Endometriosis & Soy Products

Bowl of soy beans in the pod

Here we go again, inspired to write due to a dietary “restriction.”  I’ve read that as an Endo Sufferer, I should avoid (or drastically cut back from) soy and soy-based products.  I’ve read soy mimics and increases estrogen levels, which we’ve come to understand can affect our Endometriosis growth and symptoms.  So today, I want to do my own research.

Soy products are the “richest sources of isoflavones” that humans can eat.  What the heck is an isoflavone? It’s a “plant-based compound with estrogenic activity” English, Lisa, ENGLISH! It means it’s a plant-based compound that mimics estrogen.  So, soy has a very rich, or high levels, of a property, a compound, a thing…that acts like, or mimics, estrogen.  The isoflavones can attach themselves to estrogen receptors throughout the body, and either mimic or block certain estrogen effects in tissues.

Why is that bad? Well, it’s not, for everyone.  Estrogen may help prevent certain forms of cancer (breast, uterine, or prostrate), stimulate bone growth, or help women suffering with post-menopausal symptoms. But for those of us who suffer from what very-well may be an estrogen-driven disease, it can be very bad.

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Feel Good Fridays!

Bullwhip and Indian Jones hat

Today’s quote is inspired by an old man I saw crossing the street, wearing his best Indiana Jones Adventure outfit…at 7:30 in this morning, on his way into a Starbucks:

Life is just a lot of everyday adventures.  ~Carol Ryrie Brink

Although the strangely-dressed tiny old man man me laugh, it reminded me that, yes, every day should be a small adventure!  Hell, everything should be!

So don your hat and jacket and head out for something exciting! If not today, tomorrow. Or the next day.  Or the next.

Tackle that laundry like it’s Mount Kilimanjaro!  Wrangle up your cat like the wild beasty that he is.  Drive with the windows down and let the wind rat up your hair.  Or snuggle your hot water bottle as if your life depended on it.

Find an adventure. Somewhere.

Yours,

Lisa

Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

blood splatter

Women with Endometriosis only suffer from Endo pain and symptoms during their periods.

TallTale

It is unknown why every woman’s Endometriosis pain, symptoms, and severity is different from the next.  But, some women only suffer from their Endometriosis during their monthly cycles, other women are in constant, daily pain.  Constantly.

So to be told that our pain is related to our period or PMS is just frustrating.  It isn’t.

My pain isn’t just “bad period cramps.”  They’re severe and terrible and debilitating due to this disease I have.  But…I am lucky.  Mine is usually only during my period…

Others aren’t so lucky.  Their pain may be every day. EVERY DAY.

It’s awful.

Feel Good Fridays

broken glass on a green table

Happy Friday!!!

Today’s feel good quote is by Armenian-Russian author, Vera Nazarian:

“A fine glass vase goes from treasure to trash, the moment it is broken. Fortunately, something else happens to you and me. Pick up your pieces. Then, help me gather mine.”

Again with the “broken pieces” theme.  There’s a lot of this going around lately.  Not just with myself, but among my friends and family.  And strangers.

Be there for each other. Always.  A strong support system, for whatever you are enduring, is necessary.  Know that you are not alone.  Know that you have people who love you who are there to help.  Together. Together you will manage.  And thrive.

Have a wonderful weekend…

Yours,

Lisa

Share your Story : Tabitha

text that reads "This Disease Sucks"

Tabitha had suffered with the pain associated with Endo long before she was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 26.  Now 30, she lives in Franklin, TN, and her life may be drastically changing due to her ongoing symptoms.

Tabitha’s Journey:  I say I was diagnosed at age 26 but the pain and other symptoms have been treated long before that. I’d say it all started at age 23. But the severe back pain started 2 years ago. In the thoracic region around my T8 and T9. It hurts so bad at times that it’s hard to straighten myself up. I have no diagnosis yet but drs say there’s nothing wrong with my spine as far as anything herrniated and no slipped disks. So what else can it be?

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Endometriosis and Infertility

fertility goddess figurine

Many women with Endometriosis also suffer from infertility.  Why? Well, that very question spawned today’s research…

It is believed that Endometriosis is present in 24-78% of infertile women (depending on who you ask).  That’s a huge figure! Infertility associated with Endometriosis may occur at any state of the disease (I to IV; mild to severe).  It’s believed that the Stage of Endo may effect the rate of infertility:  people with “mild” Endo have been known to conceive 2-4.5% per month; people with moderate to severe Endo drop to less than 2%.  Normal, fertile couples conceive at a rate of 15-20% per month.  It’s a big difference all across the board.

The medical and scientific community do not have answers as to why Endo may make women infertile; only theories:

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Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

bloood-filled test tubes

Endometriosis will one day be diagnosed through a simple blood test.

Theory

There are several past and ongoing studies which are trying to identify “markers” which may lead the medical community to diagnose Endometriosis through a blood or tissue sample.  Imagine it: a non-invasive, conclusive diagnosis.  It’s still a theory…a hope…

Dr. Agarwal and Dr. Foster of San Diego’s Center for Endometriosis Research and Treatment are currently working on a project to see if a “BDNF” blood test will help diagnose Endo.  They have high hopes for this project.

The Feinstein Institute of Medical Research has an ongoing study to collect and evaluate DNA and menstrual blood samples of women with, and without, Endometriosis.  Their hope is to identify additional markers that separate Endo Sufferers from the general population.

CA-125 has been a long-studied biomarker which may indicate the presence, or recurrence, of Endometriosis.  Unfortunately, it has been deemed widely unreliable.  It is also used to attempt to diagnose ovarian cancer.  Additional studies are ongoing.

With persistent research, perhaps one day Endo will be simply diagnosed with a blood test!

Keep up the good work, Scientific and Medical Community!

Feel Good Fridays

a burnt forest that is beginning to regrow

We made it through the week, and what a busy week this has been!  *whew*

Today’s Feel Good Fridays quote is by Roman philosopher, Seneca:

“In a moment the ashes are made, but a forest is a long time growing.”

Remember, whatever “moment” you endured which you feel may have ruined you, or at least scarred you, that there will a time when you are whole again.  You will heal.  This experience will only make you stronger.  Endure.  Grow.  Be reborn from the ashes.

May you have a wonderful weekend!

Yours, Lisa