I have known Joelle for over two years and have recently gotten to know Dr. Natalie this past year. They are each passionate about sharing their knowledge and agreed to co-author a special piece this month for #endometriosisawarenessmonth all about how we can care for our bodies when we are affected by an endometriosis diagnosis (or even if we just suspect that we may have the disease). Enjoy the read and if this strikes a cord with you, don't hesitate to reach out to Joelle or Natalie for more information on working with them.
When a woman is on her menstrual cycle, the endometrial tissue bleeds and sheds from these different areas causing inflammation, scar tissue, and adhesions. Because endometriosis affects the internal structure of the abdomen and pelvis, the associated muscles, nerves, fascia, blood supply and lymphatic system can be comprised. This can result in reduced mobility, pain, and fertility challenges.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Endometriosis can look different from woman to woman based on to the severity of her diagnosis. Women may experience one or all of the symptoms listed below; in rare cases, she may not experience any of these symptoms.
- General pelvic, abdominal, back and/or hip pain
- Pain before and/or during your menses
- Heavy clots and bleeding during your menses
- Pain with urination and/or bowel movements
- Pain with intercourse
- Digestive issues (constipation, diarrhea, bloating, nausea)
Holistic Ways to Manage your Endometriosis Diagnosis
- Merciér Therapy - This is a deep gyno-visercal pelvic manipulation that breaks down scar tissue and adhesions, restores blood flow and circulation, and balances hormones naturally.
- Pelvic Physical Therapy - The pelvis and associated pelvic floor muscles are closely associated with the bladder, uterus, and rectum which are often times affected by endometriosis. This can create pain with peeing, pooping, and sex. These issues are commonly treated by a pelvic/women’s health PT.
- Functional Medicine - Seeing a functional medicine practitioner (FMP) who takes a more holistic approach to care would be beneficial. FMP’s will help to identify underlying factors that may perpetuate endometriosis. In addition, they may recommend supplements to optimize your health and wellness.
- Food & Nutrition - We are what we eat! An organic (or mostly organic) diet is best due to the toxins and chemicals found in non-organic foods. These toxins can cause hormone disruption. By consuming foods free of soy, processed sugar, dairy and gluten (which can be estrogen-mimicking and inflammatory), we can optimize the potential to heal through nutrition. Check out the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen lists … a great resource for going organic.
- Hydration - Our bodies are made up of 60% water. Staying hydrated is important not only for endometriosis, but also for general health and wellness. A good goal is to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water each day.
- Toxins & Detoxification - A huge connection has been linked to toxins and endometriosis. There are a variety of foods, toiletries, and household products that women use every day that can disrupt hormones and wreak havoc on our health. Below are some of our favorite ways to steer clear of toxins and detox the body:
- Pitch the plastic Tupperware and switch to glass stat! Plastics leach estrogen-mimicking compounds which can create hormone imbalance
- Healthy Living App or Think Dirty App to learn which beauty products and household cleaners are “clean”
- Infrared sauna therapy, epsom salt baths, castor oil packs and dry brushing are all great ways to boost the body’s detoxification process.
- Stress Reduction - Finding ways to reduce stress can be of huge benefit to your health. Mindfulness practice, meditation and yoga are some of our favorite stress-reducing activities.
Creating a team of like-minded practitioners that are dedicated to addressing the root cause of endometriosis, is key to managing the symptoms. While endometriosis may never completely go away, in our experience, many women that implement these recommendations live with little to no symptoms at all.
If you suspect you have endometriosis, and you are looking for support in the Indianapolis area, we would love to connect!
After receiving her Bachelor of Science from Ball State University, Joelle went on to receive training as a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Merciér Therapist. As a Women’s Health & Fertility Coach, Joelle works with her clients to address the root cause of their fertility and menstrual cycle challenges. She provides guidance, education, support and encouragement as the woman seeks a more gentle approach to care. You can learn more about Joelle, her personal story, and the services she offers at yinRoot.com.
Natalie is a pelvic and orthopedic physical therapist helping women and men live, work, and play free of pain and embarrassment. She combines her passion for unconventional therapy with her extensive professional training, making a great blend of “east meets west” physical therapy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a Doctorate degree from Belmont University and continues to take speciality courses. You can learn more about Natalie and her practice at vitalizeindy.com.