Here are some distinct associated symptoms of Endometriosis that many women share. You may not have all of the symptoms, but if you have at least 7 of them, it is worth researching the topic further.
- Period Pain
Period pain is the most obvious symptom of Endometriosis. The pain will be severe on the first two days and will not go away with a pain killer or two. Your period pain will most likely be accompanied by digestive problems, emotional mood swings and irritability. Some women get such severe pain that they cannot walk or go to work. When the pain occurs every month, it is not normal. Women with Endometriosis often experience longer or heavier periods. However, the latter is not always a definite indicator of Endometriosis, since some women who have Endometriosis experience very little bleeding.
- Digestive issues
When we first go to the doctor with “lower abdominal pain”, their first point of reference is likely to be our digestion. When they ask us the questions, “What is your digestion like? Do you have diarrhoea? Constipation? Cramping?”, we might reply, “Well, yes we do…. all of the above.” The difficulty with diagnosis is that these digestive problems they are often interlinked with Endometriosis and other digestive issues. One of the ways to work out if the source of pain comes from Endometriosis or digestive issues is by looking at the hormone fluctuations. We have extreme diarrhoea or constipation just before or during our period. Our digestion is closely linked to our hormones, so these two are interlinked. This article will help your digestion immediately.
- Lower Back Pain
This isn’t always a definite symptom but definitely worth a mention as many women suffer from lower back pain and don’t make the connection to Endometriosis. Endometriosis can develop in the lower area of the pelvic area and settle in the Pouch of Douglas. This area is situated very closely to the nerves on the lower back and can therefore cause lower back pain. This can lead to pain running down the legs and hip area.
- Feeling Emotional
PMS is one of the signs of Endometriosis but generally we have more severe PMS. We experience extreme emotional ups and downs. It can be so extreme that it causes friends to leave, boyfriends to break up with us and all sorts of nasty results. We feel everything in extremes – extreme anger, extreme depression, extreme happiness. These emotions are not limited to the first week of our period. They can occur at any time, for no logical reason (until you make a note of them and notice the trends). I have written a few articles on PMS which you might find useful.
- Back ache and tension in the shoulders
The upper area of your back is likely to tense up and become stiff, especially around your period. There are a number of theories to explain these symptoms, but many believe it has to do with a lack of minerals which your body requires during your monthly cycle and which are drawn from other parts of the body, such as Magnesium.
- Feeling cold often
This is based on a Traditional Chinese Theory that women who have Endometriosis have “caught the cold or damp” in their body. They believe by chasing out the cold from the body we can heal the Endometriosis. One of the symptoms I noticed was that I get cold easily and that my feet are often cold, even in summer. It is not a definite symptom, but it does show an imbalance in the body, which should get some attention. This can also be attributed to a close correlation with Thyroid imbalances in women with Endometriosis.
I personally don’t experience much of this symptom anymore, but I remember when my Endometriosis was extremely bad, I would feel nauseous on the day of my period or a few days before. I would literally get sick to feel better. It was bad during the month too, especially when I was younger, in my teens. I would struggle to eat anything without feeling somewhat ill or queezy afterwards.
- The love of sugar
A strong dependence on sugar is a big symptom. I noticed this once I went off sugar and realised my addiction to it. I didn’t think I could live without sugar and when I did, I would get incredibly depressed. I felt hollow as though something major had happened in my life. I was incredibly dependent. Women with Endometriosis often express this love of sugar. I think it has to do with wanting to boost our energy levels but it is often an emotional comfort food.
- Sore Breasts
Having sore breasts a few days before your period is due is also quite common with women who have Endometriosis. It can be so severe that you can’t stand the idea of walking anywhere. Sore breasts are caused by water retention in the body. Cutting out coffee is one of the easiest remedies to get rid of sore breasts.
- Headaches, Migraines
Headaches are a sign from your body that is it not entirely happy with you. If you get them on a constant basis, this is a sign that you should listen to your body and change something! Both headaches and migraines are closely linked to hormone imbalances in the body.
- Feeling tired when you get up in the morning
You should feel rested when you get up, right? When you have Endometriosis, it is common to feel tired often and it is especially hard to get up in the mornings. This is because the body is still working through toxins in the liver.
- Other inflammations in the body
Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition. This means that the body is essentially in “repair mode”. The body will often display other inflammatory conditions in other areas of the body, such as an inflamed bladder, called Interstitial Cystitis. Other areas of inflammation can include your gums, your bowel and any organ that can become easily inflamed.
- Poor skin health
No matter what cleanser you buy or how hard you try, your skin is still breaking out! You try natural things, you try stronger things and yet somehow your skin is never perfectly clear. The skin is a natural toxin releaser of the body. Endometriosis is closely linked to toxins in the body. When our skin is unhealthy, it shows imbalances and toxins that are residing in the body. Please note: there are heaps of reasons why one can have poor skin, but it is common for women with Endometriosis to have poor skin.
- Puffy eyes or eye troubles
I never made the connection that gritty and sore eyes are related to Endometriosis until recently. It is only now that my condition is a lot better that I recognise this as a symptom. Puffy eyes are also a sign of toxins residing in the liver. They can be an indicator of gluten intolerance too. Our eyes are incredibly sensitive and show us so much about our state of health!
It is common for women who have Endometriosis to also suffer from allergies, including an itchy nose, sore or watery eyes and an itchy throat. This is yet another overreaction by the body to defend you. Women with Endometriosis generally have a lowered immune system, which is the same reason we get allergies.
- Pain during sex
This is one of the first symptoms I recognised as being related to Endometriosis as you can feel it instantly. It is a dull ache for me but for many women it can be quite severe and they can also experience it afterwards, in waves of cramping pain. There are ways to alleviate tenderness during sex. I have found these tips useful.
- Bladder infections
It is common with Endometriosis sufferers to have an inflamed bladder and thereby also getting frequent bladder infections. If you are having bladder infections more than 3 times in a 6-month period, this could be a sign of Endometriosis. I use a completely natural product for my bladder infections. No more antibiotics!
- Bloating in the abdominal area
This is obviously going to be one of those symptoms that could be part of many other conditions, but with Endometriosis it feels like you permanently have this extra weight sitting in your abdominal cavity. You try and go to the toilet to get it out, but it is permanently there! Your abdomen feels swollen and sore. It can be only at certain times of the month, but many women with Endometriosis have this feeling on a permanent basis.
- Thyroid Conditions
It appears that many of us with Endometriosis have an underactive thyroid function. This is also largely connected to the liver and hormones. I have written a few articles on the potential connection to thyroid health. You can read about the possible connection to thyroid health in this article.
- Frequent Thrush or Candida Symptoms
Do you have a constant issue with thrush or candida? Have you experienced thrush in the past? You could have underlying candida with endometriosis.
These are the 20 associated symptoms I have recognised through my own journey with Endometriosis and which many of my clients experience as well. If there are any symptoms I haven’t mentioned, feel free to share yours in the comments below.
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