Endometriosis

Endometriosis

Everything you need to know about endometriosis in women of reproductive age, including causes of endometriosis and common symptoms.

About 10% of all premenopausal women in the UK are diagnosed with endometriosis, a complex disorder of the female reproductive system, and they do not diagnose many others (the average diagnostic time is 7.5 years).

This condition can scar the daily lives of these women, influencing not only their monthly cycle, but on their entire being; from the ability of the immune system to control inflammation and infection to the effectiveness with which the body can produce and use energy. Eventually this can influence their mind and trust as women.

I know this from being both a professional working with women experiencing the paralysing effects of endometriosis and as an endometriosis patient.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a complex disorder of the female reproductive system in which cells, similar to those in the mucous membrane of the uterus, are found in other parts of the body.

During the monthly female cycle, fluctuation in hormones stimulates these cells to grow, then break down and bleed as they would in the mucous membrane of the uterus, resulting in inflammation, pain and scar tissue formation.

Symptoms of endometriosis include:

*Painful, heavy or irregular periods

*Agony during or after sexual intercourse

*Painful bowel movements

*Discomfort during ovulation

*Fatigue and foul mood

Symptoms of endometriosis may vary in intensity for each woman and the “severity” of endometriosis does not match necessarily to the amount of pain we experience. Some women may not have any mild symptoms or symptoms that appear to be “normal” menstrual pain. This does not mean that the endometrial lining of the womb has not ended up externally to the inside of your uterus. And it does not mean that this will not then cause issues with your fertility and your ability to get pregnant.

The approach of Natural Medicine I and the many women I have seen over the years testify to the restorative power that diet and natural supplements can bring to both the recovery and day-to-day management of endometriosis.

In fact, research published in Fertility & Sterility has shown that nutritional therapy through diet and supplements is more effective in relieving pain and improving quality of life than post-operative medical hormonal therapy.

Personally, I have used reflexology with impressive effect to manage the symptoms and side effects of endometriosis in women of reproductive age — including myself.

Five important changes in diet and lifestyle to help control your endometriosis.

Food colour: Research shows that women who ate green vegetables 13 or more times a week (about twice a day) were 70% less likely to have endometriosis.

A study published earlier this year concluded that foods rich in carotenoids (especially citrus fruits) also positively affect the symptoms of endometriosis.

Use smoothies, juices or soups to nourish deep. Bend your gut: Beneficial bacteria in the gut can reduce the production of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that redoes estrogen in the gut and can contribute to its dominance. Add natural and organic yogurt into your daily diet either by yourself or use it to make dressings and sauces.

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kefir are excellent sources of beneficial bacteria or take a probiotic supplement (min. 10 billion CFU).

Fats are essential: essential fats found in nuts, seeds, and fatty fish can reduce inflammation associated with endometriosis. Using essential fatty acids is blocked by processed oils and margarines, and white flour, sugar, excessive and monounsaturated animal fats, alcohol, poor nutrition and stress. Keeping them to a minimum is vital to reduce inflammation.

Consider gluten: More recently, research that classified endometriosis as an autoimmune condition has shown a better response among those on a gluten-free diet; 75% of participants found a significant decrease in symptoms by following a gluten-free diet for 12 months.

Be aware of what you put on your body: bleached tampons and sanitary napkins are a controversial area in the endometriosis debate. Tampons use bleached paper products containing dioxins, which have a detrimental effect on the hormonal system. Chemicals, such as parabens and phthalates, present in their toiletries and cosmetics have also been linked to the development of endometriosis.

How does reflexology help endometriosis?

During your reflexology session, we will use several protocols to help to balance your hormones, calm your over stimulated immune system, and ease the effects of endometriosis. The result being that we look to improve your fertility.

Some protocols we will use as part of your weekly treatment include:

• Endocrine sedation

• Reproductive sedation

• Uterus sedation

• Fallopian tube sweep

• Pelvic hold

• Solar plexus

• Sedation of any other affected areas: bladder, vagina, rectum, and so on

To book in for your reflexology treatment to help to re-balance and minimise the effects of endometriosis in women of reproductive age, then please follow this link to book online.

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BBL post op care

A Brazilian butt lift or bbl as it is known is a fat transfer procedure which changes the shape of the buttocks by using excess fat cells from one area and transferring them, via an injection, to your butt. Essentially this is a surgical butt augmentation procedure and so there are some post op after care advice that not only aid your healing, but also the effect of your surgery. So what are the ins and outs of BBL post op care?

What is a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

The process of taking fat from one area of your body e.g. thighs and repositioning this newly transplanted fat into another area e.g. buttocks is otherwise known as lipofilling, lipomodelling or fat grafting.

