Surgery is not something I typically advocate for on this blog – you and I kinda know this. But, there are cases that unfortunately do require surgery and so I want to give you some ideas and tools to help you get through it with the least amount of effects on your body.
Some key things you need to know about surgery:
- The surgery increases the inflammatory response within the body. This means, that even though you are having surgery to remove the endometriosis, it is inevitably triggering an inflammatory response that drives endometriosis. Knowing this is important as it is key to really focus on reducing that inflammatory response within the healing time after the surgery. Read about endometriosis and inflammation here.
- Adhesions will form. Adhesions are like internal scars. The body will naturally do what it needs to do to heal and in some cases, this means more adhesions. We can however limit the formation of those adhesions by focusing on reducing the inflammatory response.
There are three key areas you want to focus on:
We are going to focus on foods that support this naturally in the body. The key ones that help reduce scarring are foods rich in Vitamin C, Zinc, and Vitamin E.
Cut out sugar completely as it is highly inflammatory. Focus on eating plenty of dark leafy greens and seaweeds as much as possible. Ideally, make broths and light stews that aren’t too hard to digest. These are great to make ahead of time so you can easily heat them up afterward. Use bone broth, heaps of herbs and spices within these dishes as much as possible. Parsley is one of my favorite herbs which can be added right at the end. A great dish to incorporate is a Gluten-Free Tabouli which is loaded with parsley so will be very high in Vitamin C.
Foods rich in zinc include oysters and seafood. Alternatively, eat plenty of pumpkin seeds or make pumpkin seed milk. Sunflower seeds are also amazing for healing as they are high in Vitamin E.
You could make your own granola and incorporate pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, and other nuts and seeds, add some butter/coconut oil and a little maple syrup and bake until golden. Once again, great to make ahead of time so you have what you need after surgery. Do you know which foods are inflammatory… read more?
2.Encourage Wound Healing
My favorite herb for both endometriosis and wound healing would have to be Yarrow (Achillea millefolium; Milfoil). It has amazing healing properties and has been shown to dramatically reduce scar tissue. It is also an astringent which basically means it “dries things up”. When we consider what endometriosis is, then this makes perfect sense. We want to dry up those dispersed cells and the circulating blood now in the abdominal cavity. I would recommend a tincture of Yarrow along with a poultice made with yarrow and placed on the abdominal area after the surgery. It will help ease bruising and the swelling that is often associated with surgery. Ideally, get Yarrow in a Tincture and take 3-4 times per day 2 weeks prior to the surgery. Do not combine Yarrow with antacids and avoid taking with Asprin. Also, I would double-check with what anti-inflammatory drugs you may get prescribed by your doctor to see if there are any drug/herb interactions.
You could also incorporate a nutritive herb to help the body through the healing process. My favorite herb right now for that is Nettle simply drunk as tea. Very restorative and contains plenty of iron which will replenish anything that may have been lost during the surgery. Drink 3-4 times a day. Ideally buy the bags already dried as picking Nettle is not much fun 😉
3. Reduce Stress and Anxiety as much as Possible
These two are the biggest drivers of inflammation and will make a huge difference in how well you heal. Countless studies now show how different patients heal based on how stressful their healing environment is. Calm yourself *from the book: Time to Care by Dr Robert Youngson. Trust and let some stuff go. It doesn’t really matter if the house is a mess or not everything gets done as you like it. Most things that we worry about never actually happen or are not that important. Repeat to yourself daily: “Everything will be okay” over and over until you actually believe it.
It is also a good idea to fill your head with positive, happy stuff. Watch comedy shows or do something fun that makes you smile. Avoid anything that causes you to worry or get anxious. Definitely don’t spend hours researching adhesions 😉
We can also our anxiety levels within 5 minutes just by shifting our breathing. Stop. Breathe in for 5, hold and breathe out. Slow it down. Be present. It will all be okay. Repeat.
I wish you all the best for the surgery and a speedy and easy recovery to bring you back here to heal fully.