Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

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Any doctor can diagnose, remove, and treat Endometriosis.

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As much as we’d all like to hope that all doctors are created equal, they are not.  There is no known cause for Endometriosis, only theories.  Some doctors don’t even think about it as a possible cause for pain, infertility, or lengthy cycles.  Some have never even heard of it.  Some refuse to believe it’s a real disease, but purely prompted by a psychosomatic response.

There are doctors who refuse to perform surgery while others immediately gravitate toward operating.  Others surgically remove the Endometriosis in such a way that it immediately grows back, or they miss removing all of the implants.  Others remove it more thoroughly, but there is still a chance for recurrence.  A few doctors claim they’re “the best” and are skilled enough to remove it all.

Some only treat the symptoms with experimental clinical trials, others more tried-and-true methods.  Some doctors only rely on Western Medicine, while others point you in the direction of Eastern.  It’s a crapshoot.

You must advocate for your own health.  Continue to search for that one special doctor (or team of physicians) that suit your needs.  And just remember : all doctors are not created equal…

Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

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Stress may affect your Endometriosis symptoms, flare-ups, and growth.

Truth

We all know that stress can do some interesting things to your body, as well as really cause a lot of unnecessary emotions, panic attacks, short tempers, and freak outs.  But can it do anything to your Endo?  Yes.  Studies have shown that it exacerbate your symptoms.  Want to know more?  Or need ideas on how to de-stress?  Click here to read the studies or for tips & tricks on lowering your stress!

Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

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Environmental toxins may play a role in the development and progression of Endometriosis?

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Do I sound like a dirty hippy?  Maybe.  But there are a lot of theories out there about what may cause or influence Endometriosis.  But scientific studies have been long-published, and are also newly-emerging, that support the evidence that environmental toxins play a role in Endo’s development and progression.

A study published in the 2015 book “Endometriosis A Comprehensive Update” discusses just those factors.  The abstract states, “[h]uman exposure to toxins is often unavoidable, but measures including a detailed history taken by clinicians and lifestyle changes can help detect and limit exposure and assist in the body’s detoxification processes. Growing evidence suggests a possible link between endometriosis and environmental pollutants.”

So I may sound like a dirty hippy, which is okay by me, but the chemicals and toxins that we expose our bodies to may very well play a role in the progression of this disease.  You may want to do a little bit more digging on this subject.

Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

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Stem cells may play a role in the regenerative and recurrent properties of Endometriosis.

Theory

A new study was published on September 12, 2015, in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medical Sciences which presents the theory that stem cells are involved in Endometriosis growth and recurrence.    It also brings up an interesting point that studies have shown tobacco smokers tend to have a low occurrence of Endometriosis, and they believe it may have something to do with tobacco inhibiting stem cell migration, thus inhibiting Endometriosis’ growth (assuming the stem cell theory explains it’s growth, migration, and recurrence).  While this publication cannot come to a conclusion as to their role, it does present some interesting questions which will need to be further researched.  If you’d like to read it, click here.

Resources:

Milena Králíčková, Vaclav Vetvicka. Endometriosis: Are Stem Cells Involved?. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medical Sciences. Vol. 1, No. 3, 2015, pp. 65-69. doi: 10.11648/j.ijcems.20150103.16

Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale

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One day, a medication may be able to shrink or stop the growth of Endometriosis lesions without affecting ovarian function.

Theory

Many believe that Endometriosis is an estrogen-driven disease.  Current treatments include stopping estrogen production in the body by inducing chemical menopause or by prescribing continuous birth control to effectively limit estrogen production in the body.  These treatments can have devastating side effects, and some may only be taken for a limited period of time.

On January 21, 2015, a story was published in the Biology of Reproduction which discussed the discovery of compounds that block the inflammatory properties of estrogen receptors, without affecting the functions of the ovaries.  You can read the story here. The University of Illinois also published a story here.

Tests were performed on mice and found that these compounds blocked new and additional Endometriosis growth, without affecting the mice’s fertility.  Tests were also performed on cells from human Endometriosis lesions with the same stopping and shrinking results.  These compounds were also shown to work well with Letrozole, a drug which inhibits estrogen production in the hopes of reducing Endometriosis pain and symptoms.  Further testing with primates is needed before additional conclusions can be drawn.

However, it does appear that in the future medications may likely be created that will reduce, slow, and possibly stop Endometriosis growth without the horrible side effects of some of the other standard medications, including chemical menopause, bone loss, and infertility.

You can read the actual study abstract here, which was published in Science Translation Medicine.

Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

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The medical community has a standard of care for Endometriosis.

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There are many physicians who have heard, and treat, Endometriosis.  And there are many still who have not heard of it, nor know the first thing about treating Endometriosis.  With that being said, is there a medical-community standard for successfully suppressing symptoms of Endometriosis?  In this modern day and age of scientific discovery, you’d think yes…but…

No.

Some physicians will operate, surgically removing or destroying Endometriosis implants and scarring from the pelvic cavity and beyond.  Some physicians refuse to operate.

Some prescribe Lupron Depot with the “Add Back” pill.  Some refuse to prescribe the Add Back pill.  And some refuse to prescribe Lupron.  Some prescribe Depo Provera, others prescribe Zoladex, others Danazol, others Lanzopral.

Some suggest hysterectomies.  Others are vehemently against them.

Some suggest birth control pills, IUDs, implants, or a “ring.”  Others do not.

Many prescribe NSAIDs and pain killers.  Many do not.

And while any of these above-referenced treatments may work for some women, they do not work for all women…

The medical community still does not know what causes, contributes to, or sustains Endometriosis.  Without that knowledge, they cannot begin to iron out a standard of care for all women, let alone a cure.  It’s trial and error.  Hit and miss.

And it’s frustrating.

Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

You may say, “I don’t know anybody that has Endometriosis.”

TheoryOne in ten women suffer from Endometriosis.  Many suffer in silence because it can be an embarrassing “women’s disease.”  Chances are that you know someone who has Endometriosis, or know someone who knows someone that has it.  And you know what else? Famous people have Endo : Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon, Cyndi Lauper, Dolly Parton, Pamela Anderson, and Hillary Clinton are just a few.  There are so many.  And it is suspected that Marilyn Monroe also had Endo.  See?  You know someone who has it.  Might as well learn the signs and symptoms…

Susan Sarandon speaks out about Endometriosis at the Endometriosis Foundation of America’s Blossom Ball, an annual fundraiser

And Whoopi spoke at another EFA Blossom Ball event

I appreciate these women so very much for taking the time out of their busy schedules and speaking out about this disease.  I wish all the gals (famous or regular gals like you and I), especially those with political influence, would do the same.

Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

Physical therapy may help improve Endometriosis pain, pelvic pain, and adhesion pain?

Theory

There is a lot of claims, research, and studies out there that physical therapy can help improve pain and symptoms associated with Endometriosis and adhesions.  More on this topic will follow in a few weeks on this blog.  But there are many, many, MANY women and facilities stating that physical therapy has helped with their pain.  Whether it be pelvic floor therapy, the Wurn technique, or other PT, it may be an avenue of treatment you may wish to pursue.  Because it works for some women, but not all women, I’m classifying this as a theory.  And will most certainly be looking more into it in the very near future.

Have a great and pain-free day.

Yours, Lisa