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Welcome to the World, It’s Trying to Kill You

Endometriosis is indeed a mysterious disease.  Since they can’t see it on any kind of x-ray or sonogram, the only way you know if it’s getting worse or better is the amount of pain you feel. Fun!  Why you have this pain is also a mystery, but your body is trying to tell you something: “HELP ME!” is most like it.

Quick reminder about what Endometriosis is: cells from your uterus escape, go rogue, run amok in your body cavity, growing where they should not.  Why this happens no one knows, but a lowered immune system is without a doubt one of the reasons why your body hasn’t fought it off. Perhaps you’ve been under a lot of stress, eaten a lot of crap in your lifetime and/or drank like a fish like I have? Perhaps your weight has gone up and down like a yo-yo because of stress or crazy diets?  Perhaps you’ve had one too many asshole ex-boyfriends? Welcome to the club.

I was a protein a day, glass or two of wine a day plus cocktail girl.  If it has walked, swam, crawled or been fermented, I have probably ingested it.  I think those days are over for me. Glad that I had them (I guess?) but I have really discovered some happiness with DIET CHANGES. This does not mean starvation.  This does not mean raw food and no fun.  It means CHANGES.

I am saying this because I feel I have experienced a physical miracle.

I had a sonogram last week and it turns out there were NO masses.  NOTHING.  There was some kind of “normal” (??) tumor on the left ovary that had burst and there was a mass of saline (??) but no mass that looked like an Endometrioma.  This was very strange to me, because the exam DID hurt, but I was grateful.  She said I might still need an operation if I continued to have pain, but there was no mass she could see that needed removal.  Where did that lump on the right ovary go?  

I think I dissolved it by supporting my immune system with healthy eating, chinese herbs, yoga and acupuncture.  I really do.

I have been DILIGENT in my diet change and in the six days since the sonogram feel better than I EVER HAVE.  It has been only 15 DAYS since I went in for my first acupuncture treatment and 13 DAYS since my gynecologist said I should prepare myself for surgery.   

Also:

1) My TUMMY HAS DE-PUFFED significantly,

2) I’m no longer depressed

3) I have lost weight all over my body, not just in one place.  

4) My sex drive returned.  

5) I decided to try sex again AND IT DIDN’T HURT.  There was just a tiny “ache” in one spot, but nothing like the searing pain I had been feeling before.

I am convinced that changing my diet RADICALLY and adding chinese herbs and acupuncture has made a HUGE difference.  I am feeling a lot better, the pain has decreased significantly and continues to decrease on this treatment.  I am currently seeing Dr. Chris Kolutkis in NYC who is an acupuncturist, an herbalist and a chiropractor.   I will ask him for a list of the herbs he uses in the tea he makes me, but I really don’t suggest mixing them yourself.

Here’s what I do:

2 cups plain warm/hot water in the morning.  This is known to flush the kidneys and the liver, and helps your body get activated to boost your immune system.

1 cups of chinese herbs in hot water and honey or maple syrup, taken three times a day. (3 cups a day.)  Also boosts immune system, cleans your liver and fights infection.

No meat. There is SO much crap in our meat these days it’s really disgusting.  Add to that the horrific treatment of the animals and I can hardly look a chicken in the face.  I have found soy and wheat free meat alternatives at Whole Foods that are really delicious.

No soy.  For a week, I had NO soy and that helped a LOT.  Soy boosts your estrogen production, which will affect the uterus cells, so go easy on it.  Now allow myself a little soy but I try not to eat it every day.

No wheat.  Guten free bread and pasta are pretty easy to find.  Brown rice and Quinoa are really much tastier than I thought!

Easy on the tomatoes.  Tomatoes are highly acidic, and can irritate your system.  The endometriosis causes your body to be inflamed internally, so cutting back on items that cause inflammation is essential.

No dairy except a little scoop of non-fat organic yogurt on meals if you like.  For a milk substitute, I use Almond milk, which comes in a variety of flavors.  Soy milk is really fattening, and also has the soy problem.

No non-organic or genetically modified foods.  Trying to find pure organic produce has been the most difficult, but there are out there in specific stores.  Whole foods has a decent selection. Make sure to wash the produce with a good natural produce cleanser, or soak in the sink with the soap for a while to get the wax or any dirt/chemicals off.  Again, it’s the CHEMICALS that are making you sick.

Very little uncooked food.  Raw food is harder to digest.  Raw food, even nuts, seem to be harder to digest for me.

No sushi.  (This was torture to hear but you know what?  I DON’T MISS IT.)  There is a LOT of crap in raw fish and our oceans are polluted, let’s face it.

NO FAKE SWEETENERS. All those chemicals really make the Enodmetriosis go nuts.

NO IRON.  I was surprised to hear this, but Dr. K said it doesn’t help the Endo.  After a week and a half, I added a multi-vitamin in a Gummy Bear shape because I am still a child sometimes and I hate swallowing vitamins.

NO ALCOHOL.  I have substituted Kombucha, a drink with probiotics and enzymes that has really boosted my energy level.  It comes in a great array of flavors and is really delicious.  This wasn’t easy to wrap my mind around. I LIKE to drink.  No, I LOVE to drink, but it appears drinking doesn’t love my endometriosis.

