Endometriosis is a condition where the tissues lining your uterus start attaching to other organs. Endometriosis is a fairly common condition and affects thousands of women of reproductive age. Endometriosis is a condition which is typically characterized by painful periods, pelvic pain, back pain, painful bowel movements, and even leg pain, depending upon how far the endometrial lesions have grown. While there is no absolute cure for endometriosis, there are home remedies that can help provide relief from the pain and discomfort associated with endometriosis. Let us take a look at some of these home remedies to manage the symptoms of endometriosis.
What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?
Women who suffer from endometriosis are known to often experience severe pain during periods that can be difficult to manage and deal with. Some of the common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Excessive and heavy bleeding during periods.
- Pain during bowel movements or urination.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Excessive bloating.
- Spotting or bleeding between periods.
- Difficulty focusing.
- Food intolerances in some cases.
- Ovarian cysts.
- Difficulty conceiving.
Endometriosis is also known to cause mental health conditions, such as depression.
12 Home Remedies to Manage Endometriosis Symptoms
There is no hard and fast cure for endometriosis and one needs to go through life by managing the symptoms of this condition. This is especially true if a treatment plan has not worked out for you yet. There are several types of home remedies that you can use to help manage the symptoms of endometriosis.
#1. Heat to Manage Endometriosis Symptoms
This is one of the most common home remedies recommended for managing the symptoms of endometriosis. Heat application can also help give relief during painful periods. You can try to take a warm bath or place a hot water bottle or a heating pad on your lower abdomen to provide relief from endometriosis symptoms. Applying heat to the cramping pelvic muscles relaxes them, thus reducing the pain. Using a hot water bottle is known to be a common home remedy for menstrual pain as it offers immediate relief.
In fact, the effectiveness of using heat for getting relief from pain during periods has been proven in a study done in 2001. The study was designed to test the effectiveness of heating pads on 81 women who had very painful periods. At the conclusion, the study found that the use of a low-level heating pad was equivalent to using an ibuprofen for getting relief from pain of endometriosis.
#2. Turmeric to Manage Endometriosis Symptoms
Turmeric is a well known home remedy for its anti-inflammatory properties. As mentioned above, reducing inflammation provides relief in both cramping and pain of endometriosis. A study done by the Hubei University of Medicine in 2013 showed that turmeric helps inhibit the production of estradiol, which is a form of estrogen. This helps in preventing endometrial growth. You can take turmeric in the form of supplement capsules or it is also found in some teas. Turmeric is a spice and it can easily be added to your meal as well to manage endometriosis symptoms.
#3. Pelvic Massage Can Help Manage Endometriosis Symptoms
Massaging the pelvic area is known to reduce menstrual pain that is associated with endometriosis. A study conducted in 2010 and published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, found that massaging of the pelvic area, which included parts of the abdomen, back, and sides was very helpful in providing relief from menstrual pain stemming from endometriosis. Pelvic massage should be started a little bit before you are about to get your periods. You can also try to massage with some essential oils for relaxation and relief.
#4. Dietary Changes – Increase Anti-inflammatory Foods
Changing your diet could help reduce the symptoms of endometriosis. However, keep in mind that diet changes will not provide an overnight solution to your endometriosis symptoms. However, changing your diet could ensure that you are better able to manage your endometriosis symptoms in the long term. The trick is to avoid foods that are more likely to cause inflammation and increase the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods that will help in reducing your endometriosis symptoms over a period of time. Foods that you should avoid include:
- Processed foods that are high in refined sugars.
- Dairy foods.
- Red meat.
Foods you should be increasing in your diet to manage endometriosis symptoms include:
- Green leafy vegetables.
- Chia seeds.
- Bone Broth.
Increasing the intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains will not just improve your endometriosis symptoms, but also improve your overall health. Some researchers and experts recommend undertaking an elimination diet. An elimination diet involves cutting out all foods that cause inflammation and then slowly reintroducing them to pinpoint exactly which foods are problematic for your endometriosis symptoms. In order to do this, you will also need to track your symptoms so that you can identify the potential foods that trigger your symptoms.
