This EndoLife podcast

Endo and Skin Conditions/Endo Friendly Skincare Q&A

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47:22
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Today’s episode is another bonus Q&A and this time it was more light-hearted and fun. This time I’m talking about endometriosis and the associated skin conditions, and I’m also sharing endo friendly skin care tips!

In this episode I talk about...

  • My personal experience with rosacea and eczema and how I healed those after over a decade of suffering with them.

  • How treating SIBO improved my skin in so many ways but also dehydrated it and caused some surprising skin issues!

  • My skin care routine, favourite products and gua sha technique that are all endometriosis friendly.

  • The link between endometriosis, histamines and eczema.

  • The link between SIBO and rosacea.

  • Cystic acne, endometriosis and oestrogen and how to begin healing acne.

  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals in skincare and how they affect endometriosis.

I hope this Q&A is both fun and helpful!

Listen and subscribe on your favourite player or listen directly/download MP3 here or just listen below!


Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter.

Sign up to my free workshop: Creating a Roadmap to Endo Belly Healing

To become a The Endo Belly Course Founding Member, email me at hello@thisendolife.com with ‘Yes’ in the subject line.

Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here.

My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here.

If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at hello@thisendolife.com or visit my website.

This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more

This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk

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    Okay today I want to now talk about something a little more unusual, and that’s Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and its possible connection to endometriosis.  Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a group of 13 conditions which all affect connective tissue (collagen) in the body. Most are rare, but one type called hypermobility EDS is common.  Because the intestines are made from soft tissue, EDS affects digestion and often causes IBS symptoms. It is a major risk factor for developing SIBO, because it slows down motility. If you have EDS and SIBO, you will be chronic - but you can still live well! And we’ll get to that in the bonus lesson with Dr Allison Siebecker.  And just to hammer this point home about the connection between EDS and IBS, one study of 228 IBS patients found 48% also had EDS. Now the reason why I want to bring EDS to your attention is because I am seeing it more and more in my clients with both endometriosis and SIBO. 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You do` not have to have them all to have EDS: ·Joint pain/full body pain Hypermobility (can be very subtle) Stretchy skin Soft, velvety skin Bruise easily Dislocations of joints Chronic fatigue Dental crowding  And I wanted to include some signs or clues of EDS as well… Unusual symptoms that seem random, so people with EDS often feel like they have lots of symptoms and never really feel well. Family has hypermobility - again, this can be very subtle. They might have no idea. Tight muscles and stiffness - because your joints are unstable, the muscles overcompensate and are often stiff and tight to try and create some stability in the body. Allergies - and this is because MCAS is now being identified as a co-condition of EDS. MCAS is when the mast cells which release histamine are overly sensitive and easily triggered, resulting in a higher amount of histamine being released on a daily basis. 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Some of the symptoms of dysautonomia are…  Blood sugar dysregulation Low blood pressure/fainting Chest pain/breathing issues/palpitations/racing heart Gut problems and bladder problems Dizziness/balance difficulties/vertigo Struggle to regulate temperature  I’ll take you through some ways to get tested in the next lesson. Now I know this might sound scary, but if you do get a diagnosis, you can manage these symptoms long-term, and your quality of life will dramatically improve! And just because I found this personally quite helpful, because there’s a lot of symptoms floating around with this, EDS specialist Dr Alena Guggenehim sees loose joints, joint pain and dysautonomia as the main signs/symptoms of hEDS. Diagnosis for EDS is best done through a rheumatologist, but reportedly this is more frequently being performed by GPs these days. 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Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk Show Notes Stats references https://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/resources/toolkits/ehlers-danlos-syndromes-toolkit.aspx https://www.siboinfo.com/associated-diseases.html https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29687534/ https://www.ehlers-danlos.com/pdf/2018-annual-conference/N-Blagowidow-2018Baltimore-OB-GYN-and-EDS-HSD-S.pdf Symptoms https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ehlers-danlos-syndromes/ https://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/resources/toolkits/ehlers-danlos-syndromes-toolkit.aspx https://ehlers-danlos.com/wp-content/uploads/hEDS-Dx-Criteria-checklist-1.pdf https://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/resources/toolkits/ehlers-danlos-syndromes-toolkit.aspx Dysautonomia https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31267471/ https://drbeckycampbell.com/mast-cell-activation-syndrome-postural-orthostatic-tachycardia-syndrome-and-ehlers-danlos-syndrome-what-is-the-connection/ https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/postural-tachycardia-syndrome/ https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/6004-dysautonomia https://join.sibosos.com/page/94124 Testing references https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ehlers-danlos-syndromes/ https://ehlers-danlos.com/wp-content/uploads/hEDS-Dx-Criteria-checklist-1.pdf https://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/resources/toolkits/ehlers-danlos-syndromes-toolkit.aspx https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/postural-tachycardia-syndrome/
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    What's a Healthy/'Normal' Gut vs. What's Endo Belly?

