Endo in the News
There’s so much we don’t understand about endometriosis, and it’s such a common condition, but it’s rarely in the news. This month is different! Here’s some exciting new information about endo.
“LINDA: And the doctor came in and told me that I had and had something called endometriosis.
CLAIRE: And I'm like Endo whaaa?”1
The August 18th, 2021 episode of Unexplainable is all about endometriosis. It showcases the voices of a diverse group of people living with endo, giving them space to share their own experiences. They talk about the journey to diagnosis, the pain, the treatments, the surgeries. Reporter Byrd Pinkerton describes the efforts of Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, who told her own endometriosis story to Congress. As a result, they approved more funding for endo research. She also interviews Professor Linda Griffith, an amazing scientist who has endometriosis herself and now does research on the issue. Dedicated people like these give me hope that better information—and treatment options—are on the way.1
Air pollution causes more painful periods
A large study looked at how air pollution (like particulate matter and carbon monoxide) affects period pain.2 People living with more pollution were more likely to have painful periods. The authors suggest that this may be because pollution causes inflammation, which can make periods worse.3,4
The study doesn’t tell us whether more people get endometriosis after exposure to poor air quality. And it doesn’t tell us if things like air filters or masks help to prevent the effects. More research is needed to learn how we can improve the problem.
Can antioxidant supplements help?
Endometriosis causes inflammation, and that inflammation causes pain. Antioxidants prevent inflammation, so does taking antioxidant supplements help with endometriosis pain? Garlic, as well as Vitamins C and E, are known antioxidants. Laboratory studies even showed that garlic prevents scar formation (adhesions) from endometriosis.5-7 Two new studies looked at how supplements of Garlic and Vitamins C and E affect endo. Researchers compared pain levels of people with known endometriosis before and after taking a supplement. Participants reported less pain after taking both Garlic and Vitamin C plus E.5,6
What does that mean for me?
Both studies looked at small numbers of people, so it’s hard to know for sure if the supplements would help most people with endo. And neither study looked for side effects from taking the supplements. So it would be great to see larger studies to prove these results and check on safety. But this is progress toward an answer.
The lack of answers about endometriosis can be incredibly frustrating. The speed at which we learn feels so slow. Hearing about these advocates makes me hopeful that people are taking the problem seriously and moving us closer to better options.
Do you ever experience urinary incontinence?