We perhaps don’t recognize that with endometriosis and having our monthly period, there are distinct symptoms which we can recognize as signals of things getting better or worse. I thought I would list those endometriosis symptoms and imbalances, so you can recognize when you are improving!
Here are just a few that you might recognize:
1. The over emotional girly experience
Does your boyfriend really love you? Are you really that important to others? Does your butt look bigger than everyone else’s? So many of these thoughts are often driven by those nasty girly emotions. We start to doubt ourselves, our relationships and anything that is associated with an inner emotional sense of self. It is nasty! I hate it! We lose who we are for those days leading up to our period and somehow don’t understand who is driving all this negativity, moodiness and emotional crap!
Things is, you are totally fair in thinking some alien has taken over your mind… it has! They are the estrogens and progesterones which are simply not in balance and this causes a case of PMS.
I found maca root powder or capsules to be incredibly helpful in reducing this effect with my monthly.
2. A change in digestion just before your monthly
I never even considered this a symptom of endo, until I wrote it down! Your digestion swings the other way, just before your period is about to hit. This relates back to the prostaglandins altering the inflammatory response in the body.
I have since incorporated fermented foods into my diet, so this is not as big a change as it used to be.
3. Feeling really tired
I still get this one. I struggle to do any kind of physical exercise as it just seems to take a heap more out of me than usual. I get tired more easily and just feel worn out more easily. The worst days seemed to be the ones leading up to my period. I can’t say I do a heap of exercise during my monthly (especially day 1&2) as I feel they are a time of rest and detoxification, but I am sure they would be no different.
4. Sore breasts
This used to be my key symptom that my period was coming. It used to happen a few days just before it was due and very reliable! I would get sore, swollen breasts and my nipples would ache. I now realize that this was closely related to my estrogen levels being too high. It has to do with water retention. The breasts store excess water, which fills the cells in the breasts, making them painful.
5. Headaches, migraines, nausea
I am quite lucky that these have left me! They were actually the first to go—so if you are struggling with these, know that by changing your diet, you can say good-bye to them first!
I used to get such a bad case of this that I remember having to pull up on the side of a road once to be sick! It was a day before my period!
I had them all—migraines, headaches and nausea. I used to get a headache just before my period too—this was another symptom I would use to know it was coming! These are all hormone related and estrogen dominance related. Migraines are definitely the worst ones!
6. The big bulge
I used to get the big bulging tummy before my period. Currently, it is mostly during the first two days. When I was younger, I always remember it being at the end of my period. I am not sure if it has something to do with the body wanting to focus on the area, so it inflames the area to flush stuff out but we all seem to get this massive difference in our lower abdomen during our monthly. This is one distinct symptom that I would have to say is endometriosis specific. I haven’t noticed other women swelling up quite as much.
7. The bits that come out
Sorry, but I kinda needed to go there. It is very important that you have a way of looking at what is coming out—just another reason not to use tampons! If you use pads or a cup, you can at least see the color and texture of what is coming out. When I first started with my journey, my blood was dark and had heaps of stringy bits and lumps in it. I still get this on occasion but it is generally a much lighter color and more of a liquid consistency. Dark stuff is bad! You want it to be red, like normal blood color and you also don’t want it to have large lumps in it.
The best supplement I have found to reduce the effects of this lumpiness and color is Vitalzym. It essentially eats away at the old dead matter in our abdomen.
8. Sore shoulders and back before and during your monthly
When we have our monthly we use up more magnesium. Magnesium is crucial in helping with inflammation and muscle aches. Make sure you have enough magnesium in your diet or consider taking a magnesium supplement on the days leading up to your period. It could also explain our craving for chocolate during this time. Chocolate is very high in magnesium.
9. A craving for sweets just before your period
Sweet things have an expanding action in the body. What this means is that it naturally releases and lets stuff out when it has sweet things. As our bodies want to flush out, we tend to crave sugar and sweet stuff. To avoid going on a total chocolate binge, avoid salty foods for the week leading up to your period. Salty foods are contracting and your body will naturally want the opposite at this time.
I personally enjoy heaps more honey, sweet fruits and vegetables during this time and make sure I have heaps of green smoothies and supplements to ensure I am well balanced.
Drinking heaps more water during this time is also hugely important!
10. The obvious one… the pain we experience with our period
With endometriosis, we experience pain with our period. The degree of pain will depend on where the endometriosis cysts are forming and to what extent any adhesions have developed. The reason I believe we get this pain during our monthly is because those cysts and sites experience a sense of “I want to get out!” and they can’t. The body attempts to “heal” those sites, which is why I believe we get this dramatic swelling and inflammation.
It also has to do with an overreaction by the prostaglandins in the area and perhaps a lack of omega 6 in our diet but ultimately the signal to send the prostaglandins had to occur first.
The pain is not a bad thing. I know when you have it, you think it is the worst thing in the world! However, the more pain you experience, the more your immune system is trying desperately to heal your body. It is actually a good thing if this is working properly. There are women who have had stage 4 endometriosis and they experience no pain with their period. They simply don’t have this symptom. This makes it incredibly hard to tell if they are getting better or worse. At least if you experience pain, you can determine how well your journey to healing is working.
Initially, you won’t be able to get through a period without taking something—give me something strong was my response! However, as you get better and follow your healing journey, the pain will get less and less. I still get pain with my period but I don’t take anything. I make a point of not taking any drugs during this time as it is a time of cleansing and drugs also affect digestion and the liver.
It didn’t happen overnight for me either! It takes time and eventually you will get to that stage too.
Just keep following your healing journey and recognize these symptoms and also note when one or more of them have left… then you know you are doing the right things!
What symptoms do you experience with your monthly? Which ones do you no longer experience?