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

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

Bloomin' Uterus

11039139_662825227181071_4369078669983645988_nSuicide and Endometriosis has been a topic heavy on my heart for the past seven months (you can readSuicide & Endometriosis here).  Am I suicidal? No.  However,last year there were several EndoSisters who committed suicide.  And this year a few more have.  Too many.  But can easily understand their hopelessness: pain; no cure; the potential for multiple surgeries; regrowth; Western medicine, alternative medicine, natural supplements, snake oils, relief, recurrence, and the cycle starts all over again.  Not to mention a sense of being completely alone, misunderstood, misdiagnosed, mistreated by physicians, mislabeled as drug-seekers, fakers, and crazies.

I’ve been trying to think of ways that I can help. In a small way.  Or a big way.  And I’ve fallen short on ideas… But today I’ve learned of a group where Sisters with suicidal thoughts can go for help.  An old-fashioned phone-line group.  Yes, that’s right.  You can email, PM, or call…

View original post 1,604 more words

I made a decision the week before last.  In the midst of an Endometriosis flare-up, I decided that I was going to push through and force myself to go to work and complete my normal daily activities, NO MATTER WHAT.  Well, as long as it was physically possible anyway.  I have had many flare-ups that render me completely, 100% incapacitated and during those I would not have been able to simply “will my way through it.”  This one however, I could and so I did.

Did I succeed?  Yes.

Did I feel good about myself?  Yes.

Was it a good idea?  In hindsight, no.

Do I regret it?  Yes and no.

Will I do it again?  I’m not sure yet. Continue reading

Endo Fact Finale – Days #26 – #31

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Thank you all for participating, reading, sharing, educating, learning, and helping to raise awareness during Endometriosis Awareness Month.  I think it has been a huge success.  We have reached a lot of people, gained followers, made new contacts, discovered new blogs, and met some friends along the way.

I hope that all of my Endo Sisters will continue to raise awareness, not only during the month of March, but throughout the entire year as we continue to fight for better prevention and a cure for Endometriosis.

❤ Wishing you all a pain free day ❤