Presented by Justine Evans B.Sc N.Med, ITEC, M. CThA, M.NNA, PTLLS
Agenda What/Who is a Naturopath? The 5 Principles Endometriosis – What Is It and Its Underlying Causes? Conventional Treatment The Naturopathic Approach to Treating Endometriosis Questions and Answers
What/Who is a Naturopath? A health practitioner who applies a range of approved natural therapies and healing practices. A Naturopath usually includes Nutritional Therapy, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, Acupuncture Holistic Modalities – such as Reflexology, Massage Functional Medicine, Bio-Resonance, Ozone-Therapy Colon Hydrotherapy.
How Does a Naturopath Work? Use a range of alternative methods to assess predisposition(s) in the body whilst considering the 5 principles. Then support the patient with specific therapies and changes in the patients lifestyle to (re)balance health.
The Origins of Naturopathy The principles of Naturopathy were first used by the Hippocratic School of Medicine in about 400B.C. The Greek philosopher Hippocrates believed in viewing the whole person in regards to finding a cause of disease, and using the laws of nature to induce cure. It was from this original school of thought that Naturopathy takes its principles.
The Principles Nature has the innate ability to heal Identify and treat the cause - treating the whole Do no harm- never use treatments that may create other conditions Empower – educate/teach the patient to take responsibility for his/her own health through self-care Prevention is better than cure - remove toxic substances and situations from a patients lifestyle to prevent the onset of further disease
Vitamin D Study The team from Yale University School of Medicine studied 67 infertile women and took Vitamin D measures from them. Only 7 per cent of them had normal vitamin D levels and the rest had either insufficient levels or clinical deficiency. Dr Lubna Pal, from Yale, said: "Of note, not a single patient with either ovulatory disturbance or polycystic ovary syndrome demonstrated normal Vitamin D levels; 39 per cent of those with ovulatory disturbance and 38 per cent of those with PCOS had levels consistent with deficiency. "Given the pandemic of Vitamin D insufficiency aggressive repletion with Vitamin D may emerge as an alternative approach to facilitate ovulation resumption with minimal to no risk for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or multiple pregnancy." American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting in San Francisco (2008)
Wherever the growth, the tissue will respond to the hormonal cycle and bleed at menstruation. Blood has no outlet to leave, becomes trapped causing inflammation, cysts and scarring.
Endometriosis Very common gynaecological condition Can affect up to 15% of female population Most commonly, childless women over 30 Half of all women with endometriosis will have fertility issues
Endometriosis Symptoms Extremely painful periods. Pain may start 5-7 days prior to a period although some people suffer from ovulation Also associated with PCOS/ Chocolate cysts Painful sex and/or post sex Possibly recurrent bladder or bowel disturbances including IBS symptoms/digestive disorders Recurrent pain - similar to appendicitis. Some people experience painful legs, lower back ache Fatigue and depression Skin – acne, spotty, strange cyst like spots
Whats the Cause? Backwards menstruation – migration of endometrial tissue up and out of Fallopian tubes Provoked by muscle spasms during a period
So How Come…… Some women with tied Fallopian tubes (sterilization), still experience endometriosis? Endometrial patches have been found around the body, even ending up in lungs and noses Some men get it!
Whats the cause? We now believe that the dis – ease can be initiated during foetal development and that Young displaced endometrial cells start to grow when the woman reaches puberty
Whats the cause? Genetic link? Some 15% of cases are believed to be inherited
Whats the cause? Endometrial tissue transported from womb to other areas of the body via the lymphatic system – through illness, operations etc or plain bad luck!
Whats the cause? An immune imbalance – natural killer cells ineffective in mopping up endometrial debris Debris migrates to other parts of body provoking inflammatory responses (Dmowski et al, 1994)
Whats the cause? Metaplasia theory – cells can change into endometrial cells Changes provoked by exposure to hormones, chemicals, infection.
