Cancer or Endometriosis?

The words on the pathology report read “consistent with cancer”. I was only 38 at the time and it rocked me to my core.

Worse still, living in a remote part of the country it was going to be a 3 month wait to see a specialist. Yeah, no problems!! So I immediately got on the phone to my Doctor in Perth who organised the tests that had not yet been done, a referral to a specialist surgeon and within two weeks I was on my way back to the city with a terrify husband and oblivious child in tow for further investigations.

Fast forward to post surgery and the news was good. No I did not have cancer – I had endometriosis. A roller coaster of emotions ensued with everything from “how could they get it so wrong” to “how can I have endometriosis – I have no symptoms?” I had a friend at the time that suffered from this and it literally brought her to her knees once a month. Her pain was excruciating. I had no pain. The only reason I was having tests was for unexplained secondary infertility.

Symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Painful periods
  • Painful intercourse
  • Excessive bleeding with large clots
  • Painful bowel movements, constipation and diarrhoea
  • Bloating and nausea that is otherwise unexplained
  • Infertility (so I guess this was my only symptom of the disease)

While the exact cause of Endometriosis is debated, several theories continue to stay in play. These include:

  • Oestrogen Dominance.
  • Environmental Toxins
  • Retrograde menstruation (although men can get Endo making this less likely)
  • Long term tampon use (also unlikely as cause, but could be a contributor)
  • Autoimmune Disease

The surgeon proceeded to tell me after my laparoscopy that my left ovary had been “stuck down” with the endometrial lesions but as he had removed all signs of it by laser, I should not have any further problems. In retrospect, when you look at all those possible causes, then of course I would have it! With Hashimoto’s I already ticked a definite 4 out of the 5 boxes, so really it should have been no surprise.

Operation and life threatening situation over, we returned home where a new obsession with research had begun. Thyroid was now taking a back seat to “Endometriosis”.  In the allopathic world (western medicine) the disease is dealt with via the operation I had and then going on the pill to normalise your period if that is an issue. Luckily for me that was no issue and I avoided adding those extra hormone disrupting little pills to my daily repertoire!

In natural medicine the excess oestrogen is the main focus. If this can be balanced then the whole of the endocrine system can start to function normally which may in turn prevent re-growth of excess endometrial tissue. Your naturopath will look at your hormone levels possibly via a salivary test, and then aim towards reducing your bad oestrogen’s via your liver. So this also means optimising your liver clearance. Click here for my post on Oestrogen Clearance.

Endometriosis is a symptom and we need to remember this. If everything else is running the way it should then this too will likely disappear. As it is a component of the endocrine system which includes the thyroid and adrenals then the same basic rules apply. Click here for My 10 simple Rules for a Healthy Hormones. 

Lastly, I would love to here from you if you suffer from this awful affliction. Have you had any success in beating it?