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Many women suffer from the pain and heavy bleeding of endometriosis. In the past, they often were told their complaints were “just cramps” or “all in your head”. Today, doctors take this condition more seriously, but conventional medicine offers little to ease its symptoms.
*Intense menstrual cramps that begin before your period starts and reach their peak after it ends.
*Abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding, often with large clots.
*Nausea and vomiting just before a menstrual period.
*Sharp pain during sexual intercourse at any time of the month.
*Diarrhea, constipation, or pain during bowel movements.
*Blood in the stool or urine during menstrual period.
When to Call Your Doctor
If you have any of the above symptoms.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
What It Is
In endometriosis, bits of the uterine lining (endometrium) migrate out of the uterus and embed themselves in other abdominal tissues, often the ovaries, uterine ligaments, or intestines. Each month, as estrogen and other hormones cause the lining of the uterus to thicken with blood, the wayward cells also expand. The uterine tissues then slough off normally. But the stray cells have nowhere to release the blood they’ve amassed, leading to cysts, scarring, or adhesions (fibrous tissue that binds parts of the body that are normally not attached to each other). Although not all women with endometriosis have symptoms, the condition can cause severe pain. Endometriosis is a leading cause of female infertility.
What Causes It
No one knows why endometriosis develops, but speculation abounds. According to the reflux menstruation theory, menstrual blood travels backward through the fallopian tubes, funneling endometrial cells into other abdominal areas where they seed and grow. Another hypothesis suggests that endometriosis is congenital — meaning that some endometrial cells have been outside the uterus since birth. Still another idea is that endometriosis is caused by a faulty immune system, which neglects to destroy the out-of-place cells.
How Supplements Can Help
All of the supplements listed can be used together and with any medications prescribed by your doctor. Begin by taking the traditional combination of chasteberry and dong quai. These herbs aid in correcting the hormonal imbalances that can intensify the pain of endometriosis. They also relax the uterus, as does wild yam. In addition, take a lipotropic combination, which stimulates the liver to clear excess estrogen from the body. Use these supplements throughout your menstrual cycle for best results. If menstrual cramps are painful, take the high doses of calcium and magnesium listed, but only during your period. These minerals help to lower the body’s production of prostaglandins, substances made by endometrial cells that cause menstrual cramps.
What Else You Can Do
Eat soy products, which contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) that may offset the effect of estrogen on symptoms of endometriosis.
Exercise. In several studies, it has been shown to suppress symptoms and may actually prevent endometriosis.
Dosage: 225 mg standardized extract 3 times a day.
Comments: Also called vitex. Should contain 0.5% agnuside.
Dosage: 200 mg, or 30 drops tincture, 3 times a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain 0.8%-1.1% ligustilide.
Dosage: 500 mg twice a day.
Comments: Take with food to minimize stomach upset.
Dosage: 1 or 2 pills 3 times a day.
Comments: Should contain milk thistle, choline, inositol, methionine, dandelion, and other ingredients.
Dosage: 500 mg calcium 4 times a day; 500 mg magnesium twice a day.
Comments: Use this dose only during menstruation.
Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Reduce dose if diarrhea develops.
Dosage: 400 IU twice a day.
Comments: Check with your doctor if taking anticoagulant drugs.
Dosage: 1 tbsp. (14 grams) a day.
Comments: Can be mixed with food; take in the morning.
Evening Primrose Oil
Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Can substitute 1,000 mg borage oil once a day.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.
Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs(Reader’s Digest)