Barbara Masters

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March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

Posted by [email protected] on March 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Do you or a Loved one have Endo?

Nearly 5.5 Million Women in North America alone are living with Endometriosis. I am one of those women. What is Endometriosis (Endo) you might be thinking? It is when the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus starts to grow outside of the uterus. Most commonly on organs in the pelvic region. Some of the most common symptoms include (but not limited to):

• Extremely painful or even disabling menstrual cramps

• Chronic pelvic or low back pain

• Painful intercourse

• Heavy menstrual cycles

• Infertility

These symptoms can get so severe that it can leave women unable to live a normal life. There is no known cause and no cure at this time. Treatment options are limited and include the use of pain medication, hormone therapy, and surgery. Most OB/GYN’s will try to use Pain and Hormone therapy the most, as it is the cheapest and easiest way to try and control the symptoms. This comes down to Birth Control medications or medications that will put the body into a Menopausal state. However most women cannot deal with the side effects of these medications for long periods of time. Some are so harsh that you cannot be on them for more than a year. There is also surgery where they try to remove as much of the Endo Tissue, however it is known to grow back. In extreme cases Doctors will perform a Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and depending the Ovaries will be removed as well.

I personally have tried all the above. None of them have worked for me. I started on Birth Control pills at the age of 15 to try and help with my cramps. They never really helps me at all, so I often went on and off of them. Not yet knowing the cause of my extreme pain I came off the Pill at 19 for good. I was newly married and we thought that it would be great to start a family together. Shortly after I found myself pregnant, only to lose the pregnancy. Heartbroken, I started to comfort myself in junk food. I soon found that the pain every month was getting worse and worse. Two year later I found myself sitting in the OB/GYN’s office talking about surgery to find out if I had Endo. At this point the extreme pain I was in most of the time was about to cost me my job. I was unable to work several days at a time. I couldn’t get out of bed due to the pain some days.

After the first surgery, I recall waking up in the PACU to the pictures and news that it was Endo. I was told that they removed as much as they could and I could start on Lupron. Lupron is one of those crazy medications that puts your body into a Menopausal state. It is also a last resort medication, most of the time, due to the harsh side effects. Lupron helped better than anything else I had tried. However, I still had pain every month when I normally would have a cycle. I gained over 20 more pounds, was depressed, had hot flashes, and couldn’t sleep even though I was tired ALL of the time. After a year of that I went in for surgery again. This time I was told to try Depo-Provera. I agreed feeling hopeless. I knew that this was the last thing I had to try. After less than 3 months I knew that it was not helping.

I started to talk to every Doctor I could about. My last option was to have a hysterectomy. At this point, I was fine with that. I just wanted to be pain free at this point, and to be able to live my life without having to worry of how much pain I might be in that day. However no Doctor would do the surgery because I was still in my early 20’s. Almost a year later I found myself losing hope in ever finding a Doctor willing to try anything to help me.

Feeling lost and alone, I started to think back to my childhood of seeing an Old Chinese Doctor. He always had the cure for everything. However, he would tell my mom things that we should include or exclude in our diet to help cure what ailed us. With a small ray of hope I sat down at my computer and started to look at a Holistic Remedy to my Endo. I found story after story of women how was pain free with Endo for years! WHAT! How could these ladies find it? I needed to know. Hours later I got up to grab another soda and some fried chicken with the answer. They went on what is called “The Endo Diet.”

I wasn’t really sure how to process all I had just read. Over the coming weeks, I just thought about it from time to time. It wasn’t until I was stuck in bed in the fetal position that I really thought about it. The next day, after that, over dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, I told my Husband that after we finished this meal I wanted to try and go Vegetarian. Knowing that we always made fun of those crazy tree hugging hippies, I quickly add that I would still eat fish. I spent the next hour telling him all about what I have been reading. We agreed that I would keep fish in my diet but try the Endo Diet otherwise.

The Endo Diet is for no better way to put it a Vegetarian that stays away from Gluten, Soy, Caffeine, and anything with hormones in it. Now I know this seems extreme, so I said I would give it one month to find out if this would help. At the one month mark, I had cheated once with a piece of baked chicken, and a ton with soy. I felt AMAZING!!!

Over the next year I went almost vegan, with the exception of a rare piece of fish. With times where I am eating Fully Raw. Today, I eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables. Occasionally I will have soup, beans, fish, or gluten free pasta. The cravings are very few and far between that I want anything outside of this. It’s still not perfect, but it isn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be when I first started.

Who would have ever thought that just changing what I ate would make such a difference in my whole life. I never have to think twice about making plans to do anything with friends and family. I am getting back down to my ideal weight. I am off all of those crazy medications and rid of the side effects that come with them. Most importantly of all, I have my life back!!! Endo no longer controls my life. Yes, I still have slip-ups from time to time. When I start eating all the meat and processed foods again, my Endo will flare up again leaving me in pain. However the flares are not even half as bad as what my daily pain was just two years ago.

Looking back now I think that almost anybody with the will power can take back their life from any chronic disease. We are what we eat and clean, healthy eating is key to a long and happy life.

Categories: Health

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