This subject hits home for me as i have come to realize i have suffered from endometriosis since i was a teenager, however it took til 32 to properly be diagnosed with endo, most doctors i had talked to about the matter with just flogged it off, however i hit a point in my life it had become so excruciating i was bed ridden for 3days feeling like i should be in hospital and from my understanding from doing a lot of my own research 32 is the average age woman are likely to be diagnosed with this inflammatory disease because doctors do not take this matter seriously many woman suffer for years before they get a diagnoses.
As a teenager i remember some of my first periods being very hormonal and painful (this is not normal) i would have to skip school because of the pain and symptoms thus affected my grades.
This is the thing with society, period talk seems to be so taboo, my brothers used to gross out over tampon ads on tv. yet it is a very natural process happening to most woman every month, lets openly educate our daughters about the sacredness of there moon cycle, whats healthy and whats not, and teach them its nothing to be embarrassed about infact it is a time to slow down, be gentle on the self and do a little extra self care.
And on that note lets teach our sons how to be mindful and gentle of a woman and her moon cycle because lets face it this effects them too, imagine a world of husbands that were mindful of there wives and her moon cycle.
lets talk modern day toxic overload the psychological kind and the physical kind.
Endometriosis is an auto immune disease, stress causes strain on the nervous system negatively affecting reducing the immune systems response causing inflammation, pain, anxiety, fatigue and depression making it easier for us to catch any sniffle going around......what can we do to reduce stress.
yes modern life is overloaded with this pressure on woman to be beautiful, have a successful job, and flourishing family - this superwoman kind of pressure portrayed by society's standards, that we then put on ourselves to be perfect and have it all........but really what a joke, this pressure is only hurting ourselves, stressing us out, unless we have unlimited supply of help and support from the people around us this goal is completely unrealistic, most of us do not have this kind of support on tap.
but finding some sort of balance between work and family is crucial to ones psychological health, this may require some lifestyle adjustments, to simplify and destress your life can be the most valuable medicine
most peoples close relationships are not perfect either its a life in flux, and as woman we tend to put our families needs first, however this is also not healthy we need to make clear and healthy boundaries with those we love around us, to help us better live in harmony, a life in balance with our loved ones.
This might mean culling unhealthy toxic relationships and situations that are mentally and psychically taking there toll on your health for a long time learn to let go of situations that are emotionally hurting you.
so lets get real about our priorities and goals, focus on a more simple way of living, more in tune with our own rhythm and the beat of our hearts, fuck what society expects, or anyone else for that matter,letting go of expectations my own and others has been a game changer, make time for some self care, fun and happiness whatever that means to you, recognize what is healthy and unhealthy in your personal life.
are just a few of the things that truly help me relax and be more mindful, help me slow down and appreciate the little things making me a happier calmer person.
and quite simply as a do it yourselfer they are all things i can do without having to spend a dollar.
i have personally noticed there is a direct link between my thoughts, nervous system and my immune system, when i am experiencing emotional stresses my body gets very inflamed headaches is the first sign, then the womb aches yes thats the endo, then i get sick easily catching whatever sniffle is going around, (maybe you could begin to take some time to tune into how different situations and relationships are effecting your body find out what is healthy and what is toxic this way you can begin to see what needs to changed or be removed from your life) sadly ladies coffee has been a main toxin here firing off the nervous system for no reason at all......... ok so now i recognize what is making me sick how do i go about fixing this nervous emotional tension.........mindfulness.
what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and of acknowledging our thoughts, feelings, and sensations in that moment without judgment or analysis.
People can be put off by mindfulness, believing they need to sit in absolute silence, emptying their brain of all thoughts. However, mindfulness does not have to be done through meditation, and even then it’s not about emptying your mind, but rather accepting and letting it go.
Mindfulness also can be incorporated into our everyday lives through our actions. We can be mindful when walking, feeling how our feet touch the floor, noticing how our feet feel in our shoes, and observing what we can hear around us. We can be mindful when eating by paying attention to our meal, really savoring the textures, flavors, and aromas, and eating slowly and deliberately instead of in a rushed manner in front of the TV. Many of our physical activities can be made mindful if we choose to stay present in the moment and pay attention to what we’re doing.
Mindfulness allows us to become more aware of the negative thought patterns in our brains and helps us understand how we give these thoughts power. Over time we can begin to step back from these thoughts and see them for just that — thoughts, rather than our realities.
lets keep in mind there are always going to be certain pressures in life, its about finding better ways and a better mindset on how to deal with these situations as they arise becoming more mindful of how we are reacting to certain situations, take a deep look inward then eventually we can recognize the patterns, we have the power to decide how we react to the situation at hand, do we get all emotional, anxious and angry and hurt ourselves or do we stay calm and centered realize this situation will soon be over.
we have a choice to keep our own inner peace, set healthy boundaries and realize its really nothing to stress about as it is always a life in flux and we all ride a roller coaster of situations and feelings of good and bad and if nothing ever felt so bad nothing would ever feel so good and just learn to accept the feelings for what they are, and sometimes when things are bad a simple mindful insight and a change in mental perception is all the medicine you will ever need to over come it.