This procedure has been around since the nineties. However, it has hit the headlines in recent years for the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL).

Many people don’t even know that they will need some help to maintain a good finish to their surgery for a good few months post op. For some reason many surgeons will mention the compression garment that you will wear to help keep your fat cells in place in your buttocks, but they often fail to mention the manual lymphatic drainage which eases your recovery period. Until after surgery is complete that is. And then they slip that in. So if you’re unsure, ask.

How many weeks post op do I need to have MLD (manual lymphatic drainage massage) on the buttock?

First, it’s important to understand that your lymphatic system runs throughout your entire body draining toxins and excess fluid. When you have MLD it therefore won’t just be on the buttocks even though this is where you’ve had transplanted fat cells.

Your consultant will advise you on wearing your compression garment, and then also usually they’ll say that anything from one day to several weeks post op, you should get an MLD massage. Manual lymphatic drainage helps your body to cope with the trauma of the operation. Because although you’ve had the fat cells from one part of your body transferred to another, this is still surgery. And so, still invasive trauma that your system still struggles to cope with many weeks post op.

During this period your immune system will send fluid containing healing properties to your butt. And then this fluid will drain away waste. What can happen during this time is that your lymphatic system which is incredibly fine, can become overloaded.

This creates a backup.

And as this system works through movement (which post BBL you’re likely not doing a lot of) or from drinking water (which you’re also unlikely to be doing as much of as you should); then this is why you often run into problems of swelling and hard fatty deposits which sit under the skin’s surface.

Your compression garment will help with some of these BBL post op care issues. But it isn’t a fail-safe. Our body will need a little helping hand to ease and speed up the recovery period. Without this, your healing process may not be fast enough and you run the risk of not getting the best possible outcome after the surgery.

Why does newly transplanted fat create hard spots (fat necrosis)?

The hard round lumps or dimpling (unevenness) that patients regularly find under their skin following all kinds of cosmetic surgery, and in bbl post op care fat necrosisparticular Brazilian Butt Lifts are in fact dies off.

This process of fat dying is called necrosis and happens when an area doesn’t have the correct blood supply to feet it the nutrients it requires to continue to live. The area may even turn black.

As we said earlier MLD massage helps your body heal in the period of time following your operation. It allows the body the support it needs to feed nutrients to the newly located fat cells. And for debris to be removed.

This is of paramount importance for a great finish, but also to healthy post-op cells.

Fat necrosis is a well-known complication after the surgery for BBL so always discuss the risk of developing the condition with your doctor ahead of your surgery. You should specifically ask about BBL post-op care.

What happens during a BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift)?

The fat transfer procedure happens in three stages:

*Thin cannulas are used to remove the excess fat
*They then was and filter the fat cells
*You receive an injection of this fat back into your body, in this case, into your butt

It depends on the area and how much volume of fat you’re having transferred, but the BBL operation can happen under either a local or general anaesthetic. The procedure itself can take up to two hours.

How long does it take after the surgery for bbl for me to see results?

Many people think that the results will be visible within a few weeks.

Wrong.

Patients often need to wait up to six months to see the final results of their fat transfer procedure.

During this time you should be vigilant in checking that there is no necrosis. Also, at the time of writing, BBL is renowned for being the riskiest cosmetic surgery, even inducing death of patients. This is because fat has been mistakenly injected into arteries which travels to the heart. Choose your consultant wisely.

Will I experience pain during the Brazilian butt lift post op massage?

This is an incredibly gentle procedure so even if your have a lot of bruising, you will be surprised at the ease that you can deal with even your initial treatment. You’ll feel more pain from the compression garment than you will from an MLD massage.

During the procedure, we’ll work around how you can lie and plump you with soft pillows and bolsters if this makes you more comfortable. We’ll only work on your swelling once you are settled.

How long will it take for me to see results following the MLD?

This depends on the size of the swelling and how long you have left it post surgery to come along for your manual lymphatic drainage massage.

Some people see results straight away. They’ll get back in their compression garment they’re wearing and immediately feel like the swelling has gone down. However, this result will not be permanent. Your body is constantly fighting to heal incisions, scarring and tissue damage. And so, it needs constant support during this fragile time to aid your healing.

Long term results take up to six months to see the final finish. During this period, you will continue to have your MLD sessions, although by this time you should need them less regularly than when you first start. You’ll probably be down to a maintenance programme of every week or so.

All of the information in this article is from our knowledge as massage therapists. For medical advice, you must always speak to your specialist practitioner, surgeon or doctor.

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