Endometriosis is a painful condition in which uterine tissue from the
uterus attaches itself to other organs. The uterine tissue may appear in
the fallopian tubes or the ovaries, or it may implant itself on the outer
walls of the uterus itself. In rare cases, the tissue travels outside the
pelvic region and appears in organs like the bladder, the lungs, and other
These masses of tissue can be painful, in and of themselves, but to make
matters worse, they continue to behave as if they're inside the uterus.
They continue to fill up with blood over the course of the menstrual cycle,
and every month, they shed blood just as the uterus does. Unlike normal
menstrual blood, which leaves the body through the vagina, the blood from
the abnormal growth has nowhere to go. Instead, it accumulates inside the
pelvic cavity, where it often forms cysts. As menstrual cycles repeat
themselves and the tissue continues to bleed each month, the cysts may grow
so large that they bind organs together. Sometimes a cyst ruptures and
leads to agonizing pain. Two out of three women have endometrial growth on
Pain in the pelvis and the lower back is the defining characteristic of
endometriosis. The pain usually varies with the menstrual cycle and is at
its worst during ovulation, menstruation, or sexual intercourse; sometimes
it is so intense as to be incapacitating. A woman with endometriosis may
experience heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, and this loss of blood
can lead to anemia. Digestive problems are common in cases of
endometriosis, as is nausea and vomiting. There is a strong connection
between endometriosis and infertility, although it is unknown whether the
excess tissue actually prevents conception, or if infertility somehow
creates conditions hospitable to endometriosis.
No one knows for sure what causes endometrial tissue to leave the uterus
and travel to other parts of the body. One prevailing theory is that the
disorder is caused by retrograde menstruation, in which menstrual fluid
fails to exit the body properly. Instead, some of the endometrial linings
that is normally shed during menstruation backs up in the fallopian tubes
and enters the pelvic cavity, where the tissue deposits itself and begins
to grow. It is also possible that endometrial cells travel to the pelvic
cavity via the bloodstream of the lymphatic system. Others believe that
endometriosis is caused when the body is still an embryo. In a normal
fetus, the cells that are meant to form the uterus differentiate themselves
from others and begin to travel to the appropriate site. But according to
this theory, the endometrial cells of some fetuses don't make the trip and
end up in the wrong places. It is also thought that environmental estrogens
may be a causative factor. These xenoestrogens are endocrine disrupters
that have estrogenic effects in the body. This category of environmental
estrogens includes plastics, detergents, household cleaners, pesticides,
herbicides, and hormones found in meat products. In addition, studies have
shown immune system imbalance to be a factor. Specifically, women with
endometriosis have higher levels of antibodies that target their own
ovaries and endometrial tissue. They also tend to have lower activity of
the natural killer cells that usually keep abnormal cells in check. No
matter what the cause, it does appear that all cases of endometriosis are
linked to hormonal balance and that elevated estrogen levels are a problem.
It is important that liver function is optimized in women with
endometriosis. The liver is responsible for breaking down estrogen (and
other hormones) and secreting the metabolites into the large intestine for
elimination. If the liver does not metabolize estrogen and its metabolites
properly, they are recycled throughout the body.
While the liver is the dominant player in estrogen metabolism, the flora or
"friendly bacteria" in the large intestine are also important in estrogen
metabolism. They prevent the reactivation and the recycling of these
unwanted estrogens. Conversely, "unfriendly bacteria" secrete an enzyme
called beta-glucuronidase that causes estrogen to be recycled back through
the body via the large intestine. A low-fiber and high-fat intake increase
the activity of this enzyme.
While endometriosis is not a simple condition to treat, natural therapies
often lead to significant improvement. The complementary treatments
described here focus on regulating hormones and balancing the immune system
and also suggest ways to provide gentle relief of pain and other symptoms.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; the level
of effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when
taking any and all supplements.
Prescription for Natural Cures
James F. Balch
Super Prescription #1
- LifeSource Product This balances out
estrogen, regulates the menses, and relieves pain. Apply
1/4 teaspoon (20 mg) to your skin twice daily from days 6
to 26 of your cycle (stopping during the week of your
menstrual flow). It is best used under the care of a
Super Prescription # 2
Vitex - Chasteberry
- LifeSource Product
Vitex balances the estrogen/progesterone ratio. Take 300 mg
daily. Do not use Vitex if you are currently taking the
birth control pill.
Super Prescription #3 Indole-3 carbinol
Take 300 mg daily. It assists the liver in estrogen
Super Prescription #4 Dandelion root (Taraxacum
Take 300 to 500 mg in capsule form or 1 ml of tincture with
each meal (three times daily). It improves liver
Super Prescription #5
- LifeSource Product Take 400 IU twice
daily. It helps with estrogen metabolism and inflammation.
Super Prescription # 6
Omega 3, 6 9
- LifeSource Products - See All of our Omega 3 – Fish
Take a daily combination of flaxseed, fish oil, along with
gamma linoleic acid (GLA) borage oil, which is Omega 3, 6
& 9.. These essential fatty acids decrease
Super Prescription #7 D-glucarate
Take 500 mg daily. This phytochemical assists the liver in
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Pain in the abdomen and the lower back, associated with menses
Pain with sexual intercourse
Prolonged or excessive menstrual bleeding
Nausea and vomiting
Pain with urination and bowel movements
Endometrial cells that travel through the bloodstream or the lymphatic
A genetic defect
Hormonal imbalance (relatively high estrogen and low progesterone), due
to poor liver function, diet, xenoestrogens, or ovulatory dysfunction
Imbalanced immune system
Flora imbalance (dysbiosis)
It is important to eat certified organic foods as much as possible, due to
the estrogenic effects of pesticides, herbicides, and hormone-laden meats.
Whole grains, beans, and vegetables should form the basis of your diet. All
these foods are high in fiber and will help to balance the friendly
bacteria involved with estrogen metabolism.
Eat plenty of cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. These fish
are good sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs), substances that reduce
inflammation and pain. For additional EFAs, add 2 tablespoons of flax seeds
to your daily protocol, along with 10 ounces of water. Flax seeds have been
shown to help balance estrogen levels.
Eat fruits and vegetables, such as apples, cherries, broccoli, cauliflower,
and brussels sprouts. They contain the phytochemical indole-3-carbinol,
which supports the liver's detoxification of estrogen.
Regularly consume beets, carrots, artichokes, dandelion greens, onions, and
garlic, as these foods stimulate liver detoxification.
Eat organic cultured yogurt to increase the levels of friendly flora in the
Once a day, have a green drink to support detoxification.
Drink a glass of clean water every two to three waking hours to support
Foods to Avoid
Avoid red meat and dairy products, all of which contain high levels of
dioxins that act as environmental estrogens.
To keep pain under control, stay away from inflammatory substances like
sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Don't eat anything that depresses your immune system. Processed foods,
fried food, refined sugar, and alcohol all limit your body's ability to
fight your disorder.
Moderate exercise is a natural pain reliever. Try to take a walk every
morning or find some other activity you like well enough to perform
Use sanitary napkins instead of tampons. Tampons may encourage
Bruce Brightman – founder
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