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Could Endometriosis Be Just an Auto-immune Condition?

Okay, so you all know I am not a doctor or proclaim to be one but I do know an awful lot about this stuff and the more I learn, the more I understand how the body works. Sure, I am just hypothesizing but it is fun to do and it is heaps better than just sitting and hoping someone else figures out this disease!

I was reading all about Endometriosis through the Gerson Therapy Technique. They claim to have healed women who had severe Endometriosis by using their diet and techniques, so naturally my ears are going to perk up when I hear any of their theories on Endometriosis. One of the key elements they mention is that Endometriosis is a condition caused by a poor immune system. Okay, I am sure we have heard this before and to be honest it sounds a little “loose” and personally I have always found the term “umbrella” for disease annoying. It is not definite enough when you first hear the words: immune system. Like when you go to the doctor and you describe you have bowel trouble and abdominal pain and they tell you straight away, “It must be irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).” Oh, sure doc, that helps me feel so much better! Irritable bowel? Why is it irritated? Can you give me more specifics on why it is irritated? You get what I mean though.

The term low immune system essentially means that our defence mechanism is low. When we get attacked by anything, we aren’t able to fight it off well enough. This is why we get colds and flu, get bugs in our gut easily and are just generally sensitive to any foreign invaders.

What I find interesting though—and this is where my theorising comes into it all—is that we also suffer from allergies and skin irritations and various inflammatory reactions within the body, besides endo. Chances are we suffer from interstitial cystitis (IC), IBS and abdominal bloating, all inflammatory in nature.

Okay, so this is where it gets interesting…

Perhaps—I must stress that this is just one of my theories—endo is also just an auto-immune reaction by the body. What does auto-immune mean? It basically means the body reacts to toxins and what it sees as “invaders” with an over-reactive response. You know, like allergies? So, we have these pollen enter our noses and the body thinks it is a massive invader, so it turns on the sinuses, sneezes, sends in the guys that make our eyes water and become inflamed. It is silly because the pollen doesn’t actually cause us any harm, not to that extent anyway!

Well, what if Endo is the same thing?

Let me try and explain my theory. Okay, so we have these cells which are dispersed and misplaced within the uterus. How they get there is anyone’s guess but it has been proven that “normal” women also get them and their bodies are able to get rid of them quite easily. In us, however, these misplaced cells cause heaps of chaos.

My theory is that the body interprets these cells being displaced as a major problem. It sends the prostaglandin guys in, as it thinks the area needs healing. This means it sends heaps more “repearers” into the area than really needed. These “repearers” go in and inflame the area, cause extra scarring (as they think they need to fix things) and create more clotting. Though the body doesn’t realise this is making our Endometriosis worse, the same way it gives us a runny nose when we have hayfever, it actually is. It is only doing what it thinks it needs to do to protect us. Essentially an auto-immune reaction.

Interesting? Could this make sense?

Well, according to that theory we simply need to retrain the immune system to know what are “real invaders” and which are not. How do we do that? We make our immune system stronger than it currently is.

The best way I can describe it is like Matt Damon in one of the Bourne movies. In his movies he is generally a hit man and on edge, expecting to get shot at by anyone at any moment. Well, if someone walks in on him while he is sleeping—even if it was someone he loved—chances are he would jump up with a gun pointing at their head.

Same thing with our immune system. If we actually had a protective mechanism that was stronger, our immune system wouldn’t react to every little thing so easily.

So, our focus is on supporting the immune system… that is to follow in the next few articles.

 

For now though, what do you think of my theory? Does it make sense? Do you think it could be the reason why we develop endo and others don’t?

Feel free to ask me any questions if you don’t have a clue what I am on about.

Hugs, Melissa x
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This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Kat

    Never heard of nattokinase before – it looks really interesting! “Nattokinase is thought to help dissolve abnormal blood clots.” Definitely will look it up once I’m off warfarin (yet another one not allowed while on warfarin…), could help keep those clots away in the future. I can see why you got interested in it endo-related too!

  2. Melissa

    Great thinking 🙂
    Also, check out Nattokinasse for endo – it gave me heaps more clues on all this stuff 🙂

  3. Kat

    Yes, I looked into the autoimmune aspect after first reading about it in this blog post! I wonder how to tackle this, though (improving the autoimmune response)?

    The 2nd link from your reply was interesting (I’m new, so haven’t seen many of the posts before), I think it gave big clues to something I’ve been wondering about: which is, why does it seem that while on blood-thinning medication (specifically warfarin) you need to avoid the same substances that you have been recommended to use if with endo. E.g. hormone pills have been prescribed to treat endo, but are forbidden with blood-thinners (since they can cause blood clots). NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin) are the only painkillers that work for endo cramps and headaches, but are forbidden with blood-thinners (since they could increase the blood-thinning effect and thus cause excessive bleeding).

    Same with practically ALL herbs and supplements typically recommended for natural pain relief (and stomach ailments), like ginger, turmeric, valerian, garlic, cumin, cayenne, rosemary chamomile, omega 3 products, devil’s claw, eucalyptus, feverfew, boswellia, MSM powder, yarrow, serrapeptase: they all increase the blood-thinning effect. (Magnesium oxide and chloride are the only ones where I haven’t found an interaction.)

