Maggie Flood is a good friend of mine, and an EndoWarrior in our local San Diego group. She’s also a licensed Acupuncturist, certified Sexological Bodyworker and holistic pelvic care practitioner.
She’s put together and is hosting a six-week course on resetting your pelvic floor…and so much more. It will use Zoom for weekly meetings (which will be recorded if you can’t attend live), downloadable meditations, exercises, journaling homework, and a support community of fellow participants.
A course description:
“Pelvic Reset is a 6 week long assisted journey to guide you back to your body, uterus and root. As this course is open to all women and those with vulvas who wish to reconnect with themselves, it is especially useful for those coping with pelvic pain or female-bodied sexual dysfunction. Within this 6 week program you’ll learn the basics of embodiment, nervous system self-regulation, how to use pleasure for healing, lineage mapping your womb space, as well as new and ancient medicinal techniques to manage pain and heal from surgery or trauma. This course is designed to bring you into a new experience of your sexuality and relationship to your pelvic floor. A very special reset button, indeed.”
For more information, and to register, please check out her site. There’s a registration fee, but if you’re not happy with the program within 30 days, there’s a money back guarantee.
I’ve vowed to invest in my health this year, so I’ve already signed up. I just wanted to share in case this interested some of you.
Do you suffer from nausea? Did you know there’s a drug-free device that may help ease those symptoms? What??
First, an introduction: If you follow the Bloomin’ Uterus Instagram account, you’ve “met” Nicole Tamillo. She’s my friend, confidant, an Admin of our Facebook group, and fellow EndoWarrior. And she is far more tech savvy than I!
Anyway, one of Nicole’s major symptoms when she’s having an Endo-flare is nausea. Extreme nausea. I had heard about a wristband that may help with nausea, so I reached out to the company to see if it would help with Endo-induced nausea. The wonderful folks at ReliefBand offered to send her a complimentary ReliefBand Premier to try out for her Endo-nausea. HOW AMAZING!!! Nicole and I wanted to share her unbiased review, thoughts, results, and excitement with you:
Hello! My name is Nicole Tamillo. I am 27 years old. I was officially diagnosed with Endometriosis at the beginning of 2017 with laparoscopic surgery. Although I experience many different endometriosis symptoms, my two biggest complaints are pain and NAUSEA! My pain can range from uncomfortable to unbearable, but I can normally get through it with minimal complaining. Now nausea on the other hand…. nausea is the bane of my existence. I have self-diagnosed Emetophobia. What is that you ask? EXTREME fear of vomiting. I REPEAT EXTREME FEAR OF VOMITING. I am not talking about being uncomfortable with vomiting, I am talking about full-blown panic mode!! So when endometriosis causes nausea I can not function as a human being. All I can do is lay in the fetal position on my bathroom floor. And the anxiety that comes from nausea only increases my pain. It becomes a vicious vicious cycle. And I have tried so many different things to try and lessen the severity of my nausea. I have tried OTC medications, essential oils, teas, ginger chews, pressure point wristbands, and prescription medicines. But once my nausea has hit, there is no stopping it until it runs its course. That is until I tried the ReliefBand 2.0 (aka the ReliefBand Premier)!
The ReliefBand 2.0 is a class II neuromodulation device that is cleared by the FDA for the treatment of nausea.
How does it work?
When the device is in place on your wrist and turned on, gentle pulses stimulate the median nerve at the P6 location located on the underside of the wrist. This nerve is connected to the nerve in the brain that controls nausea. When stimulated using neuromodulation the brain signals the stomach to reduce nausea. The signals have a rebalancing effect normalizing nerve messages from the brain to the stomach reducing symptoms of nausea, retching, and vomiting.
What does it work for?
The device has been clinically tested to relieve nausea, retching and vomiting associated with motion sickness, morning sickness, chemotherapy, postoperative, and vertigo. In addition, they’ve received FDA clearance this year to also treat nausea and vomiting associated with anxiety, physician diagnosed migraines, and hangovers!
How to use:
1. Finding the starting area (P6) on the wrist. You can use either wrist. It is approximately two fingers down from the wrist crease, between the two tendons.
2. Clean the area and apply the provided conductive gel. You only need a thin layer about the size of a large coin.
3. Put the device on and adjust to line up the contact over the gel on the P6 location. Fasten device snugly.
4. Activate the device by pressing and holding the power on button. Adjust the intensity by using the up or down buttons. You should feel a slight “tingling” sensation in the palm or middle fingers.
After using the Reliefband 2.0 for a few months, I can honestly say that it has helped me tremendously! I can’t imagine battling a major endometriosis flare-up without it. Although, it hasn’t been clinically proven to reduce nausea associated with endometriosis, I believe that it can make a big difference for women battling nausea related to endometriosis.
It looks like any other fitness tracker. It has a sleek look and doesn’t stand out.
It is rechargeable.
Easily kept in your purse or bag for unexpected nausea episodes.
The intensity is adjustable
No Side Effects
The price point: $224.99. It is on the steep side.
When not used for a while it will die. So if you have a sudden spell of nausea and haven’t used it for a while, you will have to charge it before using it.
In my opinion, the pros definitely outweigh the cons! And the company provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If nausea is something you suffer from, have you tried the ReliefBand? They have two different models at two different prices. If you’ve tried it, we’d love to hear your experience in the comments below. Did it work? Did it not work? What else helps with your nausea? Home remedies? Pharmaceuticals? Anything? Share!
I’d like to send a HUGE thank you to ReliefBand for their interest in helping a friend. And Nicole for opening up, making herself vulnerable, and sharing her symptoms and experience! I’m so glad it has helped you!!!
Friends of mine, Raul and Yuliya Montes, have started a small company creating and selling natural bath and beauty products (and a few other things!). I’ve purchased and fallen in love with several of their items and wanted to sit down and pick their brains for a few minutes and share the news about Special Flower Oil, Co.
…pssssst…they make CBD oil bath bombs…
Looking for all-natural bath bombs, soaps, lip balms, and more? Read up a bit on who these guys are, what they make, and then go peruse their wares!
Lisa: Special Flower Oil, Co.? That’s a great name! How’d you come to be?
Yuliya: We have this inside joke between the both of us that we’re a bit “special” two peas in a pod and all, and we came up with this saying “You’re my ‘special’ flower,” when one of is being a little on the – well… less than intelligent side. We always knew we wanted to own our own business, and at the same time wanted to do something that we both enjoy that benefited other people that we could do together – so one day while taking a shower together, we noticed how many ingredients were on some of the items – and we decided to work on something more natural.
