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Article by WNDU

More than six million American women and girls struggle with endometriosis, a chronic condition that causes pain before and after their periods. It can also cause infertility. In some cases, endometriosis is difficult to diagnose, but a new imaging method may shed light on difficult to detect cases.

Twenty-eight year old Susie Veech has spent more than half her life in the kitchen. She’s a food service consultant and a budding caterer.

Susie also spent more than half her life trying to figure out the source of the monthly, searing pain in her side. Veech told Ivanhoe, “Eleven, on a scale of one to 10, the pain.”

Veech had endometriosis. The tissue normally lining the inside of her uterus was also growing on the outside and blocking other organs.

Gynecologist and co-director of the Endometriosis Center and the Minimally Invasive Surgical fellowship program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Kevin Audlin, MD, is studying a new imaging technique designed to help gynecologists detect endometriosis. Traditionally, doctors use a minimally-invasive tool called a laparoscope to look for tissue.

“Full spectrum light looks just as if we would see. If you’re looking into a belly, you’ll see organs, most everything is either a yellowish or a pink,” Dr. Audlin explained.

In addition, Dr. Audlin is testing special lighting called narrow band imaging. When he presses a button on the laparoscope, the light changes, making endometriosis stand out.

Dr. Audlin said, “The red hue tends to be the endometriosis, the green we see tends to be the actual vasculature.”

For Veech, finally a diagnosis followed by a procedure to keep the endometriosis at bay. She said, “When everyday pain goes away, you have tons of energy. You don’t realize how much it’s weighing you down.”

In a study of 150 women undergoing the laparoscopic procedure for endometriosis, researchers found the addition of narrow band imaging improved detection by 20 percent. Dr. Audlin says the narrow band imaging offers another avenue for women who have had chronic pain but are not showing signs of endometriosis with traditional screening.

To read the research summary, click here.

 

By Philippa Bridge-Cook, PhD

The alarming text came to my phone on a Friday afternoon: “I want to die.” It was from a friend with endometriosis who was suffering with intense pain again, and feeling like the continual suffering was unbearable. That text led to a visit to the ER, which ended up resulting in a three day hospital stay in a short stay mental health unit. Unfortunately, not much has changed: the cycle of pain continues, and my friend remains uncertain of how to cope with the severe pain which is sure to come again.

Sadly, this was not the first incident of severe depression and suicidal thoughts that I have been aware of associated with endometriosis. In the past month alone, throughout our support network I am aware of four other instances where people expressed suicidal thoughts and wanting to die because of the despair and hopelessness of dealing with pain that most people do not understand. And many people with endometriosis continue to suffer in severe pain despite medical treatment, so it can be particularly difficult to be hopeful for a better future.

Chronic pain from any cause has been shown to be associated with depression. This is not a surprising finding, as anyone who has lived with pain for any significant amount of time will know that the social isolation, inability to participate in normal activities of daily life, and sheer exhaustion, can lead to feelings of depression and hopelessness. Patients with chronic pain have a two to five fold increased risk for developing depression, and each condition affects the other: depression can worsen the perception of pain, and pain can worsen depression. Furthermore, studies have shown that when pain is moderate to severe, impairs daily functioning, and is difficult to treat, it is associated with worse depressive symptoms and outcomes.

Continue reading this article here: http://www.hormonesmatter.com/endometriosis

When I read this, I almost felt as though I had written it myself, or if it had been transcribed from my own thoughts. I believe almost every person suffering from an invisible, unmanageable, chronic illness has felt this way at some point. It shouldn’t have to be this way and, in a both comforting and tragic reality, we are not alone.

Indisposed and Undiagnosed

I’m having a rough month.
It could go well into two or three months.
I have tried everything, everything.
I feel like I’m back to square one with the symptoms that haunted me at the beginning.
I visited my Gastroenterologist, after his month vacation, and told him that I’ve lost the five kilograms I put on, am in excruciating stomach pain, have constant nausea and am not responding to any medication.

I am tired.
I am tired of going backwards.
I am tired of telling him that I’ve gone backwards.
I am tired of explaining to people why I am “still sick”.
I am tired of being the guinea pig for a range of medications that are not making me feel any better.
I am tired of being told that I have this stomach disease, but am unable to manage it.
I am tired of my body being so fragile.

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What Is Endometriosis?

Most people think of endometriosis more or less as a synonym for bad menstrual cramps, but the condition is more serious than that. It involves tissue from the uterine lining implanting itself outside the uterus.

The condition affects 1 in 10 women.

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“Endometriosis reaches far beyond the uterus by sneaking up the tubes or through the blood or lymph systems. It goes other places like cancer, and because it’s the body’s own material, it’s not rejected,” said Dr. Tamer Seckin, a gynecologic surgeon who co-founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

“People are committing suicide because of this, because it’s not recognized and there are no good treatments and people get blown off,” said Dr. Peter Gregersen, a geneticist with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Long Island who is researching endometriosis.

Continue reading this Healthline article here: http://www.healthline.com/health-news/personal-painful-ordeal-of-women-with-endometriosis-061815#5

Indisposed and Undiagnosed

#1 Only the old get sick:
Illness does not discriminate.
We are fair game.

#2 Looks reflect feelings:
If you bumped into me in the street, you would not think that I was suffering.
I may appear to be okay, maybe a little tired, but on the inside my muscles are aching, my head is spinning, my stomach is churning.
What needs to be known is that I can leave my house looking decent, but feeling absolutely terrible.

#3 Stress reduction techniques cure illness (ie exercise, meditation, yoga):
When people hear that you are unwell, they assume that the things that usually provide average people with a better wellbeing, will help you. This includes Exercise, Meditation, Diet Change, Juice Cleanse & Detox, Yoga etc.
This is incorrect. I encourage the Chronically Ill to try these, as they may provide a temporary relief for symptoms, but they are not a cure!

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