Case history of a young teenager with endometriosis
Cindy was only 15 years of age when she began to have very heavy and painful periods. She was missing a lot of school and her mother was worried about the amount of pain killers Cindy needed to control her period pain. For the first two days of menstruation she suffered overwhelming pain that left her feeling weak, dizzy and nauseous.
Cindy’s local doctor had referred her to a gynecologist who did a pelvic ultrasound and found it to be normal with no cysts or tumors present. The gynecologist thought it most likely that Cindy had endometriosis but her mother did not want to do a laparoscopy at her young age to find out, because it is quite an invasive test.
The gynecologist was reluctant to commence Cindy on the oral contraceptive pill, as she was so young and was still growing in height. The contraceptive pill contains estrogen, which can interfere with a growth spurt. Cindy’s mother was intelligent, having educated herself about holistic treatments for endometriosis and period pains and that’s why she brought her daughter to see me. She knew a little about natural bio-identical progesterone, and predicted this is what her daughter needed.
Cindy’s mother was relieved when I told her that I planned to use natural progesterone cream, and it would be completely safe and highly effective. Natural progesterone will not reduce a growth spurt and will not interfere with the normal development of the hormonal cycle of a young woman; this is because natural progesterone balances the immature hormonal cycle of the ovaries.
Her mother was so relieved that she hugged me and started crying – that’s mothers for you! I prescribed a progesterone cream in a dose of 100mg daily to fit in with Cindy’s cycle – she would apply it to her inner upper arm every day and stop it when her menstrual bleeding started and recommence the cream five days after the menstrual bleeding ceased.
Although Cindy was so young, she took this very seriously and did it exactly as I told her, as she did not want to miss more time at school and was also very good at sports and the pain was reducing her sports performance.
Other recommendations I made for my patient
- I gave Cindy a fish oil supplement. The omega 3 fats in fish oil are highly anti-inflammatory and help to reduce pain. Cindy didn’t eat a lot of oily fish like sardines or mackerel, therefore a supplement was necessary.
- I asked Cindy to take a teaspoon of magnesium powder each day. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles of the body and can help to reduce painful cramps, including menstrual cramps.
- I explained the importance of looking after the liver. Each day a woman's body manufactures estrogen and breaks it down and excretes it. A poorly functioning liver does not break estrogen down adequately and levels can then build up. This is a common cause of estrogen dominance and relative progesterone deficiency, which is a driver of endometriosis. I gave Cindy a supplement of n-acetyl cysteine (NAC) because it is the precursor of glutathione. Glutathione is the body's most powerful detoxifier.
- I gave Cindy a blood test and found her to be quite low in vitamin D. This was not surprising; the vast majority of my patients are quite deficient in this vital nutrient. Vitamin D deficiency worsens all kinds of hormonal disorders and it also worsens pain. I asked Cindy to take 5000 IU of vitamin D per day.
- Cindy ate quite a bit of sugar, and not enough protein or healthy fats. Sugar increases the amount of inflammation in the body, and inflammation worsens pain. Therefore I encouraged Cindy to base her diet on vegetables, salads, protein and healthy fats. Instead of just grabbing a muesli bar for breakfast, she started having eggs with vegetables or a protein powder smoothie. Her lunch and dinner were already quite healthy, however she used to snack on biscuits or crisps in the afternoon. She learned to switch to snacking on raw nuts and seeds, or having a protein powder smoothie when she got home after school.
Within 2 months, Cindy’s period pains had reduced by over 80 percent and she was able to cope easily with her menstrual bleeding. Yes, this simple program really works and is wonderful for young women who are too young to take strong hormonal drugs or the contraceptive pill.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.