NO WHITE SUGAR.  Sometimes I take a sip from the pure maple syrup bottle and that helps curb cravings!  I do have a little organic dark chocolate and that helps.I also LOVE cupcakes and the thought of passing by Magnolia Bakery without one was bringing me down.  However there is HOPE:  I am now looking forward to learning more about gluten free baking!  I like this website that was recommended by a reader in the last post: The Post Punk Kitchen.

I also found this cookbook online and am looking forward to trying it out:

So what to add:

Vitamin B-12.  This was essential because by Day 2, with no caffeine, I was falling asleep at the wheel.

Multi-B.  Every other day this added to the B-12 for energy.  The MINUTE I took it, I felt better.

1/4 tsp. all natural progesterone cream on my belly or wrists before going to bed.  This is a natural hormone that helps balance your system.  Only going to use for two weeks and then stop.

In order to stimulate the kidneys and liver into making more enzymes, I sometimes take a little sip of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar before eating.  It’s a shocker at first, but my tummy really likes it.  Her website is hilarious.

PROBIOTICS.  I still need to add these to my diet, but I hear they are also really helpful in keeping the flora and fauna of your intestines working properly to clean out the CRAP that is in there.

Filtered water: You can’t have enough pure, clean water.  Drink until you can’t stand it for a while, and then try to keep up to 8 glasses a day.  I have a hard time with this, but when I do it, I feel SO much better.

YOGA.  Yep, full guru.  I am not very good at yoga, but the breathing and stretching has really helped with my stress level.  I can laugh at myself in the class and that helps, too.  I have decided getting angry at life, anybody or anything is simply not worth it.  I want to be happy and WELL.

Remember: if you have Endometriosis, your body is SUPPOSED to be fighting it off.  If it can’t, you need to help it by changing your diet so it has the tools it needs!

I hit a wall.  My wall was one long round with depression and extreme pain.  I finally said FUCK THAT SHIT and decided I was willing to do whatever it took to feel better.  I am so glad I did, because I REALLY FEEL BETTER!

I had tried this in a half assed way a couple years ago, only to return to the steak and martini out of laziness.  I am sorry I did.  I see it as a reflection of my own low self esteem: I just wasn’t willing to help myself all the way.

Recently I heard a wise young friend say, “Sometimes you get to a point in life where you either have to take the blue pill or the red pill and that’s the way your life goes.”  Well I think I reached that point yet again, and I am excited about the changes that are yet to happen in my mind, body and spirit.

I hope this article helps you or someone you love to reconsider their worth, and helps them to fight for their health.  You ARE worth it.

xoxo
C

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Welcome to the World, It’s Trying to Kill You

  1. Cady,

    I just read a few of your posts about endometriosis, and the way you’ve changed your diet to lead a healthier, better life. First off, congrats! I’m so happy you’re feeling better. Second, this post in particular gave me the kick in the butt and wake up call I needed to get my life (and health) together again.

    A few years ago, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and anemia. I worked my butt off to eat healthier, exercise more, and get my life together. The concept of giving in to the pain and exhaustion I was feeling really frustrated me. For awhile, I was really successful in being healthy, active, and taking control of my life. Fast forward through an unhealthy relationship, a bad breakup, the death of a friend, and coping with depression as a result and I’m probably at my heaviest, most unhealthy state that I’ve ever been in. Thank you for reminding me of the health-conscious life I used to live. Your closing lines definitely reminded me that I owe it to myself to be as healthy and happy as I can be.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Have you thought about writing an article about endometriosis for PolicyMic? You could discuss the prevalence of this condition and how people can better inform themselves about it. A lot of pieces there have gone massively viral (for example, I had one of my pro-choice editorials cited by the Obama campaign in a campaign commercial), so putting this up there could bring the issue to a wider audience.

    Incidentally, one of my closest friends has Celiac Disease and so has learned a lot about gluten-free dietary habits, from what to buy and what to avoid to how to cook gluten-free meals and find gluten-free restaurants. While endometriosis obviously doesn’t necessitate the same dietary restrictions as Celiac Disease, I do know that he has repeatedly told me how much more energetic and healthy he feels as a result of his new nutritional habits. Life has forced him to become quite an expert on it.

    Congratulations on feeling better! 🙂

  3. Thanks Claudine! I just bought a HUGE box of gluten free stuff from Babycakes. HAD to help my day with the sweet cravings. Only had one cupcake but it was GOOD! I can feel going forward it’s going to be challenging for sure. I’m going to try and hang in there with this and then practice some moderation, like yourself. My doctor told me it’s about discovering a new concept of what feels good. This makes me think of how it feels good when I take a sauna and then jump into a pool. The first moment is a shock, and then it feels deliciously good. I don’t WANT to do it, but when I make myself, I am glad. It sure didn’t feel good to be so depressed. Even though I am not at my optimal shape, I know I will feel better once I get closer again, especially if I do it with healthier food. Starving is no longer an option. It’s so cruel to my body and mind. I think deep down we have to find that place where we forgive ourselves and let go of imposed judgements, and allow ourselves to try again. I think that is a big part of healing.

    I really believe kicking my immune system into gear helped with that cyst. Sounds crazy, but it feels like there is no other explanation.

  4. So happy to hear you’re feeling better. God bless ya, I couldn’t give all of that up. I’ve given up artificial sweeteners, sugar, white flour, carbonated beverages, carbs, and more stuff for long time periods, but I lack the will power to do it for good.

    Ovarian cysts do get reabsorbed by the body, when it’s working properly. So that’s probably what happened. 🙂

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