Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows in other places in the body outside of the womb. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, heavy periods, and infertility. Treatment options include pain relievers, hormones, and surgery.
It occurs when tissue that should line the inside of your uterus, the endometrium, grows outside of it instead. Even though the tissue is outside of your uterus, it still acts like it should during your menstrual cycles. That means at the end of your period, this tissue will break apart and bleed.
However, the blood from this tissue has no place to go. Surrounding areas may become inflamed or swollen, and scar tissue and lesions can develop. The most common site for endometriosis is on your ovaries.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)however is an infection of the organs of a women's reproductive system. They include the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix. It's usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), like chlamydia or gonorrhea, and is treated with antibiotics.
What are the Symptoms and Causes according to Allopathic (Western) Medicine?
In many cases endometriosis has no symptoms. Especially during early onset of the disorder. When symptoms are present however, they may include the following :
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes endometriosis. Some experts think that menstrual blood with endometrial cells travels back through the fallopian tubes and passes out into the pelvic cavity where the cells stick to the organs. This is known as retrograde menstruation.
Genetics may also play a role in whether you get endometriosis. If your mother or sister have it, you’re more likely to get it, also. Research also shows that when there is a hereditary link, the disease seems to be worse in the next generation.
Some women with endometriosis also have autoimmune disorders, but doctors are not sure whether this is a cause or an effect of the endometriosis.
Endometriosis and Ayurveda
Any inflammation in the body according to Ayurveda is due to the vitiation (or aggravation) of pitta problems; and so inflammation of the uterus and pelvic area in particular are no different. Pitta is the primary focus of all inflammatory treatment but yet vata also must be considered. This is from both the movement and emotional perspective, where inflammation is transported and carried by vata, through the blood flow.
The disturbance of vata is often caused by mental distress or emotional trauma. Primary treatment however is centred around lowering pitta to drive it from the blood and menstruation systems. There are often toxins (or ama) present due to incorrect diet and lifestyle. This is because the toxins in the blood (pitta ama) feed the infection.
Who is prone to Endometriosis according to Ayurveda?
Kapha women are more susceptible to endometriosis than PID, whereas vata and pitta women are more prone to PID. In all of these cases however, and for all constitutions, vitiated pitta is responsible and is the main humor that has become imbalanced; since they are all inflammatory conditions.
Treatment of Endometriosis and PID
The main sources of pitta in the body are the blood and liver, and so these must be cleaned and their balance corrected in order to successfully treat endometriosis and PID.
Treatment normally involves adopting a vegetarian, pitta pacifying diet and a strict avoidance of all spices, alcohol, salt and processed, refined, white sugars. Refined oils should also be completely eradicated as well. In order to reduce pitta, one must also create an emotional environment that is calm and stress free and supportive. Normally this involves a quiet, peaceful, non-competitive, loving space that is not producing anger, frustration, irritations or conflict.
Ayurveda sees the presence of endometriosis in the pitta time frame of life (between 24 to 45 years old) as an imbalance in the immune system, which is stemming from low ojas, which also affects endocrine and hormonal function. Therefore, the use of ojas-supporting herbs (rejuvenation therapies) is important in balancing both the endocrine and immune systems.
One should never self diagnose in the treatment of endometriosis, as it is a very complex disorder. Please contact a reputable Ayurvedic practitioner who is able to help you in treating you safely and on an individual basis, who will guide you through the treatment process. Ayurveda does not believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Each person will be treated according to her state of imbalance and case history.
Please see other endometriosis and fertility cases that have been successfully treated through Ayurveda here.
Please note that all of the advice and guidance relating to the Ayurvedic treatment of endometriosis and associated diseases (including the use of herbal medicines noted here) are for knowledge purposes only. The correct dosage should be administered by a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner. I emphasise that 'one should NEVER self-diagnose'. The herbs mentioned in this article can be potent and can have contraindications; so they need to be treated with the utmost respect. The same as you would respect the dosage with prescribed drugs from your GP or doctor, the same applies to Ayurvedic medication.
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