Endometriosis This theory seems to stack up as endometrial patches have been found in bladders of men on oestrogenic drugs for cancer treatment (Oliker & Harries, 1971)
Conventional Treatment Shut down menstrual cycle: –weak male hormones to prevent ovulation and development of womb lining. –Synthetic GnRH hormones to prevent pituitary gland from releasing LH and FSH I.e. provoking temporary menopause –contraceptive pill – tricks your body into thinking its pregnant
Conventional Treatment Surgery –Remove endometrial patches with laser surgery –Cysts and adhesions –Hysterectomy – complete removal of womb (and sometimes ovaries)
Naturopathic Alternatives Nutritional Therapy Herbal Medicine Acupuncture Homeopathy Reflexology
Naturopathic Approach Endometriosis grows in the presence of oestrogen. Naturopathic support will focus on regaining hormonal balance by improving excretion of oestrogen through the liver and bowels and removing environmental toxins.
Xenoestrogens – What Are They? Xenoestrogens means foreign estrogens. Research concludes that there is a link between dioxins and development of endometriosis. Xenoestrogens are found in Plastics, Spermicide, Detergent, Cosmetics and Personal Care Products, Dyes, Solvents, Weed Killers, Paints Farmed Foods and Drinks (http://www.endo101.com)
Environmental Xenoestrogens 79% of female monkeys spontaneously developed endometriosis after being fed food laced with dioxins. Severity of endometriosis was directly related to dose of dioxins.
Research - Environmental Toxins Chemicals found in food packaging, upholstery and carpets may be damaging women's fertility according to US scientists. Per fluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are used to make products like Teflon, as well as waterproof clothing, pesticides and upholstery. A new study found that exposure to high levels of the chemicals, which can remain in the environment and the body for decades, could leave women struggling to get pregnant ( Infertility Network UK, 2009)
Weight – Research Bates et al (1982) indicated that nearly three quarters of women conceived naturally once they stopped dieting and achieved their optimal weight Foreyt etc al (1998) published an article in the International Journal of Fertility and Womens Medicine which suggested that being overweight disturbed hormonal balance and stopped ovulation. It went on to state that by losing just 10% of weight it is possible to stimulate ovulation.
Weight and Endometriosis Women with high intakes of trans fats were found to be significantly more likely to suffer from endometriosis than women with lower intakes... Food & Nutrition Australia – Research update for AECL Feb 2010. Ratliff, J., et al Nutrition Research, 2010. 30(2): p. 96- 103.
Exercise Exercise raises the levels of endorphins (brain chemicals which act as natural painkillers), elevates the mood and promotes a positive outlook Encourages the proper excretion of oestrogen and cholesterol from the body Increases metabolic rate thus supports weight loss.
NutrientEffect with respect to Female Fertility & Reproduction Vitamin AAntimutagenic. Healthy skin and cell membranes. Protects against infections and cancer, Antioxidant, Immune system,. Essential for night vision, reduces menstrual cramps. Vital for growth & development of foetus esp. heart, hearing & visual development. B vitaminsSynthesis of sex hormones. Create new blood cells for growing baby.Folic acid key for prevention of spina bifida – needed in first 28 days of pregnancy. Daily intake of 400ug recommended by the Government. Vitamin CEssential for formation of collagen – keeps protective membrane around baby strong. Vitamin D Oxygenates and prevents blood clots, improves breast tenderness, aids sperm, has an anti inflammatory action. Aids egg implantation and needed for antibody production. Vitamin KManufactured by gut flora but baby is born sterile so must rely on mothers supply Vitamin EProtects vital RNA and DNA reducing risk on congenital defects ZincProbably plays biggest role in reproduction. Deficiency increases miscarriage rate. Needed for hormone balance, development of egg, successful fertilisation & enzymes of implantation. SeleniumProtective against oxidative damage and risk of congenital defects IronAs many as 32% of pregnant women show mild anaemia Needed to carry oxygen to every cell in body and developing foetus CalciumFor development of babies bones, heart and nervous system
Measures Alkaline Based Blood Sugar Diet – A low GL diet has been shown to reduce weight, acne severity and hormonal imbalance High fibre with small portions of lean organic protein. Include oily fish, sprouting seeds, fresh nuts, sea vegetables such as wheatgrass, spirulina, chorella, algae etc, reducing carbohydrates Plenty of organic seasonal rainbow coloured vegetables, this helps enable oestrogen clearance 1-2 portions of fruit daily and 1 raw meal daily. Wash well – you need 40g fibre daily
