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What is Endometriosis?

The most honest answer to the question what endometriosis is must be:

Nobody knows .

The most frequent answer to this question, which is unfortunately somewhat inaccurate and strictly speaking only one of many theories:

Endometriosis is scattered lining of the uterus that proliferates outside the uterus. It builds up and bleeds out in the cycle causing discomfort.

Now, of course, I cannot say that I know what endometriosis is. After years of research, numerous interviews, desperate attempts to reconcile certain contradictions, and not least my own experience, I have come to the following cautious attempt at explanation:

My attempt to explain Endometriosis

 Strictly speaking, the word "endometriosis" is used in two cases:

1. It is called endometriosis when cells - similar to those found in the uterus, cervix and fallopian tubes - are found in women and girls outside the uterine cavity or, in very rare cases, in the testicular tissue of men after oestrogen treatment. Endometriosis cells have even been found in small children and foetuses.

2. endometriosis is also called female disease, which is characterized by the fact that these "wrongly placed" cells cause problems. These problems can occur individually or together:

  •     Inflammations
  •     Internal bleeding
  •     Adhesions
  •     Pain
  •     Infertility
  •     Displacement and/or constriction of organs due to proliferating growth, resulting in possible functional disorders of the  respective organ or organs.
  •     Penetration of other tissues and/or organs, resulting in possible functional disorders of the respective organ or organs.

Endometriosis is never identical to Endometrium!

Endometriosis cells have a different microscopic structure than endometrial cells. In addition, they are in different stages of development and have fewer hormone receptors than endometrial cells, in some cases none at all. Endometriosis lesions contain substances such as enzymes that do not exist in the lining of the uterus. Endometriosis behaves quite differently.

There are endometriosis lesions that are very similar to the endometrium and how they react in hormonal dependence. However, their reactions are shown in the secretion of inflammatory substances, which can lead to inflammations and bleeding in the surrounding tissue. Other endometriosis lesions are only remotely reminiscent of the lining of the uterus and their activity is independent of hormonal events.

Where in the body can Endometriosis occur?

The level of discomfort depends less on the size of the endometriosis lesions than on their location. There are women with endometriosis who do not notice her at all. Often endometriosis is discovered by chance during surgery in the abdomen. For other women, on the other hand, endometriosis causes a lot of pain or other symptoms, even if some of it is only a small lesion. There is a theory that every woman has endometriosis lesions. The presence of these is not yet the disease. The question in science is still what causes the discomfort and why some lesions proliferate.

Endometriosis cells prefer to settle on the peritoneum and ovaries. They can also nest in the bladder and intestines, where, in addition to the pain, they can cause worrying symptoms such as blood in the stool and urine. In some cases, endometriosis even occurs where it would never have been suspected: On the heart, lungs or even in the brain.

Endometriosis can grow in the form of nodules, vesicles, polyps, plaques, cystic cells or infiltrates. Usually combinations of these courses occur. There are very active foci, which can be recognised by their red colour during laparoscopy or surgery, less active blue-black foci and inactive white-scarred foci.

Endometriosis cannot be cured to this day

A fact that all those affected have to deal with: Endometriosis is chronic. There is no cure. The causes of the disease are still unknown. Only the symptoms can be treated. And the symptoms and consequences of endometriosis are very diverse because of their complexity. Painkillers are often used. In some cases, the women are sent into the artificial menopause by hormonal treatmen or the oestrogen formation of the ovaries is suppressed by progestins. But not all forms of endometriosis respond to hormone treatment. And it is not always sustainable. Even the surgical removal of endometriosis is often only successful for a short time. In 75 percent of the cases, the symptoms recur within two years. And the pain does not end ...

This article does not replace professional advice, e.g. from a doctor.

 

Sources:

Keckstein, Jörg (Hg.): Endometriose. Die verkannte Frauenkrankheit – Diagnostik und Therapie aus ganzheitsmedizinischer Sicht. Diametric 2010. - https://www.drhuber.at/

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