Why hormone treatment alone may not be enough to manage your endometriosis
You may be taking the pill or other hormonal treatments to manage your endometriosis symptoms. Hopefully that has made a difference to your symptoms and given you some relief. I’m certainly not against hormone treatment if it works for you, because sometimes we just need to do something to reduce the pain or heavy bleeding.
But have all your symptoms calmed down? Are you still getting bloating or IBS? Are your energy levels still low? Do you still get PMS symptoms?
If yes, that’s because hormonal treatment is only working on one aspect of your endometriosis – the levels of your oestrogen and progesterone.
Hormone imbalances are certainly a big driver of endometriosis, but they are not the only factor that allows it to develop and keep growing. Endometriosis is a whole body disease, affecting so many different systems in the body. To really get the symptoms back under control we also need to work on your:
- Immune system – research shows the immune system is important in the development of endometriosis, and people with endometriosis often have a low immune system, regularly getting colds and flu and then struggling to get rid of them. Strengthening the immune system can help reduce the risk of endometriosis returning.
- Gut health – recent research has shown the link between gut health and hormone levels. It’s also shown that people with endometriosis often have different gut bacteria to those without endometriosis. We tend to have more of the bad bacteria which can cause problems with bloating and IBS. We need to improve gut health to help reduce some of the digestive symptoms that go with endometriosis.
- Inflammation levels – endometriosis is an inflammatory health condition and those with endometriosis often have high levels of inflammation in the pelvis. As well as causing pain, this inflammation can also cause digestive disturbances. Getting inflammation levels down can help reduce endometriosis symptoms.
- Liver – the liver is where we break down used hormones ready to get rid of them. We need the liver to do this as quickly and safely as possible to minimise any adverse effects on our hormone levels. The liver is also where we break down any medications, such as hormonal treatments. Giving the liver some support can help it work more effectively.
- Energy levels – fatigue is a big part of endometriosis symptoms. It’s not just dealing with the pain that can make us tired, but we can also be prone to low levels of certain nutrients such as iron. Getting your nutrient levels optimised can make a big difference to energy levels.
So, whilst the hormonal treatment may be regulating your hormones, which in turn is hopefully having an impact on the growth of the endometriosis, it isn’t working on some of these other factors that we know either play a role in the development of endometriosis or are a big part of the symptoms people get. That’s why you may find you are still getting some symptoms even on hormonal treatment.
Nutritional therapy deals with endometriosis from a more holistic approach. We’ll work on all the factors that can drive endometriosis, as well as all the areas you get symptoms in. It doesn’t have to be either or – you can still do nutritional therapy alongside hormonal treatment. I’ve worked with many clients taking hormonal treatments who see their energy levels improve, bloating and IBS symptoms reduce, and PMS symptoms calm down once they add in nutritional therapy.
If you’d like some additional support in managing your endometriosis symptoms, do book in for a chat to find out how nutritional therapy could make the difference you need.
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.