I have been having menstrual cramps for the past 3 years and confirmed with a diagnosis of endometriosis by key-hole surgery recently. I am 30 years old and getting married next year. What can I do to ease this condition besides taking medications?
A. Endometriosis is a protracted condition (refer the article “endometriosis “in “gynaecological conditions” in our website) with a very high chance of the disease recurring. There are quite a few ways that may help reducing the symptoms.
1. Maintain a healthy body weight. Endometriosis is a hormone dependent condition. It remains active in the reproductive age when the levels of female hormone – oestrogen - are high and regresses after menopause when the hormone levels are low.
Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce the production of oestrogen by the fat cells. This can ease some of the symptoms of endometriosis such as pain and bleeding.
2. Reduce stress: Women with endometriosis are often found to have elevated levels of stress hormones. Reducing stress with exercise like walking, swimming, and yoga and focusing on emotional health such as meditation often lead to improved quality of life.
3. Take more Omega-3: Research has suggested that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids will reduce the risk of having endometriosis. Food like salmon and flax seeds are rich sources of omega-3.
4. Eat Turmeric: Studies in experimental animals suggested that this spice has anti-inflammatory properties and slows down the growth of the endometrial implants in endometriosis. But more research is needed in human beings.
5. Avoid exposure to environmental toxins such as PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls) and BPA (Bisphenol A) found in plastic and packaging materials.
6. Alternative medicine: Acupuncture has been shown to relieve painful periods and pelvic pain.