Stress and Endometriosis – A vicious cycle.?
This often misunderstood condition can not only cause increased levels of stress, it can actually be worsened by stress – leading to a vicious circle of pain – stress- increased pain – increased stress and so on.
Endometriosis effects millions of women worldwide, from all walks of life. With and without children, professional busy women and stay at home Moms. This is a condition that can negatively affect all aspects of their lives – physical and mental wellbeing, productivity in the workplace and their relationships.
A recent scientific trial on rats, some were induced with Endometriosis cells and then all were subjected to a stress test (swimming). The Endo rats were biopsied and were found to have not only developed larger endometrial cells, they also showed higher levels of inflammatory stress in their colons, and more inflamed immune systems.
This indicated that, if you have Endometriosis, you are more susceptible to stress related disorders. Not great news given having this condition itself is highly stressful.
So what are some of the things women with Endo can do to help reduce their stress levels and help their body reduce the inflammatory responses to stress?
Here are some tips:
1. Watch your food?
Avoid foods that can place a load on an already stressed system – these include caffeine, dairy products, refined sugars and carbohydrates.??Take a look at your normal daily intake. If your average day consists of a sugary cereal and milk, followed by white toast and a coffee, you are probably not giving your body the best start to the day. Follow that up with more caffeine during the morning, energy drinks a bread sandwich for lunch then a quick pasta for dinner with a glass of wine, and you have simply stressed out your system even further through eating the wrong food.??Try switching to green tea, add more fruit and vegetables – especially the leafy green ones and take a break from dairy for a few weeks, then slowly add one or two back in and see how your symptoms respond.
2. The Good Oil?
Most nutritionists will also suggest you have fish oil in your daily diet – it reduces inflammation and can help estrogen be cleared more efficiently from the body. Omega 3 supplements with DHA & EPA is particularly good. If you can’t stomach fish oil, you can also find Omega 3 fatty acids in walnut oil, flaxseed and olive oil.
3. Take it easy
Most women feel they are under pressure each and every day with the responsibility of managing a household, children, study, work, relationships, family, cleaning, catering, cooking, the list goes on. In reality I believe we put ourselves under pressure and it is a natural response as we are predominantly ‘nurturers’, driven by looking after others.??It takes dedication and training to teach ourselves to manage stress and to find a steady and healthy pace for life.
It’s all very well to say “I’ll schedule in some ‘me’ time” however, what really needs to happen is for a mind-shift to take place that taking time for you is incredibly important for us to properly function. The trouble is, “Me” time is often portrayed in the media as a group of women flippantly drinking bubbles and painting their toes and getting facials.??In reality, if you don’t take good care of you, how on earth do you expect to look after others?
Here are some de-stressing tips:
Exercise: Make sure you schedule 20-30 minutes each day – set the alarm 30 minutes early and go for a walk, jog, cycle. Go out in your lunch-break and walk to the nearest park, take in some fresh air, feel the grass beneath your feet. Grab the family after dinner for a walk to the local beach, river, park. Mix it up and make sure you do it each day until it becomes a habit. If you exercise first thing in the morning, you are up and gone before you can consider all the reasons why not to go, and you feel great for the rest of the day.
??Breathe: Sit for just 5-10 minutes and listen to your heartbeat, breathe evenly and gently from the stomach. Find a yoga position you like, or some music to listen to. Even sitting at a park bench with your iPod will do. Find your pace, release the tension, take a deep breath and get going again.
??Sleep: Burning the candle from both needs does not mean you are getting more done. It means you are not managing your time properly. Chances are, your productivity has decreased, the quality of your work is lower than normal and at some stage in the not-too-distant-future you are going to crash and need to take time off anyway. Your body repairs itself while you sleep and the hours before mid-night are especially important. Make sure your room is dark and to help de-stress even further, have a notepad and pen by the bed, so if you do wake up with lots of stuff in your head, you can write it down and get rid of it, enabling you to sleep better.
Sex: This releases natural endorphins into the system and can hep to reduce the levels of the stress hormone, Cortisol. Making sure you go to bed before you are tired will help with desire levels too. There are also a number of herbal supplements that help reduce and control Cortisol levels.
Drink: Plenty of water, especially at night. If you do have alcohol, match it glass-for-glass with water. Not only is it great for your skin it also helps your body flush out toxins, which it does mostly while you sleep.
Lisa J Faith
Best Selling Author?
Heal Yourself With Nutritional Therapy.??
For more information on how you can beat Endo pain and heal yourself with nutritional therapy, check out Lisa J Faith’s best selling book on Amazon: Beat The Pain.