There are different dietary and herbal supplements that can be taken to help alleviate symptoms caused by endometriosis. That being said, before taking any form of supplement, you should always consult your doctor first. This is especially important for any woman who suffers from kidney, liver or heart problems.
The following is a breakdown of the common types of dietary (vitamins and minerals) supplements used to treat endometriosis:
B Vitamins - biotin, choline, cobalamin, folic acid, inositol, niacin, PABA, panthothenic acid, pyridoxine, and riboflavin –Every member of the B vitamin family works to breakdown carbohydrates, fat and protein in the body. Folic acid is particularly important as it distributes oxygen to tissue, and a deficiency in this particular B vitamin can cause anemia. B vitamins also help to improve emotional symptoms caused by endometriosis.
Vitamin C – helps build and preserve collagen in the body, simulates the immune system, encourages healing, and resists disease. Caution: Although fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, it also contains bioflavinoids that can mirror estrogen effects on the body and cause severe cramping.
Vitamin E – helps strengthen immune system. When taken with selenium it can decrease inflammation associated with endometriosis. Caution: Women should not take vitamin E supplements if they are on anticoagulants.
Calcium – approximately two weeks before menstruating, calcium levels decrease in women. This drop in levels can result in headaches, pelvic pain and muscle cramps. Note: Calcium requires vitamin D to be absorbed into the body; therefore, if taking a calcium supplement, ensure it contains vitamin D.
Iron – During menses, the average woman loses an estimated 30 mg of iron, and some women who have endometriosis may lose even more due to heavy menses. Iron deficiency can cause weakness, serious fatigue and mental haziness.
Potassium – aids in muscle contraction, heart rate regulation, and the balance of body fluids among other things. Women who experience diarrhea during their menses can become deficient in Potassium which can result in bloating, fatigue, and weakness.
Magnesium – Helps to relieve cramping during menstruation. Magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle and/or menstrual cramps.
Zinc – aids in the reproduction of cells and is vital for enzyme activity. It is believed that zinc helps women cope better with their emotions during menstruation and reduces irritability.
Herbal remedies are another form of alternative medicine used to treat endometriosis. The objective of herbal therapy is to decrease pain in endometriosis sufferers, improve pelvis circulation, and establish hormonal balance. The following are a few herbs commonly used to treat endometriosis.
Evening Primrose Oil – These herbal seeds are high in essential fatty acids which boost the production of prostaglandin E1. Caution: women who are prone to seizures should not use this herbal remedy.
Vitex agnus castus – This herb has been considered useful to relieve endometriosis cramping and discomfort during menses because it reduces prolactin. Caution: women taking oral contraceptives should not use this herb as it can reduce contraceptive efficacy.
Cimicifugae racemosae rhizome – This herbal remedy is used to treat many forms of pain such as dysmenorrhea.
Dandelion Tea – This herb helps to alleviate edema and swelling. It is believed that it can aid endometriosis by relieving the congestion in the pelvis.
Colic root – Works as a muscle relaxant, and is used to relieve bowel symptoms and cramping related to endometriosis.
Dong Quai – this herb helps relieve dysmenorrhea, constipation, abdominal discomfort/pain and anemia; conditions related to endometriosis. Caution: this herb should not be taken with anticoagulants as it increases the risk of bleeding.
Dietary supplements and herbs are not the only alternative treatments used to help women with endometriosis. Therapeutic massage can be another beneficial form of treatment.
Shelley Ross has an interest in Endometriosis. For further information on Endometriosis please visit Endometriosis or Endometriosis Symptoms .