For many years I suffered severely with my menstrual cycle. I would have agonising pains regularly, extremely heavy blood flow which would lead to embarrassing accidents, and I was restricted in doing the sports I loved due to crippling pain. Most challenging was my mood swings. I had anxiety and depression for 2 weeks of a month, then would wake up one morning 100% symptom free; it was like day and night.
I would spend my time Googling my symptoms to find ways to reduce the pains and heavy blood flow. It would always point me to health websites suggesting that I cut out caffeine and alcohol from my diet, eat anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables, ditch meat and drink lots of water. I done this for 5 years with no change in my symptoms. It was taking over my life and I did not know what to do.
I was health obsessed and my diet couldn’t have been any more “perfect”. I tried all the natural remedies available to me with no success, and I avoided the doctors because I knew they would put me on the pill as a solution. I was anti-drugs and believed that food was the only medicine I needed. However, it wasn’t working and I needed to seek help.
I reluctantly went to the GP after years of struggling with my symptoms. After discussion with the GP and further testing, it turned out that my period pains were in fact a medical condition called Endometriosis.
“Endometriosis is where the tissue, similar to that in the uterus, grows outside of the womb. It causes heavy blood flow, extreme pain”– all the symptoms I was experiencing
Long term it can cause significant damage to your sexual health and lead to difficulties conceiving.
For me it made me realise that my pains weren’t just “bad periods” but a serious health issue. After many conversations with my GP and Gynaecologist I knew that heathy eating wasn’t going to cure my symptoms and that I needed to suck it up and take the medication. I had been taking very strong painkillers prior to seeing the GP and they did not resolve my pains. The hardest for me however was the social aspect. I was a recluse for half of the year and I could not handle my change in moods. It was challenging for myself, my family and I am sure my friends too.
The moral of the story is that although healthy eating may be a preventative for many chronic diseases, in addition to a healthy and active lifestyle, it is not the cure for everything. I am now a registered Nutritionist and although I advocate a healthy, balanced lifestyle, I know that food is not the cure for everything. Natural remedies are a great addition to a healthy, balanced lifestyle, but seeking help from a GP when necessary is important too.
Do not get caught up in the health obsessed world. If you have tried natural remedies and they are not working there may be something more serious going on and it is important you go and seek help. Do not delay, and take care.