endo diaries

…Happily free from NSAIDs!

I’m happy to report that I have had another NSAIDS-free month!

I used to rely on conventional painkillers to get me through each period, but it’s important to know the dangers.

Overdosing on painkillers doesn’t just happen when too many are taken at once, they can have a cumulative effect.

NSAIDS: The Painful Truth Behind Painkillers

It’s also interesting to note that, “in women, long-term use of ibuprofen might be associated with reduced fertility. This is usually reversible when you stop taking ibuprofen.” NHS Direct

Perhaps this could be a contributory factor as to why endometriosis can cause fertility issues? 

I’ve had intensely painful periods since they first started, and so by 26, that’s over a decade of painkillers, month in, month out.

At the time, I didn’t know there was an alternative option. I wish I’d known what I do now much sooner, hence why I’m writing this blog.

Success with herbal medicine

Herbal medicine can step in and not only provide all-natural pain relief but can also work to resolve the reason behind the pain.

I have a daily herbal mix that contains a blend of calendula, cramp bark, astragalus, Chinese angelica and liquorice, as well as vitex agnus castus drops on the side.

My acute pain mix was a process of adjustment and currently contains a schedule 20 herb (restricted to use by only registered medical herbalists) as well as a number of other pain-relieving herbs.

Note: Just because something is natural does not make it automatically safe, so while herbs are a wonderful alternative to synthetic drugs, they should be used under the direction of a qualified professional.

I barely touched the acute pain mix this month. I had been using it in anticipation of pain, but this month I felt so normal that I only ended up taking it on the first day. 

It still feels very peculiar to feel completely normal during my period, but I have worked on releasing stress and anxiety that used come with the anticipation of extreme pain.

Instead of my period being “hell week”, I was really active, off on historical jaunts and even eating out didn’t cause a flare-up.

Life on the endo diet

When faced with the endo diet, it’s important to know that while it can seem restrictive to start with, it’s doesn’t always have to be that way. 

I personally love being on the endo diet, it’s ingrained as a self-care practice, the food tastes so good and I feel great on it.

However, now that I’m in a state of ‘rest and digest’ rather than the ‘fight or flight’ state that comes with chronic inflammation, and I have balanced my hormones, boosted my immune system and restored my gut health, my body is much more resilient.

So while it’s important to stick the course as much as you can, eating out is not the issue it once was. I actually ate out for three days straight, and that used to be a no-go any time of the month, let alone on my period. If I continued eating out, it would eventually eat into my reserves and I would start feeling fatigued and run down, but in a pinch, I got through it. 

Lessons from the month’s past

Get in front of the extreme pain: Pain is like a wildfire, it left unchecked it will turn into a blaze. Put blockers in place to slow it down, if not prevent it from spreading entirely.

I will write a longer article on this specifically, though a good action step would be to include self-care rituals into your day; so instead of repeating the cycle of anxiety – stress – pain, take the time to give yourself extra care, especially on the week leading up to your period. Have Epsom salt* baths, use relaxing essential oils like Lavender (this can be mixed with oil and rubbed onto your abdomen too), have a massage and ask them to concentrate on your lower back

*Epsom salt can be bought in bulk sizes (5, 10, 15kg etc) online (Amazon etc) – I use food grade quality. 

We are creatures of habit and repeating patterns is embedded within us, so break the pattern and change the cycle.

Chloe 

Photos: Exploring the historical town of Sherborne, or “Scire-burne” meaning ‘clear stream’; the capital of the Wessex, one of the seven Saxon Kingdoms of England. 

The Abbey was founded in AD 705 and buried inside are King Æthelberht and King Æthelbald, sons of King Æthelwulf and grandsons to King Egbert (you’ll recognise these names if you watch Vikings!).

One of the tombs is raised and the other is protected behind glass since it is partially open and you can *see* the actual bones. Obviously I didn’t take a photo of this, and while somewhat gruesome sounding, it is quite something to behold. 

I mean, the actual bones of an ancient King from over 1100 years ago, before his younger brother, King Alfred The Great, went on to succeed him and who the first in an unbroken line of Kings to rule all of England when his grandson Æthelstan would conquer Northumbria and become the first official King of England. 

Kinda blew my mind.

You can also view a list of the Bishops of Sherborne, from the founder of the Abbey, Ealdhelm, in 705 to Herman in 1058. Another Vikings spot is Bishop Heahmund’s name in 828.

Herbal medicine should only be used under the guidance of a registered medical herbalist.

                                                                                                                                                             

 

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