    21:56

    This week’s episode is a snippet from my upcoming course, The Endo Belly Course. I realised when creating this lesson, that this information is info everyone should know, not just my students! So today’s episode is all about what’s a ‘normal’ and healthy gut vs. what is the endo belly? So first up, I wanted to actually talk about what the endo belly is. The ‘endo belly’ is not actually a medical term, but instead is a name the community has coined in reference to the severe bloating we often experience. So, there isn’t technically a set definition, but it is generally thought to be severe bloating/swelling that tends to be attributed to endometriosis and is sometimes accompanied by pain. Some experts, articles and endo patients also include gut problems within this term too, but not always. My definition, from my training and from seeing so many clients with these symptoms is that the endo belly is exaggerated/severe bloating, often accompanied by gut symptoms, pain or discomfort - but it is not always caused by endometriosis directly. So here are some of the common symptoms I see in my clients and that I tend to think of as fitting under the term ‘the endo belly’: Flares up with stress/food/pain/cycle - but not always, this might just be a daily thing for you. Normally comes with IBS issues like diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, gas. These might not be flares, but more so just your daily bowel habits and gut issues. So, for example, you may tend to always lean towards constipation or loose stools, or you may have a lot of gas on a daily basis. It’s often debilitating -  so it may disturb social life, diet, work, or confidence. You might worry about eating out because you’re scared of a flare up, you might have to eat a restricted diet to control symptoms, you might have to sometimes take sick days, or you just struggle at work with your symptoms. It’s not as simple as just feeling a bit bloated after lunch. Normally a dramatic increase in abdominal size - endo patients often report looking pregnant, requiring different sized clothing, having swelling that’s so bad they’re in pain.   And finally, I just want to note - some sources discuss the endo belly swelling being lower down in the abdomen and that IBS issues are higher up, but I think the problem with this is that it’s not true for everyone and it might mean you dismiss any other possible causes because you think “Oh it’s low down, it’s just my endo”. I’ve seen lots of people with SIBO and endo, whose bloating is from their diaphragm all the way down or starts from their belly button and goes down to their pubic bone, so I really wouldn’t pay a huge amount of attention to where the bloating is, unless of course you’re just getting a tiny bit of bloat or a bump on say one side near your ovaries, which might indicate a cyst, for example. So, something I really think is important to discuss is what is normal vs. what is endo belly, because I don’t want us to be trying to reach for an unattainable vision of a healthy gut. So here are some signs of the endo belly/something more is going on with your gut… Bloating and gut problems get worse and worse as day goes on. You get more uncomfortable, maybe your pain increases and by your last meal your stomach has swollen to triple its normal size. Symptoms can only be controlled through restriction - a ‘normal’ diet can’t be achieved, and you find yourself skipping meals or having to restrict to avoid flare ups. Often can no longer fit into clothes or need to change to be comfortable when your belly swells up because it’s become so distended. In short, the bloating is severe and significant. May be accompanied by other health problems and nutrient deficiencies like achy joints, fatigue, low B12 or low iron. These are signs of inflammation and malabsorption of nutrients. You might get constipated before period. From a functional medicine point of view, which is what my training is based on, you should have at least one daily bowel movement, and this is actually really important for hormonal health, because old oestrogen is excreted through waste and that needs to occur daily. However, in contrast, dieticians and conventional doctors tend to take a different stance and say whatever is normal for you, is normal or at least three times a week. In terms of my training with Dr Allison Siebecker, Dr Jessica Drummond, etc. we would consider that as constipation, basically anything that is not once a day, is leaning towards a form of constipation. It might be considered normal, but we wouldn’t class it as optimal for health. Diarrhea on period which causes abdominal discomfort, eating problems (maybe you have to avoid food or eat a restricted diet), affects daily life (you might not be able to have a normal workday because you’re stuck in the toilet), sicks days, etc. Often affects daily life/confidence because you’ve been asked so many times whether you’re pregnant, you get comments or you just feel fed up with not being able to wear the clothes you’d like. Additionally, your gut symptoms are affecting your daily life, so for example, I had a client who would get several bouts of loose stools every morning, to the point where she would sometimes be late for dropping her child off to nursery. Another client wouldn’t be able to finish meals without needing to dash to the toilet. Wake up bloated already or with gut problems/sleep is disturbed due to discomfort. So, I had one client who had a distended belly all the time, and it was so bad she actually got to the point where it was too painful to sit or stand up, she had to lay down all the time. Another client wouldn’t be able to sleep because by the evening, her belly was so bloated she couldn’t get comfortable, and she’d be in agony from all the gas inside her.   So, in contrast, I wanted to talk about what is normal for a healthy gut, and some of this might surprise you -  Feel satisfied after eating, not overly full or like food isn’t going down. Of course, if it’s Christmas or Ramadan you might be feasting on more food than you normally would, so of course sometimes you’re going to feel full to bursting, but generally, you should feel like you’re able to digest your food and like it’s going down. It’s not just sitting there for hours afterwards. May be a bit bloated or gassy after meals (esp. high fibre. or large meals), but the bloating should subside a few hours later and it’s not accompanied by GI distress. This is because our good gut bugs actually eat our food and ferment it, as part of the digestion process. We actually need this to happen to get all of our nutrients. But a result of this process is the creation of gas from the bacteria, and so naturally we will get a bit of expansion after a meal and of course, we’re putting food into our stomach, you wouldn’t expect to fill an empty bag with food shopping and for it not to expand or look bigger. So, there will be some extension of your abdomen after meals, but it shouldn’t be painful, be accompanied by GI distress, be severe or worsen as the day goes on. It should naturally go down and not affect your life or comfort. Additionally, so you know, according to the NHS, a normal amount of passing gas is about 5 to 15 times a day. You should wake up with a relatively flatter stomach in contrast to after meals. This is because your digestion has been working overnight. Now note I don’t say your stomach should be flat in the morning, it will be flatter in contrast to after meals, because you haven’t eaten in something like 10 or 12 hours. And to follow on from that, a normal healthy gut doesn’t mean your stomach is flat all the time. Your stomach shouldn’t be flat all the time, it should naturally expand a bit with food! Bloating tends to increase towards period and in luteal phase, but it shouldn’t be severe/painful/debilitating. This is because progesterone and oestrogen affect water retention, and so bloating and swelling can increase towards your period when progesterone is at its highest. Now if your hormones are imbalanced, this will be worse, so supporting your hormones (which this course will help with) should minimise the effects, but they won’t eradicate them entirely. Additionally, those inflammatory chemicals, prostaglandins, naturally begin building in the uterus from ovulation to your period, and as we know, inflammation creates swelling, so there may be some level of normal swelling during this time, but again, it shouldn’t be severe. If it is, this may be an indicator that your inflammation levels are too high, which is likely to be the case anyway, given that the endometriosis lesions release prostaglandins. Lastly, progesterone relaxes muscles, including the muscles of the intestines, so as a result, digestion slows down, meaning things become a bit sluggish and we get a bit more of a build-up of gas and waste, leading to a bit of bloating - again, it shouldn’t be severe. Bowels might feel a bit sluggish towards period but shouldn’t have full-blown constipation or if you do have any, it should at least short lived, so a day or so, for example. Or maybe your stools are a little harder or more cracked than normal. In contrast, it’s normal to have bowel movements that are looser during your period. This is because those prostaglandin E2 causes the muscles to contract, and as your uterus is right next to your colon, this can create contractions in the colon, resulting in a bowel movement and looser stools. If your inflammation levels are high, you may get full blown diarrhea, and that’s when we’ll want to reduce those levels. Ideally, a normal scenario is maybe more bowel movements which are a bit looser on your period, but they shouldn’t be causing you pain or affecting your day-to-day life during this time. Bloating after meals doesn’t require a new dress size! Image from Integrative Women’s Health Institute To show you what a healthy stool looks like, here is the Bristol Stool Chart. This is a diagnostic tool used to determine the health of stools, especially in IBS populations. In terms of functional medicine training, at IWHI we aim for a 4, so your stools should be snake like, smooth, easy to pass with a banana-like consistency. You should be having one to three bowel movements a day, one is the minimum because for optimal health and hormonal health, we want to removing waste on a daily basis, including old oestrogen, to prevent hormonal imbalances.  Now, dieticians and conventional medicine will likely say to aim for somewhere between a 3-5. In terms of my training, we see 3 as beginning to lean towards constipation and 5 beginning to lean towards diarrhea. This is something that we focus on heavily with SIBO, a lot of people think that they don’t have constipation, or they don’t have diarrhea - but these bowel movements actually exist on a spectrum. Stools that are like pellets, hard and round, or difficult to pass, is a form of constipation. In my training, anything before 4 is a form of constipation and above 4 is a form of diarrhea or loose stools. They don’t show pudding like stools here, but I would consider that as form of diarrhea. However, opinions will vary as I have mentioned, so be guided by what feels best for you. The caveat here is that if you are vegan and eat a lot of plants (not processed vegan food), you may have softer stools, nearer to a 5, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. The other thing I would say is don’t chase perfection, which I’ve been guilty of. When my IBS was the most managed it’s ever been (at the time of recording it’s not, because I’ve had a SIBO relapse), my stools were about a 5 but I was very caught up on getting them to a 4! So, if your endo belly dramatically improves, if you get an all clear for gut conditions, etc. but sometimes your stools are a little either side of type 4, this is probably not something to worry about. It might just be that you ate a little more or a little less fibre that week, or maybe that’s just your normal. If you’re concerned about it, certainly see a gut health practitioner, but I just wouldn’t obsess about it that’s the only issue left and there are no other signs that something is up with your gut.  Just to finish off this section, I want to hammer this home. A super flat stomach does not equal a happy gut - in fact, it sort of suggests that the gut microbiome is under fed or non-existent, because for them to thrive, they need to eat food and as a result, that creates gas. So, we’re not aiming for washboard abs all the time, we’re aiming for gut health that doesn’t affect your daily life, cause you pain or physical/mental/emotional distress. Listen and subscribe on your favourite player or listen directly/download MP3 here or just listen below! Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at hello@thisendolife.com or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk Show Notes https://www.siboinfo.com/symptoms.html https://www.endofound.org/endo-belly https://drseckin.com/endo-belly/ https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/symptoms/ https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/remedies-for-bloating-and-wind/ https://nutritionstripped.com/is-bloating-normal/ https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flatulence/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2849969/?fbclid=IwAR3kn0CVHyH4aZsIJ0hPq8__O7k4WfM_rk7EWKSLWj4RmQlVZsnCbnEu4Yg#R7 https://joe.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/joe/89/2/joe_89_2_011.xm https://nicolejardim.com/howyourperiodaffectsdigestivetract/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16992446/  
  • This EndoLife podcast

