Endometriosis: Although a Well Known Disease Affecting Women’s Reproductive Organs – Can Also Occur in the Brain

[dropcap style=”inverted”]E[/dropcap]ndometriosis is a painful condition where endometrium, the tissue that lines a woman’s uterus, grows abnormally outside of it, each month during the menstrual cycle. As well as the pain that it causes, endometriosis can also cause scarring of the uterus and infertility problems.

Image Credit:www.vitalhealth.com

The cells that grow outside of the uterus are called endometrial implants and it’s commonly found in the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, intestines, cervix, and the lining within the pelvic cavity. In unusual conditions, endometrial cells can occur outside the pelvic area, old scars within the body, and in the brain.

According to a 2003 article in the American Journal of Roentgenology, endometriosis in the brain can occur without symptoms related to menstruation. Patients mentioned in the article reported having regular headaches, as well as seizures and a disturbance in the way a person moves around on foot.

Endometriosis of the brain shows up on a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.  The best chance of diagnosing endometriosis of the brain lies with an observant radiologist who sees unusual dark shading in the scan results and then passes the case to a skilled diagnostician. Doctors treated the cerebral endometriosis patient featured in the AJR article with surgery.

Endometriosis is not a rare condition: it is estimated that between two to ten percent of the total women’s population suffer from endometriosis in their reproductive years. Endometriosis occurs more commonly among white women compared to women of African-American and Asian descent. Although the number can’t be said to be accurate as, many women suffering from endometriosis haven’t reported any symptoms and often remain oblivious of the disease. This is often witnessed among black women of Africa who often fail to report the disease simply due to the lack of knowledge and awareness of the disease.

To date, the exact causes of endometriosis are still unknown. A theory has been formulated that a process called coelomic metaplasia occur when organs at the pelvic area still have primitive cells that can grow into other types of cells such as endometrial and there is also a possibility that you can get endometriosis from autoimmune diseases.

Suffering from endometriosis caused by surgery (such as an episiotomy or Cesarean Section) can also be very likely, while the unlikely occurrence of endometrial cells in the brain or lungs is caused by the transfer of the cells via the blood stream or lymph nodes.

Usually women who are suffering from endometriosis don’t feel any symptoms, which are mostly feeling of pain and discomfort in the pelvic area, especially where the implants are located, and the possibility of infertility. Deeper kind of implants in area that are full of pain receptors may likely make you feel excruciating pain, making you writhe in agony.

Pelvic pain typically occurs before or during menstruation and gradually diminishes afterwards. Some women may even feel unusual pain during intercourse, urination, bowel movements, and even during pelvic examinations. The intensity of pain can vary greatly by month as well as among different individuals.

If endometriosis occurs in the brain you’d feel headaches or seizures, while coughing out blood may occur if endometrial cells are located in your lungs; a rare case though.

As there are no exact cause of endometriosis, a doctor may prescribe medications to alleviate pain (such as ibuprofen, though unfortunately they have no positive effect on the implants. Treatments using Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs have been used with positive impacts to reduce the size of implants as well as the pain.

There are also natural remedies to treat endometriosis. You need to avoid foods that are high in animal fats as they contain dioxins that are associated with developing endometriosis and eat plenty of foods that help balance the metabolic process of estrogen in our body such as cabbage, celery, flaxseeds, as well as foods that are high in Omega-3 oils.

Don’t let those ‘killer cramps’ or regular headaches come in the way of your health. When in doubt, check with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment of your condition.

By Liya Das 

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