Endometriosis is a bit of a buzzword right now. You’ve probably heard it, but unless you’ve already done your research, you may not know much about it. And if you do know about it, you might be wondering if acupuncture for endometriosis really works, as well as other natural treatments.
Endometriosis occurs when the uterine lining—the endometrium—begins to grow places besides the uterus, like the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or along the pelvis. It can even spread to the vagina, cervix, bowel, or bladder.
During menstruation, the endometrium breaks down and that’s what a woman’s body sheds during her period. In the case of a woman with endometriosis, the misplaced uterine lining breaks down but has nowhere to go. This can result in the formation of cysts, scar tissue, and infertility.
What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?
All the extra endometrial tissue causes many negative effects on the body. For the majority of women dealing with endometriosis, the primary symptom they notice is pelvic pain, especially during their period. This pain is more intense than regular discomfort during her period, according to the Mayo Clinic. As we mentioned, cysts and scar tissue can also be symptoms, along with pain during sex and painful urination and bowel movements. The main complication of the disease is infertility.
However, there are women with endometriosis who have no noticeable symptoms at all. For these women, they are shocked to find out they have endometriosis only after they try to get pregnant and struggle.
What Causes Endometriosis?
Doctors and scientists aren’t really sure what causes endometriosis. But according to Live Science one theory is that during menstruation, blood with the endometrial cells backs up into the fallopian tubes, which then begin creating more endometrial cells. Another theory is that if a woman’s immune system is compromised, her body does not destroy unnecessary endometrial cells that try to populate the wrong places.
Diagnosis and Treatment
One of the many frustrating things about endometriosis is that typically it can’t be definitively diagnosed without undergoing a minor surgical procedure. A pelvic exam and ultrasound can eliminate other causes of pelvic pain and identify any cysts caused by endometriosis. But the only way to get a definitive diagnosis is to have a laparoscopy. A laparoscopy is a procedure where a doctor makes a tiny incision near the belly button and inserts a viewing instrument to see if they find endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. They can also take biopsies during the procedure to test the tissue.
For those who prefer natural, less-invasive types of medicine, the traditional treatments for endometriosis probably seem invasive and disruptive. Many people turn to hormone therapy (like birth control pills or otherwise) to slow the growth of endometrial tissue. This is problematic for someone who is trying to get pregnant and only works while the person continues taking the replacement hormones.
Some people simply resort to pain medication to control their pelvic pain. And still, others decide the best route is surgery. Surgery can be as conservative as attempting to remove the extra endometrial tissue or as drastic as a full hysterectomy with the removal of the ovaries.
Natural Treatment Options for Endometriosis in Greeley
As there is more and more awareness of endometriosis, many women are not satisfied with hormonal and invasive treatments. And while they may be necessary for some, at Peake Wellness, we want to make you aware of other natural treatment options for endometriosis.
- Dietary Changes: Since one of the possible causes of endometriosis is inflammation in the body, diet is a good place to start in alleviating the symptoms of endometriosis. Anti-inflammatory diets include lots of fruits and vegetables and not very much red meat, according to the Institute for Natural Medicine.
- Acupuncture: While nothing works for everyone, many women have overcome infertility with the help of acupuncture. Our acupuncturist, Alisa Wong, specializes in women’s issues, including infertility and endometriosis.
- Botanicals and Supplements: Check out the Institute for Natural Medicine’s list of helpful botanicals and supplements for anti-inflammatory solutions and herbs that soothe symptoms. Also, please ask Dr. Peake any supplements we carry in the office, as well as helpful essential oils.
- Chiropractic adjustments: Chiropractic adjustments are a useful part of any plan to find balance in the body. Adjustments can relive pelvic pain, and certainly, low back pain related to endometriosis. But more than that, adjustments stimulate the nervous system which can help with menstrual cycles and egg movement. Endometriosis.net says chiropractic is a great supporting treatment for endometriosis.
Let Peake Wellness Help with Endometriosis Pain and Complications
At Peake Wellness, we’re passionate about women’s health, including endometriosis and infertility. If you’re considering natural treatments like acupuncture for endometriosis and other alternative treatments, we’d love to help. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alexia to learn more about what we can do to aid your wellness journey.