The last few days, my body has felt like it has been through a massive detox or something – actually more like being ridden over by a large truck! I had a big weekend -my birthday, a wedding and just started a new job…so perhaps it was all a little much! Thing was, it all started on Friday with a very simple thing. I drank some Coconut Milk which didn’t smell quite right. I checked the tin and it said it was well within it’s used by date and so….though my instincts told me otherwise, I had it anyway!
Well, the first signs appeared that night. I had incredible bloating and gas. This is never comfortable and I was in the middle of a lovely dinner, so I “held it in”. The next morning things got bad. I had really bad diarrhea. This was possibly the worst timing- I had a wedding to attend to and ….I was a bridesmaid!
I got through the day okay and it didn’t seem to cause me too much distress. It was only later that night, that endo started to rear it’s ugly head. It was fairly minor at first and one could easily just put it down to a little tenderness in the area.
By Monday night, I was struggling to sleep. I might like to add that my “stomach bug” or whatever we want to call it had developed into a mild fever and my whole body just felt weak. The pain was intense. I couldn’t understand why it was so bad. This was hectic pain! It was bellowing with a fairly large voice. Of course I resisted any pain-killers and simply grabbed a hot water bottle and rocked myself to sleep.
It was only the next morning when I got up and went to the toilet, that I finally made the connection. I had diarrhea again and the minute I went, the relief appeared straight away. The pain I thought was endo, was merely gas being trapped in my gut and it was creating pressure and inflammation, which of course = pain.
I have actually experienced this connection with Endo before. Usually, with constipation. Constipation will naturally make it worse, as all that pressure build up pushes onto the endo.
Here’s the thing. Our bowels and our endo prone areas are within a very small space together. They often touch each other – chances are fairly high that your endo sits on the outside wall of your intestinal lining. Every time our intestines go through any dramatic changes, like diarrhea or constipation, this will put pressure or create inflammation around that area. This means pain from your intestinal gut and from endo – double whammy! Statistically, women with Endometriosis also suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome – which basically means we have lots of ups and downs with our digestion – one minute we have diarrhea and one minute we have constipation. This is, where I personally believe a huge amount of our pain comes from. There are people who suffer from bowel pain which sends them to the ICU and they don’t have endo – probably on a similar scale of pain to what we experience!
So, what can we do to alleviate it?
Well, it does all come down to what we eat. I used to cheat the system. I used to take a pill to make me go and a then a pill to slow it down! Scary stuff! Now, I simply eat more roughage to get things moving and completely avoid foods that aggravate the bowels. The key foods that will aggravate and therefore inflame your bowels are: gluten, dairy, meat and sugar. Since cutting those out, my pain with endo went away. The only indicators of pain are of course, when I get an annoying stomach bug from drinking coconut milk that clearly was no longer good! :)
Have you noticed the connection with your pain levels and your digestive health? Do you feel better when things are working properly? What do you take/eat to keep regular and get your bowels working well?