Dr. Kassam Natural Treatment Options for Endometriosis
Natural Treatment Options For
Last week’s article focused on the pathology, possible causes and conventionally available treatment options for Endometriosis. Continuing with the theme, this week's focus will be on natural approaches for treating Endometriosis. Keep in mind that treatment plans may vary on an individual basis but the goal today is to raise awareness and highlight the different treatment options out there. Naturopathic treatment focuses on addressing the underlying factors, decreasing inflammation, reducing oxidative damage, achieving hormone balance, and relieving pain.
Natural anti-inflammatories like curcumin, ginger and omega-3's are great at reducing inflammation and pain caused by the build-up of endometrial type tissue in areas outside of the uterine cavity.
Immune Support & Antioxidants
The immune system is responsible for identifying the misplaced endometrial type tissue, while antioxidants help to prevent local tissue damage from inflammation. Ensure the diet is high in antioxidant-rich foods (Berries, pomegranate, dark leafy green vegetables, beets, pecans) while avoiding inflammatory/immune suppressing foods (sugar, processed carbs, gluten, dairy).
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and melatonin are potent antioxidants that can be used to treat endometriosis. NAC showed a decrease in the size of lesions, decreased abnormal cell growth and decreased pain in 1 study.
Melatonin is known mostly for its benefits on sleep, however, is it is also considered to be a potent antioxidant and showed a decrease in pelvic pain, decrease in pain during menses and during vaginal penetration.
Vitamin C, E & Selenium are also antioxidants that can enhance immune function and help to defend the body from cellular damage.
Zinc is a great immune-modulating mineral that was found to be low in women with endometriosis.
Support Hormone Balance
Endometriosis is often related to excess estrogen or tissues that respond excessively to estrogen and a relative deficiency of progesterone. Thus, lowering the exogenous estrogens is key! This can be done through avoiding exogenous sources of estrogens (Xenoestrogens) that can be found in non-organic meats, plastics, dairy products, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, personal care products, and air fresheners. Compounds found in the aforementioned products can bind to estrogen receptors in the body and exert a potent effect.
It is also important to introduce foods that are high in phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) like raw ground flaxseeds and cruciferous vegetables. These compounds can also bind to estrogen receptors in the body while preventing more powerful compounds (Xenoestrogens) from binding.
Nutrients like DIM (diindolylmethane) can help to decrease circulating excess estrogen. Supporting progesterone levels with herbs like Vitex can also help to keep the balance between estrogen and progesterone.
Reduce Red Meat Consumption
Recent research from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology shows that the consumption of animal products has the potential to influence the risk of endometriosis. The study found that women who consumed 2 or more servings of red meat per day had a 56% higher risk of endometriosis compared to those who consumed 1 or fewer servings per week.
This is just a small look at some of the Naturopathic approaches for treating endometriosis. Speak to your Naturopathic Doctor to see if these options are right for you!
The advice in this article is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the care of a Naturopathic physician.
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