Stimulants Alcohol – A lcohol interferes with nutritional utilisation, digestion, absorption. It also deplets zinc and folic acid.Total avoidance is essential to support nutrient absorption, blood sugar regulation and hormonal balance. Caffeine – Caffeine intake can substantially lengthen the time it takes to become pregnant Stanton et al, 1995. This includes cola, black tea, most fizzy drinks
Nutrient Requirements Sea greens including chorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, beetroot, watercress, spinach, rocket, peppers, lemons, parsley - offer high mineral and vitamin nutrient support Support detoxification Essential Fatty Acids – Omega 3 Probiotics, digestive enzymes Natural anti inflammatories - Turmeric, Procydin, Vitamin D together with antioxidants - Vitamin A, C, E, Selenium Herbal support
Acupuncture Acupuncture is an ancient system of medicine originating in China. The earliest records of its use date back five thousand years. According to the ancient Chinese, vital energy (chi) travels through your body along pathways called meridians. When you are in good health the flow of chi is smooth and uninterrupted, but when illness strikes this flow is disturbed. An acupuncturist works by stimulating precise points along the meridians to restore your flow of chi and return you to full health.
Acupuncture Acupuncture and Endometriosis Research In a study published in the December 2002 issue of The Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers selected 67 women diagnosed with dysmenorrhea (painful periods) due to endometriosis. It was reported that 81% of these women had less painful periods after receiving the acupuncture treatments.
Acupuncture Acupuncture and Endometriosis Research Research shows that acupuncture promotes blood circulation, regulates the endocrine system and suggests that acupuncture could act as an analgesic by elevating levels of endorphins in the blood. Xiang D, Situ Y, Liang X, et al. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine December 2002;22(4):282-285.
Homeopathy Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine which is based on the principle of The Law of Similars - the principle of like curing like A substance which can cause symptoms in a healthy individual can also be used to treat those symptoms It was developed about 200 years ago by a German Doctor called Samuel Hahnemann - a medic disillusioned with the ineffective and often barbaric treatments of the day.Samuel Hahnemann
Homeopathy Continued Homeopaths consider that everything is interconnected as facets of the patients suffering. Homeopathic preparations are made in a special way which involves repeatedly diluting and shaking the medicines until they contain virtually no trace of the original substance. It is thought that the processes of preparation somehow imprint a characteristic energy pattern or blueprint of the substance into the water in which they are diluted.
Reflexology The earliest evidence of Reflexology and its practice dates back to ancient Egyptian times. This therapy treats the whole person by focusing on areas of the feet (and hands) which correspond to different organs and systems of the body. There are approximately 7,000 nerve endings in the feet and reflexology uses specific nerve reflexes (pressure points) to stimulate these nerves and create positive change in your body.
Reflexology and Endometiosis 50 patients aged between 20-51 who were diagnosed with gynaecological diseases including dysmenorrhea, hysteromyoma, pelvic inflammation, cyst and mass, endometriosis, menstrual disorder, infertility and chocolate cyst, were treated with foot reflexology either daily or every other day with a minimum of 10 sessions, up to 2 years. 42 (84%) of patients symptoms completely disappeared 8 (16%) of patients had symptoms that almost disappeared. Hui Song, Senior Doctor, Nanjing Obstetrical and Gynecological Hospital (http://www.universalreflex.com/index.php?topic=AU_Research_Women)
Summary This powerpoint has offered an explanation about endometriosis and the possibility of applying naturopathic measures to restore homeostasis It has included Nutritional therapy,acupuncture, homeopathy and reflexology plus functional tests We have considered balancing 21 st century stress factors and considered weight management and regular exercise. Disclaimer: This article is meant for general information only and should not be construed as guidance or recommendation. It does not take into account any medication you may be taking, food sensitivities or allergies, nor any form of health issue. Naturopathic consultations and assessment are recommended on an individual basis and it is important to speak with a health professional or your GP before changing your diet.