Endometriosis & Soy Products

33346213_e5d5842024_oHere 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.

Endometriosis & Soy

A 2001 study suggested that an increased intake of soy by Japanese women may lead to diseases which may require pre-menopausal hysterectomies, such as Endometriosis.

A study published in 2006 studied a 75-year-old woman who developed a tumor and continued Endometriosis symptoms.  She had a total hysterectomy 30 years prior and had been taking concentrated soy isoflavone supplements as part of her hormone replacement therapy for the past five years.  It stated, “[o]ur data suggest that phytoestrogens at least in concentrated form may play a role not only in maintenance of endometriosis but also in its malignant transformation.”  More studies are needed.

A study in 2008 followed three women who were taking soy supplements and suffered from various reproductive issues, including Endometriosis.  All three women reported a reduction of symptoms after they removed soy from their diets.

Soy also contains high levels of phytic acid, which may cause digestive issues and block mineral absorption.  Why do I say “may?”  Because there are a lot of opposing views on this topic online, whether they be studies, blogs, or corporate pages.  Don’t get me wrong : phytic acid has been shown to contain a lot of healthy properties as well.  But when our bodies are already working on overtime due to chronic inflammation, do we really want to tax it further with mineral deficiencies?

Today’s Soy Crops

There is a lot of uproar and concern over genetically modified crops. But what is a genetically modified organism (aka GMO)?  We’ve all heard about it in the news, read the labels, etc.

The European Union defines a GMO as “[a]n organism is “genetically modified”, if its genetic material has been changed in a way that does not occur under natural conditions through cross-breeding or natural recombination.”

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration defines “genetically engineered” products as, “[g]enetic engineering is the name for certain methods that scientists use to introduce new traits or characteristics to an organism.”  Although the F.D.A. insists that genetically modified crops are safe to consume, there is a lot of concern by the general public of their long-term effects.

The Non-GMO Project defines GMOs as “GMOs (or ‘genetically modified organisms’) are organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, or GE. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.”

In 1996, the first genetically modified crop of soybeans was planted in the United States.  In 2007, approximately 57% of the world’s soybean crops were genetically modified, over 9 countries, and consuming 60 million hectares of land (that’s approximately 148,263,228 acres!).  Since 2012, 94% of the soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified to be herbicide-tolerant; they can survive pesticides which kill weeds and insects in the agricultural field.

A 2003 study focused on genetically engineered or modified soybeans and reducing allergens, such as eliminating pollen allergens by using gene suppression techniques.

Are GMOs harmful? Depends on who you ask. Our government says it’s perfectly safe.  Other organizations say they are harmful.  Do you own research; formulate your own opinion.

Drug Interactions and Soy

Certain drugs have been known to interact with soy products.  Certain tumor-treating drugs (Nolvadex, Tamoxifen, or other Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators) may be less-effective for people who have a high diet of soy-based products.  Studies have shown a decrease of efficiency in animal studies; however, further human studies need to be conducted.  It may also have a decreased affect on people taking Warfarin, a blood clot medication.  For people suffering from hypotyroidism (which is about 42-54% of Endometriosis sufferers), studies have also shown that the dosage of Levothyroxine needed to be increased for people consuming soy-based products, otherwise the thyroid hormone levels were abnormal and the medication was less-effective.

Foods Containing Soy

This is a limited list, but food and beverages that contain soy are: edamame, miso soup, natto, soy cheese, soy meats, soy milk, soy sauce, soy yogurt, tamari sauce, tempeh, and tofu.

Many other foods contain similar isoflavones.  In 2008, the U.S.D.A. put out a report of the isoflavone content of various foods.  You’re welcome to read their report and endless tables here (if you dare).  As a quick comparison, look at the content of total isoflavones found in raw edamame (48.95mg/100g), raw potatoes (0.01mg/100g), almonds (0.01mg/100g), and canned tuna (0.28mg/100g).  The Top 10 winners of the most isoflavones content on this 2008 database were:

1. soy meal (209.58mg/100g)

2. soymilk film (196.05mg/100g)

3. soy flour (ranging from 178.10 – 150.94mg/100g)

4. soybean seeds, raw (154.53mg/100g)

5. roasted soy nuts (148.50mg/100g)

6. soy flakes (131.53mg/100g)

7. bacon bits, meatless (118.50mg/100g)

8. soy protein (ranging from 94.65-81.65mg/100g)

9. Kellog’s Smart Start with soy protein (93.90mg/100g)

10. tofu (ranging from 83.20-29.24mg/100g)

Some honorable mentions include:

1. infant formulas, various (ranging from 28.01-25.00mg/100g)

2. red clover (21.00mg/100g)

3. Kellogg’s Kashi Go Lean (17.40mg/100g)

4. Jack in the Box Monster Beef Taco (15.90mg/100g)

5. McDonald’s Cinnamon Roll (6.00mg/100g)

6. Subway Meatball Sandwich (6.00mg/100g)

7. Tigers Milk Protein bar (11.50mg/100g)

8. Cliff bar, energy bar (ranging from 26.90-17.70mg/100g)

On the Flip Side

There is always the “other view” on issues such as these.

