How to Manage Endometriosis Pain
Endometriosis symptoms, like nausea, fatigue, and heavy periods, can be concerning and uncomfortable. Endometriosis pain is also unpleasant and can interfere with your enjoyment of life.
Treatments like medication and surgery are options for addressing endometriosis. However, you can also take steps to reduce the discomfort in general and the pain in particular.
This article provides tips for managing endometriosis pain.
Managing Physical Endometriosis Pain
Endometriosis pain can affect both your physical and mental/emotional well-being. To address the physical aspects of pain, try these actions:
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water can help minimize cramping and bloating.
- Eat a healthy diet. Inflammation and estrogen levels affect endometriosis pain, and what you eat can influence those factors. A diet high in fiber, healthy fats, and essential minerals like magnesium and zinc can help minimize discomfort by reducing inflammation and supporting proper estrogen levels.
- Consider cutting out gluten. Some people with endometriosis find that consuming less gluten or none reduces their symptoms.
- Avoid specific foods. Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fatty meats (more than a few small services weekly) can worsen endometriosis pain and other symptoms.
- Use a heating pad. Warmth loosens and soothes muscles, helping to relieve endometriosis pain. If you find using a heating pad provides relief, you may want to invest in a cordless device. Having one makes it easier to move around without continually having to find an electrical outlet. Take warm baths. This is another way to loosen and soothe your muscles. And some time to yourself can also lower your stress level. (See below.)
- Use a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine. This device emits vibrations that relax muscles and reduce pain. It’s a good idea to try one at your doctor’s office or physical therapy clinic before buying one for your home.Get a massage or acupuncture. These therapies can be good for your body and mind.
- Do pelvic floor exercises. Endometriosis can affect your pelvic floor muscles. Toning and strengthening them can help you experience less pain and discomfort.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication. If the actions above don’t provide enough relief, you can take pain medication as directed to reduce your pain.
Managing Mental/Emotional Endometriosis Pain
The stress endometriosis causes is another type of pain you can address in various ways. Helpful practices include:
- Meditating. You can learn to meditate using free resources online. Meditating for just 5 to 10 minutes daily can help lower your stress level.
- Doing yoga. Many people with endometriosis find that a yoga session’s gentle stretches and movements help relieve stress.
- Practicing mindfulness. This is another form of meditation in which you practice being aware of the sights, sounds, textures, and other stimuli around you without judging them. You can do it anywhere, anytime, and it can effectively reduce anxiety from endometriosis.
- Exercising. Going for a run, doing resistance training, and being physically active in other ways can reduce your stress while improving your overall fitness.
- Get out in nature. Time spent in a peaceful environment can help lower your stress level.
- Try aromatherapy. The scents emitted by a diffuser containing essential oils can be calming. Lavender and cinnamon oils are especially helpful.
Other Advice for Addressing Endometriosis Pain
Endometriosis can affect relationships with your partner, family, friends, and others. Consequently, it’s important to talk with them about your condition. Knowing that you’ve helped them understand what you’re going through benefits you in a couple of ways.
First, it can lower your stress level. And second, it can enable others to become allies in your struggles with this condition rather than confused onlookers. For example, if you’re in a public place and your pain gets intense, they can help you find a place to relax and use some of the techniques above to get relief.
You can also help yourself by knowing when your endometriosis symptoms will likely flare. That way, you can reduce your work, social, and family commitments as much as possible around those times.
And finally, you should consider seeing a counselor and joining a support group (in-person or online). Talking with people who can empathize with you can be very helpful.
Get Help Managing Endometriosis Pain from Baptist Health
If you struggle with endometriosis pain, we can help. The caring professionals in our women’s services group can talk with you about your symptoms and find the best treatment for them.
Reach out today.