Endometriosis pain is no joke. I remember when my pain was at its worst and how debilitating it was. And since no one understood my pain, I was left to struggle alone. This led me to find natural solutions for endometriosis pain relief that could help me get some of my life back. So, I want to share more about the common types of endo pain points and six natural ways to ease endometriosis-related pain.
Endometriosis Pain is Complex
Endometriosis pain varies from person to person and depends significantly on how the disease impacts the individual. Some may experience mild to moderate pain, while others regularly deal with severe debilitating pain. Regardless of where you fall on the pain spectrum, there are a few general symptoms that most endo suffers share.
Menstruation is a common pain symptom associated with endometriosis. It’s normal to experience intense pelvic cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lower back pain, heavy bleeding, and chronic fatigue. For some, this pain is mild to moderate and lasts 1-3 days. Others find that pain is moderate to severe, lasts for the duration of their period, and interferes with their ability to function.
Another common endo symptom is pain during ovulation. This type of pain is most common with advanced endometriosis, in which there are severe ovarian adhesions. You’ll find that you feel pain on either the right or left side of the lower abdomen, underneath the belly button, and above the groin. As with all types of endo pain, it ranges from mild, moderate, and severe.
This particular pain point causes gastrointestinal distress typically brought on by chronic inflammation or triggered by stress. Symptoms include gas, bloating, distended abdomen, pelvic cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea.
6 Natural Endometriosis Pain Relief Solutions
Fortunately, various home remedies are beneficial when addressing the symptoms mentioned above. While helpful, it’s important to note that every person experiences pain differently, and you may find these methods may not completely resolve your pain. Therefore, you may still need to work with your doctor to develop an appropriate solution for pain management. However, I know from personal experiences these solutions help with mild to moderate endometriosis pain relief.
#1. Heat Therapy
Heat therapy is excellent at improving circulation and blood flow while relaxing and soothing muscles. Not only that, it feels good and is comforting, like a warm hug. In addition, I’ve found that heat therapy is superb at decreasing lower back pain, pelvic cramps, radiating leg pain, and ovulation pain.
Common types of heat therapy include electric heating pads, adhesive heat wraps, heat packs, a hot water bottle, and a warm bath. However, you must be careful when utilizing heat therapy as it’s easy to burn the skin when heat is applied for too long or at extremely high temperatures.
My favorite way of utilizing heat therapy is to take over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or Tylenol and use the heat to help soothe the pain until the medication can take effect.
#2. Epsom Salt Bath
I just mentioned how warm baths help relax muscles and soothe away the pain. These baths become even more effective when you include Epsom salt. Including Epsom salt in your bath causes it to break down into magnesium sulfate. And, it’s theorized that the Epsom salt is absorbed through your skin, aiding in pain relief.
While there’s little scientific evidence to back this up, I noticed that taking a nice warm bath with Epsom salt did wonders for my lower back pain and helped with pelvic cramping when I struggled with endo belly. So you may find that it’s also beneficial in soothing your symptoms.
To start taking an Epsom salt bath, pour one to two cups of Epsom salt under warm running water. This helps them to dissolve. Once the tub is full, soak and relax for twelve minutes. Additionally, follow your soak with a heat wrap to extend pain relief.
#3. TENS Machine
Chances are you’ve probably seen an advertisement on Instagram promoting Ovira or Livia. These devices are a type of TENS machine. A TENS machine, which stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, is a device that emits electrical impulses for pain relief.
These devices are so beneficial because they are portable and discreet, especially the newer models such as the Ovira. However, while valuable, they are an investment. Prices range from $30 to $100 depending on where you purchase and which model you select.
#4. Nutritional Adjustments
Natural endometriosis pain relief may be achieved through making changes to your diet. Due to endometriosis being an inflammatory condition, it’s not unusual for certain foods to trigger inflammatory responses. And these reactions trigger pain and flare-ups. Hence, identifying inflammatory foods and removing them from your diet may help with pain management.
A popular diet for many endo patients is the anti-inflammatory diet. This diet prioritizes decreasing pro-inflammatory foods and increasing the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods. However, working with a professional when making significant changes to your diet is essential to ensure you’re not contributing to nutrient deficiencies. In addition, you may find that working with a nutritionist or Registered Dietician knowledgeable about endometriosis and chronic pain may be beneficial.
#5. Stress Management
Living with endometriosis is stressful. And when you add in the reality of daily life, it adds to that stress. But, leading a stressful lifestyle with endometriosis increases chronic pain and recurrence of flare-ups. This is due to increased cortisol levels brought on by chronic stress triggering an inflammatory response.
So, learning to reduce stress can positively influence how you manage your pain. First, try implementing simple activities to help lower stress levels. For example, create relaxing rituals such as taking a warm candlelight bath or utilizing aromatherapy to relax and rejuvenate. Additionally, finding low-key hobbies such as reading, listening to podcasts, or putting together a puzzle are also terrific stress busters.
Another option for reducing stress is to stay active and exercise regularly. You don’t have to engage in high activity or intense workouts, but finding a way to move your body consistently will decrease stress.
#6. Get Support
In addition to chronic stress, endometriosis causes emotional and mental distress. Having to manage ongoing chronic pain without relief for days on end is beyond frustrating. I know that, for me, it led to severe anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. That’s why I believe prioritizing mental health with endometriosis is crucial.
The best way to support your mental health is to work with a knowledgeable therapist regarding chronic illness and chronic pain. They can help you navigate your thoughts, feelings, and emotions and process what you’re going through. Additionally, they will work with you to create healthy habits and behaviors to help you when you’re struggling.
If therapy isn’t accessible for you, joining a support group of people that have similar struggles as you may prove beneficial. Being able to relate to others that go through the same things helps you feel less alone. In addition to support groups, you can also get support from trusted friends and family members. They’re the ones that spend the most time with you, and getting their support can help you when life becomes overwhelming.
Regardless of your choice, focus on reaching out and not isolating yourself. When you self-isolate, it’s easier for stress, anxiety, and depression to take their toll on your mental well-being.
When Nothing Helps
These endometriosis pain relief solutions are simple and straightforward. And they work great for those that are experiencing mild to moderate pain. But, they’re not always a solution for those that experience severe, debilitating pain. However, while these changes can help decrease the severity of pain, they may not eradicate pain completely.
If you find that to be the case, it’s time to work with an endometriosis specialist to find a solution for your pain. This may include prescription medications, hormone treatments, or surgical options that your doctor may find appropriate for you and your specific case.