Endometriosis and Period Pain in Erie CO
By Dr. Samantha Boldt
Endometriosis in Erie CO is the thickening and growth of endometrial tissue (tissue that lines the uterus) outside of the uterus. It often results in pain and infertility, and is the third most common reason for a woman to get a hysterectomy in the United States.
Endometriosis is prevalent in about 10% of women at some point of time in their life. This is not an uncommon condition, and you would think that more research and understanding has been done on this specific problem. Unfortunately, medical treatment still seems to only consist of birth control or having a hysterectomy. Many medical doctors have little understanding of the hormones and other physiological imbalances that play a part in endometriosis, and so are unable to offer targeted solutions.
During the second half of the cycle, endometrial cells actually become a secretory gland rather than just a lining. This means they produce and send out other chemicals. One of the most important chemicals they will produce are cytokines that make things sticky.
Sticky cytokines are supposed to help any egg traveling by to stick to the uterine wall. In endometriosis, this becomes unfortunate. The escaped endometrial cells, which have gone to other places than the uterus, are now much better at sticking to other tissues they're not supposed to.
How Endometriosis Plays A Role in Period Pain in Erie CO
Endometrial cells outside of the uterus typically cause pain, especially the week before and week of your period. Many women will never even know they have endometriosis as they might never be tested, or the test might miss it. Instead they just continue to have painful periods and never know why.
Some of the factors that we know play a part in endometriosis:
- High estrogen to progesterone ratio and slow estrogen detoxification pathways
- Environmental Exposures: Plastics, VOCs, PCBs, Dioxins, etc
- Gut microbiome
- Genetics (to a small extent)
One of the most important factors in endometriosis (or just painful periods) is a high estrogen level or high estrogen metabolite (breakdown product) level. We test for these levels via a 24 hour urine collection, which is much more accurate than testing via the blood. Estrogen levels can change a lot throughout the day in the blood stream, and is one of the reasons many doctors are hesitant to test estrogen at all.
The Dutch hormone test is an easy, accurate way to test for hormones that have actually been utilized by the cells and then secreted from the body. It also gives us a pretty good idea on whether the liver, gut, and kidneys are keeping up with and getting rid of excess hormones and byproducts in the system.
Dr. Samantha Boldt is available for 10 minute complimentary consults to answer any questions you may have about the Dutch test or functional medicine. Please call or email the office to set up an initial consult or the initial appointment.
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