In the most basic terms, endometriosis is a chronic condition in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. This tissue can be found growing in organs such as the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, or intestines. It can last a very long time or even a lifetime. So, it is important that women know how to manage endometriosis with some self care tips.
Mostly, it can take 8-10 years for the condition to get properly diagnosed. It can show an array of symptoms in different women. For instance, some might experience painful periods, painful intercourse, excess bleeding, or infertility. Some women show unrelated symptoms that can lead to a delay in diagnosis like severe lower back and leg pain, nerve pain, digestive issues, or painful bowel movement.
It’s important to get in touch with a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and get a treatment plan for the illness. Additionally, taking good care of yourself can always help you feel better.
Alongside, following the course of treatment given by your gynecologist, it’s also important to follow some self-care strategies to ease your day-to-day life.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Pooja Vyas Bansal, Consultant (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist), Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, to get a deeper understanding of self-care plan for endometriosis.
According to Dr Bansal, “The mental impact of the pain in endometriosis is very much on a woman who is going through the whole process. So, taking care of herself should always be a priority.”
The first and foremost thing is to recognize the endometriosis symptoms and visit a doctor who can help you. Dr Bansal recommends taking painkillers on a regular basis if the pain experienced causes hindrance in the quality of life. She also advises using a hot water bag to alleviate signs of any discomfort or cramping.
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“Try to have a healthy lifestyle. Try to incorporate more green vegetables and iron-rich foods into your daily diet. Alongside, try to keep away from alcohol content or caffeine in your food,” suggests the expert.
You can also include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts in your diet. These will help to reduce any inflammation in the body.
Indulging in any sort of physical activity might seem daunting to someone who is experiencing chronic pain. However, it’s still essential to move your body for at least 30 minutes a day. Any form of workout lightens up the mood of a person through the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Also, staying active can reduce stimulation in the ovaries and estrogen production which can relieve the symptoms of endometriosis. One may also practice deep breathing exercises and mindfulness meditation to calm and soothe the mind.
“Excess pain in a woman experiencing endometriosis for a very long time can take a toll on mental health. Some women tend to show little symptoms of depression and anxiety. So, it is okay to seek help from a mental health expert if that is what your mind needs,” asserts Dr Bansal.
Women with endometriosis are more prone to mental health issues, so asking for help can go a long way in helping them navigate their way through day-to-day life.