Friday, 1 July 2022
Endometriosis affects up to 176 million women worldwide. Too often Endometriosis is pigeonholed as a “hormonal problem”, because of oestrogen dominance. Endometriosis is not a hormonal condition. It’s affected by oestrogen but is not caused by oestrogen or a dominance of oestrogen.
So what IS going on? Endometriosis is a whole body underlying inflammatory immune system condition requiring a multi system approach. It is affected by oestrogen, which is a proliferative hormone (keep this in mind).
Rather the mechanisms are multifactorial, all require exploring. A starting strategy would be to reduce mast cell activation & histamine because mast cells are key players in the immune dysfunction of endometriosis. See my blog post tips ♀HistHERmine: The Link with Women's Hormones and Histamine
Women with endometriosis have a high level of gram-negative bacteria in the pelvic microbiome & researchers think that the toxin LPS (lipopolysaccharide) from those bacteria could play a role in the development of the condition.
Imbalances in gut & reproductive tract microbiota composition, known as dysbiosis, disrupt normal immune function, leading to the elevation of proinflammatory chemicals (cytokines), compromised immunosurveillance - all of which may contribute to the pathogenesis of endometriosis.
Over time, this immune dysregulation can progress into a chronic state of inflammation, creating an environment conducive to increased adhesion and angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels), which may drive the vicious cycle of endometriosis onset & progression.
Recent studies have demonstrated endometriotic microbiotas have been consistently associated with diminished Lactobacillus dominance: Lactobacillus jensenii, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Lactobacillus iners, as well as the elevated abundance of bacterial vaginosis-related bacteria and other opportunistic pathogens: Clostridium butyricum, Clostridium disporicum, Alloscardovia omnicolens, and Veillonella montpellierensis.
So much so that a study reported that women with a history of gynaecological infection are twice as likely to develop endometriosis!
I highly recommend working with a practitioner that uses Invivo Healthcare to assess the vaginal microbotia through their Vaginal Ecologix test so species and strain-specfic probiotics can be prescribed accordingly.
And of course working on the microbiome as a whole is vitally important here - it’s all about plants, fibre and phytonutrients.
Endometriosis - working on the microbiome
Our daily food intake should include:
2 cups dark leafy greens - Choose from: beet greens, dandelion greens, kale, lettuce (endive, greens, radicchio, romaine, spring, mustard greens, spinach, chard.
2 cups cruciferous vegetables - Choose from: rocket, bok choi, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, swede, turnips, watercress.
3 cups colourful vegetables - Choose from: artichokes, asparagus, bean sprouts, peppers (red, orange, yellow, green), cucumbers, aubergine, green beans, green peas, leeks, okra, onions, parsley, radicchio, radishes, sea vegetables (kelp, spirulina, wakame), squash, sweet potato, tomato (including sun-dried tomatoes), watercress, courgette.