Dubai resident Jenny Hewett suffered severe stomach cramps and other symptoms for years before being diagnosed with endometriosis. Here’s the essentials on the illness, and Jenny’s top tips for dealing with it.
10 things you need to know about endometriosis
1 Symptoms include painful periods, lower back pain, depression, mood swings and diarrhoea.
2 It can affect your mental health as much as your physical. If you think you may be affected seek professional help from a counsellor who has experience with chronic illnesses.
3 Sufferers need rest, lots of it. Some days all you can do is lie down, and that’s okay.
4 Depression and anxiety is common in women with endometriosis.
5 Your school, work and social life will be affected.
6 It can lead to infertility in women, but many are still able to conceive naturally.
7 Ironically, being pregnant also suppresses the symptoms.
8 You’ll likely need to have surgeries throughout your life.
9 There are a number of online of support groups - including @endostrong on Instagram - for women looking for support.
10 Endometriosis comes in more than one form, affecting different organs.
10 ways to make your endometriosis more manageable
1 Endometriosis is fuelled by the hormone oestrogen, which can be found in a number of foods. A natural, plant-based diet can help alleviate symptoms.
2 Quit smoking. The toxins in tobacco smoke can heighten the symptoms of endometriosis.
3 Avoid refined and processed foods, red meats or anything loaded with chemicals, which can increase inflammation. Nuts and seeds are great for their essential oils, which are anti-inflammatory.
4 Avoid any foods that stimulate the body and trigger cramps, such as caffeine or coke.
5 Doctors say there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that yoga aids in the treatment of endometriosis.
6 Try acupuncture; it may aid with infertility and alleviate pain.
7 Take time to rest when you need it.
8 Eat a healthy diet of foods high in fibres, leafy greens and fatty acids.
9 Drink plenty of water.
10 Get plenty of exercise to balance your hormones and boost your mood.
Check our March issue for Jenny Hewett’s full story.