Imagine this, sitting down watching television and the pain just hits you, you go from one minute of peace to another of a stabbing pain that shoots you like a bullet. You cannot move, you cannot scream, you can’t even breathe. It lasts for a few seconds up to a couple of minutes, sometimes longer. The pain intensifies during menstruation to the point you can’t even walk. What I just described is the “endometriosis” pain that I experienced for several years.
Why did I quote endometriosis?
Well you see it’s complicated, I myself have never been officially diagnosed by a physician with having endometriosis. I have however been to two different doctors who did an ultrasound and found nothing, I have been through the frustrations of feeling like there is nothing that can be done with pain that is in fact real. ‘Who is the doctor to tell me that they can’t find anything wrong? I am not making this up’ is something I would tell myself after crying from all the pain I was in.
So what exactly is endometriosis?
According to Medicinenet.com, Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells or endometrial cells similar to those that form on the inside of the uterus, but in a location outside of the uterus. The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown but there are studies that have shown that endometriosis may be genetic; it is also more common in women who are experiencing infertility than in women are who are fertile but the condition does not mean that someone is in fact experiencing infertility.
Endometriosis is also very common, according to Endometriosis.org, 1 in 10 women have endometriosis and 176 million people worldwide are affected by the unsettling condition.
Endometriosis is also difficult to diagnose which is the reason why I have a self-diagnosis that came about after thoroughly researching the condition. Endometriosis is usually diagnosed with women who are having difficulties getting pregnant and see a fertility specialist for further examinations and screenings.
Symptoms of endometriosis include with the most common:
- Pelvic pain that worsen during menstruation
- Painful and/or intercourse
- Painful bowel movements or urination
Other symptoms include:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Diarrhea and/or constipation
- Low back pain
- Bloody urine (particularly during menstruation)
Some women do not experience symptoms at all. Women who do experience symptoms may have an intensity of pain that vary from month to month. There are also treatment options and surgery available to manage pain and to help with fertility issues.
Celebrities who have endometriosis and have opened up about their condition include:
- Tia Mowry-Hardrict
- Daisy Ridley
- Lena Dunham
- Julianne Hough
- Padma Lakshmi
- Susan Sarandon
- Bethenny Frankel
- Whoopi Goldberg
- Dolly Parton
- Marilyn Monroe
So how does a plant-based diet tie into all of this?
Well, a plant-based diet has been known to reverse diseases such as diabetes and it is also not a secret that what we eat and put into our bodies can be the cause of many of our conditions, with me it was the excruciating pelvic pain I experienced on a weekly basis.
Actress Tia Mowry-Hardrict has even expressed and advocates how switching to a plant-based diet has helped with her endometriosis. According to wellandgood.com, an article on Tia Mowry-Hardrict’s journey with endometriosis, the condition is caused by inflammation in the body. Processed foods, sugar, and dairy are the biggest culprits when it comes to inflammation which explains how switching to a plant based diet helped with the pain I was experiencing.
I ditched meat and dairy officially in June 2018 and it took me over a month to realize that I had not experienced any pelvic pain in a while. I guess I was so busy experimenting with food and researching my new lifestyle to even notice that I was not experiencing pain on a regular occasion anymore. I was literally expecting menstruation when I thought to myself ‘Hey, my pelvic pain is gone, my menstrual cramps are less intense, this is amazing!’.
It is indeed amazing what changing a few bad eating habits can do, I went from eating junk food, fast food, processed food, and dairy on a daily to eating clean and in a matter of weeks I have noticed a difference. Yay to clean eating!