    Endo Belly Q&A and The Endo Belly Course

    28:06

    This episode is a quick IG Live to answer your questions about endo belly and The Endo Belly Course! If you missed the live and you still have questions, please feel free to just DM me or drop me an email. Doors close on The Endo Belly Course at 10pm tonight and won’t reopen until next fall (2022). We already have a lovely group of 50 and I would love to welcome you if you feel this could help you. In this live, I answer... What to eat to prep for a coeliac disease test. Whether you can do The Endo Belly Course when taking NSAIDs (because they can damage the gut). Whether you can do the course when on hormonal birth control (again, hormonal birth control affects the gut). If the course is suitable for those just out of surgery or about to have surgery. If you need a SIBO diagnosis to do the course (no!). How long you have to complete the modules and action steps. How The Endo Belly Course differs from Live and Thrive with Endo and my one-to-one coaching. Please feel free to post any other questions in the comments! I hope this quick live is helpful and if you’re getting tested for coeliac disease, please let me know! We can test together!  Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at hello@thisendolife.com or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk
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    Endo Belly? A Plea to get Tested for Coeliac Disease - and Six Surprising Symptoms

    21:47

    Today on the show I am talking about one of the possible root causes of your endo belly – coeliac disease. Now, before you turn this podcast off because you think you don’t react to gluten, I am literally begging you to listen.  I have noticed a trend in my clients to dismiss coeliac disease as a possibility, because they don’t have immediate reactions after gluten. But – here’s the thing, the reactions from gluten are not always obvious and they don’t always happen straight away.  So, if you’re bloated all the time, tired all the time, maybe you have diarrhoea regularly or gas, or constipation, or maybe you don’t have any gut symptoms at all – but you have brain fog, fatigue and achy joints, then it may be down to coeliac disease.  And these symptoms don’t just have to occur after straight after gluten. In fact, according to the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, coeliac disease is a “delayed hypersensitivity reaction where symptoms develop 48-72 hours after ingestion” of gluten.(1) Now yes, some people with coeliac disease will experience symptoms soon after eating gluten, but for others, it’s a couple of hours or even longer, as demonstrated here. So just because your symptoms do not show up straight after gluten, that doesn’t mean you do not have coeliac disease and in fact, if you tend to eat gluten daily, and you tend to feel unwell daily – maybe you have chronic fatigue, for example - then this could be the result of that delayed reaction, just blurring into the next, because there’s little time between each serving.  Additionally, the NHS states that symptoms can actually be mild and can come and go, so the signs of coeliac disease may be inconsistent(2). Your reactions to gluten do not have to be severe for you to have coeliac disease, for example, my brother was hospitalised with severe abdominal cramping and vomiting when he was diagnosed, whereas my sister literally said she was just “fed up of feeling nauseas”. And here’s why it’s important to get checked.  In the UK, only 30% of people with coeliac disease have been diagnosed(3), and it is estimated that 500,000 people are walking around with undiagnosed coeliac disease.(4)  In America, 83% of people with coeliac disease are undiagnosed.(5) And it’s not rare either. In the UK, 1 in 100 people have coeliac disease (3) and in the USA, 1 in 133 people have coeliac disease.(5) And as you can see from these stats, the majority of them don’t know they have it. And if you have endometriosis, the chances of having coeliac disease is higher. Research has identified a strong  association between endometriosis and coeliac disease. Coeliac disease patients were found to be almost twice as likely to develop endo in research(6) and studies have found that people with endometriosis are significantly more likely to develop coeliac disease.(7) To add to that, coeliac disease is a co-condition of small intestine bacterial overgrowth(8), which is a condition where normal bacteria which should be found in the large intestine, are growing in the small intestine. And SIBO is at present, estimated to affect up to 80% of people with endometriosis(9) and is a root cause of the endo belly, because the signature SIBO symptom is bloating. So, if you have endometriosis and SIBO, this is a really strong indicator that you should get tested. Additionally, in a study of over 200 women with endo, 75% experienced a reduction in symptoms after eliminating gluten for 12 months.(10) That doesn’t mean you have to be as strict as someone with coeliac disease if you don’t have it, as people with coeliac disease have to avoid cross-contamination, so literally they have to have separate food prep areas, chopping boards, etc. But not eating gluten containing foods may make a significant difference to life with endo.  Now, clearly, this isn’t for everyone. For some people in this study, it didn’t help, and we have to be careful when we talk about eliminating foods, as it can be triggering and cause issues with disordered eating, so I am not saying to just go and cut out gluten today. In fact, I actually advise against that – at least until you’ve been tested for coeliac disease! Then if you don’t have it, I advise you work with someone to identify if gluten is a problem for your endo personally or take one of my courses where I teach you how to do that yourself, and as you guys know, The Endo Belly Course is currently open for enrolment now. So now you know the prevalence rates of coeliac disease, I thought I’d take you through some of the signs. Now, gut symptoms are often common symptoms, but  some people don’t have these at all and in fact, they have other symptoms that may be seemingly random or connected to endometriosis, so they dismiss the possibility of it being coeliac disease. So today, I want to take you through some surprising signs of coeliac disease to look out for: 1) Rashes. Number one is rashes and specifically, a rash called dermatitis herpetiformis. My brother developed this, but my sister didn’t, and the rash turned up probably a year or more before his gut issues arrived and it’s actually common for people who have the rash, to not have the gut symptoms (though this isn’t always the case). The rash looks like blisters on the skin, and is itchy, red, and tends to occur on the elbows (which is where my brother had it), knees and glutes. It is only a rash that appears in coeliac disease patients and is caused by gluten, it is not a rash anyone could get and is not caused by herpes, however, it does look like the herpes virus! Of course, if you have a rash like this and you have some of the other symptoms of coeliac disease, it’s worth testing for it, but you can also get a biopsy to confirm whether this is dermatitis herpetiformis.(11) 2) Number two is dental problems. Now this tends to occur if the coeliac disease developed as a child (and just be mindful that coeliac disease can develop at any age!) due to the body being unable to absorb enough nutrients due to the damage in the intestines and from my understand, also as a result of the immune reactions. Dental problems can occur as issues with the enamel and can look like discolouration, patches on the teeth, translucent areas, grooves on the teeth and potentially increased cavities. Additionally, the growth of adult teeth can be delayed too.