Second Nature Care Blog

Endometriosis and the Immune System

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 2, 2017 5:00:00 AM / by Isadora Guggenheim

Coping with endometriosis.


Endometriosis is a disorder involving endometrial tissue growth outside the uterus.

The ectopic lesions respond to hormonal signals such as estrogen and that they can elicit inflammatory responses mediated by the immune system. There is a complex relationship between the endocrine and immune system.  Both systems continuously feed each other signals that perpetuate the progression of endometriosis. The systems both affect the development and progression of the disorder.

There are different stages and severities of endometriosis dependent on factors such as infiltration of tissue adhesion to surrounding organs and structures, the number of lesions, and the symptoms experienced.

Many potential mechanisms for the migration and survival of ectopic endometrial cells have been identified. One theory describes how the migration of endometrial cells likely originates from "retrograde menstruation" Meaning, shed menstrual endometrial tissue migrates via the fallopian tubes and implants on the surface of the ovaries or further into peritoneal cavity; however, the majority of women experience retrograde flow but only 10% ultimately develop endometriosis.

Endometriosis cells must then adhere to other structures or tissues while evading immunosurveillance.   These cells escape immunological attack by secreting cytokines to control certain aspects of the immune system, while local immune cells fail to remove the debris from retrograde menstruation.

There are many different presentations of symptomatic picture of endometriosis, though the most common is pelvic pain. Pelvic pain may consist of dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, dyschezia, and/or chronic, non-cyclic pelvic pain. These can all be attributed to the inflammation and local adhesions causing scarring or damage to surrounding vasculature, nerves and other structures.

There are a wide range of common medical interventions from acute pain management with NSAIDS to surgical intervention. There are also a variety of hormonal therapies such as the use of levonorgestrel-releasing instrauterine systems (IUD) or progestin therapies.

Alternative therapies also include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplementation. For example, curcumin can suppress the proliferation of endometriotic cells by reducing the level f estradiol and inducing apoptosis. It has been show to promote the regression of endometriotic lesions. It has also been shown to downregulate cell adhesion molecules and the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines.  Also supplementing with antioxidants vitamin E and C has been shown to lower the amount of inflammatory cytokines and reduce chronic pelvic pain in women with endometriosis. Other antioxidants such as N-acetylcysteine have also been shown to reduce the size of endometriomas and prevent their growth.

Dr. Guggenheim, who is an ND and has a master's in nutrition, will help you to go gluten and dairy free to eliminate dietary inflammation. We'll create an anti-inflammatory diet rich in Omegas, quercitin, anti-oxidants, high quality proteins and low in saturated fats, sugar, salt and caffeine. We offer the best nutraceutical recommendations from Xymogen. We can get you to sleep soundly with 10 mg of Xymogen's melatonin which has been studied in the endometriosis population. We can do phone consults if you can't get to CT.

Ozone and Prolozone Therapies

We offer the most advanced Ozone therapies and Prolozone treatments for endometriosis. Our pelvic injection treatments can reverse endometriosis, adhesions, scarring and pelvic pain. We combine the pelvic injections with I.V. ozone to eliminate chronic infections that cause pelvic pain.

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Isadora Guggenheim

Written by Isadora Guggenheim

Isadora Guggenheim, ND, RN, MS, CNS LMT, owner of Second Nature Naturopathic Care, LLC
For all appointments: Tel: 845 358-8385 Fax: 845 358-2963