March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Presently, there is no known or confirmed cure for this chronic pain illness, some doctor’s say it is an autoimmune condition. In simple English “Our immune system is always on turned up”. Most treatment for this condition aim to control the pain not to heal or prevent progression to stage 4 endometriosis. Currently, an #endowarrior, the best way to describe the pain, is like getting multiple cuts on the skin every second and you cannot stop it.
Most African women go undiagnosed because of our traditional biased belief that pain is part of going through womanhood. Our African mothers say, “don’t worry once you have children it will go away”. “Na lie ooo….” As we mark International Women’s Day, trending #breakingthebias, black-skinned women especially in Africa getting diagnosed of this condition can be inaccessible and very expensive. Being that it’s an internal examination, most of us fear going for surgery, which prevent early detection or diagnosis of the condition. As a consequence, we have a lot of unexplained infertility issues amongst married women, in Nigeria. Hence a lot of IVF clinics to help overcome the stigma of INFERTILITY which is REAL, and as dark skinned women we are not allowed to talk about this issue OPENLY or in some extreme cases hide from our relatives when adoption is the ONLY route.
Now let me share my , light at the end of the tunnel story.
Endometriosis- What is it?
It’s a condition where the tissue that normally lines in the wombs grows or flows and sticks on the outside of the womb during our menstruation cycle, some of the womb tissues flows not only down the vagina but flows back up to stick in the Fallopian fallopian tubes. Now these womb tissues, stick to places it should not be and when all the hormones start to sync for the next monthly cycle, not only the womb shreds blood but the muscles where this womb tissues have stick on, also starts shredding, hence the serious PAIN. Some science back-evidence, suggest where oestrogen becomes more dominant than other reproductive hormones such as (FHS, Progesterone, Prolactin or LH), causes an imbalance for this condition to thrive . Also they found that women lacking the B-vitamins, needed for optimum liver function, which is needed to break down excess oestrogen in the blood also helps it thrive as well.
This incurable condition, in my opinion most modern doctors just give strong pain killers which they know little about, to cure a condition which they know less, into women they know nothing about.
From the age of 17yrs, Rashida always had bad menstrual cycle pains, where she would vomit for three days or was constipated for 3 days or more. At 25yrs she looked 3-months pregnant due to multiple fibroids which she didn’t know had started growing at the age of 22yrs, she thought she gained some unwanted love handles around the tummy area. Doctors gave her strong pain medication which made me missed workdays every month because she couldn’t drive, because the medication were drowsy. The drugs made her constipated as well for 3days which meant emptying her bladder and bowel very painful. Also, she had re-occurring candida infection also known as thrush infection, little did she know, this was her body saying AM NOT HAPPY. The solution was there, in the form of “Canesten” Thrush cream which gave her relief, only for 2 months and it came back again. After many blood tests, at the end, Thrush cream was always prescribed and antibiotics. hmmm
Not until aged 31 yrs., when she decided to have fibroid myomectomy surgery to remove her unwanted multiples burdens – the fibroids, then they discovered through internal examination, that she was diagnosed with chocolate cysts called Endometrioma, a condition which part of endometriosis. And endometriosis.
“Yes, I’d like a refund on my body. It’s kinda high-maintenance and broken”
–Anyone with a chronic illness
Fibroid Myomectomy Surgery. Surgical line insertion
Removal of multiple burdens.
MY PICTURE WALL OF FRAME
Is their light at the end of the tunnel?
Yes there is choosing to get close with nature, through plant medicine worked for Rashida(myself). Unfortunately, this is not a one-size-fits-all advice, like the saying “what’s good for the goose but not for the gander”. Now it depends on the stage or level of diagnosis with endometriosis or as advised by your doctor. Many women with stage 4 endometriosis prefer the orthodox medicine of getting oestrogen injections to manage the symptoms and that’s their choice.
Please don’t get fed up with me yet, let me explain. Am here to tell you my 6 “NO PAIN , GAIN LOTS” RULE. These rules help me stopped my drug dependency, reduce the spread of my condition and stopped any of my fibroids re-growing back. It involves being consistent with traditional African medicine, plenty water and rest. This rules got my body back to saying, “Yes am happy with you on some days”.
Here are the rules?
Avoid Caffeine in any shape or form.
Sugary foods ONLY on Eid Mubarak (A-Muslim) celebrations.
Every morning MUST DRINK 700ml of alkalized water or soak lemon or African Alkaline tea overnight in water.
Eat 7 different types of Fruits and vegetable in a day. Mostly for breakfast
DO NOT DRINK WATER WHILE EATING. And must drink at least 3 litres of water daily.
Now, what are my everyday My go-to alkaline herbs and there are Bitter leaf and Ewe Panle. Occasionally, I take other anti-inflammatory spices like Tumeric, with African black pepper called Alligator pepper to make Goldenmilk on days were I need help sleeping. The common English name for Ewe Panle is Valerian leaves and shoots, brewed in my stainless flask or clay teapots, no plastic containers to reduce tension and de-stress. Stress is the sure way to get our immune system turned up which makes the condition even more painful.
Pharmaceutical medication are very effective in acute emergency illness that can stop or kill in a short period of time. While traditional plant medicine is effective in treating chronic illness like infertility issues right on to asthma. To forget our traditional heritage would be a dis-service to us.
Women, the secret of our magnetism lies in our closeness to nature, the further we move away from it, the weaker our body becomes. Looking forward to your comments.