(12) 3) Number three is mouth ulcers(13), and these would be on the side of the mouth, on the cheeks and tongue, not on the lips – so we’re not talking about cold sores. These won’t occur in everyone, but if they do, they’ll usually be recurring and you may have a few at one time. Again, this is thought to be a result of the nutrient deficiencies and immune response to the gluten.  4) Number four is anaemia, either b12 or iron deficiency induced anaemia or both(14). And this is tricky, because this is also a sign of SIBO!(15) So again, it’s easy to dismiss coeliac disease here. B12 and iron deficiency anaemia will cause symptoms like tiredness, dizziness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, numbness in the hands and feet, mouth ulcers, brain fog and irritability to name a few.(16,17) I’ve linked to the NHS page for symptoms in the show notes.  You can fairly easily get tested for these through your GP or online testing sites like Thriva in the UK, and I’ve linked to a few of them(18). If your levels are low but not deficient, it’s still worth ruling out coeliac disease, because they have to get low to get deficient and if you’ve only just recently developed coeliac disease, it may take some time for your levels to drop. And on top of that, if you have the presence of gut problems, endo belly or any of the other symptoms I’ve listed, and you have low levels of iron and B12, it’s safer just to rule it out. 5) Number five is infertility or reoccurring miscarriages, and I think this is an important one to raise because we often dismiss fertility problems as a symptom of endometriosis.  Now if coeliac disease is diagnosed and treated (as in, a person sticks to a strictly gluten free diet, which is the only form of treatment there is) then fertility rates return to normal and are equal to someone without coeliac disease. The problem is when it’s left undiagnosed, and in fact, the guidance in the UK is that people who have recurring miscarriages or fertility struggles should be tested. I mean I think they should be tested as soon as the difficulty begins, to save people all that heartache, but I guess it costs the NHS less this way. There are numerous reasons why coeliac disease will affect fertility, from disrupting hormones, causing inflammation in the body, nutrient deficiencies and so on. But the bottom line is, the only way to treat it would be with a diagnosis and an adherence to a gluten free diet.(19)  6) Number six is brain fog(20). Coeliac disease patients often report brain fog and fatigue and research confirming these reports, with MRI scans showing brain changes and damage in people with coeliac disease. This brain fog may be accompanied by memory loss, headaches, and even balance or speech problems.  One small study found a significant improvement in patients with CD and cognitive impairment after a year on a strict gluten free diet(21), so there is definitely hope if this is a symptom you have and you’re diagnosed!  And I thought I’d raise this one because so many of us report brain fog with endometriosis, and whilst there are many root causes behind this (in fact, I have a whole episode on them) often we just dismiss it as something we have to live with. So those are a few symptoms that you may not suspect would be behind coeliac disease – and these can all occur with or without gut problems and the endo belly. Some other signs to look out for include the development of autoimmune conditions like hashimoto's thyroiditis, type 1 diabetes (which my brother developed) and osteoporosis(22). So now let’s move onto testing. To accurately test for coeliac disease, you must be eating gluten daily, at least twice a day, for six weeks(23). This is because the immune system will create antibodies against gluten and that’s what’s being measured. If you’re not eating gluten at all or not regularly, you’ll get a false negative test, even if you have the disease. So, if my brother tested today, he would come up as negative, because he hasn’t eaten gluten for several years.  Once you’ve done the blood test, you’ll then also be sent for a biopsy.  If you’re still not sure whether it’s worth getting tested, I’ve linked to an online assessment in the show notes, which will literally create a letter to take to the doctor, if it advises you to get tested, based on your symptoms.(24)  So that’s it! If you have the endo belly, full stop, I advise you to get tested. And if any of these other symptoms sound familiar, I advise you to get tested too! Left undiagnosed, coeliac disease can cause serious health problems and increase your risk of multiple conditions and chronic diseases(24), and we’ve never lived in a better time to be gluten free, so even though it might be a hassle to get tested, it’ll be worth it in the long run.  I’ve also linked to some gluten free courses and cookbooks in the show notes.(25) Listen and subscribe on your favourite player or listen directly/download MP3 here or just listen below! Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to my free workshop: Creating a Roadmap to Endo Belly Healing Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at hello@thisendolife.com or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk  Show Notes 1.      https://farrp.unl.edu/resources/gi-fas/celiac-disease 2.     https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coeliac-disease/symptoms/ 3.    https://www.coeliac.org.uk/information-and-support/coeliac-disease/coeliac-disease-faqs/ 4.      https://www.coeliac.org.uk/information-and-support/coeliac-disease/about-coeliac-disease/myths-about-coeliac-disease/?&&type=rfst&set=true#cookie-widget 5.      https://www.beyondceliac.org/fast-facts-about-celiac-disease-infographic/ 6.     https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21840904/ 7.     https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6601386/ 8.    https://www.siboinfo.com/associated-diseases.html 9.    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9660426/ 10.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23334113/ 11.    https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/related-conditions/dermatitis-herpetiformis/ 12.   https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/related-conditions/oral-health/, https://jcda.ca/article/b39 13.  https://www.coeliac.org.uk/information-and-support/coeliac-disease/about-coeliac-disease/what-are-coeliac-disease-symptoms/ 14.   https://www.coeliac.org.uk/information-and-support/coeliac-disease/about-coeliac-disease/what-are-coeliac-disease-symptoms/ 15.   https://www.siboinfo.com/overview1.html 16.  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamin-b12-or-folate-deficiency-anaemia/symptoms/ 17.   https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/iron-deficiency-anaemia/ 18.  https://thriva.co, https://valahealth.com, https://www.letsgetchecked.com 19.  https://www.coeliac.org.uk/information-and-support/coeliac-disease/conditions-linked-to-coeliac-disease/infertility-and-coeliac-disease/ 20. https://www.coeliac.org.uk/information-and-support/coeliac-disease/conditions-linked-to-coeliac-disease/neurological-conditions/ 21.   https://celiac.org/about-the-foundation/featured-news/2014/07/brainfog/ 22.  https://www.coeliac.org.uk/information-and-support/coeliac-disease/conditions-linked-to-coeliac-disease/ 23.  https://www.coeliac.org.uk/information-and-support/coeliac-disease/getting-diagnosed/#glutenthroughout 24.  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coeliac-disease/complications/ 25.  https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/665647/cannelle-et-vanille-bakes-simple-by-aran-goyoaga/, https://www.arangoyoaga.com/on-demand-videos,https://www.learningwithexperts.com/foodanddrink/courses/river-cottage-gluten-free?ref=naomidevlin, https://gluten-free-baking-school.thinkific.com/courses/gluten-free-sourdough-bread, https://gluten-free-baking-school.thinkific.com/courses/enriched-dough, https://gluten-free-baking-school.thinkific.com/courses/everyday-gluten-free, https://gluten-free-baking-school.thinkific.com/courses/bao-noodles-and-dumplings, https://sweetlaurel.com
  • This EndoLife podcast