A 2007 study found that Japanese women consuming soy products have a reduced risk of developing endometriosis.

Dr. Andrew Weil, a well-respected medical blogger, suggests eating soy-based products due to their health benefits; however, discourages the use of concentrated soy isoflavone supplements and “designer foods” containing soy isoflavones. You can read his article here.

The question of the Hour

What will you do…for you; for your Endometriosis?  The one thing I will say to influence your decision : talk to your physician or nutritionist before deciding…

What have I done?  Drastically reduced the amount of soy I consume.  I used to eat edamame several times a week, so I’ve completely cut that out of my diet.  I’ve swapped soy sauce for tamari sauce, which is a fermented and gluten-free version of soy sauce.  I avoid soy-based protein shakes or milks and now consume coconut milk and a brown rice-based protein shake.  I really don’t feel like I’m missing out on much.  But do feel good for cutting back on increasing any additional estrogen levels within my body.

Again, anything I can do to help my body fight the further progression of Endometriosis is worth it to me.

Resources:

Dr. Weil

GMO Compass

New York Times : (Article) 2014 – A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops

Oregon State University

Oxford Journals : (Article) 2003 – Genetically Modified Soybeans and Food Allergies

Phys.org

Phyticacid.org

The Non-GMO Project

Thyroid-info.com

United States Department of Agriculture

United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service

United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service – full 60-page report

United States Food and Drug Administration

United States National Library of Medicine : (Abstract) 2008 – Adverse Effects of Phytoestrogens on Reproductive Health : a Report of Three Cases

United States National Library of Medicine : (Abstract) 2007 – Effect of Soy Isoflavones on Endometriosis : Interaction of Estrogen Receptor 2 Gene Polymorphism

United States National Library of Medicine : (Abstract) 1995 – Phytic Acid: Healthy in Health and Disease

United States National Library of Medicine : (Abstract) 2001 – Soy Product Intake and Premenopausal Hysterectomy in a Follow-up Study of Japanese Women

United States National Library of Medicine : (Abstract) 1992 – Soy Protein, Phytate, and Iron Absorption in Humans

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

Feel Good Fridays!

Bullwhip_and_IJ_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?

drop

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.

Interview : Dr. Caroline Appleyard

CBA

Many of you have read my blog entry Stress Levels May Affect Endo, which can be found here. In that blog, I mention Dr. Caroline Appleyard, her colleagues, and their research.  Dr. Appleyard and Dr. Flores have agreed to answer some questions I’ve posed to them.  Dr. Appleyard previously answered a few questions, and now has submitted additional information:

Q&A Session with Dr. Caroline Appleyard

There are so many theories regarding the cause of Endometriosis.  Which theories have your studies caused you to focus on as the cause?

Our research so far falls in line with Sampson’s theory where there is retrograde flow of menses through the fallopian tubes and then for some reason in endometriosis patients the tissue is able to implant and grow where it shouldn’t.  However the research in my lab is more focused on trying to intervene with the exacerbation of the symptoms based on our hypothesis that in endometriosis patients there is some imbalance in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis which is normally responsible for controlling reactions to stress and helping to ‘reset’ the body defense mechanisms.

Do you feel that Endometriosis symptoms can be controlled by diet and supplements?

I think that, as with many chronic conditions, a healthy balanced diet can perhaps contribute to some alleviation of the symptoms. It is important to ensure that patients as not lacking any vital nutrients, and I have seen some anecdotal reports suggesting that cutting out certain sugars or fats might alleviate some symptoms, particularly any referred pain from motility disturbances. For example in some cases a patient might have very similar symptoms to those found in Irritable Bowel Syndrome where quite often diet modification can help with changes in bowel motility which might be causing discomfort. If a patient thinks that their intake of certain types of food seems to correlate with exacerbation of their symptoms my suggestion would be to keep a food diary and then discuss this with your physician to also rule out any additional gastrointestinal issues.

How do you feel about hysterectomies as a cure for Endometriosis?

I do not have the clinical expertise to comment on this but know that hysterectomy of course has a large impact on the body with a whole slew of other consequences.  I also understand that in some cases even after a hysterectomy some patients still report symptoms.

