March is recognized in the medical community and by those affected as Endometriosis Awareness Month. For those who are unfamiliar with the disease, endometriosis is the development of the uterine-lining tissue outside the uterus. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, heavy periods and infertility. According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, endometriosis affects 176 million women worldwide and 1 in 10 women in the U.S.
While it is, in most cases, a chronic disease, typical treatment options for endometriosis include pain relievers, hormones and surgery -- but if antiinflammatories (NSAIDS), hormone therapy or even a hysterectomy aren't treatment options that you want to consider, try taking the herbal approach.
While medical treatment is important, looking elsewhere isn't uncommon. Every culture has their own herbal remedy for treatment. Try talking to your doctor about applying one of these to your routine for more natural help.
Evening Primrose Oil -- (Oenothera biennis) Evening primrose oil is source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and may help with hormone imbalance and stress. It can be used for regular PMS symptoms as well but shouldn't be taken with any medication that increases bleeding, antipsychotic medications or if you have a history of seizures.
Chasteberry -- (Vitex agnus cactus) Another classic PMS treatment, chasteberry helps balance hormones by suppressing prolactin from the pituitary gland. While it's usually taken long term, 12 to 18 months, it's still important to talk to a professional before starting a dose as it may interfere with other medications.
Bromelain -- (Ananus comosus) This is a popular pain and inflammation supplement that comes from pineapples. While it's pretty popular, it still may have complications with antibiotics or cause heavy menstrual bleeding.
Turmeric -- (Curcuma longa) This inflammation herbal remedy is becoming more and more popular. This one also has an interaction with blood-thinning medication, though.
Other choices may not come from herbs but are still viable compared to prescription.
CoQ10 -- An antioxidant and immune support.
DIM -- (Diindolylmethane) Helps metabolize estrogen so it's helpful and doesn't turn harmful int he body.
Calcium d-glucarate -- Gets rid of excess estrogen that could cause problems for reproductive systems.
Let's help spread awareness this month for Endometriosis. Check us out on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more herbal suggestions and give some tips of your own!
Source: University of Maryland Medical Center