Managing Endo

Managing Endo

It’s estimated that more than 10% of women in Australia have endometriosis. Whilst there is an increasing focus on research, unfortunately, there is currently no cure. Diagnosis can currently only be made by surgery which in part contributes to it taking an average of 6 years to be diagnosed.

Speedier diagnosis, surgery, and treatment to manage symptoms are the focus of care, as well as the provision of ART if fertility is compromised.

Endometriosis affects many facets of daily life, and it can also impact mental health. Recent research has shown that patients that address their endo head-on and work out ways to manage it have better outcomes. In managing endo, the most successful strategies focus on acceptance of the condition and actively managing the physical symptoms. In particular the following can help:

🌐Learn as much as you can about your condition from endo interest groups such as Endometriosis Australia and the Endo Help Foundation or other local groups. They are up to date with the latest research and produce useful resources to help you explain to others the impact that endo can have on your work, study, or relationships.

💼If you feel comfortable speak to your boss, colleagues, HR manager, or lecturer about your condition and how you may need scheduled or unscheduled leave due to episodes of pain. Proactively discussing how you can modify your work or study schedule when the pain is bad, can help also help calm anxiety around how endo is affecting you.

🔥 Hands-free heat packs that provide a stable temperature for long durations can give some natural relief to pain.  Our favourite is the Hottle. Its clay-based insert can be heated in boiling water or a microwave and the cover is insulated so it won't burn your skin. It stays hot for hours and can be worn unobtrusively at work - our nurses love them!

.🍽️ Some research suggests that modifying your diet may help to manage the pain of flare-ups. It’s best to speak to a fertility dietitian (those at the earlylifenutritionalliance are excellent) who may advise an anti-inflammatory diet, gluten-free diet, or low FODMAP diet depending on your issues and whether you have other underlying conditions.

.👭 Suffering alone isn’t good for your mental health. Staying connected to friends and family is important for your mental health, so if you have to pass up an opportunity to go out make it clear that you’d love to be there but just can’t right now.

😴Getting enough sleep is really important for your overall health as endo episodes can interrupt your sleep pattern. It’s worth talking to your GP about dysfunctional sleep or improving sleep before initiating over-the-counter treatments that don’t solve underlying issues.

🚲 You may not feel like doing a full workout but maintaining a gentle exercise routine pays dividends for your physical and mental health. Yoga is excellent, requires little equipment, and many classes can be streamed

💊 Some people find pelvic floor exercise helpful in reducing pain, however, it’s best to do so with caution and get some guidance from a physio. For stronger pain relief speak to your Doctor for advice to ensure no unwanted side effects.



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