Raul: It pretty much started with this weird rocking side to side, that kind of evolved over time. Our company name is literally our way of making fun of ourselves and each other, even though people outside, likely think that it has to do with the oils we use and such. As far as the start – we woke up one morning thinking, “wouldn’t it be nice to quit our day jobs do something we enjoy more?” Well, we haven’t quite quit our day jobs, but we’re doing what we enjoy.
Lisa: What do you feel sets you apart from the endless stream of competition out there?
Yuliya: We do hours of research over every single ingredient that we use, we refuse to take shortcuts. We believe that we need to be producing a product that we, ourselves would use before selling it to others, and having integrity in the ingredients that we use.
Raul: I think it’s unique that you’ve got a small business co-owned by a married couple, one being a woman, one being an OIF war vet. My background is in combat medicine, and in that I’ve discovered that improvised treatments and at times alternative treatments can have huge impacts on quality of life. Aromatherapy in and of itself isn’t just about chakra crystals and weird blessings, there’s some solid science behind it, including cognitive improvement in Alzheimer’s patients who have used rosemary, lemon, lavender and orange.
Lisa: As a person who suffers from a painful chronic illness that is often influenced by chemicals, parabens, and hormones, I appreciate your dedication to pure and body-safe ingredients in your products. I see you guys use organic and locally-sourced ingredients. Why is that important to you?
Yuliya: Back in 2013, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s – an autoimmune disorder that attacks and destroys the thyroid, and because of it I will be on supplemental thyroid hormone for the rest of my life. The more I did research, the more I found that body care products are ridden with harsh, endocrine-disruptive chemicals, affecting the body – and being a woman, I was using these chemicals all over my body. I threw out a lot of my stuff and began seeking out items that were natural or organic – but these are expensive, so I decided to make my own. I mean, with the skin being the body’s largest organ, and it absorbs a lot (up to 64% of contaminants from water alone), it’s easy to see that what we use on our skin ends up in our bodies – often in our blood streams and lymphatic systems, and it seems like the majority of mainstream body care products contain a horrible cocktail of carcinogenic chemicals, allergens, and irritants. Knowing who makes our ingredients, knowing how they are sourced, and using them ourselves first, always ensures that we’re creating the perfect product.
Raul: I completely echo everything Yuliya said. I think that knowing where an ingredient is from, how it’s sourced, and having a relationship with the ingredient producer is important. Case in point, our Goat Milk, Honey, and Oats soap uses organic goat milk and oats, and raw honey from a local beekeeper, who also happens to be a fellow combat medic. Up to that point I’d never had fresh raw honey – and my god does it taste amazing. These are just glimpses into the items that we’re using in our soaps and bath bombs. I want people to feel as good about the product and the way it’s made as they do while they use the product.
Lisa: A lot of our readers suffer from chronic pain. I see that you have “hemp isolate” bath bombs; can you tell us a little bit about what that means…and how your bath bombs may help someone in pain?
Raul: CBD. It’s CBD plain and simple. I’ll be really honest – its really hard to sell items online that contain them, regardless of the farm bill passing. As such I wanted to make sure it was something that if someone said, “oh what is hemp isolate powder,” that they could type it in and the first thing they would see is CBD. We’re covering ourselves while trying to afford a completely legal and THC free item to those who need it.
don’t entirely know how CBD works yet, they think that it interacts with
receptors in the brain and immune system. Moreover, it helps as an
anti-inflammatory as well as can help those who suffer with chronic pain, and
associated insomnia without adverse side effects. Now – when its combined with
other anti-inflammatory and pain relief oils such as lavender, yarrow,
eucalyptus, and chamomile – and of course Epsom salts, it creates a beautiful
pain relief cocktail that you can literally just envelop yourself in. I’ve also
got some CBD soap curing right now that I whipped up earlier today using the
goat milk oats and honey base. I’m excited to use it!
Yuliya: CBD is nature’s way of affording us a pain relief option that doesn’t involve using drugs, while being able to indulge in the experience. Imagine it, you pour a hot bath, enjoying the hot steam – you toss in one of the bombs and soak for a half an hour, letting your skin absorb these pain relief oils and CBD… Oh you’re ready for painless sleep.
Lisa: If someone doesn’t want a “hemp isolate” bath bomb, do you offer them the option?
Raul: Of course, we understand that CBD is still considered one of those edgy, experimental type of products – because of that we have the same bath bombs and soaps completely hemp free.
Yuliya: All of our products are customizable. If you see an item of ours that has hemp, and you want a hemp free version, just reach out – we’re more than happy to make custom products.
Lisa: I’ve gone through numerous pain management and stress-reduction workshops over the past five years and I’ve learned that sometimes to help reduce symptoms and pain, we need to try to calm our nervous system. Take a moment. Breathe. Meditate. There’s a great connection between pain and a heightened sense of “FUCK, EVERYTHING HURTS (and I wanna die!)”. That being said, I know you make scent roll-ons. I’m partial to the “Palomar Skyline” blend as I find it very soothing, calming, and the scent jettisons my mind up into the mountains. Are your essential oil roll-ons intended to aid in relaxation and calming techniques? Or just smell good? How can your customers better use your roll-ons to help calm and de-stress, both physically and mentally?
Yuliya: Absolutely, I deal with constant anxiety. I’m currently testing an experimental mixture that I’ve named “Natural Xanax,” Which I use pretty regularly to reduce my overall stress levels. Our oils are designed to both smell nice (and not overpowering) while helping the customer come off the proverbial edge. They also work amazingly while meditating. Our goal here was to help the customer find peace in the moment.
Raul: I’ve got some that I’ve made just to act as a cologne, such as the GWOT Christmas, but by in large the scent oils are designed to help center someone. Dealing with PTSD, I’ve learned that sometimes a couple of dabs of the Palomar Skyline can help pull me out of a moment – whether its dealing with chronic pain due to spinal compression (or a recent shoulder surgery), or dealing with the existential hell my mind likes to throw me into. I always recommend using the oils on pulse points – or if you so choose, diffuse them, close your eyes, and focus on the smells. As odd as it sounds, I personally practice a verbalization of what I “see” when I close my eyes and focus on the scent. It really helps to pull me out of the mind-storm and places me on a mountain, in a lavender field, or in an orange grove…
Lisa: Do any of your roll-ons have pain-relieving capabilities? My Mum buys me an essential oil spray that does the trick for acute pain. And a friend of mine gifted me with a roll-on that also helps with surface pains.