#5. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Inflammatory Drugs
There are several types of OTC anti-inflammatory (nonsteroidal) medications that are effective in providing fast relief from the painful cramping caused by endometriosis. Drugs such as acetaminophen, naproxen, and ibuprofen are popular options. These drugs are known to fight inflammation also, which relieves both cramping and pain of endometriosis. If you have a doubt about the correct dosage level, you can also consult your doctor. However, make sure that you have these painkillers with some food or drink so as to prevent stomach upsets and stomach ulcers. Do not take these drugs for more than one week as they may cause side effects.
#6. Rest to Manage Endometriosis Symptoms
Rest is often ignored by women as they are on the run during the day. Getting some extra rest is a great home remedy to manage endometriosis symptoms and can prove to be very beneficial, particularly when you have your menstrual periods. Lying down on your side with your knees pulled up into your chest will help in relieving the pain as well as the pressure one feels on the back during periods.
#7. Light Exercise
You should always try to include some form of light exercise in your daily routine. Regular exercise helps release endorphins, which are the ‘feel good’ hormones of your body. Endorphins are known to reduce pain. There is another benefit of regular exercise. Exercising also helps lower the levels of estrogen in the body, making it an excellent home remedy to relieve the symptoms of endometriosis.
#8. Ginger Tea- An Excellent Home Remedy to Manage Symptoms of Endometriosis
Many women who suffer from endometriosis tend to experience nausea as a symptom. Ginger tea is an effective home remedy in treating nausea and other symptoms of endometriosis. Even scientific studies have shown that ginger tea is effective and safe home remedy for many ailments including endometriosis. One can purchase packets of ginger tea from stores or you can also make it at home by simply adding ginger to a cup of boiling water. Drinking 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea in a day or when you feel nauseated will help with this particular endometriosis symptom.
#9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in reducing inflammation in the body. These essential fatty acids are found in the form of a daily supplement and also found naturally in many foods, such as: Butter, caviar, oysters, whole milk, chocolate, eggs, cream, cod liver oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, spinach, hemp seeds, purslane, brussel’s sprouts and fatty fish, such as herring, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, etc.
#10. Herbal Supplements to Manage Endometriosis Symptoms
There are many types of herbal supplements that may also help reduce the severity of your symptoms. However, there is not much research available on how effective these supplements really are. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult a doctor before you start the supplements. Some herbal supplements that may help manage endometriosis symptoms include:
- Milk Thistle: An herb that contains silymarin, which is an antioxidant having anti-inflammatory properties. Milk thistle is also known to help the liver detoxify the body by getting rid of excess estrogen, thus helping relieve the symptoms of endometriosis.
- Pine Bark: Pycnogenol, an extract of pine bark, is known to reduce severe pain. Studies have shown that there is a 33% reduction in pain in women experiencing menstrual pain after having pycnogenol for a year.
- Evening primrose oil
- St. John’s Wort
- Blue Cohosh
- Dong Quai
- Black Cohosh
- Couch grass
- Red Raspberry
- White Willow
#11. Acupuncture to Manage Endometriosis Symptoms
Though unproven, it is believed that acupuncture, an ancient practice which involves the insertion of thin needles on specific points in the skin, brings relief in symptoms of endometriosis by restoring the energy flow and balance of our body. It is also believed that acupuncture also releases endorphins in the body.
Aromatherapy makes use of essential oils that have been extracted from plants to treat several conditions. Some of these essential oils are known to have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. Essential oils that are said to be effective for endometriosis include: cypress, fennel, sage, geranium and bergamot.
Symptoms of endometriosis vary from person to person. You may still be unaware that you are having endometriosis and could be under the impression that you have particularly bad menstrual periods. In some cases, endometriosis symptoms could be so severe that a person needs to be on bed rest for several days. This is why it is important to always consult a doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of endometriosis. Do not skip a doctor’s visit by assuming that you are having a bad case of menstrual periods. A doctor will be able to assess your symptoms and also evaluate your pain properly. Your doctor will diagnose endometriosis for you through a pelvic examination and may also prescribe an ultrasound. Your doctor will also help you come up with the proper treatment plan.
Endometriosis can be a cause of infertility. This is why it is important to consult a doctor if you experience symptoms of endometriosis. Endometriosis symptoms can definitely be painful, but they can be managed. The home remedies discussed here can help you manage endometriosis, but it is recommended that you follow your doctor’s treatment plan alongside these home remedies to get the maximum relief in your symptoms.