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Endometriosis Action Month 2023

How to Help Endometriosis Action Month 2023

Hello everyone, it's Endometriosis Action Month! Last year, I ran a successful Just Giving fundraiser with your support, helping us hit the target donation for Endometriosis UK. This year, I want to offer you some information on how you can help someone you know who has endometriosis or help yourself get diagnosed and manage the condition.

What is Endometriosis?

It is a condition that affects about 10% of people born with female reproductive systems. Tissues similar to the womb lining grow in places outside the womb, such as on ovaries, cysts, fallopian tubes, and bowels. There are different types of endometriosis, which can affect deep layers or tissues.

What are the symptoms? 

Many people can live a healthy life without any pain or even realising it's there. However, common symptoms include pain in the ovaries, especially during periods, painful sex, leg and back pain, fatigue, and digestive issues.

How do you know if you have it?

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to know. Only during an internal examination can surgeons assess the area and determine the presence and stage of endometriosis. If you suspect that you have endometriosis, I would urge you to get an ultrasound that might show the presence of cysts. If you have symptoms or any suspicions, fight to be seen by your doctors, as it can takes an average of 7 years just to get diagnosed.

How can you manage symptoms?

It's different for everyone, depending on where you feel pain. After my operation to remove endometriosis, I didn't feel any different. It's only with advice from a specialist to cut out inflammatory foods that I started to notice a difference. Some people have had success with a low FODMAP diet, while others have tried a no-sugar diet, gluten free or dairy free can also have good results. Managing exercise is also key. Only do what is comfortable and don't push your body to the extreme, especially with pelvic exercises.

To help manage endometriosis flare-ups, I have some tips that have worked for me.

  • Have a square of dark chocolate to get through the worst times.
  • Find new hobbies that are more gentle on your body if physical activities are too much for you.
  • Use essential oils, such as lavender and rosemary, for relaxation and swelling reduction. Using a body lotion or body butter can help ease muscles and give you essential oils at the same time. 
  • Take a soak with bath salts and essential oils or use a heat pad to help your muscles relax.
  • Use a hot water bottle or heat pad for stomach cramps, back spasms, and leg pains.

Whether it’s your mate, your mum or your partner who’s living with endo you can show your support by listening, helping them stay true to an anti-inflammatory diet (do not say ‘just one won’t hurt’ because it really will). Understanding and patience is always appreciated when we have to cancel last minute due to painful flare-ups too. 

If you want to get more involved or informed with the latest news, head to Endometriosis UK where there’s plenty of information from experts to answer your questions, find research articles, get support and advice and see how we can take this women only (and therefore) severely underfunded and under researched condition to parliament. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on this topic so please feel free to reach out 💌 Naomi xXx


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