Surgical implements in an operating theatre

Reducing the risk of endometriosis after surgery

Ever wondered why some people have surgery for their endometriosis and it makes a massive difference and leaves them symptom free for a long time whereas others get their symptoms back again within a short space of time?

It’s something I’d often wondered about too. One of the reasons depends on the type of surgery you had. The gold standard for the removal of endometriosis is excision surgery – think digging weeds out of the garden and getting all the root out so the weed (or in this case endometriosis) can’t grow back. The other option is ablation surgery – think throwing a flame thrower over the weeds to get rid of the leaves and stems on the surface, but not getting rid of the root. The risk with ablation is that some of the endometriosis remains and can grow back.

The surgery removes the endometriosis present and so can reduce the pain and inflammation going on. But it doesn’t address any of the underlying factors that causes the endometriosis in the first place and that encourage it to keep growing. Without doing that, there is a risk that the endometriosis can grow again.

Working on some of the other risk factors for endometriosis that aren’t addressed by surgery can help increase the chances of your surgery making a difference to your symptoms. These include:

Rebalancing hormones

One of the things that drives the growth of endometriosis is oestrogen. Often people are in a state of oestrogen dominance, either from high oestrogen levels or low progesterone. Rebalancing hormone levels can help reduce the risk of endometriosis regrowing. You may be given hormone treatment after surgery to address this factor, but this won’t deal with some of the other issues that drive endometriosis which are outlined below.

Liver support

The liver plays an important role in hormone breakdown – particularly of oestrogen. We want oestrogen broken down safely and removed from the body as quickly as possible. If the liver is struggling or it is producing the type of oestrogen that can lead to cell growth and endometriosis, this can increase the risk of endometriosis re-growing.

Gut support  

Supporting the gut is a big part of managing endometriosis. Partly because of all the gut symptoms it can cause, but also due to the impact our gut has on hormone levels. If we have an imbalance of certain types of gut bacteria this can increase oestrogen levels. It can also increase levels of inflammation in the body (and so pain) and affect the strength of our immune system. More on this next… So, without the right gut support in place, some of the risk factors for endometriosis remain.

Getting the immune system working well

The immune system plays a role in the development of endometriosis and allows the endometrial tissue to grow in places it shouldn’t. Making sure our immune system is strong and working well is an important part of managing endometriosis.

Managing stress

Stress has a really negative effect on endometriosis and can undo all the good work we do to try and manage the condition. Stress increases levels of inflammation, reduces the strength of the immune system, negatively impacts on gut health and can throw hormone levels out of balance. So, it can effectively increase many of the risk factors for endometriosis. That’s why managing stress is a big part of any endometriosis management plan. And of course, having surgery, managing endometriosis symptoms and wondering if it will return is stressful so it’s important that stress is addressed too.

If you would like some help preparing for endometriosis surgery or in the recovery stage post-surgery to help reduce the risk of endometriosis symptoms returning, then book in for a free hormone health review to find out about one of my three month nutrition programmes and how it can help work on the risk factors.

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog  are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.

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