Tara Tiger Brown

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just prowling around

I’m gonna get you endo!

Recently I wrote a post on “7 things you probably didn’t know about me.”  I didn’t add everything (gosh, I hope not, how boring) but one thing that I wanted to add but didn’t was that I have endometriosis.  It’s not like I am the only one with it, around 90 million women globally will be affected in their lifetime, and certainly don’t feel sorry for myself, but it has had a major impact on my life.

I have had pretty painful menstrual cramps since puberty, and was tested for endometriosis years ago, but it wasn’t until last year that I was actually diagnosed with it.  When the specialist showed me on the ultrasound that I had it, and that it was very advanced, I didn’t really understand the gravity of it until he added that it makes me infertile and I couldn’t have children without IVF treatments.

I am in my early thirties, and like most women my age I am thinking about children. I started researching IVF and talking to people that have gone through with it and I just can’t imagine doing it.  Not only is it extremely expensive, its painful, lengthy and its not 100% guaranteed.

With this realization, I started talking to my friend Angela and she mentioned that there could be a natural way to combat my condition.  I do have some friends that have battled unexplained infertility naturally with acupuncture, uterine massage, etc. and so I figured knowing what my problem is could be half the battle.  Angela and I researched some mega vitamin and herb dosing which seemed pretty intense…100,000 UI of Vitamin D? I can’t even find a bottle that includes 10,000.

I did some more research and the easiest, healthiest and most consistent path that I have found is diet.  Interestingly enough, the diet is basically vegan with a twist, no wheat and a reduction in soy.  Luckily for me, my husband Sean is vegan and so I will have a coach. I am definitely freaked out that I am going to go crazy with a lack of food choices and that my friends will never want to eat with me again. It is going to be really really hard for me to give up dairy and milk chocolate anything…so I am easing in…but hopefully it will be worth it.

My goal is to combat my endometriosis in one year.  I am going to go to the doctor and get a baseline on my condition and go from there.  Even if I am never able to have children (yes, we can adopt, or have a million pets, etc.) I really want to see how a change in lifestyle can combat a condition. Au naturale over western medicine.

Would really really like to know that I’m not alone amongst my friends and I can use any support and advice that I can get.

Namaste

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13 Responses

  1. BTDT and already pinged you on twitter. You go gurl!

  2. hillary says:

    ah, the fertility diet… if you need an acupuncture recommendation just ask!

  3. autoimmunelife says:

    Good luck with your fight with endometriosis! If you don’t mind, if you keep posting about how it’s going I may keep following to see how it’s working out for you.
    J

  4. Andre says:

    No more Smartiesimports for you 🙂

  5. Julia says:

    I wish you all the best on this path and I would be more than happy to try Dee’s donuts any time! ; – )

    We are not vegan but often order from The Vegan Joint in west LA. It’s good fast “junk” food.

  6. ki says:

    Sending the bestest of luck to you & warm wishes to your ladywomb. Also, maybe one of your UK connections could hook you up with some Whizzers Chocolate Beans (http://halfpintpixie.com/2007/08/24/vegan-sweeties/).

  7. Beth says:

    Not entirely the same situation, but I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which causes infertility as well (and affects 10% of women), and I will say that changing my diet and exercise habits significantly improved its symptoms.

    We got pregnant literally the first month that I started the South Beach Diet (not vegan, but my condition is related to insulin resistance, and removing carbs from the equation helped a lot)- we miscarried that pregnancy, unfortunately, and after some shifts in my medication and exercise habits (and one more miscarriage), we’re now pretty far along on our third pregnancy.

    So, there is hope, and I think you’re taking the right approach! 🙂 Good luck in the next year!!

  8. Ms Read says:

    1) Doctors don’t always know what they are talking about with infertility. My sister and her husband were told they likely would need help due to joint medical conditions they had and yet my nephew was conceived without medical intervention. And I had another friend who was told she would not conceive without medical add and now pregnant with her 3rd kid, she has proven that very wrong. So unless the doctor said you should not try to have kids with your condition, you never know.

    2) I am totally with you on trying to find dietery ways to control health problems. I think our culture is obsessed with “Is there a pill that will fix this?” And then when you are 50 you are taking 20 pills. Sometimes pills are necessary but sometimes figuring out what is causing the problem and fixing it is better.

    I think you share time between great cities for trying to have a stricter diet like Vegan, both seem to cater a lot more to those kinds of diets and so I am sure once you get used it you, it will become second nature. Good luck!!

  9. Experience says:

    I don’t want to dash your hopes in this, but it’s not like cancer – it’s not something you can “fight” any more than you can fight a missing leg. Endometriosis is a condition that cannot be undone. Do some research online. In this case, the Doctors do know what they are talking about and no amount of healthy diet is going to change this condition. I am really sorry that you have it, but I have experience of this. My ex-wife had this condition, which was only diagnosed when she had mis-carried 3 babies. This inversion of the lining of the womb, made it impossible to carry to term, so to save any more miscarriages and the pain of it all, I had a vasectomy. Unfortunately, the endometriosis itself, along with adhesions as it tied to heal itself inside all the time, were causing a lot of pain too and resulted in a hysterectomy at the age of 29. Seriously, this is sad and I really feel for your loss, but the best approach to this is to remove the object of pain and focus on adoption. There really are a lot of babies in need of a good Mom like I know you will be.

  10. Sorry, but I have to react to “experience” post. I completely disagree with you in being as negative as you are. Yes, you had that experience. That’s not everyone. There are cases where you can affect it. I know because I did.

    Yes, I had surgery (not the typical laser — too invasive and can cause too much scarring — had a “scrub” with ovarian cyst removal as well), but after that, had my hormones tested — totally out of whack. Got those balanced naturally and I’ve never had a recurrence (very unusual). I’m fairly certain that the several miscarriages I had prior and between my two boys was more related to my lack of progesterone then the endo itself. I’m also convinced that getting my hormones into balance has been a huge factor in the endo’s lack of recurrence.

    I was raised vegetarian and was even vegan for a bit, so I can’t say what part diet played for me. My endo DID flare up though during a period of time I was eating meat. Though that could be a spurious relationship — don’t know.

    Anyway, I just hate to see people saying, “Forget about it and rip your uterus out now.” I completely disagree. Endo happens for a reason. Find the reason. Traditional medicine does NOT have all the answers. Find the blend.

    Good luck, Tara!

  11. DonnaSadzius says:

    I’m with you Tara!! There are many alternatives to hysterectomy and the endo can be reversed. I’ve compiled 7 womens’ stories into an ebook on how they did exactly that. I’m a Homeopath and know for a fact that diet plays an integral part in combating endo. But, the mind is even more important when it comes to dis-ease manifestation. If you can do daily visualization exercises during meditation, and picture the endo inside of you. Imagine that you are scraping it away (or any other way you can think of eg burning it) and replacing the area with healthy tissue. In you daily life you need to focus on the ‘now’ that you are fertile and healthy! Hope this helps. Donna
    PS This was my first post ever….hope I did ok 🙂

  12. […] words, “I’m pregnant.” Yep, Sean Bonner and I are going to have a baby. I wrote a post awhile ago explaining that I have advanced ovarian endometriosis in addition to hypothyroidism and […]

  13. […] words, “I’m pregnant.” Yep, Sean Bonner and I are going to have a baby. I wrote a post awhile ago explaining that I have advanced ovarian endometriosis in addition to hypothyroidism and […]

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