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Part 3: Endometriosis and Fatigue

Part 3: Endometriosis and Fatigue

April 22, 2021

Did you know that fatigue is a common symptom of endometriosis? Yup, it’s true.  

If you have endometriosis and suffer from fatigue, you are not alone.  It is a commonly overlooked  and under addressed symptom.  In a recent Swedish study, 50.7 percent of women with endometriosis reported experiencing frequent fatigue, compared to only 22.4 percent of women without the condition. Other studies have suggested that women with endometriosis experience fatigue around their periods and that their fatigue can affect their professional and personal lives.

According to earlier research, women with endometriosis are more than 100 times as likely to have chronic fatigue syndrome, seven times as likely to have an under-active thyroid, and twice as likely to have fibromyalgia.  Yikes! While this may not sound like good news, it can nonetheless be very validating to someone who is tired all the time and doesn’t know why. So, what exactly contributes to the fatigue???

Cytokines Researchers theorize that inflammatory toxins secreted by the tissues when the immune system is fighting endometriosis can be a cause of fatigue.

Low thyroid – Hypothyroidism is quite common in people with endometriosis. Your thyroid produces hormones that control your metabolism and when hormone levels become too low this causes fatigue.

Low iron Optimal iron levels are important for proper thyroid function. Regularly losing a lot of blood, as with heavy periods, increases your risk of developing anemia. This condition causes a person to feel tired all the time.

Adrenal fatigue Your adrenals produce a hormone called cortisol, and either high or low cortisol can lead to fatigue.  Compromised adrenal function may be linked to endometriosis as well.

What can you do?

Getting your thyroid, iron and adrenal levels checked may be a good idea if you have endometriosis and associated fatigue. Keeping tabs on the function of these key organs and their associated hormones can help stay ahead of symptoms. It’s also important to talk to your health care provider about supplements you might take to ensure that you’re taking the correct dosage, various supplements aren’t interacting with each other or other medications you may be taking as well as when the best time to take them may be. 

Consider boosting your self care routine. Self care is all the rage these days. However the activity you do for self care doesn’t have to be a big commitment in order to reap the rewards. You can begin by incorporating activities that are rejuvenating such as:

  • Gentle exercise like nature walks or leisurely bike rides. 

  • A mindful movement practice such as restorative yoga, Chi Gung or Tai Chi.

  • Maintain a consistent bedtime for improved sleep.

  • Start a mindful meditation to calm and center yourself.

  • Increase your fluid intake for proper hydration to maintain energy levels and alertness.

  • Eat smaller more frequent meals of nutrient dense foods to keep blood sugar levels steady.

  • Take up a new craft that focuses your mind and gives you energy.

Seeing a therapist trained in visceral manipulation can help improve the mobility of your abdominal / pelvic organs as well as your pelvic floor tissues decreasing the effects of adhesions, helping you move forward on your health journey.

If you have questions about endometriosis and fatigue, schedule an evaluation today and one of our therapists can work through developing a game plan for you to help decrease symptoms from your endometriosis and restore your zest for life!

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