Endometriosis - Endometriose - 子宮內膜異位症
“Endo”: in, within / “Metrio”: uterus, womb / “Sis”: state of, condition
Some quick facts:
Very common Gynecological disease for female
Estimated that 10 to 15% of women in childbearing age and almost half of infertile women are concerned.
Often overlooked, unknown or ignored (even by doctors)
Great suffering for the affected people
A pathology that requires multidisciplinary care (including TCM)
What is Endometriosis?
It’s an abnormal physiological migration of the uterine mucus. This mucus should be evacuated (menstruation) or destroyed, but is actually not. As a consequence, the remaining migrating mucus sticks on different areas of the Uterus (or surrounding) and presents a pathological and invading growth.
The exact cause is unknown. Possible theories include: retrograde menstruation (backward flow), immune system disorder, genetic factors, surgical scar with attachment of endometrial cells, endometrial cells transport (by blood or lymphatic), transformation of peritoneal cells into endometrial cells, embryonic cell transformation into endometrial cell.
Common symptoms will include pelvic pain and cramping, Dysmenorrhea (painful periods), Menorrhagia (excessive bleeding), Menometrorrhagia (bleeding between periods), pain with intercourse (during or after sexual activities), pain with urination or defecation, infertility, fatigue.
Endometriosis is a chronic disease that can ONLY be diagnosed through laparoscopy examination.
What is the TCM vision of Endometriosis?
From the Chinese medicine perspective, Endometriosis is classified in the category of "Painful Periods" and as "Abdominal Masses". It is caused by the Stagnation of Blood and Qi (氣滯血瘀證), combined sometimes with internal Cold (寒凝證). Furthermore, mesothelial hyperplasia indicates Dampness, which is a frequent secondary pathological factor in Endometriosis after Blood Stagnation.
The basic treatment will consist to warm the Uterus, regulate the Blood circulation, nourish the Blood, relieve pain, tonify and regulate the Qi. In addition and according to the individual's constitution, the treatment should be adapted to the disease mechanism and history.
From my clinical experience, people suffering from Endometriosis will present themselves with the following TCM Syndromes: always Syndrome of Qi Stagnation and Blood Stasis (氣滯血瘀證) + Phlegm-Dampness accumulation (痰濕) + one or several of the following patterns:
Syndrome of Qi Deficiency with Blood Stasis (氣虛血瘀證)
Syndrome of congealing Cold with Blood Stasis (寒凝血瘀證)
Syndrome of Yin Deficiency and Blood Stasis (陰虛血瘀證)
Syndrome of Liver Depression and Blood Stasis (肝鬱血瘀證)
Syndrome of Yang deficiency and Blood Stasis (陽虛血瘀證)
In order to provide an adapted and efficient TCM treatment, the cause of the internal imbalance has to be properly investigated and understood.
The major acupuncture points for the treatment of Endometriosis will be: Tai Chong + He Gu, Zu Lin Qi, Nei Guan, San Yin Jiao, Qi Hai, Qi Chong and additional points adapted to the patients Syndromes.
(太沖 + 合谷, 足臨泣, 內關, 三陰交, 氣海, 氣沖 / Liv-3 + LI-4, Gb-41, Pc-6, SP-6, Ren-6, St-30).
Herbal formula such as Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan (桂枝茯苓丸), Ru Mo Si Wu Tang (乳没四物汤), Tao Hong Si Wu Tang (桃红四物汤) or Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang (少腹逐瘀汤) can be a great help to release the pain and regulate the condition.
What can you do to help fight against Endometriosis?
Participate to meetings or groups about endometriosis (to not feel alone). Change diet and lifestyle habits, avoid gluten and acidifying foods (anti-inflammatory diet). Do regular exercise to ease pain, detoxify the body and reduce stress (Tai Ji Quan, Qi Gong, Yoga, Stretching, etc.). Find inner peace to reduce stress and pain (breathing, meditation, etc.). Talk about it to your friends and family (for support and to inform them). Eat and use organic food and products (avoid endocrine disruptors as much as possible). Stop using tampons. Listen to your body and learn when to cool down. Grow interest in alternative medical care therapy and philosophy.
In terms of food habits: eat mainly warm. Do not drink cold drinks. Avoid as much as possible watermelon, melon, cucumber, loofah, Chinese cabbage, tomato, pear, grass tea, coconut juice, lotus root, white radish, orange, grapefruit, caffeine, lettuce.
Before the menstruation, you can drink black sugar and ginger tea. Brown sugar can promote blood, ginger has a warm nature. Brown sugar and red bean soup is also very good. These will help the blood circulation and to nourish the blood, which will make the menstruation smoother and reduce pain.
Do you still have questions?
Are you suffering from Endometriosis and need support? Please feel free to contact us for additional information without any obligation.
We are happy to tell you more about this. You can also immediately make an appointment and start as soon as possible to improve your condition.
Written by Cedric Mallants / Acupunctuur en Traditionele Chinese Geneeskunde therapist
WHO International Standard Terminologies on Traditional Medicine in the Western Pacific Region