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5 Little Changes That Could Make A Big Difference To Your Endometriosis Symptoms

by Laura Palmer

Do you struggle with incredibly heavy and painful periods? Maybe you get menstrual cramps that seem to last all month long? Or find having sex uncomfortable? If any of this sounds familiar, you could have endometriosis. One of the UK's most common women's health issues, endometriosis affects a massive one in ten of the female population. It can have a far-reaching and devastating effect on lots of important aspects of life. From missed days at work, to problems with relationships, fertility issues, and so much more. And yet, it often takes an average of 8 years to get a diagnosis from when your endometriosis symptoms first start.

If you can get formally diagnosed, conventional treatments (often hormone therapy like the pill, or surgery) might not suit you or your lifestyle. But there is some good news! Making a few small changes to your diet and exercise routine can have a big impact on your symptoms and quality of life. And there are also some supplements and natural remedies clinically proven to help.

What is endometriosis and who gets it?

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb, called endometrium, starts to grow outside of your uterus. The growths are benign but can cause scar tissue to form, and trigger inflammation and pain.

It's most common in women between the ages of 25 and 35, and if you've never had children. But endometriosis affects anyone, from teenagers to the elderly (going through menopause doesn't always alleviate endometriosis symptoms). And it doesn't discriminate, people of all ages, ethnicities, and walks of life live with it. Celebrities as diverse as Dolly Parton, Alexa Chung, and Susan Sarandon have all been upfront about having endometriosis.

What are the most common endometriosis symptoms and how is it usually treated?

Endometriosis is often described as an invisible disease. You look well, even though you’re gritting your teeth through painful endometriosis symptoms each month. The most common are: heavy and painful periods, chronic pelvic pain (this can affect some people every day), pain during sex, discomfort when going to the toilet, chronic fatigue, and depression.

Traditional treatment includes hormonal contraception or injections. Or you might even need surgery if you have endometriosis tissue growth on the bowel and bladder.

These options won't suit everyone, for example, if you're trying to get pregnant. Or you'd rather avoid invasive surgery with a potentially long recovery period. Fortunately, they aren't the only ways to tackle endometriosis. Even NHS clinics are now recommending everything from acupuncture to yoga, and diet changes to keep the condition in check.

So where should you start? Here are some simple ways to tackle your endometriosis symptoms:

1. Take your vitamins:

Easiest endo hack first! Who knew something as straightforward as taking a daily supplement could make a big difference in your symptoms? Women with endometriosis statistically have low levels of Vitamin D, Zinc, Omega 3, and Vitamin A. So it's well worth taking a catch-all multivitamin to make sure your levels of all of these must-haves are where they should be.

And don’t forget vitamins C and E. This vitamin combination is so effective for endometriosis patients that a study showed supplementing with C and E for two months led to impressive reductions in both pain and inflammation markers. Our Monthly Relief patch, contains both these vitamins and lots of other ingredients, clinically proven to help manage endometriosis symptoms.

2. Soothe your endometriosis symptoms with must-have mineral magnesium and Omega-3:

Quick win number two: try topping up your magnesium and Omega-3 levels. Women with endometriosis often have lower levels of magnesium. Magnesium helps regulate you muscles and nerves. And if you don't get enough, endometriosis symptoms like muscle cramps and pain can be even worse.

Try taking a supplement and it should help to reduce cramping and pelvic pain by relaxing your muscles. Studies have shown that 84% of patients with painful periods reported their symptoms decreased after supplementing with magnesium – impressive! Your body can struggle to absorb magnesium via the digestive system. So our Tri-Magnesium patch, packed with the three most bioavailable forms of magnesium is ideal.

And don't forget the Omega-3! Omega-3 fatty acids have proven anti-inflammatory properties, and also help decrease period pain in some people. A recent study of teens with endometriosis supplementing with Omega-3 showed a 50% decline in pain scores – wow! Even better, maintaining a high level of Omega-3 is linked with a reduced risk of endometriosis. Our super duper easy-to-use Omega-3 Plus patch is here.

3. Get your gut health on point

As with so many chronic conditions, good gut health is crucial if you want to take charge of your endometriosis symptoms. It's not entirely clear what causes endometrial tissue to start growing outside the womb, but it has been associated with both hormone imbalance and inflammation. And if your gut bacteria is out of balance, it can cause both inflammation and an excess of oestrogen in the body.

Having a healthy gut isn't as tricky as you might think. Some easy ways to kickstart the process include eating a wide variety of foods (ideally 30 different types of fruit and veg a week), taking a probiotic, and eating pro and pre-biotic foods. It's also worth limiting foods that fuel inflammation, like refined sugar and gluten. 75% of endometriosis patients reported a significant decrease in symptoms after following a gluten-free diet for 12 months. Those results speak for themselves!

For a more in-depth look at steps to heal your gut, read our dedicated blog here.

4. Some gentle yoga to ease your endometriosis symptoms

While exercise is probably the last thing you feel like doing when you're in pain, there are all sorts of benefits to be had. Regular exercise stimulates endorphins, feel-good hormones that can act as a kind of natural anaesthetic. And getting active may also curb inflammation in your body, reduce brain fog and fatigue, and ease digestive issues like constipation.

Yoga is an excellent work out if you have endometriosis. Not only can it be low impact and gentle if you're feeling fragile, but there are also specific styles of yoga like Yin and Hatha yoga, that can help to create more space and relaxation in the pelvic area and ease pain. Plus it helps you to relax and de-stress. Essential if you want your body to heal and inflammation levels to decrease.

With so many free tutorials available online, it also costs nothing and you can fit it into your life whenever works for you.

5. Herbal helpers you need to try:

Fed up with popping the painkillers non-stop? Natural remedies can help keep your endometriosis symptoms under control too. Put curcumin at the top of your list. Research has shown it can work as both an anti-inflammatory AND slows down the progression of endometriosis growth, reducing pain and other symptoms.

You should also try Evening Primrose Oil. It's renowned for helping to restore hormone imbalance, one of the root causes of endometriosis. And some studies have also shown it can also help with pain management.

Need short-term pain relief? Give ginger root extract, proven to reduce menstrual cramps, a try. Chasteberry is another herbal remedy to bear in mind because it has been used for hundreds of years to effectively reduce period side effects.

Too much of a hassle to track all these goodies down and remember to take them? Our Monthly Relief Day and Night patches contain ALL these herbal helpers and much more. Pop one on when you wake and before bed to get targeted 24-hour relief from your endometriosis symptoms. They require virtually zero effort, and (most importantly) they work! Buy yours here and get back to the very important business of living your best life again.