Sometimes it feels like Endometriosis is just a weird kind of curse. It gives you no warning of it’s looming pain and it feel like you can’t seem to win against the battle of it all. Pain seems to pop out of nowhere and the spiral seems to just escalate, leaving you lying in bed, passed out or in agony.
Here’s thing thing. Endometriosis is seldom random. It might feel like it is but the reality is, you can control all of it. I read a blog post about a week ago, by a young girl who shared her story of going out for dinner, for the first time in months and landing up stranded in bed for several days, just dosed up on pain killers. What was interesting about the story, is the course of events, which seemed to me, to hollow “pain is a comin’!”
Here’s what I have learnt about Endometriosis pain and how you can actually control it, take over it and ultimately decide it’s fate.
1. It all starts with what you eat.
I won’t lie to you. I have pain days. They are not often but they do happen. They happen when I decide to deviate a little from my diet. Here are some instant pain triggers, you may not be aware of:
- Inflammatory foods – They are basically foods which contain a high level of Omega 6 oils. Typically, they are the grains in your diet (breads, biscuits, some nuts). Yes, they can even be gluten free grains! They are also meats and fish which feed on these grains – salmon, tuna, lamb, chicken. They are particularly inflammatory as the omega 6 sits in the meat of these animals. I know, it is contradictory as you have been told that you should eat high volumes of fish for the Omega 3 content. Unfortunately, the fish you need to eat is only the wild fish – not the stuff you get in supermarkets. If it isn’t wild, it has been bred on corn, grain pellets or other non natural products, which just land up in the meat.
- Sulphites in foods and drinks – this is a preservative used in wine and in jams and some other products. You will recognise it by the numbers 280 upwards. It creates an instant allergic reaction in most of us, and in some cases severe pain – some women have to be taken to the Emergency department with such severe cramps!
Chances are, you will then resort to a pain killer of some description. If you are eating gluten, you may be suffering from instant bloating and headaches, which means you will inevitably reach for the Nurofen or Asprin.
2. The scary part about pain killers
We take them. I know I did for years and couldn’t leave the house without them! Here is what they do:
They essentially stop the production of all the prostaglandins in the body. What are prostaglandins? They are hormone like substances which control the clotting, pain indicators, inflammation reaction and also protective reaction by the body. When we take pain killers or any kind of Ibuprofen, we inhibit the production of these. Problem is, we inhibit ALL of them – not just the ones which cause inflammation and clotting but also the ones that stop inflammation and clotting.
Have you ever noticed that after taking pain killers, especially if you haven’t taken any for a while, you feel instantly bloated? Like you need to go to the toilet more often? Like you have a severe case of IC? This is because you have stopped the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins in the process of taking pain killers.
I took some just over Christmas and it took me 2 weeeks to recover from my constant IC symptoms!
Pain killers naturally also interfere with the liver. They stop the natural processes in the liver and add to the work load of the liver – in other words they are just another toxin now sitting in the body. The more toxins we have, the more imbalanced our bodies become. The more imbalanced we are, the more excess hormones we produce and the worse endo will get. It is the merry go round beginning….
Naturally, you also inhibit the good anti-inflammatory prostaglandins which know exactly how to reduce inflammation in the body – which is the ones we really want working for us.
Why don’t you try this instead?
Next time you experience a bought of pain. Try a different tact to pain killers. Here are some that you might be totally surprised by:
- Yoga – do some really easy, light yoga. It will get the blood flowing and you will ease heaps of tension you may be holding in your body.
- Drink heaps of water. I had my period yesterday and I drank a ton of water. It was hugely effective. Water flushes out stuff and if you have eaten something that is inflammatory, it will ease the load of that food with soothing water and juices.
- Relax your mind. I know this isn’t easy but when we get into pain, we tend to stress about it. Try to breathe and relax and just let it be there. Try to actually tap into the pain and almost understand it’s source. Become one with the pain, rather than fighting it and it will suddenly dissipate. I often think, our bodies are trying to tell us that we have pain and the more we fight it, the louder it shouts. Taking pain killers simply subdoes the voice, which is still yelling at you and will keep yelling until you listen and change!
- Use a Castor Oil Pack. This is so underestimated yet sooo effective! Get some good quality Castor Oil and place it on your abdomen. It works within minutes of application and is much cheaper and won’t damage your body further like pain killers do!
You can control how you feel with Endometriosis. You can decide what you eat and what you put into your body. Everything you do will have a counter effect on how you feel. You can make the choice!