Is This The Endo Me?

I was 30 when I first heard that word, Endometriosis. I was having a routine smear test and the nurse said to me, “if you want children, you should start trying soon as it looks like you have a touch of endometriosis.” OK, I said.

I went home and thought nothing of it, this was just before the internet generation, so I didn’t really know how to research it other than to go to the library, it wasn’t as easy as it is now. I was also in a band and too busy having a good time, children were not on my agenda. How I wish it was easier back then to google the condition, to see what it was all about as my doctor had no useful advice for heavy painful periods and endometriosis symptoms, he said it was normal for some women to get painful periods and offered me the contraceptive pill when I was 16. I had been taking it for 14 years, but what happens when you want to stop taking it?

This common, painful inflammatory condition affects 1 in 10 women which means 178 million women all over the world suffer with it.

The endometriosis word came back into my life at 34, I stopped taking the contraceptive pill as I wanted to try for a child with my partner, soon after stopping the pill, I developed severe pains in my tummy, a scan on my pelvic area revealed two big ovarian cysts measuring 8cm each, called ‘chocolate cysts’ as they were filled with old blood, yuk. This was when I realised the severity of the condition and how much it was going to affect my life in more ways than one.

I’d always suffered from painful and heavy periods but just thought they were normal and that every woman goes through the same torture each month. However, when I came off the pill I was older and wiser, the symptoms and consequences of my symptoms which caused low B12, anemia and infertility meant that I needed to try to find ways to heal myself through diet and lifestyle choices and I knew there would be no short cuts.

As I have knowingly lived with this condition for 10 years now, I have grown to understand what makes it worse and what eases the symptoms. I have learned that I also need to make peace with my uterus, so instead of calling my period “a b*tch of a period” which I did every month for the past 20 years, I now send it loving thoughts, which isn’t easy to do when you are in excruciating pain.

Here are just some of the alternative methods, and products that I find have really helped my endo condition so far that you might not have discovered already;

  • Castor Oil Packs – This was a big game changer for me. Castor oil helps to bring circulation to your uterus and help bring in new fresh oxygenated blood which is what you want for a healthy uterus. Check out this video I found on how to do a Castor Oil Pack, I find the Pukka Castor Oil brand a really nice organic brand which is cheap and easy to find in most health shops or on Amazon. I found it really helped me to relax too as you cannot do anything for 45 mins to 1 hour so just lie down and listen to meditative music or whatever you find relaxes you.
  • Magnesium Spray – Apparently many women with Endometriosis lack magnesium so it’s a good one to have in your armour, it helps to relax your muscles which helps ease cramps. I found this really helpful to spray at night as it also promotes restful sleep. My favourite is by Kiki Health.
  • Clary Sage – Clary Sage oil contains natural phytoestrogens from plants and I was a little dubious at first as estrogen is usually a no-no with this condition, but apparently, good estrogen is ok just the bad ones like xenoestrogens from toxins and plastics are the bad guys. I found the oil really helped my pains if I put the oil on my tummy and then had a hot water bottle on top.
  • Supplements – If you haven’t tried ‘Endo Complex‘ yet, Its a food grown natural supplement from Wild Nutrition which provides all the right nutrients to help ease the complex endometriosis condition. I find it works really well with their ‘Methyl Connect’ supplements too which help your body to absorb folate and B12. Methylation is a biochemical process involved in almost all of your body’s functions. It controls everything from your stress response and how your body makes energy from food to your brain chemistry and detoxification.
  • Another supplement I also find useful which I formulated is ‘Woman’ by We+People, its an organic natural superfood supplement which contains maca root to help balance hormones, ginger to help fight inflammation and also a prebiotic which promotes a healthy gut and immune system. All required in abundance to tackle this often debilitating condition.
  • Ashwagandha – One of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions including stress and anxiety. This one is a new one for me as I have been researching the connection between stress and endometriosis recently as I personally suffer a lot with anxiety. So it turns out stress really affects our adrenal function and it’s our adrenals which play a huge role in keeping our hormones balanced, so it’s really important to keep them calm. I find Ashwagandha has totally stopped me from waking up with anxiety caused by high cortisol levels that peak in the morning. My favourite is the Organic India brand.
  • Fibre – I know this sounds totally crazy but after 10 years of having this disease, I have only just worked out how important fibre is. I mean, it took a herbalist to tell me that I should buy a fibre powder. I added a spoonful to my smoothies and started to go to the toilet twice a day instead of once and almost immediately it solved my constipation issues which I didn’t realise were related to my endo. It helped me to expel the excess estrogen and toxins which were clogging up my system. Be careful with it though as it does make you dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water. It’s better to get your fibre from food but I did use Lepricol which I found good to get me started and it also includes digestive enzymes and probiotics.
  • Tulsi Tea (Holy Basil) – This is a tea that I find really good for keeping my adrenals calm and there are other great teas too which are supposed to help reduce endometriosis and fibroids such as green tea which is full of antioxidants. I use the Pukka Tea variety.

Since I’ve gained a little more knowledge and insight into this condition and through research and trial and error, I am now mostly pain-free. I do have an endometrial polyp which has shrunk in size so this has made me more determined than ever to get my reproductive health back. When I stick to my well-balanced whole foods diet, get plenty of exercise and take supporting supplements, I manage pretty well. Now all I need is to get my fertility back. But at 44 I know that I am wishful thinking. If you think you have endometriosis don’t leave it until its too late to take control and get to know this condition so you can manage the symptoms and get on with enjoying your life.

