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I've had endometriosis for 20 years - here's how I manage it

In honour of Endometriosis Awareness Month, wellness expert Simone Thomas shares what has helped with her endometriosis symptoms

Blonde woman in off the shoulder jumper in her kitchen
21 March 2024
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Endometriosis has woven its way through my life for two decades, leaving a trail of pain and uncertainty in its wake. Yet, amidst the challenges and setbacks, I've discovered a reservoir of resilience and a toolkit of remedies that have transformed my journey from one of despair to one of empowerment.

Here, I share my insights and experiences, explaining the endometriosis remedies that have worked wonders for me.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is the name given to the condition where cells similar to the ones in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body. 

Each month these cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding. 

However unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape. The chronic and debilitating condition can affect people of a childbearing age, and may lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel or bladder problems.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

Symptoms can vary in intensity from one woman to another, and the level of pain experienced does not always correspond to the severity of the condition. Classic symptoms include –

  • Painful, heavy or irregular periods
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Infertility
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Fatigue

Others may notice symptoms of irritable bowel, irregular bleeding and 'spotting' or bleeding between periods.

How do you treat endometriosis?

While there is currently no cure for endometriosis, many people find relief from their symptoms through hormone treatment or pain relief. Others undergo surgery to remove the endometriosis and release scar tissue. Many people with the conditions also find their symptoms improve with complementary therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy and reflexology, while a change of diet has also been found to have positive benefits including reducing or cutting out intake of red meat, wheat and dairy products.

My endometriosis journey: a chronicle of resilience

Woman wearing activewear in a basket chair© Steve Kraitt
Simone Thomas has been struggling with endometriosis for two decades

For twenty years, endometriosis has been a steadfast companion on my journey, a relentless adversary that has tested my resolve and challenged my spirit.

From the initial diagnosis to the countless treatments and interventions that followed, I've traversed a landscape fraught with pain, uncertainty and frustration. Yet, through it all, I've emerged stronger and more determined than ever to reclaim control over my health and wellbeing.

Over the years I had various removals, laparoscopies, biopsies of the digestive tract, as well as treatment on my bladder.

When I was 19, my mum took me to the doctor to explain I felt pain during intercourse and the doctor at the time shrugged it off and put me on the Depo-Provera injection as I was having heavy painful bleeds from an early age. Looking back now I believe this was the start of my endo journey.

 RELATED: My endometriosis was so bad I couldn't function – here's what helped 

What worked for treating endometriosis

In my quest for relief from the relentless grip of endometriosis, I've encountered a myriad of remedies that have offered respite and reprieve.

1. Nutrition

Chief among these is the power of nutrition – a potent ally in the battle against inflammation and pain. By embracing a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods, I've nourished my body from within, fuelling it with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and wholesome grains have become the cornerstones of my nourishment, while processed foods and fatty indulgences have been relegated to the periphery.

MORE FROM SIMONE: Happy gut, happy mind: how your gut health impacts your mood 

2. Lifestyle changes

But it's not just about what I eat – it's also about how I live. Regular exercise, stress management techniques and adequate sleep have become non-negotiable aspects of my daily routine, helping to alleviate symptoms and promote overall well-being.

3. Natural remedies

I've explored the healing potential of natural remedies and supplements, harnessing the therapeutic properties of herbs and botanicals to support my body's innate healing mechanisms.

Handful of Vitamins© Getty
Simone takes a variety of supplements to keep her endometriosis symptoms at bay

I rely on black cohosh and chasteberry to reduce and target pain associated with endometriosis. I add magnesium along with calcium into my food and I recommend this to any woman if your menstrual cramps are especially painful, as these two nutrients lower the production of prostaglandins that trigger cramps.

MORE FROM SIMONE: I struggled with perimenopause for 2 years – here's what helped

Wild yam may also be helpful as it helps relax the uterus, and lipotropics (substances that regulate fat use in the body) promote the elimination of excess oestrogen from the liver.

Furthermore, supplements such as vitamin E, primrose oil or flaxseed oil support the healing of inflamed tissue. Taking these supplements during your menstrual cycle provides the most benefit.  

4. Alternative therapies: Cupping, acupuncture and more

In addition to dietary and lifestyle modifications, I've found solace in alternative therapies that offer relief from the symptoms of endometriosis.

Acupuncture specialist inserting needle into patient's back due treatment. She is stimulating energy flow through the body for faster relaxation and recovery.© Getty
Acupuncture helps with Simone's endometriosis symptoms

Cupping and acupuncture, ancient practices rooted in traditional Chinese medicine have proven invaluable allies in my journey towards wellness. These therapies, which stimulate circulation, promote relaxation and alleviate pain, have provided much-needed relief from the debilitating symptoms of endometriosis and also for my stage in life now peri-menopause.

5. Infrared saunas and steam rooms

I've embraced the therapeutic benefits of infrared saunas and steam rooms, which not only promote detoxification and relaxation but also provide relief from bloating and discomfort

READ: Biohacking: what is it and can it make you happier?

6. Lymphatic drainage

Lymphatic drainage, both for my whole body and my face, has also played a crucial role in managing the symptoms of endometriosis. By stimulating the lymphatic system, these treatments help to reduce inflammation, reduce swelling, alleviate pain, and promote overall well-being.

READ: Lymphatic drainage: everything you need to know

Life with endometriosis

As I look to the future, I do so with a sense of empowerment and purpose. Armed with the knowledge gleaned from years of trial and error but also in my professional field, I am better equipped to navigate the complexities of endometriosis with grace and resilience.

While the journey ahead may be fraught with challenges and worry of it spreading to other areas of the body, I face it with a newfound sense of optimism and determination, knowing that I am not alone in this fight.

Women sitting on steps in the sun
Simone is feeling positive for the future

Endometriosis may be a formidable foe, but it is not insurmountable. By embracing a holistic approach to wellness, nourishing our bodies from within and learning from our setbacks, we can reclaim control over our health and embark on a journey of healing and empowerment. Together, we stand united in our quest for relief, resilience, and renewal.

My daily routine for managing endometriosis

This is my daily routine to help alleviate pain, swelling and discomfort associated with endometriosis. It feels like a constant job to support my body and reduce pain.Daily 

  • Daily probiotics are key in improving my mood through gut care as well as supporting hormones.
  • Two litres of filtered water daily
  • Hot water and lemon twice a day
  • Daily Pause the Meno protein shake which contains active ingredients Levagen® , Libifem® and Actazin® to minimise the negative effects of endometriosis pain
  • Daily exercise in the form of Barre or reformer Pilates
  • Making mindful choices with my food that heal and fuel my body and gut 
  • Epsom bath twice a week as well as daily body brushing especially round my stomach and top part of my legs and bottom


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