Conditions Associated With Endo That You Should Know About to Support Your Partner Fully
Last updated: January 2023
I've written before about how educating yourself about your endometriosis and your loved ones' symptoms is a great way to support them. It not only gives you a better understanding of the issues they might be facing and a better set of tools for helping them but also empowers you to advocate for your loved one and endo patients across the world.
You can start by familiarising yourself with endometriosis, listening to your loved ones' experience, and communicating regularly with them with vocabulary that is familiar to you both.
But as I've learned from my partner's journey through endometriosis management, not all symptoms are endo-related, and there are a lot of associated conditions that could play a part. So if endo doesn't seem to be the only part of your loved one's journey, here is a little run down of other associated conditions you can familiarise yourself with to be a better supporter for your loved one.
Conditions commonly found in those with endo
Small intestine bacterial overgrowth is perhaps present in up to 80% of endo patients, so it's a good place to start. SIBO can cause bloating, digestive issues, abdominal pain, and many other symptoms associated with endo and the 'endo belly.' Also, SIBO is treatable, so those uncomfortable symptoms your partner is experiencing may have an answer.1
Interstitial cystitis is characterized by bladder pain or pressure, frequent and urgent urination, worsening pain in the lead-up to menstruation, and heightened pain after specific foods - also symptoms associated with endometriosis. These symptoms can be treated with an IC-specific diet, so some relief from these symptoms may be attainable.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a group of inherited connective tissue disorders. There are many EDS symptoms, but relevant to this article is the fact that many people with EDS have painful periods and pain during sex - symptoms often associated with endo. Furthermore, some studies have shown a connection between EDS and endo.2
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is a condition that affects blood flow in the body. Symptoms include racing heart, dizziness, and fatigue, and some studies have shown that many people with endo have POTS, which may be because the two conditions tend to affect women of a similar age. Either way, many people with endo suffer from fatigue, dizzy spells, and a racing heart, so it may not be the endo to blame here.3
This list of associated conditions isn't here for self-diagnosis or to cause more worry. Rather it's here to show that the endometriosis journey is often more complicated than just endo. To be a great advocate for your loved one and offer them the best support you can, it's a good idea to have a wider view of the challenges people with endo face and a roadmap of the journey that may be ahead of you.
Which symptoms are you experiencing the most this week? (Check all that apply):