Endometriosis and the Bowel

A couple of weeks ago I experienced a part of endometriosis I’d heard of but didn’t think would ever affect me. The symptoms I experienced were similar to those of endometriosis of the bowel. Because endometriosis of the reproductive system isn’t fun enough on its own, roughly 15-20 % of women who have endometriosis will also experience endometriosis of the bowel. This is when the same endometrial material that grows outside the uterus to grow on the bowel.

‘The normal bowel stretches a lot. A bowel with endometriosis is hard, it does not stretch as much. Again, that is another source of the pain that these people are going to be experiencing.’ This is exactly what happened to me, leaving me in so much pain because I needed to have a bowel movement but my bowel wasn’t stretching open wide enough to allow for one. I was seriously, very close to asking Mando to excavate poop from my butt for me. It was that bad.

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I had heard of endometriosis of the bowel but didn’t know the symptoms and was never asked about it by my gynecologist or told to look out for it.

If I had known to look out for the symptoms below, I may have caught it sooner.

Symptoms of endometrial growth on the bowel:

  • deep pelvic pain
  • pelvic pain during sex
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • painful bowel movements
  • rectal bleeding
  • inability to have a bowel movement

 

Unfortunately, when patients first come in with these symptoms doctors typically test for gluten issues or assume what they are dealing with is IBS. Because endometriosis can mimic other diseases like IBS, and even cancer, it’s difficult to know exactly what’s going on in each particular situation without proper intake questions and understanding a patients life in detail.

During my research into how western medicine treats endometriosis of the bowel  I found that much like endometriosis of the reproductive system, there is mostly confusing and incomplete information regarding the subject. I literally found the sentence, ‘what your gynecologist or gastroenterologist might not know or might not want to tell you.’

‘Might not want to tell you?’ WTF? I might be able to forgive not knowing something because of limited education surrounding the subject but knowing a pertinent piece of health information about a patient and not wanting to tell them because you lack knowledge on the subject of proper healing is INSANE.

To make my particular case even more intricate is the fact I have been dealing with hemorrhoids since I was ten years old. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the rectum and anus that can be inside and/or outside of the rectum and cause pain and sometimes bleeding during bowel movements. It’s likely my symptoms could’ve been aggravated by my hemorrhoids making it difficult to differentiate. It looks like I’m going to have to dig a little deeper, no pun intended, to find out exactly what’s going on.

I have the choice again to get an invasive a test, this time a colonoscopy that isn’t entirely necessary, to maybe get a diagnosis that might be wrong. The last time this happened I was offered laparoscopy to find out for sure if I had endometriosis even though my gynecologist was about 90% sure that it was, and have it removed, even though there was a large chance it could grow back without proper dietary and lifestyle changes.

‘Unfortunately, colonoscopy is very, very poor at picking up endometriosis on the bowel. If you look at all the patients with endometriosis on the bowel, which probably makes up around 20 or 30 percent of patients, they cannot see the superficial disease which occurs probably 90 percent of the time. Invasive disease is probably only picked up five or ten percent of the time. Colonoscopy is a very, very poor tool at picking outpatients who have endometriosis in the bowel. Most of the time they will have nothing and then they will get diagnosed with IBS.’

In the mean time while I find the right doctors to help me, I’ll stick with the things that have helped me heal my reproductive endometriosis and hemorrhoids in the past such as the following-

  • celery juice
  • smoothies
  • lemon balm
  • nettle leaf
  • hibiscus leaf
  • rose hips
  • red root
  • aloe vera-great for soothing hemorrhoids but haven’t been able to find any
  • cucumber juice-soothes hemorrhoids and adrenals
  • epsom salt baths
  • avoiding gluten, soy, dairy, meat, fish, grains, corn
  • eating leafy greens
  • sticking to mostly plant-based diet

 

Because I truly believe that healing has more to do with just the physical, I also like to consider where/how in my life I may be manifesting illness in my body. In the days surrounding this event I had an intense session with my ancestral coach where she asked where I was holding pain in my body. I responded by placing my hand on my heart and the other on the reproductive area. For some reason I couldn’t move through the pain in that area so we moved to my heart. I couldn’t get back to that space and we decided to leave it for another session. A few days later is when I began having the symptoms.

It’s possible that I’m carrying ancestral trauma from previous generations in that area and would help explain my endometriosis. I know that my Mom had painful, heavy periods and my Grandmother as well. It’s possible that they both had endometriosis and never knew about it, were never diagnosed. I like to consider all of these things as well because sometimes, we’re doing all the things right, diet, working on building better relationships, supplementing properly, and still find ourselves hitting a wall.

The connection to what’s happening in your life and the pain in your body has shown itself more than once in my life. From the moment I read that my Dad was stressed about finances on his death certificate to the moment my ovaries ached less and less the more I address the problems in my relationship, I haven’t been able to let this deep truth go unnoticed. So just as much as plants, fruits and supplements are part of my healing plan, so are therapy, health/business coaching, working to heal ancestral wounds, alcohol recovery meetings and the like, must be part of my healing plan as well.

 

Source: When IBS is Endometriosis of the Bowel

 

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