You’ve both worked on the stress-related Endometriosis studies. Thank you!! What other studies are you/have you worked on regarding Endometriosis?

With my background in gastrointestinal inflammation and recent evidence suggesting a potential beneficial impact of manipulating the intestinal microflora by administration of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in some immune conditions we would like to study this in endometriosis.  Further we have carried out some preliminary studies which suggest the potential benefits of exercise in counteracting stress in our animal model so we are now pursuing this line of research in a more controlled way.

Do you plan on conducting human studies regarding the stress and Endometriosis relationship?

Through collaborations with Dr. Idhaliz Flores we hope to translate our animal studies to carry out interventions in patients focusing on how stress management can impact the severity of the symptoms and better the patients’ quality of life. Some patients with chronic conditions (other than endometriosis) have reported the possible beneficial effects of exercise and different coping mechanisms and we would like to explore this further.

Where do you see medical care and treatment headed for Endometriosis over the next 10-20 years?

I would like to see a ‘whole body’ approach for medical care and treatment for endometriosis patients where psychological, behavioral, and stress-reduction interventions as an integral part of a multidisciplinary clinical management plan that can be offered to patients.  This would involve a team of health professionals working together including the surgeon, immunologists, endocrinologists and nutritionist as well as those specialized inn pain management.  Hopefully also some of the cell signaling pathways which we are currently unraveling might yield some new more specific targets against which small molecules can be developed offering new drug treatments with fewer side effects than those currently available.

Any words of advice for Endometriosis sufferers who may be reading this?

Since I do not personally suffer from the condition I am a little hesitant to answer this since I cannot ever fully appreciate living with this. However, I think that, as with any other chronic disease where our understanding is still limited, it’s important to trust your instincts and ask for other opinions if you feel that your medical team is not providing you with options. Investigate ways of trying to cope with your symptoms through a more holistic approach and share your concerns with your family, friends or a support group.

What can we do to help you and the medical community?

I think that it is very important to continue to increase awareness of endometriosis so that both the general community and physicians carry out earlier investigations into the symptoms that a patient might have, and their possible underlying causes rather than dismissing pain as something to be expected as part of the monthly cycle. This can be critical in adolescents who might not understand what is going on and already be dealing with teenage hormonal changes.

**

If you would like to follow Dr. Flores Caldera’s and Dr. Appleyard’s efforts in Puerto Rico, you may do so by the following:

Webpage: http://www.endometriosispr.net/

Facebook: Endometriosis Puerto Rico and EndoTeens Groups; Fundacion de Pacientes Puertorriqueñas con Endometriosis Fan Page

Twitter:  @endopr@2010

Also, if you would like to keep apprised of these Question and Answer sessions, you can follow them by clicking here.

I would like to personally thank Dr. Appleyard for taking the time to thoroughly review and respond to these questions, and for her ongoing efforts and research! Together, we can help spread awareness, education, and moral support.  We are not alone. We are a mighty force!

Feel Good Fridays

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

Untitled-1

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?

I have stage 4 endometriosis and it’s grown as far as adhering on to my diaphragm which is adjacent to my spinal pain. I have wondered for the last 2 years what could possibly be wrong with my spine and after reading this blog about it, I’m almost certain that had to be it.

This disease has completely ran my life for the last 7 years. My body telling me new things that I can no longer do. Such as giving up my massage business after 11 years, all my favorite foods, all of my energy, and throwing money out left and right to anything that may help, not to mention cleaning taking more than all day to do because of my spine issues, making me sit every 30mins on a heating pad to levitate some of the pain.

This disease sucks and the day when everyone takes it as seriously as the ones who suffer from it will be a god send.

Words of Advice for Us:  Do all you can to stay positive. Write post its every where for inspiration. Never give up!

If you wish to contact Tabitha, you can mail her at tabimalee@yahoo.com

I want to send a special Thank You out to Tabitha for being brave enough to share her personal story, struggle, and victories with us today.  You are a beautiful, brave, and strong woman.  You are truly an inspiration. It si our hope that you find out what is bothering your spine, causing your back pain, and regain the life you are beginning to lose.  Please, keep us posted on your progress.  And again, thank you for being brave enough to share! Yours, Lisa.

downloadAnd if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here.  The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.

Yours, Lisa.

