Tackling Women’s health issues: Endometriosis, thyroid, leukorrhea and prolapse of the uterus, bowel or bladder using a macrobiotic approach & yogalates (yoga-Pilates)

These women’s health issues could occur at any time, but the onset of menopause and perimenopause affects women even more.

6 tips for Endometriosis

What is Endometriosis? It is a condition where tissue resembling the lining of the uterus is found in the abdomen, and other organs in the body. It is marked by severe pain, most often in the form of menstrual cramps. Its exact cause is not yet known, but it does have a strong inflammatory component and is influenced by estrogen. A number of dietary measures can help relieve symptoms by reducing inflammation and addressing the activity of estrogen in your system. Start managing endometriosis nutritionally with an anti-inflammatory diet and try the following dietary changes: 

  1. Eliminate dairy foods (allow at least three weeks to observe any improvements).
  2. Eat foods that have no estrogen like animal foods.
  3. Emphasize whole soy foods in your diet, but not too much of soymilk. Tofu and tempeh are rich in plant estrogens and seem to modulate the actions of other forms of estrogen.
  4. Limit alcohol intake, which may influence estrogen production.
  5. The following asana will help: Upavistha Konasana (seated wide angle pose) creates space in the pelvis and allows cleansing blood to enter this area and remove swelling and waste products, Savasana with guided imagery towards the pelvic region used as a strategy to relieve pain would help.
  6. Drink a cup or two of red raspberry leaf tea daily to help relieve cramps.

6 tips for Thyroid (HYPO or HYPER)

The Thyroid is an endocrine gland consisting of two lobes, one on each side of the trachea (windpipe), joined by a narrow bridge. It produces two hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which help regulate growth and metabolism and which can be produced when he body takes in adequate amounts of iodine. Disorders in this gland which is more common amongst women than men involve either hyperthyroid (overproduction of this hormone) or hypothyroid (underproduction of this hormone). Hypothyroidism is accompanied by the following symptoms: sensitivity to cold, constipation, slowing of hair and nail growth and moderate weight gain. In Hyperthyroidism, women would exhibit nervousness, heat sensitivity, moderate weight loss, tremors, bulging eyes. 

  1. Make sure your diet is low in animal protein especially milk and meat products.
  2. Eliminate polyunsaturated (mayonnaise, margarine, salmon) & Transfats (most snack foods coming out of a box – which are hydrogenated, butter, lard).
  3. Avoid goitrogens) that can interfere with thyroid hormone production. These include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, peanuts and soybeans. You do not have to avoid these foods but don’t overdo them.
  4. Shoulder stand = Sarvangasana will help with this condition as it increases circulation to the thyroid gland (Any Inversions would help). Marichyasana (Sage Twist) tones abdominal organs specially spleen, pancreas, kidneys and liver stimulating digestion (required in a thyroid condition). Twists wring out the body and thereby assist in releasing enormous amounts of tension and the area becomes flooded with nutrients) they are deeply cleansing and nourishing.
  5. Also Avoid sugar, oil, excessive fruit (fruit juices).
  6. Avoid alcohol completely.

6 tips for Leukorrhea

The Anatomical and Physiological Description of this Condition is a discharge of white mucous material from the vagina; often an indication of infection resulting from inflammation or irritation of the membrane lining female reproductive system. 

Leucorrhoea or leucorrea, vaginal discharge is a universal problem of all women. Most secretions are related to life style, bad diet, are physiological and warrant no medical interventions. However, it is significant if it is blood stained, profuse, foul smelling or with changes in its colour. Usually the normal secretions are slimy and slightly sticky. It is something like nasal secretion. Normally the quantity of vaginal secretions varies throughout the menstrual cycle, peaking at ovulation and increasing when under emotional stress. 

Leukorrhea usually shows symptoms in association with other illness. A wide variety of reasons are encountered in its causation. Commonly fungal, parasitic, bacterial and sexually transmitted diseases are the prime causative factors. 

  1. Make sure your diet is low in animal protein especially milk (saturated fat) and meat products.
  2. Eliminate polyunsaturated (mayonnaise, margarine, salmon) & transfats (most snack foods coming out of a box – which are hydrogenated, butter, lard). Avoid junk food: pizzas, burgers, fries, etc.
  3. Avoid strong stimulants like coffee, alcohol & black tea (influence the vaginal pH balance) stick to herbal teas.
  4. Focus on good hygiene & cotton underwear.
  5. Ustrasana (Camel Pose) increases circulation throughout the body, stimulates kidneys & adrenal glands & Padmasana Lotus pose increases circulation in pelvic region & lumbar area, & abdominal region.
  6. Make sure you always have protected sex.

6 tips for prolapse of the uterus, bowel or bladder

A falling or sliding of the uterus/bowel/bladder (pelvic organs), from its normal anatomical position (the pelvic cavity) into the vaginal canal because of a weakening in the surrounding supporting tissues. A bladder or urethra prolapse may cause incontinence (leaking urine), frequent or urgent need to urinate or difficulty urinating. A prolapse of the small or large bowel (rectum) may cause constipation or difficulty defecating. Some women may need to insert a finger in their vagina and push the bowel back into place in order to empty their bowels. Women with uterine prolapse may feel a dragging or heaviness in their pelvic area, often described as feeling ‘like my insides are falling out’. With severe prolapse, when the uterus is bulging out of the vagina, the skin may become irritated, raw and infected. 

Why would this condition occur? Normally supported by pelvic connective tissue and the pubococcygeus muscle, the uterus is held in position by special ligaments. A weakening of these tissues allows the uterus to descend into the vaginal canal. Tissue trauma sustained during childbirth, especially with large babies or difficult labour and delivery, is typically the cause of muscle weakness. The loss of muscle tone and the relaxation of muscles, which are both associated with normal aging and a reduction in the female hormone estrogen, are also thought to play an important role in the development of uterine prolapse. descent can also be caused by a pelvic tumour, however, this is fairly rare. Uterine prolapse occurs most commonly in women who have had one or more vaginal births. 

Other conditions associated with an increased risk of developing problems with the supportive tissues of the uterus include obesity and chronic coughing or straining. Obesity places additional strain on the supportive muscles of the pelvis, as does excessive coughing caused by lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis and asthma. Chronic constipation and the bearing-down associated with it causes weakness in these muscles. 

  1. Make sure you get some form of exercise daily specially kegel exercises which involves breathing in (balloon belly) – breath out (take navel down to the spine) and engage the muscles that stop you from urinating. Repeat this1 0 times daily. This is to strengthen the pelvic floor.
  2. Avoid: meat, dairy, sugar, white flour, black tea, coffees, alcohol as these promote an acidic blood condition weakening the spleen/pancreas which according to Traditional Chinese Medicine are responsible for holding up the organs in our body.
  3. Supta baddhakonasana (reclining cobbler pose) benefits the pelvic floor is stretched and it lifts up prolapsed pelvic organs. Janu Sirsasana improves flexibility of spine and hips, elongates hamstrings and relieves sciatic tension. Massages internal organs and supports good digestion.
  4. Avoid junk food (too much bread) and hard baked snacks which will induce constipation causing stress in the pelvic region.
  5. Sometimes physiotherapy; hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help strengthen the vaginal walls and pelvic floor muscles by increasing the oestrogen and collagen levels in your body, but there is little evidence as to whether it is effective in treating prolapse.
  6. Avoid standing for long periods of time and wearing a girdle could be an option.
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