Meredith's Endo Journey
By Meredith East - Powell
My name is Meredith and this week I am a guest blogger for QENDO.
I was diagnosed with endo a few years ago but like many others, it took a very long time and I suffered from poor health for many years.
I’ve had 3 surgeries in total, the first was a diagnostic laparoscopy, the second was major endometriosis excision surgery (including a bowel resection) and the third was to fix my ureter and reimplant it into my bladder where it had been damaged by endo. I was terrified going into my second surgery which included a bowel resection; I couldn’t believe the damage this disease had done to me.
My excision surgery was 2 years ago now and the good news is that these days I feel a lot better. Having a good endometriosis surgeon, combined with the right hormone treatment, diet, exercise and lifestyle are all factors that have contributed to my improved situation. There is no cure for endo but at least I know how I can optimise my health.
I am currently studying nutrition and hope to help other endo sufferers maximise their health and reduce pain. I’ve learnt a lot so far from my personal experience and from my studies, so I thought I would share a few tips on how to improve your health and reduce pain levels:
Eat a wholefoods diet; this means plenty of veggies, fruit and whole grains. It means eating less food from packets and more fresh produce. This will improve your fibre intake which will improve bowel function, allowing you to expel excess estrogen (excess estrogen exacerbates endometriosis).
Up your intake of healthy fats. This includes olive oil, salmon, anchovies, oysters, sardines, mackerel, chia seeds and some green veggies including spinach. These healthy fats are known as omega-3 fatty acids, they are good for you because they reduce inflammation, help with cell function, mood regulation and hormone production.
Reduce your stress levels. Chronic stress has many impacts on the body, it is known to lower your immune function and exacerbate inflammation which can increase pain. I practice yoga and meditation, but I also changed my lifestyle (including my career) to reduce my stress levels. Find what works for you, it might mean sitting down and identifying the stressors in your life and making changes or it may mean just incorporating more ‘you’ time.
Hormone treatment such as the contraceptive pill are just a band aid, but they can be helpful with managing pain. If you are taking them and you find they’re not helping, talk to your doctor and move to a different type to find one that works for you.
Supplements can be very helpful for pain. I recommend pure fish oil omega-3 capsules and magnesium. Depending on your symptoms it’s worth getting blood tests to make sure you’re not deficient in any vitamins or minerals, being deficient can make you feel so much worse; at one point I was low in iron and B12 and could barely function from the fatigue and brain-fog - not fun.
If you’re looking for any other endometriosis info and endo-friendly recipes you can check out my website, The Healing Yogi, here.
Yours in health,
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