May 16, 2011

Endo sufferers, do you have these symptoms?

I have been thinking about my endometriosis lately and decided to go take a look around one of my favorite endo sites, . I came across the "20 Symptoms of Endometriosis", which I remembered reading before and how helpful it was to me to know I wasn't crazy! Other women actually had some of the same symptoms as me!! So, I have decided to post the list and made comments about which symptoms I have.  If you share any of the same symptoms or some that aren't listed, leave a comment and let me know! :)

From "Here are some distinct symptoms that I have noted which many women share who have the condition of Endometriosis. You may not have all of the symptoms with Endometriosis. If you have at least 7 of them, it is worth researching further to ensure you can commence healing your body.
1.Period Pain--ding, ding, ding. Pain is my #1 enemy. I'm also the one who has light bleeding but severe pain.
This is the most obvious symptom. The period pain will generally be severe on the first two days and will generally not go away with just a pain killer or two. Your period pain is likely to be set amongst other symptoms such as digestive issues, emotional mood swings and irritability. Some women get such severe pain that cannot walk or even go to work. When the pain is ever single month then this is not normal. Women with Endometriosis often also experience longer periods or heavier periods but this is not always a definite indicator of Endometriosis as some women still have the condition with very little bleeding.
2.Digestive issues-2 years and 40lbs lighter and I'm gonna have to say, yeah, this is a big one for me. It took forever to figure out it was linked to my Endo. Then I slowly started realizing I was having episodes right around ovulation and right before I started my period. I've been hospitalized 3 or 4 times since December because I have serious vomiting, pain, lots of stuff..I pass out, hyperventilate. After each visit at the hospital I started my period within 1-3 days.
When we first go to the doctor with “lower abdominal pain”, their first point of reference is going to be our digestion. When they ask us the usual questions, what is your digestion like? Do you have diarrhea? Constipation? Cramping? Well, yes we do…. all of the above. The problem is, these are actually a symptom of Endometriosis as well as other digestive issues. One of the ways to work out which is which, Endometriosis digestive issues are very closely related to our hormone fluctuations. We generally get an extreme (diarrhea or constipation) just before or during our period. Our digestion is closely linked to our hormones in our body so naturally they will interlink.
3.Lower Back Pain-I never had lower back pain with my period until recently, right before I was diagnosed.
This isn’t always a definite one but definitely worth a mention as many women suffer from lower back pain and don’t make the connection to Endometriosis. The Endometriosis can develop in the lower area of the pelvic area and settle on the Pouch of Douglas. This sits very closely to the nerves on the lower back and can therefore cause lower back pain. This can lead to pain running down the legs and hip area.
4.Feeling Emotional-Emotional? Hell, I just thought I was crazy. I'm glad to know there's a reason why I am so crazy :P In all seriousness though, I do feel very extreme emotions, it's been a constant battle!
PMS is one sign of Endometriosis but generally we have PMS times 10! We get such extremes with our emotions. It can be so extreme it causes friends to leave, boyfriends to break up with us and all sorts of nasty results. We feel everything in extreme. Extreme anger, extreme depression, extreme happiness. It is a heightened sense of emotions and they are not always during that first week of our period. They can occur at any time, for no logical reason (until you make a note of them and notice the trends).
5.Back aching and tension in the shoulders-This is me x's 38184097. I have always had wicked (yes I am a mainer and I say wicked; often) bad back problems. 
The upper area of your back is likely to tense up and become stiff, especially around your period time. There are a number of theories as to why this is but many believe it has to do with a lack of minerals which your body requires for your monthly cycle, which it draws from other parts of the body, such as Magnesium.
6. Feeling cold often-Really had no clue this would be related to Endo but it's definitely me. I am the one at work who has their heater on while everyone is sweating. My ex used to tell me I was always cold because I was made of ice. Maybe that's why he's my ex? :)
This is based on a Traditional Chinese Theory that women who have Endometriosis have “caught the cold or damp” in their body. They believe we can chase out the cold from the body and thereby heal the Endometriosis. One of the symptoms I noticed was that I get cold easily and that my feet are often cold, even in summer. It is not a definite one either but it does show an imbalance in the body, which should get some attention.
7. Nausea-I don't remember the last time I didn't feel nauseous when I had my period. Even most of the month I am nauseous. Kinda sucks actually..
I personally don’t get much of this symptom anymore but I remember when my Endometriosis was extreme I would get it on the day of my period or a few days before. I would get it so bad that I would have to literally get sick to feel better. It was bad during the month too, especially when I was younger, in my teens. I would struggle to eat anything without feeling somewhat ill or queezy afterwards.
8. The love of sugar-So weird, I am such a sugar girl. My whole life I have preferred sweets. I'm not a big chocolate girl but give me pastries, cookies, eclairs, mmmmm, dont get me started!
