On April 6, 2017, Oncotarget published an article which I’ll be briefly discussing here today.
Researchers took mice and implanted Endometriosis cells inside of of their pelvic regions wanting to see if the Endometriosis cells would migrate to extra-pelvic organs. They later analyzed the organs for microscopic Endometriosis-derived cells throughout the mice and found that it had migrated to the lungs, spleen, livers, and brains in many of the mice.
The authors suggest, “…that endometriosis in locations distant from the pelvis may be more common than previously recognized. Endometriosis should be considered a systemic disease that is often subclinical.” They suggest that these Endometriosis-derived cells residing in other organs may influence symptoms of Endometriosis, such as fatigue, eating disorders, sociopsychological issues and other symptoms which lessen our quality of life. It also discusses thoracic Endometriosis and Endometriosis on the liver, and those side effects. Further research, of course, is always needed.
The entire published study is free for us to read and is very, very interesting. I fully encourage you to click here and read the study and the conclusions. And please feel free to correct me if you feel I’ve misread the science-y bits. ❤
Oncotarget – (Article; April 2017) Micrometastasis of Endometriosis to Distant Organs in a Murine Model
~ 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
So a lot of people with Endometriosis suffer from chronic pain…hell, a lot of people without Endometriosis suffer from chronic pain. There are theories and studies out there that suggest chronic pain affects memory, cognitive function, and mental health. Not only does Endometriosis present painful symptoms, but it’s also incurable. And there are many people who do not get any symptom-relief from any of the treatments available. You can see where this may cause some “mental health” issues. Here’s some interesting tidbits on how pain affects brain activity and function.
What is gray matter all about? It maintains memory, sight, hearing, emotions, speech, impulse control, and executive functions (reasoning, problem solving, cognitive functions, etc.). Gray matter volume naturally decreases with age. So…it happens naturally. Chronic pain may just spur it along a bit more. Studies have indicated that children who suffer from chronic pain have a greater loss of gray matter volume when they are adults.
Another rare location I’ve heard can be invaded by Endometriosis is our brain. Yep. Our gray matter. But, again, curiosity led me to find documented cases, symptoms, and treatments. So I’ve scoured the interwebs for just such a thing, but it was difficult to find much of anything! This is not meant to scare anyone, or to create an Army of Hypochondriacs. It’s meant to let everyone know that, yes, it does happen. And this is what to look for…and what can be done for it..
From what I can find (which was very, very little), it appears that symptoms may include headaches or seizures. As of 2010, there have only been 3 documented cases of cerebral Endometriosis (at least in English-language literature).