Endometriosis Diagnosis – Now what?

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If you’ve been reading along with my last few posts, you know that I’ve been worried something else is happening in my body other than celiac disease. Well, I finally have some answers.

Yesterday I had a laparascopy procedure done to explore some problems I’ve been having with cramping all the time. I am always terrified to get put to sleep for general anesthesia because there is a battle in my head about not waking up.

“Laparoscopy is a surgery that uses a thin, lighted tube put through a cut (incision) in the belly to look at the abdominal organsor the female pelvic organsLaparoscopy is used to find problems such as cystsadhesionsfibroids, and infection. Tissue samples can be taken for biopsy through the tube (laparoscope).” – Source WebMD

Before I went back in to the test, my doctor came in to talk with me and explain further about the procedure. 30 minutes if there is nothing to find and more like an hour if they have to remove tissue from endometriosis.

My doctor was primarily looking for endometriosis. When I woke up after the exam, I learned it took almost an hour confirming the doctor’s suspicion that I have endometriosis.

So, what is Endometriosis?

“Endometriosis is the growth of endometrial tissue-which normally lines the uterus-in other parts of the body. Endometriosis typically grows in the abdominal cavity and most often attaches to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, outer surface of the uterus, bowels, or other abdominal organs.

Endometriosis growths, called implants or lesions, often bleed during menstruation, causing pain. They may also develop scar tissue (adhesions) that can interfere with an organ’s normal function. Scar tissue can also cause pain and trouble becoming pregnant (infertility).

Endometriosis can be treated with medicines or with surgery to remove implants and scar tissue.”Source WebMD

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My doctor removed tissue found on several different organs so I came out with 4 holes all over my stomach and pubic area from where he entered to scrape the tissue cells. The procedure was pretty easy and after getting home I slept pretty much the rest of the day and night.

Today is day 2 of recovery, and I’m hurting pretty bad. It’s nearly impossible for me to sit up without incredible pain. If I just lay with my body elevated a little, it doesn’t hurt much. Moving seems to be the biggest hurdle right now. Instead of stitches, the openings were glued together. And, I heard from everyone I would have pain in my shoulders from the CO2 but I don’t have that pain at all, so that’s one less thing to be concerned about!

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I want to thank you all for being so incredibly supportive and sending all your love, thoughts and prayers for me during this time. Knowing there are so many people that care and are offering help warms my heart.

I don’t meet up with the doctor again for the next few weeks. No lifting 10 pounds or more for 3-4 weeks. No working out for a minimum of 2-3 weeks and resting for a few days to regain my strength.

After I see the doctor again, I will talk to him about what I am going to do for treatment options. Endometriosis does not have a cure and from what I’m reading can be challenging to treat. I am relieved that it isn’t much more serious like ovarian cancer or other serious reproductive cancers. The doctor also found my bladder to be inflamed and will refer me to a urologist to check to see what’s going on there.

If this is the last piece of the puzzle, I will be elated! I can’t emphasize this enough – LISTEN to your BODY!! If you feel that something is wrong, don’t wait unit its too late. Get help and get treatment. Don’t take no for an answer if your instincts are telling you otherwise.

Had I not switched doctors because I was unhappy with the last one, I probably wouldn’t have found out about the endometriosis this soon and it may have progressed into something much worse.

While I was doing my research, I came upon a study which found a connection between celiac disease and endometriosis. Doesn’t it seem like everything can be linked to celiac disease?

Check out this study:

PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATION:

Celiac disease (CD) involves immunologically mediated intestinal damage with consequent micronutrient malabsorption and varied clinical manifestations, and there is a controversial association with infertility. The objective of the present study was to determine the presence of CD in a population of infertile women with endometriosis.

METHODS:

A total of 120 women with a diagnosis of endometriosis confirmed by laparoscopy (study group) and 1,500 healthy female donors aged 18 to 45 years were tested for CD by the determination of IgA-transglutaminase antibody against human tissue transglutaminase (t-TGA) and anti-endomysium (anti-EMA) antibodies.

RESULTS:

Nine of the 120 women in the study group were anti-tTGA positive and five of them were also anti-EMA positive. Four of these five patients were submitted to intestinal biopsy which revealed CD in three cases (2.5% prevalence). The overall CD prevalence among the population control group was 1:136 women (0.66%).

CONCLUSION:

This is the first study reporting the prevalence of CD among women with endometriosis, showing that CD is common in this population group (2.5%) and may be clinically relevant.

F.M. Aguiar et al. Serological testing for celiac disease in women with endometriosis. A pilot study. Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2009;36(1):23-5.

I want to make sure those of you who may struggle with cramping throughout the month, severe periods and break through bleeding to get checked asap. There are serious ailments that can be caused by those symptoms. Get it checked before it checks you into something worse. If you have celiac disease, I think it’s fair to say we need to be extra diligent with our heath.

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