A strong dependence on sugar is a big one. I noticed this once I went off sugar and how much I was actually addicted to it. I didn’t think I could live without sugar and when I did, I would get incredibly depressed, hollow like something major had happened in my life. I was incredibly dependant. Women with Endometriosis often express this love for sugar. I think it has to do with wanting to boost their Glycemic Index but it is often an emotional comfort food.
9. Sore Breasts-I get it occassionally but it's not that terrible.
Having sore breasts a few days before your period is due is also quite common with girls who have Endometriosis. It can be so severe that you can’t stand the idea of walking anywhere and is caused by water retention in the body. Cutting out coffee is one of the easiest remedies to get rid of sore breasts.
10.Headaches, Migraines-I used to suffer from BAD migraines when I was younger. I had a migraine so bad once I couldn't stop vomiting and ended up dehydrated and hospitalized for 3 days.
Headaches are actually a sign from your body that is it not entirely happy with you. If you get them on a constant basis, this is a sign that you should listen to your body and change something! Both headaches and migraines are closely linked to hormone imbalances in the body.
11. Feeling tired when you get up in the morning-I always thought it just was because I dont sleep well...I wake up often. Maybe its a combo of both?
You should feel rested when you get up right? When you have Endometriosis it is common to feel tired often and especially hard to get up in the morning. This is because the body is still working through toxins in the liver.
12. Other inflammations in the body-each hospital visit Ive had from December to April my white blood count kept increasing...
Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition. This means the body is essentially “under attack”. The body will often display other inflammations in other areas of the body, such as an inflamed bladder, called Intestitial Cystitis. Other areas of inflammation can include your gums, your bowel and any organ that can become inflamed easily.
13. Poor skin health-I don't have awful skin but I definitely don't have good skin. Bad skin runs in the family so maybe I just got a double wammy with this one.
No matter what cleanser you buy or how hard you try, your skin is still breaking out! You try natural things, you try stronger things and yet somehow your skin is never perfectly clear. The skin is a natural toxin releaser of the body. Endometriosis is closely linked to toxins in the body. When our skin is unhealthy it shows an imbalance and toxins are sitting in the body. Please note: there are heaps of reason why one can have poor skin but it is common for women with Endometriosis to have poor skin to go with it.
14. Puffy eyes or eye troubles-I have puffy eyes and it pisses me off. I thought I was just getting old!!
I never made the connection that when my eyes got all gritty and sore that it was related to my endometriosis. It is only now that my condition is heaps better that I recognise this as a symptom. Puffy eyes are also a sign of toxins sitting in the liver. They can be an indicator of gluten intolerance too. Our eyes are incredibly sensitive and show so much about our health!
15. Allergies-This annoys me a lot. I NEVER had allergies growing up, I felt great. Up until 2 years ago when all of my problems started getting bad and I got tested and found out I was allergic to 5 different things: weeds, dust, tree pollen, mold, and dogs. My ears are constantly plugged and I'm pretty sure I'm on the verge of a sinus infection right now.
It is common for women who have Endometriosis to also suffer from Allergies, including an itchy nose, sore or watery eyes and an itchy throat. This is yet another overreaction by the body to defend you. Endometriosis girls generally have a lowered immune system which is the same reason we get allergies.
16. Pain during sex-This was how I knew something was wrong. I was with the same guy for 6 years and for the first 3 or 4 everything worked okay. Then one day it started to hurt, and it got worse and worse so I obviously wanted to do it less, and less. It definitely put a dent in our relationship. 
This is one of the first symptoms I recognise as being related to Endometriosis as you can feel it instantly. It is a dull ache for me but for many women it can be quite severe and they can also experience it afterwards, in waves of cramping pain.
17. Bladder infections-I actually have never had problems with bladder infections. Score 1 me!
It is common with Endometriosis sufferers to have an inflamed bladder and thereby also getting frequent bladder infections. If you are having bladder infections more than 3 times in a 6month period, this could be a sign of Endometriosis.
18. Bloating in the abdominal area-Have it, hate it. 
This is obviously going to be one of those that could be part of many other conditions but with Endometriosis it feels like you permanently have this extra weight sitting in your abdominal cavity. You try and go to toilet to get it out but it is permanently there. It feels swollen and sore. It can be only at certain times of the month but many women with Endometriosis have this feeling on a permanent basis.
19. A permanent ache in the lower abdominal area-My junk aches all the time. I swear I ache more than anything. I feel everything that happens down there.
There are many Endometriosis sufferers who don’t get this feeling at all but it is a symptom so in it goes! It feels like this kinda dull aching pain in one area of the lower abdominal area. It is not dramatically sore but it is just kinda there.
20. Eczema and skin conditions-I have vitiligo on my face and very dry skin.
Women with Endometriosis also often experience skin sensitivities due to a poor immune system and the desire for the body to release toxins from the body.

So ladies, any similar situations? How about completely opposite? Let me know!

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