Endometriosis, or Excruciating Menstrual Pain!

Your cycle is regular. 28 days +/-, right?

Your pain is predictable.

Your bleeding is heavy, and maybe goes on for 4 or 5 or 7 days.

You sweat, you vomit, you curl up in a ball on the cold bathroom tiles.

Uterine cramps? Hah! Where is that uterus anyway? My ENTIRE BODY is gripping in pain.

Your nose bleeds just before your period starts- that is how you know it is coming. It's not much blood, but enough of a drip that you know what it means.

You start to bleed and you dread the next 3 or 4 bowel movements because the pain in your rectum is so startling, and holds such a peculiar grip on your low back and perineum that you literally levitate off the toilet seat in efforts to get away from it.

Your sacrum drags. Your shoulders hurt. Your head feels compressed. Your legs ache.

You are exhausted.

You have been told that surgery and hormones are the only answer. "We need to do the surgery to confirm you even have endometriosis. Then once we know we can treat it.. with hormones." You don't want to take hormones or have surgery. You know what is wrong and you want it to go away.

You can research endometriosis, but we don't have a lot of answers right now. We have some interesting leads, but will the science help you to heal today? Immune system dysregulation? Yes. Retrograde menstruation? Sure. Hormone imbalance? Possibly.

One of my favorite features of Naturopathic medicine is that this approach recognizes that every individual has a unique story. Your endometriosis may not have evolved the same way the woman's next to you did. To heal your body, we have to follow the messages it gives to us. If you are seeking true healing and permanent relief from symptoms without pharmacologic or hormonal intervention, call me for a consult. And read here to learn why I am so passionate about this subject.

Uterine Fibroids, Hysterectomies, and Naturopathic Care

Last year I added a tool to my toolkit: The Arvigo Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy (ATMAT). It is a bit odd to me sometimes that a doctor would take an hour to perform a massage on a patient; I have so much information to process about a patient's metabolic, endocrine, and digestive functions, to name a few. My busy brain loves the puzzles of internal medicine but I have found that offering ATMAT gives me an outstanding tool to help certain patients with stubborn conditions. One such condition is fibroids (uterine leiomyoma).

Fibroids are hearty little buggers and can be quite challenging to budge. Meanwhile, they give rise to a number of miserable experiences for the patient including menstrual cramping, excessive bleeding with long and heavy periods, anemia, fatigue, and other complaints. Through Naturopathic care, including my mighty tool of biotherapeutic drainage, we often don't make a ton of progress with fibroids in a short amount of time. Patients really have to commit to a good year or so of working together to begin to see lasting changes take place. With the ATMAT therapies I am reducing the time frame and empowering my patients even more with their own ability to heal themselves. All of this said, I have a lot of patients who elect to surgically remove fibroids and then deal with the reason they developed fibroids after the fact.

With so many medical procedures and drug therapies come risks. Most of the risks we understand when we engage with a medical treatment, but some of them we don't know about and the consequences are dire. I came upon the article cited below and wanted to share with people because it is so important that people know what their options are for treating their condition and can make educated decisions about their own care. While I am dedicated to the Naturopathic approach to healthcare, ultimately I just want people to choose what they feel comfortable with AND I insist that patients be made fully aware of all of their options. Most people don't know what Naturopathic medicine has to offer so they don't truly realize what their options are. One of the most painful scenarios I see in my practice is my patients who come in after multiple drug regimens or surgical procedures and they say "I only wish I had come to you first, before I got myself into all of this other mess." Me too, I think to myself. Me too. Personally, I opted out of surgical intervention for endometriosis at age 26 and boy am I ever glad I did. What's more, 10 years later and I have pain free periods! Go Naturopathic medicine!

If you have fibroids or know someone who does, please read this NY Times article and consider your options wisely.