    How Do You Get Rid of Adhesions without Surgery, Advice on Exercising with Diaphragmatic Endo and Other Questions Answered!

    28:30

    Happy Monday everyone! As I mentioned, today is another live Q&A style episode, with Friday’s episode being one of my regular recorded episodes. This is a nice, short Q&A but I many of those who watched really appreciated the questions and found the answers useful! So hopefully, there’s something in this episode for you too! In this episode I answered… How do you test for SIBO and what do you ask for? Advice on exercising with diaphragmatic endometriosis? Can you get rid of scar tissue/adhesions with other methods other than more surgery (short answer: YES!) I really hope this short Q&A was helpful and gives you guys some info/inspiration for your own healing journey. Listen and subscribe on your favourite player or listen directly/download MP3 here or just listen below! Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to my free workshop: Creating a Roadmap to Endo Belly Healing Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at hello@thisendolife.com or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk
  • This EndoLife podcast

    Nutrition for Endo 101

    44:00

    Today is another live Q&A from back in June, as due to being unwell and the passing of our cat, I have been unable to complete the planned episode for this week. But, this Q&A is chock full of the foundations of eating for endo, so I hope you find it useful. In this Q&A on nutrition for endometriosis, I cover… The research behind the anti-inflammatory diets and the most researched diets for pain. The key components of an anti-inflammatory diet. Why personalisation is so important. Deficiencies, absorption of nutrients and how to ensure variation. How to eat for blood sugar balance. I also answer some specific SIBO, gut questions and foodie questions. I really hope you find this episode helpful and it gives you some starters to support you with your own tailored endometriosis diet.  Listen and subscribe on your favourite player or listen directly/download MP3 here or just listen below! Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to my free workshop: Creating a Roadmap to Endo Belly Healing Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at hello@thisendolife.com or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk
  • This EndoLife podcast

    Endo and Relationships Q&A with My Partner

    51:44

      This episode is another live Q&A and I managed to convince Chris (who hates public speaking, IG lives, etc.) to help me answer your questions about relationships and endo. I had so many questions submitted in the end that we answered the ones that were sort of directed to Chris and I/about romantic relationships and I’ll answer the remaining in another live soon! So in this Q&A we answer... Advice to a partner on how to support you when they say they feel “helpless”. Is Chris into holistic/naturopathic health and does he find what I do interesting. Suggestions for helping a partner understand endo. How to have fun with your partner again when endo gets in the way. Just to give a little bit of context, Chris and I have been together almost 8 years, and have been friends for I think 11 or years! He was my friend when I was first diagnosed with endo and we were literally a month into our relationship when my endo symptoms returned. We have a joint column together on Endometriosis Net and Chris has also written for Endometriosis News and still writes monthly for Endometriosis Net! We really hope you found this live helpful.  Listen and subscribe on your favourite player or listen directly/download MP3 here or just listen below! Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to my free workshop: Creating a Roadmap to Endo Belly Healing To become a The Endo Belly Course Founding Member, email me at hello@thisendolife.com with ‘Yes’ in the subject line. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at hello@thisendolife.com or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk
  • This EndoLife podcast

    How Endo Surgery Could Cause Endo Belly, Affect Your Digestion and Cause Gut Problems – and What to Do About It

