Is Your Treatment Plan for Endometriosis Really Working for You? Is It Healing or Merely Suppressing Symptoms?

Is Your Treatment Plan for Endometriosis Really Working for You? Is It Healing or Merely Suppressing Symptoms?

I remember when my treatment plan for Endometriosis was quite different from what it is now. It is one I am sure you may identify with. I took the contraceptive pill continuously, took painkillers and any other medications for the side effects of the pill and went in for a laparoscopy operation to “clean me out” every year and a half. This was my treatment plan for about 9 years. I thought I was honestly doing the best that I could, considering I had Stage 4 Endometriosis and was told I only had a 25% chance of conception! My doctor had tried all sorts of stuff before we settled on this treatment plan and he was the best specialist in South Africa at the time… so he must be right…

My handbag was filled with different drugs to provide me with instant relief of just about anything. I had tablets for constipation, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, eye drops for the scratchy eye thing and of course heaps of painkillers for my Endometriosis, which I knew was unpredictable, so I had to be prepared. I even traveled with a mini water bottle, just so I could take all these drugs with ease and of course, without having to make it too obvious to anyone the amount I was taking. I hated having to explain my Endo or any of the side effects all the time.

I honestly thought this was working. I won’t lie to you because there were bits of this treatment plan that did actually work. I had less pain with my Endo than I did before the operations, and my overall pain was better when I could take painkillers for any inkling of an “endo attack.” I also didn’t have my period (I was taking the contraceptive pill continuously), which was a massive bonus! So, I had little of the period pain I had before taking the pill. I did have every single side effect listed on the contra-indications listed for the pill, but that didn’t matter so much to me as hey, I could just take other drugs to deal with that, right?

I didn’t know much back then about what all of this was really doing to my body or my healing. To be honest, I think I would have stayed on this path for many more years. It is only now, in retrospect, that I can truly identify with not only why so many of us follow this way of “treating” Endometriosis but also why it would have ultimately never healed or even helped me get better.

I am not denying that western medicine offers many great miracles. Within it, we can find amazing breakthroughs for practically rebuilding body parts, doing organ transplants and bringing back life in people who have been in severe trauma incidents like car accidents. It has done amazing work in these areas.

When it comes to disease, a greater understanding of the body is seldom considered. The disease is isolated in one area, so that area is the only focal point for the doctor. No consideration is given to how taking a drug to treat that specific area might affect other areas of the body. What is ironic is that these other areas often directly attribute to the very cause of the disease in the first place.

Let me explain this in the simplest way I can.

We have Endometriosis, so the doc puts us on hormonal treatments which is meant to dry up the Endometriosis building up in the abdominal cavity. This works great but unfortunately those very hormones that we have within our body serve a purpose. That purpose doesn’t just revolve around our period, ovulation and Endo. There are heaps of hormones in the body and they all do very important things, like controlling our immune response, controlling our digestion, control our moods, our reactions to life, our stress levels, our heart rate, how hot or cold we feel, our allergies, how we react to certain foods, our emotions and feeling happy/depressed, how sexual we feel, whether we feel in control or not and so much more. They are very sensitive to change. When we throw these foreign fake hormones into the body, we have no way of knowing exactly which other hormones they are affecting.

Interesting note: the case of hypothyroidism in women with Endometriosis is exceptionally high. Coincidence? hmm…

We then get pain. So, we reach for the painkillers. The stronger, the better! Painkillers work by blocking the prostaglandins in the body. These are hormone-like substances that either create pain, inflammation or clotting, or reduce it. They work together. There are prostaglandins that create inflammation, clotting and pain, and there are others that do the opposite. When we take painkillers we are stopping ALL of them. Now, this is fine… for a little while, but over time the good prostaglandins are prevented from doing their “other jobs.” So, things like digestion are affected because these guys encourage movement in that area. They protect the stomach lining, heal internal organs and react to infection and damage. We might suffer from bruising, poor wound healing and you betcha… a poor immune response. The good prostaglandins need to do their job too… or stuff just doesn’t get done.

It is also a well-known fact that women with Endometriosis often suffer from auto-immune conditions. Prostaglandins are the very substances that create and cause the responses in many of these.  Allergies are exactly that. I suffered from allergies for years without ever establishing this connection. The more painkillers I took, the worse they seemed to get…..hmm

So, we carry on down this path and during it we might swallow between 8–10 drugs in 7 days (probably more than that). Now, all these drugs contain their own side effects but most importantly they add to the toxic load on the body. Who takes care of the toxic load in the body? The liver.

This is where it gets interesting…

See, the liver flushes out toxins and excess hormones. This is massive! The liver is also directly linked to our digestion and our immune system. With too many toxins in the blood stream, the liver simply doesn’t cope. The toxins therefore remain in the body and as they build up, so do our symptoms. We take more drugs to suppress them and down the spiral it all goes! More drugs, more toxins, more work for the liver and the more our poor immune system struggles.