Yuliya: Yes! Like Raul said, certain oils have pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties. Rolling or dabbing them on the skin can help with pain and inflammation in addition to the calming nature of each one of the oils.
Lisa: I’ve read your soaps use goat milk and locally-sourced honey. Why is that better than ingredients that may be found in other soaps (handmade or otherwise)? Sell me on their magic!
Raul: Goat milk alone is an amazing item. It contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids that help to unbind dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, giving a more rejuvenated look, vitamin A, which has been proven to reduce lines and wrinkles, cream – which keeps the skin moist (especially during those winter months) and minerals like selenium, which has been praised in recent years for its ability to prevent skin cancer.
Then honey helps to
balance the skin’s natural bacteria, helping to reduce the appearance of acne,
as well as speeds up the healing process of the skin.
Combined they can help with eczema, psoriasis, and even candida overgrowths on the skin.
Lisa: I’ve never made soap before and imagine it’s much like making Jell-o: throw everything in a bowl and *tada* I have soap in a few hours. I know that can’t be true. So… how what all goes into creating a handmade bar of soap? Help me appreciate the process and effort, please.
Raul: Soap can be a real pain in the ass to be honest. It starts off with research and figuring out what items I want to use to make a soap – for example, if I want to make a beautiful swirly soap, I need to use canola oil, keep out the shea butter, and make sure my fragrances and essential oils aren’t going to accelerate the saponification. The next part is selecting my fats – which are oddly enough, often the same oils we use for cooking – coconut, canola, sustainable palm, olive, and the like – melting them down and mixing lye (yes lye) with either distilled water or goat milk (which has to be frozen to avoid curdling). Once lye mixes with a liquid, it creates a lye solution which is the basis for *all* true natural soaps.
Let me restate this:
all real soap is made with lye – anything without it is a detergent and not a
soap. Yes! Real Soap is made with lye. You might wonder where the lye is on the
ingredients list of your favorite soap – “saponified oils of –“ or sodium
followed by cocoate, palmate, palm kernelate, tallowate, or olivate. Soap
makers know that people are afraid of the word “lye.” None remains in the
The lye is then blended with the oil, it begins something called “trace.” Trace is the point in soapmaking where the oils and lye have emulsified and the lye begins saponifying. Once this happens the lye and oil molecules combine and are chemically changed into soap and glycerin. From this point it’s put into a mold for a few hours or days, then cut, and left to cure for four weeks.
Lisa: What’s been your favorite product to make?
Yuliya: Soap! Always soap. There are endless possibilities – from scent combinations to oil combinations. Each one of our handcrafted small batches is completely beautifully unique in its own right, and it should be, because it reflects us as people.
Raul: Soap. It might be a pain in the ass, but it’s totally a relaxing activity for me, and I can design each bar as meticulously as I want to. I can’t draw. I can’t paint, so this is my art.
Lisa: Have you had any mad scientist concoction failures with any products yet? Tell us a funny story…
Yuliya: My first round of lip balm. It was horrible! It was rock hard. Completely solid. We ended up scrapping the whole batch because I was being stingy with oils. It was like trying to rub a candle on your lips.
Raul: My first round of bath bombs. Oh God, they were horrible. I’m not even sure where they went wrong… well the worse part was – I’d made two batches – the first was great, and we had gotten our first order when we’d opened the Etsy. Guess which ones got sent? Yeah… as soon as I realized, I contacted the customer (who thankfully hadn’t used it yet) and sent out another set of bath bombs free of charge. I mean, we saved the day, but it felt really dumb.
Lisa: Any sneak peeks at items you’re working on that aren’t released yet?
Yuliya: Massage candles, therapeutic body butters, tinted and flavored lip balms, face masks, and beard balm for the guys.
Raul: A few more soaps. I want to have seven main “flagship” soaps, and run a special “soap maker’s” batch once every month or so – which will just be a few of our “left-field” ideas thrown into action
Lisa: Do you take custom requests?
Not only do we take customer requests, we look forward to it!
Lisa: Anything else you’d like to add?
Our goal is to give back to the communities. We like working with 503s and other small businesses. We also have wholesale options (we make it, you sell it as your own).
A li’l more about Special Flower Co.:
Early in 2019, we were discussing the prospect of having a wedding reception, and began discussing what kind of party favors we would use. Initially we settled on bath items, like soaps, bath bombs, and scrubs, but after looking, we felt like nothing really fit the people who had always been there for us. There were plenty of quality goods out there, but none that were uniquely “us.”
That’s where Special
Flower Oil Co. began.
uniqueness are what make an item special. It’s the time taken to make a unique
item that isn’t mass produced and misleadingly called “handcrafted.”
It’s about the time and effort we take to perfect our art, whether that be the
scent in a bath bomb, the particular composition of a soap, or the one on one
focus on customer service.
We are Special Flower
Raul and Yuliya
NOT JUST ANOTHER “HANDMADE” BATH PRODUCT
Our products utilize top of the line organic, fair trade compliant, rain forest safe oils. Moreover, we source local products from goat milk to honey, as often as we can, utilizing veteran owned businesses where available. We also source our herbs from local, organic, pesticide free gardens – because you deserve to feel as good about a product’s background, as you do when you use the product.
You can find Special Flower Oil, Co. on the interwebs:
I want to extend a huge thank you to Yuliya and Raul for not only creating some amazing products, but for being the exceptional human beings that they are…and for taking the time to give us a sneak-peak into their lives and business. We wish you continued success in all endeavors!
*I was not compensated for this interview. It’s just something I wanted to do for them…and you.
Recently, someone brought it to my attention that they’d heard that heating pads are bad for Endo. Now…I live with my heating pad literally attached to my body almost every first few days of my period. So, I was taken aback by the suggestion as I find the heat soothing. And I vowed to do some research on the theory that heat is bad for Endo…and, as usual, formulate my own opinion and share it with you.
Endometriosis News ran an article in August of 2017 highlighting the opinions of Melissa of EndoEmpowered and Aubree Deimler of Peace with Endo, and both discussed how heat may cause fascia to manipulate (or soften) and harden after it cools down once the heat is removed. Aubree tried the heat elimination process to see how she felt, and felt a difference with her pain. If you’d like to try, please follow her example. Melissa interviewed Chris Toal of Azolla Health, who shared a downloadable brochure on the theories behind heat and fascia. Not only does Toal discourage the use of heating pads, but also the use of hot showers or baths. Aubree directly linked back to Melissa’s article and interview.
What is fascia? It’s a thin, fibrous tissue made up mostly of collagen that covers and supports tissue, such as muscles or organs.