    40:40

     So last week I did an episode on adhesion formation post-surgery and how that can affect or literally cause endo belly – and you guys loved it! And I’m glad that you did, because I had another linked episode to follow up with, a part two in a way… So today, aside from adhesions, I am talking about the ways in which endo surgery could have worsened or even caused your endo belly. Now of course, adhesions are included in that, but they’re a big topic hence the separate episode, so I encourage you to listen to that if you haven’t done so already! So, let’s dive in… 1)   Number one is constipation. The medications, like pain relief and some of the other medications they may use in surgery,  can be a cause of constipation following your laparoscopy. Even just having to water fast and not eat anything before surgery, can cause constipation.  There’s also the possibility that if you don’t feel like eating much post-surgery, or you’re stressed from surgery, your gut feels sore after surgery or you suddenly eat a lot more stodgy comfort foods post-surgery, that you may get constipation.  Now a lot of people think constipation is just a matter of discomfort and that it’s not a big deal, but actually, we eliminate oestrogen through daily bowel movements. You’ve heard me talk a lot about excess oestrogen and oestrogen dominance in the past, and how it can be a potential driver of endometriosis and endometriosis symptoms in some of us. However, for many, the symptoms of endo look very similar to the symptoms of oestrogen dominance or oestrogen excess. When we have too much oestrogen in our bodies or we have oestrogen levels that are too high in relation to progesterone, we get symptoms such as heavy periods, period pain, clotty periods, mood swings, breast tenderness and bloating in the lead up to our periods, post-ovulation. So, we may think that our endometriosis is out of hand and causing all of these problems, but if we spent even just a month balancing our hormones, we may see a dramatic reduction or even complete elimination of these symptoms. Now of course, you can have these symptoms of oestrogen dominance or excess AND the excess oestrogen may also be fuelling your endo or worsening your symptoms, that’s certainly a possibility, but for some of us, the cause of the symptoms is the hormone imbalance itself.  Regardless, we want to ensure we’re supporting your hormones, especially after surgery, because we want to build on the good work of the surgery, and we don’t want to have excess oestrogen circulating in our system and possibly feeding any future endo growth. It’s not that oestrogen is bad, it’s a wonderful and essential hormone, but we want to ensure it is in the correct levels and in its healthiest form, as high levels and unhealthier forms of oestrogen are behind issues like breast cancer, fibroids, and endo. So already, you can see that constipation can have a knock-on effect on our health with endo. But aside from this, constipation or sluggish bowels can cause bloating and discomfort in the abdomen, as waste and gases continue to build up, and this will of course mimic what we call the endo belly. Now as I’ve said before, I don’t believe the endo belly is just the endo belly and it’s one sole root cause is endometriosis. In fact, I usually see multiple causes behind the bloating and swelling my clients experience, and sluggish bowels is one of them.  So, if post-surgery you’re getting a lot of bloating and swelling (which you will of course, for the first few days, from the gases they use to inflate our bellies), just consider whether you’re having healthy bowel movements. You should be having at least one bowel movement a day, and it should be long, snake-like with a banana like consistency. If it’s hard, cracked, like pellets or stones of difficult to pass, that’s constipation. And if you’re not going daily, that’s constipation too. Often, we’re led to believe that we only have constipation if we’re not going as regularly as we normally would, but that’s not healthy! If you go once a week and then you start going every 10 days, that doesn’t mean your once a week was healthy. A healthy bowel habit for optimal health, hormones and waste elimination is at least once a day.  So, if you are constipated, what can you do about it? Firstly, don’t panic. You might be a little constipated for a few days post-surgery as your organs essentially get over the shock of going through surgery, it is after all, a trauma to the body. Even with the methods I’m going to suggest, it might take a few days to get things moving, so don’t worry, just get started with them and give yourself some time. Hopefully within two or three days we can get things moving again.   So, the first tip would be to move, gently. This is a basic first line therapy that we genuinely use with gut healing – simply to exercise. It’s low risk and is free. I’m not saying to jump on a trampoline, but your body requires movement to get things moving and constipation can often be aided by exercise. Now if we weren’t post-surgery, you could maybe do some yoga, go for a run, or do some Pilates, but clearly, we’re not going to do that post-surgery.  So, just like is suggested in the post-surgery recovery guidance, just ensure you’re getting up regularly and moving around gently for a couple of minutes.  I don’t mean a fast walk, I don’t mean standing up until you hurt, I literally mean every 30 minutes or an hour, or further apart if that’s all you can handle, just gently get up and walk slowly around your room or house, for a few minutes. It could even just be one minute to start with. But if you’re lying down for eight hours then things are not going to be moving well in your body.  Doing this is also going to speed up your recovery, because it ensures that blood is flowing to the area of your surgery and getting to work with healing the wounds.  Now, you’ve likely heard your doctors encourage you to move gently after surgery, but I do want you to check in with them on this, because of course, I don’t know the type of surgery you’re having or have had. If you had a six-hour surgery then they may give you different advice, so please do check in with them on this.  Next up is a very simple strategy and that’s warm or hot water, drunk slowly in the mornings. Yes, really! This actually triggers something called the gastrocolic reflex, which stimulates movement in the large intestine, creating the urge to have a bowel movement.   You can also try increasing your intake of healthy fats, like egg yolks, fish oil (so maybe you take an omega 3 rich oil), or full-fat yoghurt (dairy free if that’s better for you, and organic to avoid added hormones if you’re having animal-based yoghurt), ideally in the mornings, as this will increase motility (which basically means movement) in the large intestine, and generally, we’re more likely to have bowel movements in the morning because digestion has been working overnight and it should take between 12-24 hours to for the food we eat to form a bowel movement.  If none of these simple at home methods work for you, you can try magnesium citrate or oxide. This works by drawing water into the intestines, creating looser stools and encouraging a bowel movement. You can safely take between 500mg to 2000mg, at night, before bed, but normally 1000mg tends to work well for people. You’ll need to build up until you find the right dose for you, as going straight in at 1000mg or 2000mg may cause diarrhoea. So, start at 500mg and increase slightly every other night until you get a bowel movement, but keep in mind may take 2-3 days as it can take a little while to get going. If you get bloating or abdominal pain from the magnesium, you’ve probably taken too much, and you’ll need to reduce back down.  Of course, consult your doctor before starting any new supplement!    2)   Number 2 is that the stress from surgery, whether emotional or the physical stress of your body undergoing surgery, can turn off your digestion. Your digestion is controlled by a part of your nervous system called the ‘rest and digest response’, whereas your stress response, which helps us to power through stressful or genuinely life-threatening situations, is controlled by a part of the nervous system called the ‘flight or fight response’. The two cannot be operating at the same time and unfortunately or fortunately, depending on the situation, the stress response will always win, because it ensures our survival. This has allowed us to survive and evolve as humanity, but in modern times, even just a stressful email might trigger the flight or fight response, turning the rest and digest response off.  