5 Ways to Make Living with Endometriosis A Little Easier
Life can be hard enough at times, even without the extra pain, fatigue, and uncertainty of living with endometriosis. Cramping makes everyday tasks such as doing the dishes or even standing upright nearly impossible. Not to mention dealing with the worries and fears of an uncertain future or emotional implications of living with a chronic condition. Since I’ve had endometriosis for the better part of 20 years, I’ve narrowed down some simple, yet effective, ways to make living with endometriosis a little easier.
Here are 5 ways to make living with endometriosis easier:
Find the heat
When it comes to finding relief for cramping muscles in your pelvis and back, heat is always the answer. While it seems counter-intuitive, any and all forms of heat have helped me. Hot baths, heating pads, and even hot teas help soothe angry, knotted muscles. Rub on creams that heat up (even though they stink to high heaven) have helped me make it through more than one painful day.
Some days, I would argue that the emotional ups and downs of living with endometriosis are at least as bad as (if not worse) than the physical symptoms. I’ve journaled about everything from my worries for the future to the guilt I felt over harsh words I’ve spoken in pain and anger. Journaling helps me to sort out my emotions and get everything out of my system without fear of being judged or causing pain to others.
Explore alternative treatments
There wasn’t a whole lot of information about endometriosis readily available when I was diagnosed. In addition, information about alternative treatments such as supplements or dietary changes was hard to come by. Since my diagnosis, I've learned that there are actually quite a few things you can do. Adding turmeric and flax-seed to your diet while cutting out high fat dairy can manage pain and estrogen in your body. In addition, rubbing on progesterone cream (under the supervision of your doctor) can help improve some of the painful symptoms of endometriosis.
Finding support from loved ones, good friends, or others who also suffer with endometriosis is vital to making living with endometriosis easier. Lack of support can lead to overwhelming feelings of isolation. There was no such thing as Facebook when I was originally diagnosed, heck even the internet was just getting up and running. Endometriosis was certainly not something that was discussed in “polite company”, if you know what I mean. My doctor said that was “likely” what I had, prescribed me birth control, and sent me on my way. Without proper support, I floundered and sunk lower and lower into a sea of confusion and isolation. Support can make the difference between adequately coping with the disease and drowning under its weight.
Stretch your legs
When endometriosis pain is at its worst, the thought of even standing up makes me want to cry. Let alone any type of exercise, even something as simple as walking. But consistent, even simple movement can get some endorphins flowing and dial the cramping back a notch or two. Getting up and going for a short stroll, especially in the fresh air, helps stretch out those cramping muscles. It also helps get some much-needed oxygen flowing in your body.
Do you make any endo preparations when you know you are attending a BBQ, party, or a day at the beach?