From what I gather, the underlying theory expressed in the views of Endometriosis News, Melissa, and Aubree of why heat is bad for Endometriosis pain is that the heat, for lack of a better term, softens or melts the fascia tissue. Once the heating pad is removed, the fascia rehardens and can make the pain worse. This may cause adhesions to shift, form, and harden. Aubree cites to Ida Rolf‘s theory regarding fascia and displacement with energy/heat/manipulation.
Visualize a brand new, unlit candle. Once lit, the wax begins to melt. Blow out the flame and the wax cools and rehardens, oftentimes in a new shape. Or think of making gelatin: the mixture is liquid while hot and solidifies once it’s in the fridge and cooled off.
The fascia-altering theory is the only argument I have been able to find against using heating pads if you have Endometriosis…so:
Let’s find some proof to all of this…because, like I said, sometimes I live on my heating pad.
Ida’s theory that fascia tissue degrades with manipulation or energy is frowned upon by some. It’s called the thixotropic effect, where the tissues degrade with heat or pressure, then reform upon settling. Paul Ingraham wrote about his opinions in Feb. of 2013 and again Jan. of 2018 on thixotropic effect on PainScience.com and opines that fascia is simply “too tough” to manipulate in such a manner and states that Ms. Rolf found her theory to be “nonsense” as well. Mr. Ingraham cited many studies and professionals to support his opinions. You’re welcome to read both pieces (linked above and in the Resources section below).
But what if it’s not nonsense? According to the Science of Slow Cooking (mmmmm…crock pot food…), collagen begins to break down and liquify into a gelatin at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, I’m no expert on the human body versus a meat-animal, but…how hot do heating pads get?!?
A study published in Safety Brief in 2015 ran a few experiments on heating pad created by Kaz (Model HP-110). After running the heating pad for 120 minutes, it never exceeded 151 degrees Fahrenheit, uncovered.
Sunbeam offers a FAQ on their webpage about the temperature range of their heating pads: the low setting 110 degrees F and the high setting can get up to 160 degrees F.
Sew4Home conducted their own little science experiment with homemade microwaveable heating pads. They compared rice, corn, and flaxseed. After 30 seconds of heating, the rice was 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the corn was 158 degrees, and the flaxseed was 144 degrees. Five minutes later, each had cooled: 136 (rice), 142 (corn), and 142 (flaxseed).
Hot water bottles should never be filled with boiling water (water typically boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit), due to leakage and safety concerns. Many manufacturers of hot water bottles suggest a nice, easy-to-touch temperature; not scalding.
So, I’m not sure that heating pads (electrical, microwaveable, or hot water bottles) will get hot enough to do any liquifying damage to facia. But, then again, I’m no expert. And several webpages promote the use of heating pads (sometimes combined with castor oil packs) to help with adhesion, Endometriosis, pelvic, or lower back pain.
So, then I was curious: why do heating pads make my pain feel better? Once more, I hit the internet. And, once more, ran into a lot of Mr. Paul Ingraham’s writings and voluminous cited resources, along with other webpages.
Heat may be very soothing, it increases blood circulation to the area, it may relax tense muscles, and a 2006 study found that internal heat receptors may actually block pain signals. So, once more, heat may be good for dealing with certain types of pain.
Again, I’m not a scientist and this is just my opinion after bouncing around the internet for several hours doing research and reading. My conclusion?
My heating pads make me feel better…and I will not stop using them. Am I knocking Endometriosis News, Melissa, Aubree, or Chris? Nope. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I value a broad perspective on things. But, for me? I also value the comfort that a good ol’ heating pad delivers.
What about you? My advice? Do whatever makes you feel better. Hot, cold, or neither. It’s your body and you know it better than anyone.
(Updated March 27, 2019)
Earth Clinic (Dec. 2017): Natural Remedies for Abdominal Adhesions
EndoEmpowered (Nov. 2016): Stop Using Hot Water Bottles for Endo Pain
~ 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
One of my readers, Erin, emailed me asking if I could look into taking Melatonin for Endometriosis pain and symptoms. She had heard that it may help reduce the symptoms, pain, and maybe even the lesions themselves.
So, on goes my Research Cap and it begins!
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body as the light fades. Many people take Melatonin to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. It’s been coming out in studies over the past decade that Melatonin may play a role in helping reduce Endometriosis lesions and pain.
In 2008, a study was published about 25 rats that were surgically implanted with Endometriosis. Interesting enough, it found that the rats that were treated with Melatonin were found to have fewer and smaller Endometriosis lesions than rats that received nothing.
In 2010, another rat study took place, this time comparing rats who were given Melatonin to rats who were given Letrozole. Thirty rats were induced with Endometriosis, given Estrogen for 2 weeks, then surgically confirmed to have Endometriosis lesions present. Some received Letrozole for 2 weeks. Others received Melatonin for 2 weeks. They were all surgically opened up and their Endometriosis lesions were recorded and measured. The rats received another 2 weeks of Estrogen, then were finally studied. It found that the rats who received Melatonin had fewer and smaller lesions than the rats that were given Letrozole.
In 2012, Melatonin was referenced in a study about different types of pharmacological treatments of Endometriosis. It stated that past studied have shown that daily Melatonin usage had reduced the volume and size of lesions and reduced oxidative stress markers. As far a dosing goes, rats were given 10mg a day for 18-28 days. It stresses that the doses had not yet been tested on humans.
A Brazilian study published in 2013 found stated that Melatonin was thought to help Endometriosis because it’s an analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. It studied 40 women over an 8-week period. Some of them were given a placebo, and the others were given 10mg of Melatonin each day for 8 weeks. For those who took the Melatonin, 40% of them had reduced daily pain and 38% of them had reduced painful periods. They also had an improved quality of sleep.
In March 2015, a study was published discusses various doses of Melatonin given to rats that had been implanted with Endometriosis. Unfortunately, the abstract did not divulge the doses given to each rat and the results. It did; however, state that Melatonin treatment did result in the regression of lesions in the rats.
I know I’m excited to read about the possible benefits of Melatonin when it comes to Endometriosis. BUT, there’s always a “but”…
The US Department of Health and Human Services states short-term Melatonin use appears safe; however, little is known about the safety of long-term Melatonin usage since studies of long-term effects have not been conducted. Also, some people have complained of side effects while taking Melatonin: dizziness, drowsiness, headache, irritability, nausea, and stomach cramps. Many users have also complained of grogginess the next day.