Endometriosis and Infertility

infertility magnet. tnjpgMany 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:  women with “mild” Endo have been known to conceive 2-4.5% per month; women 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:

  • Less intercourse due to painful sex;
  • Anatomical distortion caused by implants and/or adhesions;
  • Endometriosis may create a toxic environment for fertilization;
  • Inflammation may play a role;
  • An altered immune system may influence fertility;
  • Hormonal changes or imbalance may cause issues;
  • Too many surgeries have damaged the girly bits;
  • Too much time has passed before diagnosis, allowing the disease to mature and the woman to age, providing an even greater loss of fertility.

There has been no link to the cause and effect of Endometriosis and infertility.  Not yet, at least.

Anatomical Distortion

Chocolate cysts, or endometriomas, are blood-filled cysts that are usually found on the ovaries.  They can also be found outside of the pelvic area (the belly button, brain, liver, etc.); however, these do not seem to effect infertility.  It’s been stated that 17-44% of women with Endometriosis have endometriomas.  These cysts can impede ovulation or even damage the ovaries themselves.  Endometriomas can be removed during an excision surgery; however, as you’ll see, multiple surgeries may cause further damage to the ovary tissue.

On the flip side, a study published in 2015 found that there was no substantial difference between 183 different oocytes (eggs) that came from ovaries that have had endometriomas and those that have not; that the oocytes were not inferior in quality to the healthy oocyte.  So knowing the quality of the eggs was not affected by the chocolate cysts begs to question: is it purely because of any damage to the ovarian tissue or Fallopian tubes that prevents the egg from getting to its Final Destination?

Finally, another 2015 study found that a second surgery to remove an ovarian endometrioma is more harmful to the ovarian reserve and may cause further damage to the ovarian tissue; ultimately affecting fertility.  What is the ovarian reserve?  I had to look it up (thanks wikipedia): it’s “a term that is used to determine the capacity of the ovary to provide egg cells that are capable of fertilization resulting in a healthy and successful pregnancy.”  These findings suggest that repetitive surgeries to excise endometriomas should be done with caution, if at all, for women who are seeking to conceive (either naturally or with medical intervention).

Adhesions may also block an egg from leaving the ovary or block the Fallopian tubes from proper delivery of the egg to the uterus.

Toxic Environment

A study published in 2009 suggests that a woman who has Endometriosis may create a toxic and infertile environment for sperm.  Byproducts of our inflamed tissues and over-reactive immune system may produce toxic fluids which reach the uterus through the Fallopian tubes.  It concludes, “there was evidence of significantly higher sperm DNA damage in samples incubated with [peritoneal fluid] from patients with endometriosis compared with samples incubated with [peritoneal fluid] from healthy women and controls at the three incubation periods studied…We are proposing that endometriosis-induced sperm DNA damage may be one of the underlying causes of reduced natural fertility in these cases.” More studies, of course, are needed. It’s just frustrating for those EndoSisters who are striving to become pregnant.

Surgery & Fertility Therapy

Assisted Reproductive Therapy (ART) is a common treatment for infertility.  It involves removing the eggs, fertilizing them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning the fertilized egg to the woman’s womb to be carried to term.  According to the CDC, 1.5% of the infants born every year are conceived using the ART technique.

ARTA 2015 study analyzed data which was collected between 1989 and 2014, comparing live births of women with and without Endometriosis, who had undergone ART.  The figures were comparable for women with subtle Endometriosis (Stage I and II) and women who did not have Endo, however, unfortunately, it indicated that women with Stage III or Stage IV Endometriosis have a lesser chance of delivering a successful live birth.  But do not lose hope!

In the 2012 publication Endometriosis: A Guide for Patients, 29% of women who had their Endometriosis surgically excised were able to conceive within nine months of surgery; as opposed to 17% of women with Endo who did not have it excised at the time of surgery.  That’s over a 10% difference…

A 2015 French study found that women with Endometriosis who underwent an excision surgery then started fertility treatments or ART had a 78.8% pregnancy rate in as little as 18 months after their surgery!  This study followed 412 women who had surgery between 2004 and 2012.  They believe the surgical removal of implants and adhesions played a role in improving fertility.

Another 2015 study showed that out of 142 women trying to get pregnant, 71 conceived naturally after their Endo excision surgeries (5 of these were unplanned) and 38 conceived using ART.  Unfortunately, 38 were unable to conceive either way.  This study concluded that “[w]omen who had surgery to remove stage III-IV endometriosis and subsequently tried to conceive had a 73% chance of pregnancy, the majority within 12 months of index surgery.”

