March is Endometriosis month. Endometriosis is a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus which causes pelvic pain.

Some causes may  be:

  • Altered immune function
  • Exposure to environmental chemicals that mimic estrogen, like dioxin
  • Increased free radicals (oxidative stress)
  • Retrograde bleeding
  • Qi and blood stagnation (Chinese medicine)

Risk Factors:

  • Estrogen dominance
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Environmental estrogens through food sources; meat, dairy
  • Increased body fat
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor liver function
  • Bowel toxicity and constipation
  • Dysbiosis – imbalance in bowel flora

Strategies of treatment may include increasing elimination of toxic compounds through bowels and liver, exercise, vegetarian-esque diet, increased fiber, regulation of the glands for hormonal balancing, acupuncture, and balancing the bowel flora

Melatonin, while most commonly known for promoting sleep, is a powerful antioxidant with many uses. It decreases the number of estrogen receptors, thereby helping those with endometriosis decrease their estrogen load. Meditation has been shown to increase melatonin. Adopting a meditation practice not only helps with pain tolerance, it will help increase melatonin naturally. This study found that 3 months of yoga and meditation significantly increased melatonin.

Endometriosis responds very nicely to natural therapies in most cases. Since the pain is not limited to only one week per month, this condition can be very debilitating. Seek help if your menstrual cycle is taking over your life.

Published on the NatPath website here

*Dr. Sat Dharam Kaur, N.D. The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health