The medical and surgical options for the treatment of endometriosis may seem bleak, but there are ways in which you can substantially relieve symptoms and possibly reduce endometrial patches and adhesions.
Nutritional and vitamin therapy particularly with Vitamins A, C, E, B6 with B-Complex, calcium and magnesium zinc, selenium, evening primrose oil and chlorophyll. However, you should see a qualified nutritional or dietary therapist for individual prescription. Contact The International Federation of Clinical Nutritionists, Research House, PO Box 131, Fraser Road, Greenford, Middlesex UB6 7DX. Tel. 081 810 5644. Or the Society for the Promotion of Nutritional Therapy (SPNT), First Floor, The Enterprise Centre, StationParade, Eastbourne BN21 1BE. Tel. 0323 430203. In America, contact the American Association of Nutritional Consultants, Suite B-117, 1641 E. Sunset Road, Las Vegas, NV 89119. Tel: (702) 361-1132.
Complementary therapies which claim successful treatment of endometriosis, and may also help deal with the side effects of conventional treatment, include homeopathy, acupuncture, naturopathy and both medical and Chinese herbalism.
In a recent study a traditional Chinese herbal medicine called keishi bukuryo gan, which is used in the treatment of gynecological disorders such as heavy, painful or irregular bleeding and infertility, was shown to suppress development of adenomyosis in mice (Planta Medica, August 1993). Relatively high doses were needed, but there are no side effects with complementary medicine.
The National Endometriosis Society publish a useful information leaflet entitled "Endometriosis and Complementary Therapies" (35 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QB, tel: 071 235 4137).
Check that your hormones are functioning properly. Alternative columnist Harald Gaier recommends that women with endometriosis have a hormone profile, eg luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin, progesterone, estrogen etc., done through their GP, to check that hormonal activity is in balance. If anything is found to be out of synch, he recommends regulation by herbal remedies as the least invasive form of therapy.
Investigate food allergy. You must also work with a qualified therapist to try an elimination diet, cutting out one thing at a time, eg, wheat products, dairy products, meat etc., for a few days to see if it relieves any of your symptoms. If there's no change, reintroduce into your diet.
Try to avoid things like alcohol, sugar, allergenic foods and processed foods which have a lot of chemical components, as these are all dietary inhibitors of immune function.
For symptomatic relief of pain and discomfort, try sitz bath therapy. Alternate between sitting in a hot bath (105-150 degrees) for three minutes, then in a cold bath (55-80 degrees) for 30 seconds.