    Your post encouraged me to do some research, so I’ve concluded that the link is that the “cures” all effect prostaglandins (which affect the inflammation and also formation of blood clots). I wonder… if here’s something that explains why my endo-type symptoms (gone for a decade) flared soon after my Pulmonary Embolism..? Maybe my prostaglandins were messed up due to flaring endo, and they caused the clot (doctors never figured the cause for my PE)… Or the clot messed up the prostaglandins when the body started to break down the clot…

    At the same time, warfarin has the potential side effect of heavier and longer menstruation, so that could also add to some endo-like ailments…

    …I don’t even know where I’m going with this, just thinking aloud 🙂

  4. Kat

    I’ve never used tampons (for variety of reasons), but I still have endo.

    So, although a research sample of 1 person is not much, I’m not totally sold on the tampon aspect… However, it could well be that tampons could make the endo symptoms worse/cause similar symptoms blamed on endo – via toxins in them, via causing infections, etc..? Maybe more women being diagnosed with endo is due to there just being more knowledge about endo? And, girls are diagnosed earlier since they’re start their periods earlier nowadays (also, an indication that something is screwing with our hormones)?

    However, I’ve seen quite a bit of research suggesting that endo could be an autoimmune disorder:
    http://www.empowher.com/endometriosis/content/endometriosis-possible-autoimmune-disorder
    http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/10/2715.long
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11476764
    …Now just need to figure out what exactly to do about it! 🙂

  5. Melissa

    Thanks Rachel. Glad you found my blog! Hopefully, the suggestions will indirectly help you with Wegener’s Granulomatosis. What makes you think they are connected?

  6. Melissa

    Awesome! Glad I am onto it! Sometimes I feel like I need to have an official degree in medicine to get this…..but nice when I don’t and can work it out all on my own 🙂

  7. Rachel

    I do not have endo but was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease at the age of 13. (Prime time puberty). I am not sure how I found your blog but I have been following it for a while now. I feel everything you say/suggest is so closely connected to my issues with Wegener’s Granulomatosis although it is really nothing alike.

    I definitely think you are on to something! I don’t have endo but I am nearly convinced it has something to do with auto-immune. Just my 2 cents:)

  8. Renee

    Very interesting article. I completely agree, and I have even been told by a doctor that it is one theory that medical professionals are looking at.

  9. Melissa

    Yeah I can see that Tampon usage would be bad but then every women would get it :(. The difference is that we can’t process the toxins effectively – whether they are tampons, dioxin or other environmental toxins. We just don’t seem to poses the fighting power to get rid of the toxins – no matter what form they come in!

  10. Katherine Winslow

    It makes sense to me. I have CFS as well and am trying to awaken my immune system.

  11. Hi Jenny Hooper. I found changing my diet made a massive improvement for my endo pain. I only have pain on my 1st day now! Go endo diet!

  12. Thanks Jennifer Reynolds. I love theorising on this stuff and nice to hear that there is some logic to my thinking! Always makes me feel like I am on the right track with it all! Totally agree with the whole, doing our own research thing!

  13. Hi Danie Bell, Totally agree with what you are saying here! I wanna find even stronger immune boosters than the standard stuff though, cos I reckon we need bigger, faster and stronger to really boost endo healing!

  14. Liz Pey

    Good article. So many different viewpoints on the internet. My personal opinion is that it is not an autoimmune disease.

    Many natural physicians that I’ve researched talk about the possible causes of Endometriosis being related to tampon usage. Our bodies were made to release the lining of the uterus – not to stop it from being excreted, or even to hold it in our bodies for a few hours at a time. Not to mention that every day tampons on the market are bleached, thus our bodies are absorbing these toxins into our bloodstream and pelvis.

    I think that’s why we’re seeing younger women – even teens – being diagnosed with Endo as tampons are promoted as being the best option. (Certainly they are more convenient…)

    The closer we get to caring for our bodies the way they were intended to be cared for, the better off we’ll be.

  15. Jenny Hooper via Facebook

    You guys know so much! I’ve had big op and ovary removed due to endo. Was told 10 years ago by GP to get a hobby!helpful!! I am going day by day 🙂

  16. Jennifer Reynolds via Facebook

    Girlie, you are on to something here!! Was talking to a nurse that knows a lot about this condition and also went throu it. She gave me of a name of someone who specializes in this and I have been told to take omega 3-6-9, extra fiber, I’m pretty much changing my diet to get a handle on this. You’d be surprised on how many things endo is connected too!! Very helpful info for me!! As women we should take an extra step and do our own research and learn the other options out there, I feel more in control now in doing so 🙂

  17. Danie Bell via Facebook

    i think , for who is endo suffers , for natural ways instead of depending on hormone pills or injection , we need to consume lots of foods that can increase/boost our immune systems & lower down the estrogen hormone to make the endo shrink or not coming back . . such as foods that contains high vitamin B-Complex , vegetables , fish oil/evening primrose oil or might be the Monavie juice . . , can help us ?

  18. Danie Bell via Facebook

    ya , i do feel the same thing as when i read medical articles abt endometriosis , it goes same things saying that the endo happened when our body lack of immune systems . . its related / hv connection , true as above article . .i admitted to hospital last 2 weeks for laparoscopy bcoz of endo . . well now , i hv kinda mixed feelings as the doctor said it might be coming back . . . .

  19. Melissa Narans via Facebook

    I have been thinking the same thing as I go through this journey.It started with the doc.s saying endo, and now they say I also have an autoimmune disease that attacks my connective tissues.

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