Then there’s the question of dosing. What is the appropriate dose of Melatonin? A 2001 study identified the proper dose of Melatonin to help people sleep is 0.3mg per day, taken just before bed. Sleep.org stated a dose between 0.2mg and 5mg taken an hour before bed would be sufficient. For people who have sleep-wake cycle problems, they’ve taken 2-12mg of Melatonin for 4 weeks. The study of Endometriosis in women was a 10mg supplement for 8 weeks.
There are also indications that Melatonin may worsen depression, cause high blood pressure (or negate blood pressure medications), worsen bleeding in people with bleeding disorders, may interfere with immunosuppressive therapy (for organ donor patients, etc.), and may increase blood sugar levels of diabetics.
Don’t forget about the “don’t take this medication with this medication” category. Since Melatonin may be a sedative for many people, avoid taking Melatonin if you take other medications that may cause drowsiness. Some examples would include Klonopin, Ativan, Donnatal, and Ambien.
There is some concern out that that taking Melatonin may cause hormonal issues. Since Melatonin is technically a hormone created by the body, supplementing it may cause imbalances or
As always, please talk to your physician before starting any type of new regimen, whether it be pharmaceutical, supplements, diet, or lifestyle changes. I know I’ll be talking to my physician. And always understand that little is regulated in the supplements market. Do you own research and act wisely.
Do you take Melatonin for your Endometriosis? Have you noticed a difference? Please let us know by leaving a comment below!
~ 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
Oh man. If you know me, you know I love my heating pads. I have an electric one by my bed, a microwaveable one for when I’m watching TV, another microwaveable one for work, and even those ones you stick on your clothes for discreet heat.
Well, in April I received an email from Babette, the President of Pelvic Pain Solutions (and fellow EndoSister), offering me a free sample of their EndoFEMM heating pads (you can see them here). If I liked it, I agreed I’d share about my experiences. First off, I thought “free sample” meant I’d be getting like a 3″x3″ square of it so I can take it for a test drive; nope – it was the entire EndoFEMM heating pad in all it’s “Paris Girl” glory! So, here I am today…which means I obviously liked it.
It’s a strap-on kind of heating pad that I can wear around the house, hands-free, and have a lovely, heavy weight and pleasant pressure on my pelvis, as well as constant heat! I microwave it for a minute or two, but ALSO have the option of cold therapy (brrrrrrr, I hate the cold).
First impressions? My husband said I looked like a sumo wrestler, so in good humor I stomped around the house in my best sumo pose. BUT I cannot sing the praises of the EndoFEMM enough – it’s large enough to cover ALL of my painful pelvic area, even my mons! I absolutely looove the heat and pressure on my hips. And if my lower back is giving trouble, I just shift it around so the heat is on my backside. A word of warning, though: it’s HOT – and when you fasten something HOT to your body…you get HOT! So you may want to wait a minute before strapping this bad boy to your belly, or check to see if the heat is okay…
I love it. It’s now my favorite heating pad and I absolutely want to buy the travel size one to keep at work.
So, on April 22, 2017, I started my period. My EndoFEMM arrived juuuuuust in the nick of time. Granted it doesn’t take away my pain and Endo symptoms…but it does ease them. Heat has always been a comfort. And now I have hands-free heat, comfort, weight, and pressure. Like a purring cat on my lap.
Next, on May 20, 2017, I started my period again. And happily reached for my EndoFEMM. Again, I was met with warm, heavy, comforting goodness. And HANDS-FREE! I think that’s my favorite part. I just wear my heating pad around the house and can still do things like…pet the cat, reach for the remote, carry a glass of wine from the kitchen to the couch…ha. I love it. The heat lasts for about a half an hour before I nuke it again for 60 seconds. And I never realized just how much I needed the heat on my hips and mons…it’s incredible. An all-encompassing gigantic heating pad.
Anyway, I blab! I ramble!! Just know that this girl loves this heating pad! And thank you to Babette for turning me on to them! Now if my crazy review has led you to their webpage, clicking that little “Buy Now” button, I absolutely insist you update me on your thoughts in my Comments section below. Do you love it as much as I do?
The Ohlone Herbal Center published Whitney Staeb’s apprenticeship paper in October 2016 about the holistic treatment approaches of Endometriosis. If you’d like to read the 16-page report in it’s entirety, please click here.
It discusses herbs and flower essences that may help ease inflammation and symptoms. Although it does not discuss doses, it does talk about the supposed medicinal properties of each and combinations that may help during cycles. If intrigued, read the paper and consult with your healthcare provider and an herbalist.
Diet and proper nutrition play a large role possibly controlling Endometriosis symptoms. She identifies some “ideal foods” that may be incorporated into, and excluded from, your diet.
Lifestyle changes such as switching feminine hygiene products, exercising, taking warm baths, using heating pads, and practicing good self-care may also ease the physical and mental issues of Endometriosis.
I encourage you to read her paper yourself (click here). See if any of it speaks to you. And, again, please do your own research (look for the pros and cons of each listed suggestion) and speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new regimen.
Have you ever, or do you presently, take any of the herbs/supplements referenced in this paper? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below. Your journey may help others!
A few months ago, some of us attended a workshop on hormonal treatments and Endometriosis. It was presented by Dr. Sally Rafie of The Pharmacist’s Clinic. We’ve all heard the term, “Big Pharma,” and the lobbyists, money, and the-big-push that comes with pharmaceuticals and their respective manufacturers. But at this workshop, I learned of the term “Big Supp.” And went “oooooooooooooooooooh” – never once had I thought of the machine that drives the supplement industry. Nor the regulations that they are, or aren’t, forced to adhere to.
Someone recommends I take something? I may do some precursory research, but nothing in depth. And I generally will try it…I am always wary of the snake oils, though – the “specifically-marketed-to-relief (fill in the blank)” pills, oils, tinctures, shakes, etc.
So, today, I delve into the dietary supplement industry. What are the driving forces behind the industry. What regulations, if any, exist to ensure the safety of the consumer? Is there a great big corporate pyramid with some dark and sinister Villain perched on top? Or is it all just clean-livin’ hippies out to help the world? Let’s find out!
“Dietary Supplements” according to the Federal Trade Commission are: vitamins and minerals, amino acids, enzymes, herbs, animal extracts, and probiotics. The FTC put out an infographic about dietary supplements, which you can view by clicking here.
According to some sources, the supplement industry rakes in $30-120 billion a year in the US alone. Nutraceuticals World states that the supplement industry creates 754,000 jobs and pays out $38 in salaries/wages. And that the dietary supplement industry constantly fights the FDA’s regulations and policy change.