I’ve found that meditating for just 15 minutes hugely helps my ability to think clearly and in an organized manner for the rest of the day. And it appears there’s a reason why.
Mindfulness has resulted in increased gray matter density in the area of the brain responsible for functions such as planning and problem-solving, as well as an increase in thickness in the hippocampus, which plays a role in learning and memory.
Perhaps the most useful benefit of all for those with endometriosis is that mindfulness can help us change our relationship with pain. This can be challenging to accept, as a lot of the mindfulness for pain practices include actually feeling into the sensations and sitting with them. Yet, I have tried it, and while it takes practice, over time my response to pain has changed, easing my suffering and the mental torment that only heightens how I’m feeling.
Mindfulness also can help our overall well-being and reactions to stress and helps us feel more appreciative of our lives. It’s so easy to feel angry and resentful of life with endometriosis. But mindfulness has been responsible for some of the most positive changes I have experienced in my quest to manage endometriosis, and hopefully, could help you experience the same.
Physical toxins are all around us in this modern day from the food we eat, to the air we breathe, to the water we drink, to the products we use on our skin, to the cleaning products we smoother our living space with.
A foundational pillar of the endometriosis lifestyle is about what you put on and in your body and includes everything from bath and beauty products, to cleaning and laundry products, to the plastics in your house and the pesticides on your food and chlorine in your water.
Your skin as a major player
Your skin is your biggest organ, as well as one of the thinnest. A study of Public Health looked into the skin’s absorption rates of chemicals found in drinking water and found that the skin absorbed an average of 64% of total contaminant dosage.
That being said, it’s important to know just what we are absorbing 64% of. If you have a second, jot down what do you expose your skin to during the course of the day. How about, just in the first hour you get ready to leave. You might check check off a list of shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving creme, lotion, face wash, deodorant, hair dye, nail polish and toothpaste. Then there’s foundation, mascara, blush, lipstick, hair styling cremes, and perfumes. Not done yet, there’s still clothes, covered in synthetic dyes, made from synthetic fabrics and that were washed in a laundry detergent, eating off a plate washed with an dishwashing liquid, and touching a variety of surfaces cleaned with chemical cleaners. Which is why it’s so important to know what ingredients are in these products
There are many sites out there, brilliant sites, dedicated to informing people on the dangers of many of the chemicals found in beauty and home products, so here I’m going to talk specifically about Endocrine Disruptors which have an enormous affect on hormones and are being linked more and more to endometriosis specifically. The National Institute of Environmental Health Services explains these compounds as such:
“Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and other pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A [plastics].
Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products– including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides. There are many supported studies to determine whether exposure to endocrine disruptors may result in human health effects including lowered fertility and an increased incidence of endometriosis and some cancers. Research shows that endocrine disruptors may pose the greatest risk during prenatal and early postnatal development when organ and neural systems are forming”
Why this is especially important to women with endometriosis to avoid such toxins since they mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body like estrogens, they can bind to a receptor within a cell and block the real hormone from binding. This means the normal signal fails to occur and the body fails to respond properly, including: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones. Sounds like a hormonal nightmare because, well, it is.
Its all about small lifestyle changes
While modern living makes it challenging to completely avoid endocrine disruptors, there are plenty of ways you can minimise your contact with plastic, pesticides and chemicals.
Stop buying and using plastic bottles. Get yourself a reusable drink bottle to refill and take with you wherever you go.
Reduce the amount of food you buy in plastic packaging and instead opt for refillable bulk options
Try and avoid treated water only drink rainwater or spring water.
Start making your own natural household cleaners sometimes its as simple as baking soda and vinegar.
Avoid food that has been heated in plastic or cooked in silicone molds.
Replace your takeaway cup with a reusable travel mug.
Opt for glass jars or a stainless steel lunchbox to hold your lunch or snacks instead.
Eliminate plastic food wrap from your home. Honey Wraps are handmade, smell delicious.
Grow your own or buy spray-free or organic veggies at a local market and use produce bags to keep them fresh. As well as reducing plastic exposure, this will reduce your exposure to chemicals sprayed on non-organic veggies and will also support local farmers.
Buy all natural body care products in glass and start converting to plastic free natural soaps and shampoo/conditioner bars - check out our online store for our full range.
part 2 coming soon an herbalists thoughts to diet supplements and tonics for supporting endo