And the thing is, post-surgery we really want the rest and digest response to be operating well, because not only does it control digestion, but it also controls healing. So, when our body and mind is feeling stressed from having a surgery, our healing and recovery time is impaired. But back to digestion. When digestion shuts off, a few things happen. Firstly, our digestion and motility tend to slow down. Now for some people, you may get exaggerated and increased motility in the large intestine, resulting in diarrhoea, but that doesn’t mean things are moving well in the small intestines. So, if things have slowed down in the stomach and small intestine, this creates stagnation and a chance for bacteria to populate in the small intestines where they shouldn’t be. Now that of course, sounds like small intestine bacterial overgrowth, which is a condition many people with endometriosis have, where bacteria which should be in the large intestine, happily existing in the gut microbiome, are living in the small intestine. This creates a whole host of problems and symptoms like bloating (which we may think is the endo belly), gas, constipation, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain to name a few. Now this likely wouldn’t be enough to cause you to develop SIBO alone, because once the rest and digest mode is switched back on, hopefully your motility is working well enough that the bacteria are swept out of the small intestine and into the large intestine where it belongs. However, if you also have adhesions or low stomach acid, or other risk factors for SIBO, it might be enough if you keep returning to this state of fight or flight and you’re really chronically stressed.  So, if SIBO does happen to develop, that most certainly is going to cause what we see as the endo belly, which in my experience with my clients, is most of the time at least in part caused by SIBO, so that’s one possibility. However, even if you don’t have SIBO, that slowed down motility and digestion is going to leave food hanging out in your intestines, whether that’s the small or large, leaving lots of time for bacteria to have a good munch on that food, and in turn, they make gas as a result. That’s the process of fermentation.  Additionally, when digestion turns off, we also don’t get a release of gastric juices like stomach acid and digestive enzymes. These guys are absolutely vital for breaking down food and extracting nutrients, so without them, we’re going to have chunks of food in our intestines that can’t be broken down and that can result in pain, bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhoea.  A side note here is that we really want to be absorbing our nutrients. Our body requires vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucose, and fats to heal, not just for the energy but for the actual process of healing and repairing the tissue. If our digestion is shutting down and we’re not absorbing our nutrients properly, we’re going to have a harder time healing and are most likely going to experience more inflammation and more pain.  Lastly, stomach acid and digestive enzymes actually play a role in protecting us from SIBO and bad bacteria. They kill off bacteria as it enters the gut, and so if those levels are lowered, it’s like our first line of defence is lower and bad bacteria can more easily move in. Having low stomach acid is also a risk factor for developing SIBO, it’s not usually enough on its own, but coupled with another risk factor it could take us to the point where we do develop it So, what can we do about this?  So, the first thing, of course, is creating feelings of safety in the body and lowering our stress response. There are numerous ways to do this, but some proven effective strategies for turning off the flight or fight response include tapping (where you tap on different points of your body and repeat certain statements), meditation, deep breathing, and spending time in nature. There are other strategies like yoga and exercise, but I’m trying to only highlight the ones that you’ll be able to do post-surgery. So even though you may not be able to go for a run or something in nature, maybe you might be able to sit in your garden, or by a window, or when you get stronger, maybe you can manage a 10-minute walk in the park. Now of course, we can’t always live in a stress-free bubble, and you may have recurring feelings of stress about your surgery, so it’s not that we’re trying to totally remove you from the feeling of stress, because that could get pretty stressful in itself! But what we want to do, is a few times a day, take some time to lower our stress response, so the body gets these reminders that it’s safe, that you are safe. So perhaps you do some gentle breathing in the morning, maybe you do some tapping at lunch and some meditation before bed, for example.  In the show notes, I have linked to a few apps where you can learn these techniques. Next up is digestion support. Firstly, we want to ensure that when you’re eating, your rest and digest response is actually switched on. So, to do that, we want to be eating in a calm environment and taking time with our meal rather than rushing, if we’re rushing or eating when we’re tense, the flight or fight response will be switched on and digestion will be switched off! You can further encourage the rest and digest response to be on by taking a deep breath or a few deep breaths before eating – in through the nose, and out through the mouth, with your exhale longer than your inhale. This helps to turn the flight or fight response off and the rest and digest response on. Finally, we can further support your digestion by adding in stomach acid support and digestive enzyme support. You can stimulate the production of stomach acid by drinking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 tablespoons of water 15 minutes before a meal. Drink through a straw to protect your enamel and don’t do this if you have a history of stomach ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease. If you have interstitial cystitis or histamine intolerance, the vinegar may not be the best option for you, so I recommend adding bitter foods with your meals, like rocket in your salad, as that can also help stimulate stomach acid – not dramatically, but somewhat. Of course, always consult a doctor before adding in supplements or digestive support.  You can also buy tinctures known as bitters, which are a blend of bitter herbs, and you can take a few drops of that before a meal instead of the vinegar. Again, these tinctures do tend to contain alcohol so people with IC may need to be careful. You can actually take a supplement called betaine HCL, that literally provides you with more stomach acid, but at first, it’s best to see how you respond to these options as it can be very strong and is not always suitable for some people. So, start here and if you don’t feel like it’s helping, I have a protocol for taking betaine HCL in my upcoming course The Endo Belly Course and I think it might be in my endo belly podcast series as well  For digestive enzymes, certain herbs and spices have actually been shown to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes! These are:  ·      Garlic ·      Mint ·      Onion ·      Turmeric ·      Ginger ·      Fenugreek ·      Caraway ·      Fennel ·      Coriander ·      Cumin So, adding a mix of these to dishes can help to increase your digestive enzyme levels. A mix is always best because they tend to increase different digestive enzymes and you need an array of them, so for example, don’t just rely on garlic in a meal, try to add one or two other herbs to get the best support.  You can also use digestive enzyme supplements, which you take with meals, as directed on the label. Unless you have a gut health condition, it’s best not to use these for more than a month so that your body doesn’t get too reliant on them, but I do use them longer term for people with SIBO and anyone with more extensive gut health issues.   3)   The last way endo surgery can cause endo belly and gut problems is by causing leaky gut. As you may know, the pain relief drugs known as NSAIDs can cause leaky gut, but so can stress as the chemicals released in the stress response actually directly damage the gut lining. If you’re not familiar with leaky gut, I have a whole episode on it which I’ve linked to in the show notes, but leaky gut or intestinal permeability occurs when tiny holes appear in the gut lining. Think of the gut lining as a sausage skin, it’s a tube from the mouth to the colon that separates what’s coming in and going out from the rest of the body. The lining is incredibly thin, just one cell thick and these cells are tightly packed together with only the tiniest gap between them, to allow for the absorption of nutrients. When the gut gets inflamed or damaged from chronic IBS reactions, chronic stress, NSAIDs, infections, SIBO, allergies, intolerances, an inflammatory microbiome, etc. the gaps begin to widen.   