Another 2015 study broke EndoSufferers into groups: some underwent surgery, some had GnRH treatment, and others had in vitro fertilization.  It found that each group had similar numbers when it came to conceiving.  “Pregnancy and delivery rates at different stages of endometriosis were not affected by the different approaches used for infertility treatment…”

Freezing Your BabyMakers

Some women may consider freezing their eggs to preserve their lineage.  It’s not unheard of.  Decreased fertility or ovarian function may very well lead you to consider this option.  A study in 2015 stated “[b]ased on the currently available notions on the intricate relationships between endometriosis, infertility and damage to the ovarian reserve, we speculate that fertility preservation may be of interest for women with endometriosis, in particular for those with bilateral unoperated endometriomas and for those who previously had excision of unilateral endometriomas and require surgery for a contralateral recurrence.”  This study concluded by stating further analysis and data is needed before being introduced into routine clinical practices.

What have I learned today?

1. Now I know why my surgeon told me that unless I truly wanted to have a child at this point in my life, I needed to use condoms while on Lupron Depot and oral contraceptives afterward.  I had no idea that your chances could improve this drastically after surgery.

2. I’d still like to learn of the link between Endo and infertility…so many theories!

3. But if an EndoSister asks me if they can get pregnant after their laparoscopy, I’ll be able to answer that there is a chance they can!  … but there’s also a chance they can’t…

For all of you EndoSisters out there trying to conceive, do not lose hope.

Resources:

American Society for Reproductive Medicine : 2012 (publication) Endometriosis : A Guide for Patients

Unexplained Infertility : 2015 (incomplete Article) Subtle Endometriosis and Unexplained Infertility

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Future Medicine : 2015 (Abstract) Exploring the Relationship Between Endometriomas and Infertility

Georgia Reproductive Specialists

Hindawi Publishing Corporation : 2015 (Article) The Surgical Treatment of Severe Endometriosis Positively Affects the Chance of Natural or Assisted Pregnancy Postoperatively

Karger : 2015 (Abstract) Pregnancy Rate in Endometriosis Patients According to the Severity of the Disease After Using a Combined Approach of Laparoscopy, GnRH Antagonist Treatment and in vitro Fertilization

Obstetrics & Gynecology : 2015 (Abstract) Influence of Endometriosis on Assisted Reproductive Technology Outcomes: a Systematic Review of Meta-analysis

Oxford Journals : 2015 (Abstract) Fertility Preservation in Women with Endometriosis: For All, for some, for none?

ResearchGate : Article (2009) The Impact of Peritoneal Fluid from Healthy Women and from Women with Endometriosis on Sperm DNA and its Relationship to the Sperm Deformity Index

Science Direct : 2015 (Abstract) External Validation of the Endometriosis Fertility Index in a French Population

Science Direct : 2015 (Abstract) Second Surgery for Recurrent Endometriomas is More Harmful to Healthy Ovarian Tissue and Ovarian Reserve than First Surgery

Springer : 2015 (Abstract) Endometrioma and Infertility : Principles and Techniques of Management

Springer : 2015 (Abstract) Endometriosis and Infertility

Springer: 2015 (Abstract) Laparoscopic Excision of Ovarian Endometrioma Does Not Exert a Qualitative Effect on Ovarian Function: Insights from in vitro Fertilization and Single Embryo Transfer Cycles

Springer : 2015 (Abstract) Subtle Endometriosis and Unexplained Infertility

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

Vacutainer_blood_bottles

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!

Resources:

Center for Endometriosis Research and Treatment

Central European Journal of Immunology : 2015 (Abstract) Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines for Evaluation of Inflammatory Status in Endometriosis

Hindawi Publishing Corporation : 2015 (Abstract) Update on Biomarkers for the Detection of Endometriosis

Informa Healthcare : 2014 (Abstract) Biomarker Development in Endometriosis

Informa Healthcare : 2014 (Abstract) Noninvasive Biomarkers of Endometriosis: Myth or Reality

Interview with Dr. Agarwal

Medscape

Sage Journals : 2014 (Abstract) Peripheral Blood Telomere Content is Greater in Patients with Endometriosis Than Controls

Science Direct : 2015 (Abstract) Circulating Micro-RNAs as Diagnostic Biomarkers for Endometriosis: Privation and Promise

Science Direct : 2014 (Abstract) Urine Peptide Patterns for Non-Invasive Diagnosis of Endometriosis: a Preliminary Prospective Study

The Feinstein Institute of Medical Research

Wiley Online Library : 2015 (Abstract) Serum Biomarker for Diagnosis of Endometriosis

Endometriosis Support Network online!

If you haven’t already seen this new online resource for connecting with EndoSisters, check it out! http://www.myendometriosisteam.com

I’ve already met a few San Diego women I didn’t know were around, not to mention the neat Q&A function and the awesome way you can look for recommended doctors and discuss medical treatment and see how effective they were for other women.

So far it’s a neat site.  Come find me. 🙂