commonly used in the treatment of endometriosis will include the ears, wrists, back, abdomen and feet. The very fine, thin needles are placed and usually left for anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes; it is expected these treatments will help facilitate the free flow of blood and energy throughout the body, breaking up the stagnation of endometriosis and stopping pain.
Herbal Medicine in the Treatment of Endometriosis
Many medicinal plants can be used both internally and externally in order to restore a woman's body to its original healthy state. An herbalist will typically try to rebalance a woman's hormone levels, gradually introducing other herbs which will strengthen the overall immune system. Many of the herbal treatments will focus on hormone metabolism as well as treat any gastrointestinal toxicity. Herbal medicines in the form of anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants can be very important in the treatment of endometriosis. The herbalist may use chamomile, cramp bark, valerian root and hops flower to relax the muscles and get you on the road to fertility.