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  • Writer's pictureGrace Health

How To Cope With Endometriosis

We are almost certain that many of you still remember the day you received your endometriosis diagnosis. While the diagnosis helped to shed light on some of the symptoms you had experienced it might have also marked the day your lifestyle changed. This could have meant you must take medication long-term, adjust your diet and undergo surgery. This condition can be challenging to deal with both physically and emotionally but there are always a few steps you could take to cope.




Emotionally

Aside from all the symptoms you experience, very little is mentioned about dealing with Endometriosis (Endo) emotionally. Many women with endometriosis struggle with mental health issues, either directly or indirectly related to the condition. if you are struggling try:


Reduce stress

We know this sounds easier said than done but it is still possible. There are many different ways to reduce stress. You might need to try a few different methods before you find some that are effective for you. Examples include:

  • engaging in a hobby that you enjoy

  • going for a walk outside

  • reading a book

  • Doing some yoga

  • listening to calming music

  • taking a warm bath

  • Joining a support group

  • Going for therapy

  • trying meditation, breathing techniques, or aromatherapy

Physically

This is where the majority of the work is. You will need to go out of your way to make a few changes to your lifestyle. For instance:


Adjusting your diet

Like many other health conditions, diet could play a role in helping you cope. The effects of diet on endometriosis are still being investigated by researchers but eating certain types of foods while avoiding others may help reduce inflammation and pain due to endometriosis. Examples are:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables

  • whole grains

  • nuts and seeds

  • fatty fish, such as salmon and herring

While foods that you should be avoiding are:

foods that contain:

  • saturated and trans fats

  • gluten

  • caffeine

  • alcohol

Also, avoid:

  • red meat

  • dairy, beans and onions

Stay rested

People with endometriosis often have poor sleep quality. This can be due to physical symptoms, the stress related to managing endometriosis, or both. If you’re struggling with Insomnia, there are methods to help you get better quality sleep:

  • reduce the use of electronics close to bedtime, focusing instead on relaxing activities like reading a book or taking a warm bath

  • keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and a comfortable temperature

  • set bedtimes and wake-up times and stick to them

  • limit naps during the day

  • get regular exercise

  • avoid caffeine and alcohol later in the day

  • consider a melatonin supplement

Staying active

There isn’t any strong evidence that exercise improves endometriosis directly. But as we all know, exercise can help you feel better generally beside it doesn't hurt to try. This is because, during exercise, certain hormones called endorphins (the feel-good hormones) are released. High-intensity physical activity, such as running, swimming, and biking, may be beneficial for reducing your symptoms. Low-intensity exercise, including yoga, may provide some relief in endometriosis, too.


Practically

This is more about tactical strategies that you should take into consideration.


Work or School

Since life still goes on, you will still need to show up at your place of work or school. If you’re on strong painkillers or opioids to reduce your endometriosis pain, these types of medication are known to induce sleepiness, dizziness, and drowsiness, and impair your reflexes. Because of this, you will need to inform the relevant people about this so you could either make adjustments to your schedule or perhaps take time off when you need to. Especially if you work with machinery.


Infertility

Unfortunately, Endo can affect fertility, making it difficult to conceive. If you plan to have children, you should start considering your options as soon as possible after diagnosis. Be sure to involve your spouse or partner, since conception takes two.


Track your symptoms

This is where the Grace Health app comes in. When you track your symptoms with the app it not only helps you know what symptoms to expect and when but also helps you keep a record of symptoms for your doctor. It may also help you tell if certain medications/treatments are working. Another plus is that with the Grace Health app, you can also learn more about the condition through various resources like you are right now😉


The takeaway

Living with endometriosis can be an ongoing challenge. The tips discussed above can help you cope but are best used in conjunction with other treatment options that your doctor prescribes. If none of these steps helps to manage your endometriosis symptoms, your healthcare provider may suggest surgery. The approach that you and your doctor choose to take may vary depending on your signs and symptoms, and whether or not you would like to get pregnant in the future. Before starting any treatment, it is important to know all of your options and their potential outcomes.

Stay informed, stay in control How do you cope with Endo? Share in the comments




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