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

Oh Endometriosis, how do I hate thee?  There are countless ways.  Far too many to list.

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At the moment, I hate that I am still awake (painsomnia) after midnight on a Sunday night / Monday morning, when I have to be up in only a few short hours to start getting ready for another busy work week.
I worked 50 hours last week, and close to the same the week before, and my body is paying the price. I guess I can’t blame you for that, as I already know my limitations.

My hubby and I are going through some intense stress right now due to situations involving lawyers, the broken disability system, and doctors, which probably isn’t helping my pain levels.
I do thank you for staying away (for the most part) during the past few weeks, when I needed the ability to work and focus, especially since my evil ATN decided to morph into what feels like a migraine, in addition to the typical 24/7 pain that it has so generously provided for the past few years.

You also waited until after my Dad’s birthday dinner yesterday, so I was granted the opportunity to enjoy spending a little quality time with my parents.40c8c0662f5904301ba15b170abadcad

You probably know that I needed to work from home this weekend and I would have appreciated you allowing me the opportunity to do that, but I guess I can’t expect you to stay away forever since we are apparently bound for all eternity.

If I could ask of you one favor, it would be for you to ease up enough for me to get at least a little sleep tonight and make it to work tomorrow.

Depression

This is SO true and definitely hits home for me. Depression, severe anxiety, and panic attacks have taken hold of me again and have haunted nearly every minute of the past month or maybe longer. I used to hide it well, with the help of medication and willpower, but those are both failing right now and those around me have finally noticed. They have noticed a change in my physical appearance too, as I can’t maintain a healthy weight and look dangerously thin and sick. It’s strange when your invisible illnesses become visible. I hope we can all push through the pain to enjoy the holiday weekend. 🌼💜🌼

Balancing Spoons

I like to think that I am a pretty happy person. I do my best to look at the silver lining in all situations. I laugh easily. Sometimes too easily. My jokes are corny. Sometimes I snort when I get to laughing too hard. I’m unbelievably ticklish. But even with all of that I suffer from depression. I hide it. Or I used to. Most people don’t know. That’s the way I liked it. Hidden. There’s a stigma that comes with mental illnesses. One that should not be there. A mental illness is an Illness all the same.

My depression stems from my battle with endometriosis. I take medication for it and it’s generally something I can keep at bay. But sometimes, despite my positive outlook and medication, it creeps up on me. It swallows me into a world of doubt. I start focusing on all that is negative and…

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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…

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Great article! Had to share. 🙂

http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/why-menopause-wont-cure-endometriosis-fibroids-ovarian-cysts/

As another “Endo Hell Week” officially begins today, I can’t explain how much I wish that this article wasn’t true, but as a woman with ALL of the aforementioned conditions and a broken, barren reproductive system, complete with 20+ symptomatic, painful, and infertile years, I am fully prepared for the probability that all of my problems are not likely to disappear and everything isn’t going to suddenly be sunshine and roses even after menopause. Continue reading

Misunderstood

There are many moments these days when I feel very misunderstood.  I have always been a little quirky and not exactly a social butterfly, who excels in human interaction.  Perhaps that is why I chose to stick with governmental accounting for my career.  There are no interpretations necessary when it comes to data. Things are almost always black and white.  Dealing with the social aspects of working with people however, is another issue entirely. Continue reading

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