There are lots of support groups and awareness of this condition out there nowadays so don’t suffer alone. Try ‘This Endo Life’ for a great blog and website dedicated to living and thriving with this condition. Also, check out UK charity group https://www.endometriosis-uk.org which organises several meetups and events throughout the year.

Ramp Up Your Own Internal Collagen Production

Collagen is a protein fibre naturally found in our body and a major component of connective tissue. As we naturally age our body’s production of collagen declines even from as early as 21 our collagen production starts decreasing which causes our skin to have less tone creating more visible facial lines and loose skin.

Collagen is essential not just for our skin health but also for our bones, ligaments, tendons and muscle strength. Therefore if you want to maintain your collagen health and stay looking younger and feeling more agile its important to make sure that you are getting the vital nutrients to keep your body producing enough.

Camu Camu

Studies show that the Camu berry provides 30-60 times more natural vitamin C than an orange or lemon, and vitamin C plays a crucial role in the formation of collagen and cell renewal. 

Cinnamon 

Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde which is the organic compound that gives cinnamon its flavor and colour which increases collagen levels. Cinnamon is said to improve fine lines by plumping the skin and stimulating blood vessels to bring a healthy glow to the surface of the skin.

Acai Berry 

Acai berries are also high in vitamin c which is a powerful antioxidant in supporting and maintaining our natural production of collagen and fights cell-damaging free radicals. Acai berries also contain copper which activates an enzyme called lysyl oxidase. This cross-links collagen fibres with other supportive fibres and helps to form the scaffold that supports your tissues keeping your bones, heart and blood vessels healthy. 

Barley Grass, Barley grass can stimulate the regeneration of cells with the help of B vitamins, iron, and chlorophyll. It also contains phycocyanin, a blue pigment that supports the creation of white and red blood cells and when these cells are rejuvenated it helps to keep your skin looking more youthful. This ingredient also has Quercetin, a flavonoid and anti-inflammatory agent that helps to maintain your skin’s elasticity thereby improving your skin’s overall texture and appearance. 

Renew

At We+People the ‘Renew’ supplements are specially formulated for skin and collagen health and this powerhouse of skin-friendly nutrients from Acai, Cinnamon, Camu Camu, and Barley Grass, means you will be arming your skin with plenty of natural defenses against ageing. 

Renew Supplements – We+People. 

5 Simple Ways to Create Hormonal Balance

Most people just assume that our bodies just figure it all out for themselves and as long as we are eating a varied healthy diet and have a good life-work balance with no stress it pretty much does….. most of the time. 

But sometimes just sometimes it gets thrown out of whack, maybe you are working too hard, maybe you have been through a traumatic episode in your life or maybe you have had an injury, a serious illness or you’ve been eating a poor diet. 

Men and women can suffer from hormonal imbalances however women are more likely to pick up on an imbalance in their hormones due to our monthly cycles and if somethings not feeling right we tend to get strong signals each month such as PMT, PMS, Endometriosis, PCOS and lots more. But it doesn’t end with our menstrual cycle as our hormones also control our sleep patterns, digestion, and overall health. 

Balancing hormones requires lifestyle and diet changes and here are our 5 steps to help you get back your happy hormones. 

1. Nourish

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers which control most major bodily functions so if our hormones aren’t balanced it will have a direct impact on how our bodies perform. Start by eating less processed foods and refined sugars which cause our hormones to behave erratically and eat a healthy diet rich in good fats and protein. Did you know Hemp contains a whole spectrum of all the amino acids our bodies need and includes omega 3 and 6 which is directly linked to hormone health? Hemp also contains heaps of healthy protein too. 

2. Exercise 

It’s really important to exercise our bodies every day even if just for 30 minutes, exercise creates harmony in our hormones and breaking a sweat will also get rid of any excess toxins in our bodies through our sweat glands, so drink lots of water and get exercising. Try adding Maca to your daily routine. It’s the champion superfood for hormonal balancing and it has also been claimed to help increase strength, boost energy and improve exercise performance. Maca oxidises quite quickly so it can lose 50% of its powerful health benefits within 3 months so for best results we recommend to take it in supplement form which is protected by the plant based capsule. 

3. Laugh 

Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, adrenaline, and dopamine. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones, like endorphins which means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress. Have you tried cacao, cacao is chocolate in its purest form without all the added sugars, the mood-boosting effects of cacao really can lift our mood. Researchers have discovered that cacao can help stimulate the brain into releasing neurotransmitters, which can in turn release feel-good hormones.

4. Eat Your Greens 

Making sure you eat lots of greens such as kale and spinach will assist your liver which is vital for hormone health. We are exposed to toxins every day and some of these toxins such as those found in plastics can even mimic the hormone oestrogen and cause serious hormone imbalances. It’s the liver’s job to cleanse these out of our system. So to support liver health try taking wheatgrass which contains many nutrients such as chlorophyll, folic acid, and B12 which can help detoxify an overburdened liver and help to cleanse the blood. 

5. Keep Your Gut Healthy

Our overall health starts in our digestive system and if you consistently eat processed food and high sugar foods, the chances are pretty high that your digestive system will be toxic and sluggish and this will have a direct impact on your hormones.  Eat plenty of foods which will restore your gut health, such as fermented foods and bone broth. We include Inulin in our supplements as this is a natural plant fibre which acts as a prebiotic and our gut bacteria converts that into fatty acids which nourishes our colon cells and provide a healthy environment in the gut and therefore happy hormones too.

Blog Post By Zoe @ WePeople