Community Views: Alternative Ways to Manage Endo Symptoms
Many people dealing with the pain of endometriosis find that there comes a time to start exploring alternative medicine. Some choose non-medical solutions before committing to medical treatment options like surgery. Other endo warriors take this route after trying mainstream medical advice and not finding relief.
In most cases, alternative solutions have few, if any, side effects, so there is really no downside to giving them a try. Plus, they are often much cheaper than medical treatments or even free.
Regardless of the path that led the community to alternative therapies, we wanted to find out more about which ones are working for you. We reached out to community members on our Facebook page and asked: In your experience, which alternative therapies have helped the most to manage your endo symptoms?”
More than 150 community members answered. Here is what was said.
It sometimes takes endo warriors time to recognize that there is often a link between the amount of stress in your life and the severity of your endo symptoms. If that connection is true for you, it can also help to learn which stressors to reduce. This could mean avoiding overworking or draining social situations.
“Staying away from abusive/toxic people.”
“No, seriously. Stress is one of my biggest triggers, so avoiding the people who stress me out made a huge difference. The things you learn in a pandemic.”
Taking time to rest
Others have found that taking time to rest can be a big help. Resting does not just mean more naps and more sleep, although that can certainly help. Rest may mean avoiding social media, talking too much, running too many errands, or overexerting yourself in any way. Some endo warriors have found that taking it easy during your period will make your next period more manageable.
“Paying attention to when I need to rest.”
“Rest and family support.”
Exercising and moving your body
There are several theories as to why exercise helps endo symptoms. One, it releases endorphins and dopamine, which help you feel better. These chemicals also get rid of stress and anxiety. Exercise also increases blood flow and can help with cramping. However, recommended exercises are gentle, not strenuous. Think walking, swimming, or practicing yoga.
“Exercising, even if just walking.”
Changing your diet
Many endo warriors who do their own research about endo cures find that changing their diets can help. Dairy products, sugar, wheat, or meat can often be culprits that make symptoms worse. It takes time, but one way to find out if certain foods are worsening your endo symptoms is to try 2 or 3 cycles while avoiding one food, such as meat, and seeing if that makes a difference.
“I am finding out my food triggers more and more now, and do limit those. It seems mostly foods that have a lot of hormones, like milk and fast food meat, are the worst.”
“I am consuming more cruciferous vegetables, water, and turmeric.”
“Dietary changes, limiting sugar, and drinking lots of water.”
Using a heating pad
The warmth of a heating pad can help with the severe cramps that are often part of endo. For some, heating pads offer increasing comfort with each hour, with the fourth hour bringing the most relief.
“Heating pad and a hot bath.”
“Heating pads galore!”
Thank you to everyone in the community who shared such a wide variety of answers. We appreciate your willingness to be open and help others.
Have you ever experienced a "weird" symptom and wondered if it was endo related?