Endometriosis: What is it?
Endometriosis is an autoimmune condition, in which the tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus called the endometrium, also develops elsewhere in the body. The ovaries, the fallopian tubes and the outer surface of the uterus, are the places where endometrial tissue usually appears. Unfortunately endometriosis can also affect other organs of the body, such as the lungs, the stomach, the intestines, even the brain.
Over the past four decades, Endometriosis which was a rare disease, has become a fairly common one. Its frequency is estimated at 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. Furthermore, out of the 10 women who deal with infertility, 5 have endometriosis; for this reason, it tends to become a social problem. It is a particularly painful condition that afflicts and affects a woman’s quality of life, but under no circumstances should the woman suffer implicitly.
Endometriosis: Treatment in Classical Medicine
Precisely because Endometriosis is autoimmune, there is no cure for it, only a relief of the symptoms. At the forefront of pain-reduction are painkillers and contraceptive pills, which also help in case of heavy bleeding, while the next step in treatment, is invasive procedures. If all treatments fail, doctors recommend ovariectomy and hysterectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus, along with the fallopian tubes).
Endometriosis and Traditional Chinese Medicine
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the most common disorders in Endometriosis, include:
- blood stop(stasis)
- stagnation of Qi energy
- yang kidney failure
- heat, and liver stasis
Researchers at Tongji University Hospital compared Acupuncture το Standard drug therapy. Patients who were treated with Acupuncture, achieved an overall efficacy rate of 92.0% compared to patients treated with mifepistone, who achieved an overall efficacy rate of 52.0%. Mifepistone, also known under the brand name RU-486, is a synthetic steroid that inhibits the action of progesterone and is used to treat Endometriosis. This substance is also responsible for causing miscarriages.
In particular, low doses of mifepristone ‘inhibit endometrial proliferation (Narvekaretal).
Endometriosis and Medical Acupuncture
In many cases, Acupuncture treatments, carried out weekly for 4-6 months, can help promote an internal environment where the body can heal itself from the effects of displaced endometrial tissue (self-healing). When this happens, pregnancy is possible to be achieved.
Acupuncture reduced pain levels more significantly than conventional medication. Relapse rates were lower in the Acupuncture group, than in the drug group. One-year follow-up tests showed that the recurrence rate for the drug-treated group was 36%. By comparison, the Acupuncture group had a relapse rate of 20%. Pelvic mass sizes and proliferation decreased more significantly in the Acupuncture treatment group, than in the drug group. The findings were detected and verified by a B-scan ultrasound.
Basically, Acupuncture reduces inflammation and can also reduce pain as well as dysmenorrhea (severe pain during the menstrual cycle) often associated with endometriosis. Acupuncture reduces daily symptoms, and has proven just as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, in relieving pain, in women experiencing dysmenorrhea.
The chemicals released through Acupuncture include endorphins, which promote relaxation and stress relief. Stress reduction is of paramount importance to the immune system, which has an important role in Endometriosis. If the immune system functions properly, it can more effectively identify, detect and cure abnormal endometrial tissue, found outside the uterus.
Endometriosis: The Diet
Nutrition is an important factor in controlling endometriosis. A low-fat, high-fiber, dairy-free, sugar-free diet is recommended, along with the addition of certain foods and supplements. It is also advisable to avoid cold foods and cold drinks.
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