Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

Bloomin' Uterus logo surrounded by question marks

Endometriosis is not restricted to your pelvic cavity.

Truth

Endometriosis can infect your pelvic cavity and is routinely found on the ovaries, the bladder, the bowel, the uterus, the fallopian tubes, etc.  It is also found on other organs, such as the liver.  It can grow and spread on the diaphragm and lungs, and even enter a woman’s lungs, causing regular collapsed lungs or coughing up blood.  Rare cases of Endometriosis have been diagnosed on the brain, heart, eyes, skin, and even inside the spinal cord.

This disease is not restricted to the gynecological interest.  It should not be known as just a “period disease.”  All areas of the body can be affected.  Ongoing research to better understand this incredibly invasive disease.  One day we will have answers.  And hopefully a cure.

Feel Good Friday!

Paper dolls holding hands

We made it to another Friday! And that means…Feel Good FRIDAY!

Today’s quote is by Steve Goodier, a blogger and newspaper columnist:

“None of us lives in isolation. We’re in it together. And some conflict along the way is inevitable. But our highest priority, when all is said and done, has to be commitment to each other –- sticking together.”

Tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, 2015, is a day full of walks and marches of women with Endometriosis and their friends & family coming together, supporting each other, and understanding that they are not alone.  It is a day of unity. A day of strength.

I’d like to see this “day” become a constant way of life.  Not just for Endo Sufferers, but for all of us.  May we all be able to “stick together” with those that truly matter in our lives.  Overcome differences, challenges, and disagreements.

You are not alone. We are not alone.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!!  I know I will!

Yours, Lisa

Endometriosis & The Lungs

Graphic of human lungs

I’ve read bits and pieces here and there that Endometriosis can grow on or inside of your lungs.  An EndoSister had posted in one of the many Facebook support groups that I follow that she has Endo on her lungs, which causes her to cough up a lot of blood.  Others replied that they have it as well, but it leaves them in the hospital with collapsed lungs every month.  Which got my juices flowin’ to find the documented cases of Endometriosis on the lungs, how it was excised (if at all), etc.  Here goes!  This is NOT meant to scare you.  Just educate us all, including myself.

Endometriosis is usually found within the pelvic cavity, but has also been known to be found northward and latching onto the liver and diaphragm.  It has also been found on the membranes surrounding the lungs and heart.  Even rarer, it has been found on the brain, in the lymph nodes, and on the eyes.

Thoracic or Pulmonary Endometriosis is when Endometriosis implants/adhesions are found in your thoracic region, and can be found on your trachea, bronchi, diaphragm, lungs, or heart.  It was first medically documented in 1953.  Today, we focus on the lungs.

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Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

Bloomin' Uterus logo surrounded by question marks

Endometriosis begins to develop while you’re still in the womb.

Theory

Although a few recent studies have found displaced endometrioum-like cells outside of the uterine cavity of female fetuses, there is still a lot of research to be done.  Several people now believe that those of us who have Endometriosis have had it since we were in our mothers’ wombs.  Some believe it’s pre-ordained at birth where our Endometriosis implants will grow and at what Stage (1, 2, 3, or 4).

Unfortunately, there is still no proven cause of Endometriosis, so every “cause” is still just a theory.  Without a known cause, a cure is difficult to even begin to develop.

Resources:

Endopaedia

Reproductive Biomedicine Online

U.S. National Library of Medicine

Sharp Hospital Free Seminar : 03/25/15

A blue lotus blossom with the text Q&A

On March 25, 2015, from 6pm – 7:30pm, Sharp Hospital (San Diego, CA) will be offering a free seminar regarding gynecological issues (including Endometriosis) and advances in robotic surgery.  There will even be a Q&A session with Sharp’s physicians!  There is also a seminar on March 26th, but I will not be able to attend that evening.

I will be attending.  I know many of you are not in my local area, but wanted to see if you had any questions that you would like me to ask!  Just drop a comment below and I’ll make sure and ask!

Let me know if you are going and we can meet up!

Feel Good Friday!

A rocky beach

It’s FRIDAY! Another week!  We made it!

Today’s Feel Good Quote is by photographer and poet, Jaeda DeWalt:

“Healing is more about accepting the pain and finding a way to peacefully co-exist with it. In the sea of life, pain is a tide that will ebb and weave, continually.

We need to learn how to let it wash over us, without drowning in it. Our life doesn’t have to end where the pain begins, but rather, it is where we start to mend.”

For any of my friends, family, EndoWarriors, or even strangers, who may be enduring some pain right now, whether it be mental or physical, may you find a way to allow it to pass through you.  Push through.  Endure.  Come out of it glowing and ready to move forward, before the next wave. Live.

May you have a beautiful weekend.

Yours, Lisa

Meet Dr. Idhaliz Flores Caldera

Dr. Idhaliz Flores Caldera
Idhaliz Flores Caldera, Ph.D.

Many of you have read my blog entry Stress Levels May Affect Endo. In that blog, I mention Dr. Caroline Appleyard, her colleagues, and their research.  Dr. Appleyard and Dr. Flores Caldera have agreed to answer some questions I’ve posed to them.  Both doctors are incredibly busy; however, have still managed the time to answer these questions!

Q&A Session with Idhaliz Flores Caldera, Ph.D.

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Going to the ER : “You Junky Pill Popper!!!”

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I’m one of the lucky ones: I’ve never had to to go the Emergency Room because of my Endo pain.  Before my surgery, I’d always just sucked it up, endured, lumped into a ball, hugging my heating pad, crying.  Never had I thought to go to the ER; I figured it was normal period cramps.

But many of my fellow EndoWarriors routinely do.  Their uncontrolled pain is so horrible that they take the trip to the ER, fill out the forms, pay the co-pay, wait for hours, and are poked, prodded, and screened…some may receive the help they seek.  But others are denied relief and are accused of being a pill-popping addict, a junky, a liar.  Others are screened for STDs or yeast infections.  Others subjected to embarrassing pelvic exams.  This is unfortunate and outrageous.

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No red meat?

A cow and hamburger with a "no slash" through them

So, I’ve read time and time again that people with Endometriosis should avoid red meat.  I’ve altered my diet to avoid it as much as possible.  And have even written about it in small quantities in previous blogs.

But today I want to delve deeper into why: why no read meat? What does it do?  And I want proof; not just theories!  Let the research begin!

Some studies suggest that frequent consumption of red meat and ham increases the risk of developing Endometriosis. An Italian study published in 2003 found that there may be a link between diet and Endometriosis.  It also found that women who ate red meat seven or more times per week increased their risk of Endometriosis by 80-100%.  Women who ate ham three or more times per week were 80% more likely to have Endometriosis than women who ate less.  In comparison, women who ate vegetables and fish were 40% less likely of having Endometriosis.  This study was actually the combined data of two separate studies conducted on 504 women, and it reviewed their eating habits, lifestyles, and separated the women into two groups: who did or did not have Endometriosis.

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