The US Food & Drug Administration does not regulate the supplement industry like they regulate the pharmaceutical industry. Supplement manufacturers do not need to seek FDA approval or prove to the FDA that their products contain the ingredients they say it does, nor do they have to pass safety or efficacy tests. They can simply put their product on the market. Sometimes, this leads to contaminated or unsafe products. They’re supposed to report to the FDA any adverse events (people complaining of harmful side effects, etc.). There will be times where consumer tests may red-flag supplements and the FDA steps in, finding violations.
Dietary supplements are a political hot-bed, too. There’s an ongoing history of political contributions, supposedly in an effort to win political favor over policy changes. In the past, democrats have been seeking to have the supplement industry regulated like prescription drugs; however, there has been strong opposition from supplement manufacturers. In 2015, over $3,000,000 was raised in lobbying efforts.
In 1994, the Dietery Supplement Health Education Act came into effect. In short, dietary supplements fall under the “food” category, rather than the “medicine” category. This means manufacturers must report all ingredients/allergens on a label, that the ingredients are safe for consumption, and that the amount of content claimed is at least as much as the amount identified on the label (it can be more). It also means that the products aren’t held to the same standards as pharmaceuticals: safety and efficacy do not need to be proven to the FDA, nor does it need to pass an approval process.
Not only is it an under-regulated industry (regarding health claims and consumer safety), but some supplements may have negative interactions with other medications (such as antibiotics, birth control, or blood pressure medication). Reportedly each year 23,000 people end up in the Emergency Room because of a supplement they took, and adverse reactions. I cannot stress enough to please talk to your physician before beginning a supplement.
In 1995, the FDA created the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs. The ODS is tasked with promoting the scientific study of dietary supplements. They are presently working on publishing their strategic plan for 2015-2020. The ODS’s mission statement is, “to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, stimulating and supporting research, disseminating research results, and educating the public to foster an enhanced quality of life and health for the U.S. population.”
In 2006, the Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act came into existence. Manufacturers mustreport any adverse events/reports to the FDA. The FDA also encourages consumers to report any adverse events they may have while using dietary supplements.
In 2007, the Current Good Manufacturing Practices took place – invoking standards in an effort to ensure quality throughout the manufacturing, processing, labeling, and storing of supplements. It took full effect in June 2010.
From 2008-2012, the FDA found that nearly half of the 450 manufacturers inspected violated manufacturing rules. It could have been as simple as using the wrong phrasing on a bottle (making a claim to treat/cure a condition), having unclean manufacturing/storage facilities, or even using incorrect/undisclosed ingredients.
In 2008, over 200 people were treated for toxicity due to Total Body Formula’s supplements – it turned out that the products had 200 times the labeled dosage of selenium, as well as heightened levels of chromium, which can lead to toxicity poisoning. Many people reported symptoms of hair loss, fingernail discoloration, muscle and joint pain, gastrointestinal issues, and many missed work because of their symptoms. A lawsuit was filed in 2008, and completed in 2012; however, the settlement terms were confidential. Total Body Formula supplements were manufactured by TexAmerican Food Blending (Arkansas) and Wright Enrichment (Louisiana). According to TBF’s attorney, Rod Cate, “They have nothing to do with the manufacturing process. [Total Body] relies upon the manufacturers to do it correctly.” Where were the checks and balances? Oh, that’s right : they don’t exist for the supplement industry.
In 2009, the FDA filed a complaint against Quality Formulation Laboratories, Inc.; American Sports Nutrition, Inc.; and Sports Nutrition International, LLC, for manufacturing and storing products in “filthy conditions,” which may allow allergens to enter the products. An inspection found live (and dead) rats in the facility (including a dead rat cut in half on the blending platform), rodent urine & feces, and holes gnawed through product packaging. The companies were also including milk ingredients in their products, but failed to disclose such on their labels – which could be a major allergen problem for some folks. Finally, it was discovered that equipment was not cleaned between batches, allowing for contamination. In 2010, the US District Court shut down the three businesses for their violations; however, the owners of the three businesses were continuing to operate in 2011. They were found guilty of contempt and were each sent to Federal Prison.
In 2011, the FDA filed an injunction against ATF Fitness Products and Manufacturing ATF Dedicated Excellence, aka MADE, (both companies owned by the same man) for substituting ingredients and failing to update the labels on their products. Additionally, they failed to report to the FDA adverse reactions/events, including one consumer suffering a heart attack. ATF exclusively purchased their products from MADE. Some of the products they manufactured and distributed were: Sci-Fit and Nature’s Science. In 2012, they were permanently shut down. ATF Fitness Products filed for bankrupcy in 2012, MADE filed for bankruptcy in 2013, and Mr. Vercellotti, the individual owner of both companies, filed for bankruptcy in 2013.
In February 2015, the New York Attorney General’s office accused Walmart, Target, CVS, and GNC of selling fraudulent/dangerous supplements. The majority of the products tested from these retailers did not contain the ingredients identified on the label. Many also contained a majority of fillers such as powdered rice, houseplants, beans, peas, and asparagus. For example, a ginkgo biloba supplement purchased at Walmart claimed to be gluten- and wheat-free, but ended up just containing powdered radish, houseplant, and wheat. Ginseng pills purchased at Walgreens were made of only garlic and rice; it contained no ginseng. Many retailers stated they were going to pull the items from their shelves. Others stood by the integrity of the manufacturing and testing of the supplements. GNC agreed to now use DNA barcode testing to “authenticate plants used in supplements and adopt new testing standards to prevent contamination. The agreement also imposed reforms to improve transparency for consumers and to promote consumer safety.”
Then in September 2015, the New York Attorney General’s office was at it again. This time they found that 13 manufacturers of “devil’s claw” supplements were using the wrong plant altogether! Some of the manufacturers included The Kroger Co. (with Vitacost.com – where I buy my supplements…crap), Now Foods, Nutraceutical International, and Nature’s Way. Nature’s Way responded to the A.G.’s office, stating they would refund anyone who purchased their product during a certain period of time, and to employ better verification processes.
In November 2016, the FDA announced that Raritan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., had voluntarily recalled some of their homeopathic products because they might contain more Belladdona, a potentially fatal poison, than labeled or intended. These products included baby teething tablets and a liquid ear relief treatment.
Also in November 2016, the Consumer Labs tested various potassium supplements and found one brand had arsenic present! A daily serving of the potassium tablets was found to contain higher levels of arsenic than allowed by the EPA in a full liter of drinking water. Think it was the cheapest available supplement? Nope! Of all the products tested for arsenic, the potentially-toxic “winner” was the most expensive! Unfortunately, the brand name was not made available without having a paid membership with Consumer Lab.
