Is Endometriosis Caused by Infections?
Immunity is the Root
Endometriosis is not yet widely understood as an immune disease. Treatment focuses on hormonal therapies instead of looking at the underlying bacterial and inflammatory factors. Bacterial and fungal infections from the gut can migrate to the genitals. An overgrowth of organisms like bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections can also contribute or indicate an imbalance in the microbiome. Other causes include sexually transmitted infections or iatrogenic infections from internal gynecological procedures.
Evidence of endometriosis being an autoimmune disorder is still mixed but ultimately this doesn’t matter because treating the immune system helps. What we know is the endotoxin lipopolysaccaride (LPS) regulates the pro-inflammatory response that occurs in the pelvis and contributes to the growth of endometriosis. Female Reproductive tract infections particularly can occur in the upper reproductive tract as well as the lower. The fallopian tubes, ovary and uterus can be affected as can the vagina, cervix and vulva.
Surgery and hormonal birth control are first line interventions for endometriosis. Removing the lesions can be helpful and synthetic hormones do suppress growth but come with side effects. Natural progesterone can help normalize immune function and doesn’t have the same side effects. Reducing infections first addressing excess estrogen second is ideal because the estrogens respond to the LPS in endometriosis.
Bacteria doesn’t directly cause endometriosis but the bacterial toxins drive and worsen the disease in combination with other factors like hormonal surges and environmental toxins. Studies confirm that antibiotics are effective at treatment for endometriosis which confirms the hypothesis of bacterial translocation.
7 Immune Modulating Supplements
These have been studied or are being studied as effective supports for treatment of endometriosis.
1. NAC: this has excellent research supporting its use in endo
2. Zinc: immune support
3. Curcumin: anti-inflammatory
4. Melatonin: a powerful anti-oxidant
5. Vitamin A: cod liver oil is my favourite way to get this in the form that is bioavailable
6. Berberines: have an anti-microbial action.
7. Estrovantage: to balance estrogen