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Painkillers, hormone therapy, and surgery may be the mainstream ways to treat endometriosis, but alternative treatments, supplements, and lifestyle changes can also play a powerful role in symptom reduction. What do you need to know?
A heavy menstrual flow, agonizing periods, and terrible cramps may all be regular but unwelcome parts of your life if you suffer from endometriosis. There’s no way to cure endometriosis once and for all, but certain lifestyle changes and home remedies can ease the pain and trouble you have to go through.

Warmth

Warmth is a great way to reduce your symptoms, as it calms your pelvic muscles and that can lessen your pain and aches. Hot water bottles, heating pads, and a nice hot bath are some examples of ways to bring some heat  to your pelvic region.

Anti-inflammatory meals

Your symptoms won't get better the minute you have an anti-inflammatory meal, but committing to the kind of diet that reduces inflammation has the potential to offer you relief over the longer term. 

Anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Foods that contains lots of omega-3 fats, like fatty fish
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Foods with lots of dietary fiber

Stay away from alcohol, dairy, caffeine and processed sugars to avoid creating an inflammatory response.

Don’t consume too many chemicals

You may not even know you're eating them — so you can benefit from inspecting your diet more closely. Research suggests that being exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and chemical dioxins found in your environment is related to an increase in the incidence of endometriosis, as well as to more intense symptoms. These chemicals can be found in animal fat, particularly fish, high-fat dairy, and red meat, so try cutting back on these foods.

Exercise vs rest: Finding the ideal balance

Workouts boost your endorphin levels — which can lessen your pain — while reducing your estrogen levels. By sticking to regular exercise, you'll almost certainly see a reduction in overall endometriosis symptoms. Watch out, though, because you also need your rest. Working out is great, but too much exercise isn't; especially when you're on your period. Put your feet up, or even curl up into the fetal position to relieve pain. 

Ginger to treat your nausea

Using ginger root powder can be beneficial when it comes to treating pain, and it works just as well ibuprofen. Quite a few endometriosis patients regularly encounter nausea because of the condition, and ginger tea is also an efficient and safe to help with that.

Turmeric to your endometriosis symptoms

If you suffer from endometriosis, turmeric may be for you — it contains the anti-inflammatory ingredient curcumin, which can ease your endometriosis symptoms. Because studies also reveal that turmeric might slow the growth of your endometrial lesions, this supplement may offer more than just short-term relief.

There are several ways to use turmeric, and these include:

  • Using turmeric with ginger — making tea with one teaspoon of ginger powder and one teaspoon of turmeric. (You could use some lemon and honey to improve the taste.) Consume three cups of the tea every day.
  • Take turmeric capsules.
  • Add turmeric to your meals. 

Massage your pelvic muscles

Massaging your pelvis may seem a bit weird, but pelvic massages might just offer a path to reduced cramping and inflammation, and soothe your pelvic muscles. You can add some lavender essential oil to calm your muscles even more. Lightly massage the area between 10 and 15 minutes. You should not perform pelvic massages while you are menstruating, though, as this could may make you feel worse.

Zinc

Zinc — which has anti-inflammatory properties — is a nutrient endometriosis-sufferers are often low on. It is used to fix intestinal permeability and reduce postaglandin levels as well as to lessen pain.

Pycnogenol

Research on natural remedies to treat endometriosis demonstrates that pycnogenol — which comes from pine bark — can have a beneficial impact on endometriosis patients. A third patients experience pain relief when taking this remedy, even if their pain was severe. Although the pain relief you can expect from pycnogenol isn't as effective as what you'd see with hormone treatment, the effects are more likely to be permanent. The study even suggested that pycnogenol may help some women become pregnant.

Acupuncture: Stimulate your immune system

Your immune system is in charge of recognizing and fighting things that shouldn't be in your body, including endometrial implants. Undergoing acupuncture can help boost your immune system, as well as relieving pain. 

Berberine

Berberine's anti-inflammatory properties help fix intestinal permeability (which means betters autoimmunity) as well as neutralizing LPS (a bacterial toxin). Don’t use berberine if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant, and generally consult your doctor before taking it, as it interacts with some medications and may not be safe to use in the long term.

Contrast sitz baths

Alternative medicine proponents often suggest contrast sitz baths for endometriosis. This treatment has you sitting inside a narrow basin with heated water for three minutes, which is then followed up by a cold bath for another minute. The process is carried out three times before the session is finished, but it's not considered suitable during menstruation. There is not currently any evidence that this treatment has any benefits. 

Use castor oil

People have been using castor oil (Ricinus communis) to treat endometriosis for a very long time, because it combats the growth of foreign tissues. Research indicates that it has its use even in modern times, as castor oil packs are effective as an anti-toxin and to boost the immune system. 

You can apply castor oil when you initially start to feel the cramping that indicates your period is on its way, to help your body expel endometrial tissues. Don’t use the method during your menstrual flow. Applying the castor oil is pretty simple: massage it into your abdomen. Adding a bit of lavender essential oil can calm the pelvic muscles.

Melatonin to help your pelvic pain

Melatonin is best known as a sleep supplement, but it can also be used as a natural way to detox. Melatonin can help your body eliminate harmful excess estrogen, and this is why it can be really helpful when it comes to treating endometriosis.

Research done on chronic pelvic pain patients aged 18 to 45 years showed that this dose was effective in lowering pelvic pain, pain during urination, and pain when passing stool. It also offered relief pelvic pain during menstruation and sex. Most women who used melatonin needed fewer pain drugs, both opioids and NSAIDS.

N-acetyl-cysteine or NAC

NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine) is a strong supplement that boosts glutathione, a detoxing agent already produced in the human body. Because we're constantly exposed to environmental toxins as well as dealing with an overproduction of hormones (including the estrogen on which endometriosis is dependent), many people don't produce enough NAC on their own. That is where taking a supplement comes in handy. 

Research demonstrated that 25% people taking NAC no longer needed laparoscopic surgery because their symptoms were reduced, endometriosis lesions went away on their own, or because they got pregnant. A significant minority of women taking NAC had lowered ovarian cysts, while one in 10 women became completely symptom free and 20 percent of women had less pain than before.

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