What is really interesting is that according to the Gherson Therapy Institute, Endometriosis is caused by a poor immune response in our bodies. It had little to do with the hormones in the first place… they in itself were merely symptoms caused by a deeper issue.

So, our focus should be on building up immunity rather than suppressing every symptom this Endo has given us, including overactive or underactive hormones!

Well, I hope this all makes sense cos I feel this message is hugely important in educating us all about Endometriosis and more importantly the difference between treating Endometriosis and suppressing symptoms.

I also don’t want you to feel bad if you are currently using the treatment option I mentioned at the top of this article or any other treatment option suggested within western medicine. I did it for years! It is also what so many doctors prescribe to us girls with Endo as our only option, so naturally we listen and believe them as they are experts in their field.

What I wanted to do is share what I have discovered and what you perhaps may not recognize in what you are doing to your body. I wish someone had shared all this with me. Thing is, I had no idea and really believed that my treatment plan was my best option.

It has been 2 years of going natural. 100% natural. No hormones of any kind exist in my body anymore. I rarely take painkillers and I rarely have any of the other symptoms. It has required some real commitment to change and do things differently but to be honest I am glad I did. I am totally in control of my own healing, my body and I have never felt so certain that I can beat this thing as I do in this very moment!

I hope you have found the door that is open to you through this blog. I hope that you step inside and appreciate all the wisdom I have gained. I hope that it helps you as much as it has helped me. The answers are all within our reach… we just have to trust in ourselves, our personal healing and believe that we can!

Thanks to all the girls that support my cause and I hope many more will follow me!

 

Big hugs,

PS: If you want to figure out how to manage endometriosis naturally, sign up to my free REACH Kickstarter program. Simply click here to sign up. 

Share your thoughts...

  1. Thank you so much for this!! I never knew that endometreosis and hypothyroidism were connected. I also didn’t know how much the immune system played a part in all of this. Being young, I feel the drs. give me very few treatment options. It’s nice to know that there are more options out there, especially coming from someone who is or was in the same situation.

  2. Hi Melissa !

    Helen from Australia here ! Thank you so much for a great website, which I have only recently stumbled upon. I was officially diagnosed with Endo just over 3 weeks ago after having a laparoscopy (where the Endo was burnt off). I had been having ‘unexplained’ pelvic pains for about 4 years, and had every type of scan and test which all showed that everything was clear. The different doctors I went to had no explanation, and I had a feeling that it might be Endo.. even though this isn’t happy news, I am glad that I finally know what it is (and that it’s not my appendix or something else about to burst with the sharp pains !) Like you, I thought that I would just need this one operation and I would be fine, all those pains would finally be gone. I don’t think that will be the case, but I really want to try and stop this from coming back (if it’s all gone to start with). I am starting the Endo Diet and have been reading lots of books and websites, but think I need a bit of help to put everything together, so am thinking of going to see a Nutritionist. However, I am not sure if it would be best to see a naturopath, nutritionist, Chinese Medicine practitioner etc. I know you have to find the treatment that you are comfortable with, but not sure where to start. Also, why do doctors never mention the importance of diet etc ? It’s kind of common sense when you really think about it. I have tried to bring it up twice with my Gyno and she kind of moves on to a different subject which is a little annoying. I am happy to combine western medicine with natural therapies, but I find most doctors aren’t interested. I have been told to take the pill continuously and I am only about 3 weeks into that … I am a little nervous about stopping the pill and going totally ‘natural’ ? Do you think it would work to try and combine the two to start with ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Helen and welcome to my blog 🙂
      I am very happy you found my blog so soon after discovering you have Endometriosis.
      Your treatment plan is really up to you and which way you feel the most comfortable. It can be a little daunting to go totally “natural” initially as doctors will often over emphasise the risk of endo growing back. I always like to give girls a deadline with things. Try something for a period of time – maybe 3months or 6months and see how you feel and if you don’t fee any better, try something else. There are different practitioners. I personally like CHinese Medicine as it was hugely successful for me in the past. I did find the emotional healing side really good too.
      I know it is kinda common sense to eat better but many doctors focus solely on what they have studied – not even 5% of what they study includes nutrition!
      I would stick to the endo diet, get a good liver supplement to help with the side-effects of the pill and see how you feel in a few weeks. The body is strong and can bounce back either way 🙂 Let me know how you go and if you have any questions.

  3. Hi Melissa

    I have very recently had surgery to remove a cyst from my right ovary, i was terrified about having the surgery because I only have one ovary. My left was removed in an emergency operation whilst travelling in Thailand which was a very scary experience as I had no idea why. 12 years later I’ve been diagnosed with Endo. I’m determined not to take the contraceptive pill anymore and to stop with the surgery.