On December 1, 2016, the FDA announced that Ultimate Body-Tox was recalling their Ultimate Body Tox PRO tablets since it contained an undeclared ingredient: sibutramine. Sibutramine was declared unsafe in the US in 2010 and removed from the consumer market. It has been known to cause an increase in pulse rate and blood pressure, which may be a risk factor for those with heart problems. Not only did their dietary supplement contain an known unsafe ingredient, but the manufacturers failed to identify the ingredient on the label!
This year, India has enacted new regulations that supplements can no longer be sold as medicinal and must feature a “health supplement” label and an advisory warning that it is not intended for medicinal use. Furthermore, the ingredients cannot exceed daily allowances mandated by the Indian Council of Medical Research. Supplements are also restricted by age : only people over 5-years-old may be given supplements. These regulations are scheduled to take full effect January 2018.
New Zealand’s government is presently working on clarifying the labels used on natural health products (NHPs), as well as limiting ingredients and dosages.
How can you be sure that the supplements you’re taking are a) what they claim to be and b) safe? Frontline put together a great list of five steps you can take to look a little deeper into your supplements. Read their article here. These tips also include checking the FDA’s webpage for adverse effects/reactions to the supplement(s).
There are companies out there that independently test and vouch for dietary supplements. ConsumerLab conducts independent tests and publishes results about many different products, including dietary supplements. Unfortunately, you must be a member to review the results of those tests. NSF International is another company that conducts independent tests. US Pharmacopeial Convention is a non-profit organization that tests the integrity of dietary supplements. For a list of USP-approved supplements, click here. These companies offer a “seal of approval” that you can find on the packaging of supplements. Be advised, though, that manufacturers pay these independent testers to review their products and receive that seal showing the product contains what it says it contains – it does not mean the product is safe for consumption, or that it will do what it claims. Plus there’s always the chance for biased results when someone is paying for a service…
AND, do your own personal research. I was told to take flax seed oil as a great Omega-3 fatty acid to help combat the inflammation of Endometriosis. And, without research anything, I did. I was excited to try this new thing that may help with my pain. Did I have adverse reactions? None that I could feel…but I did learn much later that flax seed contains phytoestrogens which may boost my estrogen levels and adversely influence my Endometriosis. Whelp. So I moved on to krill oil…but now I want to research ALL of the supplements I’m taking, one by one.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask your physician their opinion on products. I told my gastroenterologist that I was taking digestive enzymes and probiotics daily. He asked if they made me feel any better – and I let him know that I wasn’t any better or any worse. So he suggested I stop taking them, stating that my body creates enough digestive enzymes and probiotics on their own. So, I tried the test : stop them for a few weeks, see how I feel. If no better or no worse, might as well save me the $30 a month that I was throwing into those supplements. And do you know what? I still feel great, having stopped them nearly a year ago.
I also asked my gynecologist his thoughts on resveratrol for adhesion prevention. He believes there isn’t enough science to back the claims AND stated the dosages required would be incredibly high. He encouraged me to save my money, maintain a healthy diet, exercise, and keep positive thoughts. The decision was totally mine; however, and I chose to save my money. Does this mean I’ll never buy a new supplement ever again? Hell no. I’m presently looking into an enzyme that helps a fellow EndoSister immensely – I’m just going into this with a more informed outlook…
All that being said, though, if the supplements you are taking make you feel better, continue what you are doing! That truly is what’s important. But…do your homework and research! Talk to your physician. And check for consumer complaints…
I had no idea the dietary supplement industry was so under-regulated. I knew they weren’t held to the same approval standards, but didn’t realize it was such a free-for-all. Do I believe Big Supp exists? I sure do… But I shall become the informed consumer, damn it!
I hope you do, too.
*Updated December 1, 2016*
Chicago Tribune – (Article; June 2012) Dietary Supplements: Manufacturing Troubles Widespread, FDA Inspections Show
CNN – (Article; Nov. 2016) Homeopathic Kids’ Products Recalled Due to Belladonna
Consumer Lab – (Press Release; Nov. 2016) ConsumerLab.com Finds Arsenic in Testing of Potassium Supplements
Consumer Lab – (Press Release; Nov. 2016) Seller of Mineral, Joint Supplements and More Warned for Manufacturing Violations, Drug Claims
US Food & Drug Administration – (Press Release; July 2009) FDA Takes Enforcement Action Against Three New Jersey Dietary Supplement and Protein Powder Manufacturers
US Food & Drug Administration – (Press Release; March 2008) FDA Warns Consumers About “Total Body Formula” and “Total Body Mega Formula” Distributor Recalls Dietary Supplement Products After Reports of Adverse Reactions
US Food & Drug Administration – (Article) How to Spot Health Fraud (interestingly enough, it’s under the “Bioterrorism and Drug Preparedness” category)
US Food & Drug Administration – (Press Release; Nov. 2016) Raritan Pharmaceuticals Inc. Issues a Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Products Containing Belladonna Extract Due to the Possibility of the Presence of Belladonna Alkaloids
Vanguard – (Article; Nov. 2016) WARNING! Your Dietary Supplements May Not be Living Up to Their Claims
~ 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
I’d recently heard about food grade hydrogen peroxide. Wait, what? People are ingesting the bubbly stuff I put on scrapes and scratches? Some say it’s great for you, that it cures allll kinds of things by oxygenating the blood. Others swear up and down that it acts as a detox for your body (I know you’re either rolling your eyes at that word, or you’re squirming in your seat with excitement). Regardless of how I feel about detoxes, cleanses, cure-alls, etc., I am still curious about this trend.
What’s the differences between the hydrogen peroxide I keep in my medicine cabinet and “food grade hydrogen peroxide?” Concentration! Here’s the different types of H2O2 available:
3% Pharmaceutical H2O2, what most of us have in our first aid kits and medicine cabinets. Some EndoSisters dilute 3% H2O2 in a hot bath and soak for relaxation;
6% Beautician Grade H2O2, used in hair coloring treatments;
30% Reagent Grade H2O2, used in scientific experiments;
30 – 32% Electronic Grade H2O2, used to clean electrical components;
35% Technical Grade H2O2, used in scientific experiments;
35% Food Grade H2O2, used for food production and processing. It has also been found as an ingredient in improvised chemical weapons (due to it’s high oxidation). This is what many people have been ingesting or breathing for health benefits, although it must be severelydiluted prior to use (some dilute it in water and drink it, others dilute it and use it in a humidifier or nebulizer, and yet others dilute it, gargle, and spit). Consuming improperly diluted H2O2 can be fatal. Other ways people use FGH2O2: a foot soak, in the bath, as a douche, as an enema, or as mouthwash; and,
90% H2O2, used in rocket fuel (yes, I just Nerded Out).
