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Around 5 years ago, I began to notice more pain during my periods. Throughout the following years, the pain became worse and worse. The pain was intense and mostly in my lower abdomen, pelvis, and lower back. In addition, I had new health issues. I noticed chronic bloating, digestive issues, spotting, and period-like pain during other times of the month, too. I had no idea what was happening to my body. Finally, I decided to see a doctor and underwent a few tests. After so many years of dealing with this pain and discomfort, I got an answer. I was diagnosed with endometriosis.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis affects 10%-15% of women. Endometriosis is when the endometrial tissue grows on parts of the body it shouldn’t. Endometrial tissues is supposed to grow only in the uterus. For women with endometriosis, it can grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, rectum, tissues lining the pelvis, and other areas of the body. This can cause pain and infertility. Furthermore, it is an inflammatory condition. It is not known why endometriosis occurs and there is no cure (1).
What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?
Symptoms can vary for each individual. For instance, I noticed I had some and didn’t have others. It can take years for some women to be diagnosed. This can result in permanent pelvic pain, infertility and a reduced quality of life. Many women feel the pain or symptoms they feel may be a normal part of their period. However, that’s not always true, such as in my case. Here is a list of common symptoms someone suffering from endometriosis may experience (1):
- Spotting between periods
- Painful periods
- Painful intercourse
- Pain during defecation
- Pain during urination
- Pelvic pain before menstruation and at other times of the month
Back to My Story
After being diagnosed, my doctor insisted I go on medication to try to manage my endometriosis. I was told medication could prevent chronic pain and infertility. She mentioned that I may have to be on hormonal medication until I choose to have children, or until I go through menopause. As a 28 year old female who doesn’t like to take medication for long term purposes, I wasn’t very excited about this. However, I reluctantly agreed and took the medication for six months. Unfortunately, I had some negative side effects from the medication, particularly joint pain issues, which I recently learned can be impacted by hormonal medication (I’ll get into more details about this in a future article).
The side effects became too much for me, and I really was not comfortable with the idea of being on a hormone medication for the next 30 years of my life! So I decided to give the medication a break and look for other natural alternatives.
First, I began to see a homeopath. In time, I began to see some improvements with my pain and other endometriosis symptoms with homeopathic treatment. I also tried many different foods and teas, but they did no help me much. I was still having this unbearable pain. Finally, there was light at the end of the tunnel. I began regularly taking milk thistle and to my surprise, I felt some amazing results!
What is Milk Thistle?
Milk Thistle, also known as silybum marianum, is an ancient plant that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. As mentioned earlier, endometriosis is an inflammatory condition and the anti-inflammatory effects of milk thistle are beneficial. Having antioxidant properties also can help with endometriosis symptoms. Studies have found that endometriosis can be caused by an imbalance between antioxidants and pro-oxidants. Too many pro-oxidants can create problems with cells, and the DNA and protein in them. Milk thistle may help to re-balance that (2).
Milk thistle can come in different forms, such as: capsules, tea, and powder. I chose the powder form and took milk thistle for 6 months. I just added it to my water and drank it once a day. Simple! You can add it to anything, as it doesn’t have a strong taste or texture. I experienced positive changes. I had less pain during my period. This was incredible! I experienced noticeably less cramps, and felt that I had my life back. It was such a relief after so many years!
It also has a number of other health benefits. Milk Thistle can help with liver related health issues, prevent and treat cancer, protect against environmental toxins, increase pancreatic function, and the list goes on (3)! Its definitely worth trying!
Well Natured’s Milk Thistle Recommendation
Starwest Botanicals Milk Thistle Seed Powder is our recommendation!
Why do we recommend this?
- It’s certified organic
- Amazon’s Choice
- Has a 3 year shelf life
Reminder: Always be sure to read and follow the directions written on the products you are using.
In conclusion, I do not have anything against taking medication and using it to manage any health issues, including endometriosis. I just didn’t think it was for me. There are some women who suffer more than others or find it harder to manage their symptoms in other ways. If medication is what gives them relief and happiness, then I fully support them. Milk Thistle may just be something extra they can add to their life, since it has great benefits!
I don’t know what will happen in the future, but for now I will continue with my homeopathic treatment and taking milk thistle. I wanted to share my story and hopefully help others who are suffering from endometriosis. Perhaps others out there will give it a try, and hopefully find relief, too!
Live Well Charged. Live Well Nourished.
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(3) Karimi, G., Vahabzadeh, M., Lari, P., Rashedinia, M., & Moshiri, M. (2011, July). “Silymarin”, a promising pharmacological agent for treatment of diseases. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586829/
(1) Parasar, P., Ozcan, P., & Terry, K. L. (2017, March). Endometriosis: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Clinical Management. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5737931/
(2) Zarif-Yeganeh, M., & Rastegarpanah, M. (2019, December 27). Clinical Role of Silymarin in Oxidative Stress and Infertility: A Short Review for Pharmacy Practitioners. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6952757/
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