Guest Author - Sheila L McHughes
Endometriosis can cause unbearable and sometimes crippling pain. This disease can turn your life upside down and it leaves many young girls and women feeling hopeless. This reproductive and immunological disease affects 90 million women and young girls across our world and the estimate of 13 million within the United States.
Endometriosis does not only effect our bodies, it effects our quality of life, our relationships with our partners, family and friends suffer, our children often do not receive the quality time that we really desire to give them, our careers may suffer and with this often comes financial hardships. Endo has a negative impact on society in general.
Endometriosis lesions can be found anywhere in the pelvic cavity, including all the reproductive organs as well as on the bladder, bowel, intestines, colon, appendix, and rectum. Other common sites include C-section scars, laparoscopy or laparotomy scars, uterosacral ligaments, cul-de-sac, and pelvic side walls. Endometriosis has been found inside the bladder, lung, spine, brain, legs, arms, on skin, developing anywhere.
Diagnosis can only be made by a laparoscopy, a minor surgical procedure. During this procedure excision to remove the endometriosis is the preferred correct surgery. This should be performed by a Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Specialist for the best positive results.
Women with endometriosis frequently suffer from autoimmune inflammatory diseases, hypothyroidism fibromyalgia (FM), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), allergies and asthma. Endometriosis brings a higher than expected rate of autoimmune inflammatory diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren's syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as multiple sclerosis.
Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent disease, so estrogen for endometriosis is like fuel for fire. We need to attack the root problem – the aromatase – to eliminate this cycle, halt the local production of estrogen and treat women with this disease. Aromatase is an enzyme present in the tissue of organs and a key process in the biosynthesis of estrogens.
Aromatase inhibitors, a positive new treatment, significantly and rapidly reduce disease severity and pain, offering women a new and more effective way of suppressing endometriosis with fewer side effects, as explained by Dr. Serdar Bulun, Chief of Reproductive Biology Research at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a consultant with The Endo-KARE Centre. Although the use of aromatase inhibitors is new in treating endometriosis, They have been used to prevent breast cancer recurrence in postmenopausal women for nearly 10 years. Within the last 10 years, this research team led by Dr. Bulun pioneered the molecular model that the aromatase enzyme, which produces estrogen, is present in the eudiometrical tissue of women with endometriosis. His team discovered that this enzyme is able to reproduce itself, creating a vicious cycle of estrogen production. Despite surgery, hormone treatments, and hysterectomies many women continue to suffer with symptoms of endometriosis. Letrozole gives those that suffer with endo a positive option for treatment.