There are claims that food grade hydrogen peroxide acts as a natural disinfectant, that it oxidizes and eliminates toxins from the body, and (as we all pretty much have learned growing up) cleans wounds and fights infection. As for claims of a cure, people have said that food grade H2O2 has cured their sinus infections, emphysema, Alzheimers, yeast infections, Diabetes, melanoma, blood poisoning, warts, depression, sciatica pain, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, Lupus, herpes, gum infections, skin infections, toothaches, cancer, AIDS, and so much more. You can find countless testimonials online about the life-changing benefits of users.
On the flip side, people have complained that after drinking or inhaling food grade hydrogen peroxide (even diluted), they’ve suffered from coughing fits, nausea, vomiting, sore throats, cotton mouth, swollen legs, headaches, chest pain, tinnitus, loss of balance, blood disorders, constipation, a burning sensation near the anus, stomach cramps, and flu-like symptoms (body aches, fatigue). One webpage said that these adverse symptoms are merely, “the H2O2 seeking out the virus & streptococcus to destroy.” Others tell these complainants to simply reduce the amount of drops they take each day and the symptoms will dissipate. One concerned user said he got heart pains after consuming H2O2 with tap water…the response from another H2O2 user: that the heart pains are likely caused by the tap water because “God knows what’s in that stuff” rather than the H2O2. Another tap water drinker suffered from extreme bloating after H2O2 consumption, had been to the ER, and was suicidal after the bloating hadn’t receded. She wrote, “I am a victim to not researching this properly and being a complete idiot. Please help me know if in time this will heal.” She doesn’t mention she’ll stop using H2O2…and nobody responded to her question.
In 2006, the FDA published a press release outlining the dangers of ingesting hydrogen peroxide. They urged consumers not to ingest the 35% Food Grade H2O2, for risk of causing “serious harm or death.” They urged those who were already consuming to stop immediately. The FDA has never approved of such actions, and went after companies selling FGH2O2 claiming their product healed illnesses.
Curious to start your own treatment of food grade hydrogen peroxide?
First, bring it up with your doctor and address pros, cons, concerns, possible side effects, and possible interactions with medications or supplements. I’m pretty sure most MDs will dissuade you, but you need to have this conversation.
Secondly, good luck finding the recommended dosage. All I’ve found online are conflicting reports about which percentage of H2O2 to purchase, how many drops versus how much water to dilute, and how best to increase your dosage:
Some say 3 drops of 35% H2O2 to 12oz of water.
Some say 3 drops of 12% H2O2 to 11oz of water.
Others says 4 drops of 8% H2O2 with 8oz of water.
Some say use 3% H2O2 and don’t dilute it.
Others say us 3% H2O2 and dilute it further.
Some say you can ingest the regular 3% H2O2 we all have in our bathrooms.
Others say no to the 3% H2O2 because it’s full of other ingredients that may be harmful to us.
Some say to take it on an empty stomach.
Others say to always eat before you do.
It’s all over the place. And don’t get me started on how many drops you should be taking how many times per day. Some sites warn against laying down immediately after consuming H2O2 as it can cause the gases in your stomach to rise, causing discomfort or trouble breathing.
A 2007 study states that ingestion of hydrogen peroxide can kill you in one of three ways : 1) caustic injury (it burns ya), 2) oxygen gas formation (ya send a bubble to your brain), and 3) lipid peroxidation (the oxidation causes free radicals to strip lipids of electrons and can cause a chain reaction of cell damage/death). A 39-year-old man accidentally drank 8 ounces of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide (he thought it was water; it was in an unlabeled bottle in a friend’s fridge). He went to the ER after vomiting blood and complained of upper abdominal pain. Upon examination, he had some caustic injury to his stomach, as well as some gas issues. He spent three days in the hospital and was released. The study notes, “the storage and use of 35% hydrogen peroxide for natural health benefits results in an emerging source for more serious ingestions. Thirty-five per cent hydrogen peroxide can be lethal when ingested, and needs to be treated with caution and stored appropriately. Public awareness and regulation of the use of this substance is required.” As a side note, some people believe the cellular and tissue damage caused by these free radicals may aid in the development of adhesions…which nobody wants.
A study published in the Journal of Community Health this year reviewed 634 poisoning incidents that occurred between 2012-2013 in California. Of those, 30 reports were related to hydrogen peroxide: seven people used it in their ears, 22 people used it rectally, and one person used it vaginally. This study mentions that a 29-year-old woman went to the ER because she had administered as 12% food grade hydrogen peroxide enema in the hopes to “clean herself out.” She had 10 separate episodes of rectal bleeding before going to the emergency room.
A May 2019 study was of a 26-year-old woman with Endometriosis and a small bowel obstruction who administered a hydrogen peroxide enema. She went to the ER with complaints of bloody stool and abdominal pain. Two weeks prior, she had visited a naturopathic healthcare provider who administered intravenous ozone therapy (a mixture of oxygen and unknown liquids and vitamins) for fertility issues. She reported difficulty breathing and a disturbance in her vision, but those side effects went away. The naturopathic provider instructed her to drink hydrogen peroxide and do the at-home hydrogen peroxide enemas. As instructed, she drank diluted 35% hydrogen peroxide. But when it came time to do the enema, she misread the instructions and did not dilute it. The pain and bloody stool was immediate. In the ER, a CT Scan showed an air embolism in her venous system. After several treatments, the embolism was no longer detected. A sigmoidoscopy showed only inflammatory changes of her bowel. If you didn’t know, untreated air embolisms CAN KILL YOU.
Other side effects of hydrogen peroxide consumption/poisoning may be a narrowing of airways, trouble breathing, burning of gastrointestinal tract, too much oxygen in blood (which may cause an embolism…see the May 2019 study above), and tissue damage. However, I think these were mostly from cases which did not dilute the solution enough…
With an unregulated, unstudied, and unproven “treatment,” I urge you to please do your research and be careful. I know you’re going to treat however you feel is best for you, but do it with an educated mind. Heed the warnings and go into this fully aware of all of the consequences.
Will I try it? You can probably guess my answer by the tone of this blog entry. 😉 But will I judge you for wanting to try it? Not at all…just be careful.
(Updated May 13, 2019)
ATS Journal – (Abstract, May 2019) Venous Air Embolism as a Result of Ozone Therapy
~ 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