    Reading your blog has inspired me to start my own healing journey so I wanted to say a huge thank you. I guess I need to start on the detox although I feel I need to heal from my operation first.

    good luck on your healing journey.

    best wishes

    Melanie

    • That is great to hear Melanie and it feels incredibly powerful to be in control of our own bodies healing! Start with your diet and focus on cutting out fats, sugar and gluten and you will feel better within a few months.
      Take it easy and slow and enjoy the ride. Big hugs and let me know how you are doing down the track!

  4. Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I have been trying to find doctors who actually understand the concept that the body is a intricately balanced machine and there are actually cascading effects to the treatments they are taught to recommend. Guess what, I’m not having much luck! I did lupron and then birth control for YEARS and I know in my gut that it led to serious depression, anxiety, IBS, adrenal fatique, and now thyroid problems. I am still struggling to find the right approach – I’ve cut out gluten, reduced my stress, improved my digestion – but still have to take thyroid meds and bio-identical progesterone. My body is finding its way back to balance but it has taken a lot of trial and error, and I still cope with awful periods and pelvic pain/discomfort.

    I know each of us are different and have to find the right approach/balance for our situation, but if you would be willing to email me more about what specifically you do now I would appreciate it. And again, thank you for putting this out into the universe!

    • Hi Mary,
      The basis for all healing begins with getting those toxins out of your body. There are heaps of ways to get them out but the best seems to be through our bowels. You can do a Colonic, a bowel detox or even a Liver Flush to get your bowels and liver working at their optimum. With all those hormonal treatments, it is likely that your body is still struggling with the imbalances they caused. I am exploring heaps more detox options as we speak…for now, explore the detox section in my blog 🙂
      Eating well and the other holistic approaches really come into their own AFTER detoxing. Otherwise, our poor bodies are merely trying to keep under control the issues of the past!
      Thyroid imbalance is also linked to our hormones, which links back to the liver not being able to flush out any hormone imbalances. MSM is a brilliant way to get your thyroid back to normal without drugs. All hormone imbalances come back to the liver. So, focus on liver healing and you will feel heaps better. Read these articles:
      http://www.endoempowered.com/the-main-organ-you-should-focus-on-when-healing-endometriosis-and-no-it-is-not-the-uterus/
      http://www.endoempowered.com/castoroil_for_endometriosis/

  5. Hi Melissa,

    I stumbled upon your site last night after hearing from my OB Gyn that my left ovary has a 6 cm cyst. I had my right ovary removed October of 2010. I thought if ever my cyst comes back, it’ll come back slowly….but I was wrong. My only consolation is that when I have my period, I am only experiencing minimal pain. The weird thing also is that, when I went to have my annual pelvic ultrasound last Friday, that was the first time I suspected that I have another cyst because the day after my ultrasound, I felt a dull pain on my lower left side and I really felt like there was something there. My doctor strongly recommends another laparoscopy or a possible hysterectomy, depending on the amount of scar tissue present. I don’t want to lose my other ovary, so I am exploring every possible avenue to keep it. My question is, do I need to have the cyst removed before I try a natural way of fighting endo? I really need an answer. I am thinking of holding off on the surgery until I try something natural. Thank you very much.

    • Hi Cynthia and welcome to my blog 🙂
      You can dissolve cysts with Exclyzyme and Sage Tea. The thing is, we still want to get rid of the endo and stop it from growing back. This requires a little more effort. Applying a new diet, the endo diet and detoxing the body as much as possible. Then boosting the immune system and giving the body all it needs to heal.
      Big hugs

  6. Your blog has been extremely helpful to me. I’m new to knowing that I have endometriosis, and at first I went down the conventional route of pain killers, but I could hardly function at work and in my personal life. Fatigue and pain controlled my life. Then as I started to do research on diet, spurred by a blog of yours that I stumbled upon, I realized that maybe I could take control of this. I stumbled for months over the diet and lifestyle changes, and now am getting a stronger grip on it. I have seen the difference the last few months. My pain and fatigue is still there, and I may still have surgery, but the intensity of both have decreased. I am starting to resume activities that I didn’t have the energy for. Thank you for sharing your experiences with endo and lifestyle changes, and for explaining things in everyday language. It gives me hope that I can take control over this horrible condition.

    • It is my pleasure Frances. Of course you can get better and better with whatever you give your body, in terms of foods, herbs and supplements. Get onto a really strong immune booster and this will help too. Big hugs, Melissa

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How to manage endometriosis holistically using the REACH Technique©

Melissa is an endometriosis expert and helps women manage this challenging condition naturally through her REACH Technique©. She developed the technique after having overcome her own struggles with Stage 4 endometriosis and now living a pain & symptom free life.
 
She has managed to transform the lives of 1000's of women around the world through her technique and has helped many of her clients get pregnant, overcome extreme pain and avoid repeated surgeries.
 
After overcoming her own struggles with endometriosis through years of research she shares her message of hope from her home base in Auckland New Zealand. Melissa lives with her husband and little puppy Wilson.
 
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