Endometriosis: an estrogen-dominant imbalance
For women of childbearing age, estrogen-dominant hormonal imbalances such as endometriosis are the most common health concerns.
So what is endometriosis? It’s an important question to ask because it takes 10 years of suffering on average before a woman gets a diagnosis in the US.
In endometriosis, uterine tissue develops outside of the uterus - on ovaries, fallopian tubes, and/or the tissue lining the pelvis. Although some people do not experience any symptoms, generally the result is:
•Painful cramps or extreme discomfort (especially in the lower back/side, uterus, and organs in the pelvic cavity) before or during a period (menstruation is not supposed to be overly or unbearably painful)
•Heavy periods and excessive bleeding including the passing of large clots and shreds of tissue during the menses
•Digestive upset (nausea, vomiting, and/or constipation) during the menses
•A low sex drive, painful intercourse
•Difficulty passing stools due to weak pelvic muscles and anal sphincter
•Pain while urinating
•Abdominal weight gain
•Swollen and painful breasts around menstruation
•The growth of male-patterned facial hair
•Stronger-than-normal body odor
•Moodiness and mood swings
•Acne around the jawline.
Depending on the severity of the estrogen imbalance, irregular periods or a lack of periods altogether may also be experienced, and infertility can result.
For the women in my practice, I see with endometriosis, these symptoms are incredibly debilitating and disruptive to their lives. A woman’s cycle is a beautiful process that connects her to the earth, other women, and herself. The health of our cycles shows us so much about our overall health. That’s why women experiencing hormonal imbalances often feel unwell on many levels including mentally and emotionally. These imbalances are unfortunately quite common - an estimated 10% of women reaching reproductive age suffer from endometriosis.
So why might you be amongst this 10%?
Risk factors include:
•A family history of endometriosis
•Unbalanced or elevated estrogen levels
•Lack of exercise from an early age
•A continuous high-fat diet
•Lowered immune function
•Exposure to chemical pollutants that mimic hormones and disrupt hormonal levels
•Increased levels of stress and chronic inflammation
While the exact cause of endometriosis and other estrogen-dominant imbalances is disputed and likely multifaceted, it’s clear that hormonal imbalances are at the root. The health of our hormones is dictated by our diet and lifestyle and can be affected by everything from the hormones found in conventionally-raised meat to hormone disruptors found in plastics (water bottles!) to how often we eliminate them.
Once you do get diagnosed, it’s very common to feel frightened, out of control, worried, and anxious about endometriosis. The good news is that healing is possible.
If you’re ready to take control of your health and hormones, click here to book your free discovery call.