When this happens, food particles can pass through the gut lining alongside bacteria and toxins from bacteria, known as LPS. While some of the immune defences are inside the gut, there is also a large amount on the outside of the gut lining, waiting to attack anything that passes through which shouldn’t be there. It doesn’t matter if this is food or bacteria, inflammatory immune cells will be released and because the blood stream is also on the other side of the gut lining, the inflammatory cells can get swept along the blood stream, causing full body inflammation. If you have leaky gut, this is going to be happening every time you eat, putting you in a state of chronic inflammation. Additionally, leaky gut can cause gut irritation, creating reactions like bloating (or what we may see as the endo belly) and IBS issues. Over time, leaky gut can cause food intolerances as the immune system begins to create antibodies to the foods passes through.  Of course, we don’t want this to be happening whilst we’re trying to recover from surgery. We want a healthy level of inflammation to help us heal, not chronic inflammation, and we certainly don’t want swelling or abdominal distress putting pressure on our stitches or the internal sites which have been excised.  So, what can we do about it?  Well of course, firstly we want to try and lower stress as I mentioned before, so go back to those practices. Secondly, if we can, we want to lower our reliance on NSAIDS during this period. Now if you can’t, don’t worry – don’t feel guilty or pressured, just focus on the stress piece and maybe the next tip too. But if you can, there are supplements that have been shown to be just as effective as NSAIDs for reducing pain, in particular, ginger powder.  Ginger has been shown to be just as effective as ibuprofen and mefenamic acid for dysmenorrhea, it’s also been shown to be a wonderful pain reliever in numerous studies for migraines, arthritis pain, back pain and so on. Dose wise, ginger is safe to take at up to 2000mg a day, but it needs to be divided into doses rather than taken all in one go, as that can cause diarrhoea. You could start at 1000mg a day and take it four times a day, so 250mg per dose or some supplement brands are 500mg a dose, so you could start there and do two a day or four a day, depending on the level of pain you’re in. You could take it like this daily, to just keep pain down, or you can literally take it at the onset of pain, like a pain killer. Now ginger is a blood thinner, so if you decide to start taking it before surgery, to lower inflammation ahead of time, just consult with your surgeon as they may want you to stop taking it for a few days or a week before your surgery date. Curcumin has also been shown to be just as effective as ibuprofen for pain relief when taken daily for 4 weeks at 1,500mg. It was also shown to have less GI side effects than ibuprofen, which is great for the endo belly! And guess what else? Curcumin helps to heal leaky gut and reduce intestinal inflammation, so double bonus.  Now curcumin is also natural blood thinner, so what you could do is take it for four weeks prior to your surgery to gain the beneficial effects and build up that level of pain relief, and then stop before your surgery if instructed to by your surgeon, so check in with them ahead of the surgery in case they want you to stop, and then start again after your surgery to continue reaping the pain relieving effects. You’ll probably only be pausing your dose for a few days, two weeks at the maximum, but it’s likely they’ll only ask you to stop taking it for a week or even less before the surgery, especially if it’s only keyhole. Of course, you may need some more pain relief than these alone, but for some of us, they’re enough, and if you’re also using some of the supplements, I mentioned in my last episode on the endo belly and surgery, then you really may not need any additional pain relief. However, if you do, hopefully the addition of ginger and maybe curcumin, might lower your need for as many  Finally, I don’t want to throw too many supplements at you for this episode and so if you do want some specific supplements and strategies for leaky gut, head to my episode on leaky gut and endo belly healing, which are linked in the show notes. But for now, I want to give you a very simple at home method for calming the gut and healing leaky gut, and that’s bone broth. Bone broth contains amino acids and collagen, which help to heal leaky gut.  Now a few caveats to this, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, this is of course not the one for you, and so what I recommend is you just really focus on a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods to lower intestinal inflammation, support your gut with curcumin and perhaps listen to my episode on leaky gut and try some of the other tips from there.  The other caveat is if you have SIBO, you might react to bone broth because the collagen in there actually can feed SIBO. Some people with SIBO do fine on bone broth, but others get bloated or get abdominal discomfort, so test how you feel on it. Finally, if you have histamine intolerance, bone broth is high in histamine, so this also may not be for you. You can make a low histamine bone broth by cooking it for much less time, but it won’t be as healing for leaky gut because it’s going to contain less of those amino acids, collagen, minerals, etc. from the bones.  So if for whatever reason, bone broth is not for you (and actually, even if it is) the foundational thing you can do to support your gut lining to heal, is to eat a nutrient dense diet full of anti-inflammatory foods, because if we just spend our time recovering eating sugar, alcohol and fast foods, the gut lining is going to become even more inflamed and any damage from NSAIDs or stress is just going to be exaggerated. But if you can add bone broth, it’ll be a wonderful healing addition to this protocol.  So that’s it! You have lots of options to choose from, and you certainly don’t have to try them all. Pick and choose what suits you, your values, and your lifestyle, and they will go a long way to helping your gut to recover and heal post-surgery and preventing recurrence or worsening of the endo belly.  Listen and subscribe on your favourite player or listen directly/download MP3 here or just listen below! Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to my free workshop: Creating a Roadmap to Endo Belly Healing To become a The Endo Belly Course Founding Member, email me at hello@thisendolife.com with ‘Yes’ in the subject line. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at hello@thisendolife.com or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk  Show Notes Stress relief tools Headspace Calm Tapping Solution Frequency Mind   Ginger research  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23865123/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26177393/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25912592/ https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.6730 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7171779/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23657930/   Curcumin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4533742/ https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/491886 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0753332217346838?via%3Dihub https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464615000092 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407015/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24672232/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25277322/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3476912/ Leaky gut episodes https://www.thisendolife.com/this-endolife-podcast-episodes/endometriosis-leaky-gut https://www.thisendolife.com/this-endolife-podcast-episodes/-the-endometriosis-belly https://www.thisendolife.com/this-endolife-podcast-episodes/understanding-the-endometriosis-belly-part-2
  • This EndoLife podcast

    Endo and Skin Conditions/Endo Friendly Skincare Q&A

    47:22

    Today’s episode is another bonus Q&A and this time it was more light-hearted and fun. This time I’m talking about endometriosis and the associated skin conditions, and I’m also sharing endo friendly skin care tips! In this episode I talk about... My personal experience with rosacea and eczema and how I healed those after over a decade of suffering with them. How treating SIBO improved my skin in so many ways but also dehydrated it and caused some surprising skin issues! My skin care routine, favourite products and gua sha technique that are all endometriosis friendly. The link between endometriosis, histamines and eczema. The link between SIBO and rosacea. Cystic acne, endometriosis and oestrogen and how to begin healing acne. Endocrine disrupting chemicals in skincare and how they affect endometriosis. I hope this Q&A is both fun and helpful! Listen and subscribe on your favourite player or listen directly/download MP3 here or just listen below! Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to my free workshop: Creating a Roadmap to Endo Belly Healing To become a The Endo Belly Course Founding Member, email me at hello@thisendolife.com with ‘Yes’ in the subject line. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at hello@thisendolife.com or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk

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