Endometriosis is when endometrial tissue (tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus) is growing outside of the uterus, especially around the fallopian tubes, ovaries, rectum, bladder and other pelvic structures.
It usually involves pain, but can also be asymptomatic (no pain).
Endometriosis should be suspected in women with:
- Dysmenorrhea (painful period)
- Dyspareunia (pain during intercourse)
- Chronic pelvic pain
Associated symptoms include:
Risk Factors Include:
- Ultrasound: Transvaginal or transrectal ultrasound is important to assess ovarian endometriosis.
- CA125: This marker is common to some types of ovarian cancers has been found to be higher in women with moderate to severe endometriosis and normal in women with mild endometriosis.
- Laprascopic Findings: An invasive exploratory surgery with a thin tube that has a light at the end. It is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen, examining the bowels, bladder, uterus, tubes, ovaries, cul-de-sac and broad ligament.
- Histologic Confirmation: Examination of tissues found show that endometriotic implants consist of endometrial glands and stroma.
- Conservative surgery is used to preserve reproductive function. All visible endometriotic lesions and associated adhesions, peritoneal lesions, ovarian cycts and deep rectovaginal endometriosis is removed. Other surgeries include oophorectomy (removal of ovaries) and hysterectomy (removal of uterus).
- This may be a good option for women who are trying to become pregnant, removal of endometrial tissues may restore reproductive functions long enough for pregnancy to occur. Long term, endometriosis is likely to return.
- Hysterectomy is not recommended, it is like killing an ant with an atomic bomb, other methods should be attempted and exhausted first.
- Oral contraceptives (birth control pill) is often prescribed continuously for 6-12 months to induce pseudo-pregnancy resulting in the shrinkage of the endometrial tissue.
- Oral contraceptives are not appropriate for women who are trying to become pregnant.
- Other medications include progestins, progesterone agonists and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists
- Many medications, especially GnRH agonists have serious side effects and are not meant to be taken long term.
In Chinese Medicine
The main pathological change is blood stasis which can happen from a number of reasons.
Qi and Blood stasis:
- Tampons, which block the normal flow of menstruation causing blood stasis.
- Cold invasion of the uterus during improper care during menstruation and after childbirth which leads to blood stasis-because cold contracts.
- Less pregnancies and shorter breastfeeding means more menstruation which does not give the ovaries a rest and gives more chance for retention of menstruation to occur.
Kidney Qi deficiency
- Sexual activity too early can damage the Chong and Mai Channels (organs involved in menstruation) making the pelvis more susceptible to Qi and Blood stasis later in life.
- Too many pregnancies, abortions or gynecological surgeries.
Liver Qi stagnation
- Mental depression causing Liver Qi stagnation which leads to blood stasis. This is a major cause, more prevalent in the modern world then it was in ancient times.
- Frequent pelvic infections which are seen as invasion of Damp-heat can lead to Blood stasis.
Toxins and man made chemicals are being used with greater and greater frequency and have now been accumulating in our environment for decades. For example, the amount of lead in our soils and surroundings from way back when they added it to gasoline is quite high. Our bodies are being bombarded by toxins from every angle, day after day for years on end. It actually starts in the womb. Many of these chemicals that we come into contact with are endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, carcinogens and can cause organ damage.
- Toxins in body care products
- Toxins in vaccinations
- Toxins in household cleaners
- Toxins in food, including pesticides in fresh fruits and vegetables and preservatives, flavour enhancers and other neurotoxic chemicals in prepared foods.
- Toxins from plastics, PVC and styrofoam- Bisphenol A (BPA), Phthalates, Vinyl Chloride, Dioxin, Styrene.
When we stop and observe how many toxins that our body has to deal with on a daily basis for years on end, it is not hard to see why there are so many health issues, especially relating to gynecology.
(tincture bottle image)
Our in-office made tinctures for endometriosis offer a more advanced treatment.
The active ingredients, oils and other active ingredients such as terpines are extracted by the alcohol and held in suspension.
The alcohol also offers some treatment benefit. All endometriosis is said to mainly a condition of Blood stasis and alcohol has a very invigorating effect and can move stagnant Qi and Blood.
How Chinese Medicine Treats Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a modern diagnosis, which is only diagnosed by modern means-ultrasound, laprascopy etc. Traditionally it was treated based on it’s presentation, for example menstrual pain, irregular bleeding, infertility etc.
Chinese medicine, which continues to evolve with humanity now has the benefit of “exact” diagnosis and lab reports. We now view and treat endometriosis as “abdominal mass”, mainly involving Qi and Blood stasis-generally.
Since we are complicated beings, there are usually other patterns involved, and that is determined by a comprehensive evaluation in person. For women who have endometriosis and infertility, there is often an element of Kidney deficiency.
Treatment Principle for Endometriosis
Treatment is broken up based on the phase of the cycle
- Menstrual phase: Invigorate Blood, eliminate stasis.
- Post-menstrual phase (about 7 days): Warm and tonify Kidney-Yang, tonify Spleen-Qi.
- Mid-cycle phase (about 7 days): Warm and tonify Kidney-Yang, tonify Spleen-Qi, resolve Dampness.
- Pre-menstrual phase (about 7 days): Invigorate Blood, eliminate stasis, resolve Dampness.
Top 11 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Personal Care Products
2) FormaldehydeThe following ingredients contain formaldehyde, may release formaldehyde or may break down into formaldehyde:
-2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, Diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea, Quaternium 15
3) 1,4-dioxane- often not listed as an ingredient
5) Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), monoethanolamine (MEA)
6) Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea
7) Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, and Ammonium laureth sulphate
8) Propylene Glycol and PEG’s
9) PVP/VA Copolymer
Top 10 Products with Toxic Ingredients to watch out for
1) Talc-based powder
2) Nail polish
3) Baby shampoo
4) Bubble bath
5) Hair dye
6) Petroleum-based product
9) Skin primers made with silicone or other cone product
10) Baby wipes
Top 9 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in foods:
1) Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil: Eg. palm oil, soybean oil.
2) Corn Syrup (high fructose corn syrup)
3) Artificial Sweeteners: Acesulfame-K, Aspartame, Equal®, NutraSweet®, Saccharin, Sweet’n Low®, Sucralose, Splenda® & Sorbitol
4) GMO’s (genetically modified organisms): Currently no mandatory labeling. High risk crops include corn, soy, sugar beets, sugar cane, papaya, canola, potatoes, tomatoes.
5) Sodium Benzoate And Potassium Benzoate: BHT, BHA, TBHQ
6) Sodium Nitrates And Sodium Nitrites
7) Blue, Green, Red, And Yellow food dye
8) MSG: MSGGelatinCalcium Caseinate, Monosodium glutamate, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), Textured Protein,Monopotassium glutamate, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP), Yeast Extract,Glutamate, Autolyzed Plant Protein, Yeast food or nutrient, Glutamic Acid, Sodium Caseinate, Autolyzed Yeast, Vegetable Protein Extract, Senomyx (wheat extract labeled as artificial flavor)
9) Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
Top 6 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Household Cleaners
2) Ammonium Hydroxide
4) Dipropylene Glycol Butyl Ether
6) Propylene Glycol Methyl
Many of these ingredients can be found in the following products:
1) Lysol Disinfectant Sprays
2) Mr. Clean Multi-surface Spray Cleaner
3) Walmart Great-Value Spray Cleaner
4) Green Works Natural Cleaning Products
5) Trader Joe’s Next to Godliness Multi-Purpose Cleaner