In honor of my sister-in-laws birthday, I am going to talk a bit about Endometriosis. This disease is one that, unfortunately, she suffers from.
Endometriosis is a disease that the NIH only dedicates a slightly larger amount of research spending to than ME/CFS despite there being five times as many people who suffer from it. Approximately one million people in the U.S. Suffer from ME/CFS and about five million women in the U.S. Suffer from Endometriosis. We all need more research funding! While ME/CFS has no real effective treatments, the treatment options for Endometriosis are often ineffective at best and life altering and ineffective at worst.
From my sister-in-law:
Once a female begins going to her doctor to find a cause for her pain it takes on average 10+ years to finally be diagnosed!! This is because not even doctors and health care professionals are aware of its existence. Many that do know of it are not skilled enough or trained in how to treat it. By the time many women witth endometriosis are finally diagnosed the few treatments that are out there may not work now because of how far the disease has progressed. This leaves many girls and women with little to no treatment options and little to no hope of a life without the pain of endometriosis.
This is a chronic, debilitating and extremely painful disease.
Endometriosis occurs when this tissue grows outside of the uterus on other organs or structures in the body.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis, or the lower back, mainly during menstrual periods.
The amount of pain a woman feels does not depend on how much endometriosis she has. Some women have no pain, even though their disease affects large areas. Other women with endometriosis have severe pain even though they have only a few small growths.
Symptoms of endometriosis can include:
Very painful menstrual cramps; pain may get worse over time
Chronic pain in the lower back and pelvis
Pain during or after sex Intestinal pain
Painful bowel movements or painful urination during menstrual periods
Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods
Infertility or not being able to get pregnant
Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, especially during menstrual periods