What is endometriosis (endo)?
A condition where tissue that lines the uterus overgrown into other areas of the body, such as the bowel.

Endometriosis affects 10-15% of women of reproductive age. Unfortunately it can take many years to receive a diagnosis, as the only way to accurately diagnose endometriosis is via a laparoscopy procedure (however other screening tests can also be be done).

Endometriosis is associated with chronic pelvic and abdominal pain. The symptoms of endo overlap closely with IBS due to visceral hypersensitivity (highly sensitive nerve endings around the abdomen and pelvis) and women with endo are more likely to experience IBS symptoms, such as pain, bloating and diarrhoea.

What are the treatment/management options?
If you have ongoing pelvic pain and suspect endometriosis, see your GP talk about these symptoms and get tested. There are several options to manage endo, including medications, surgery and dietary strategies.

Due to the overlap between endometriosis and IBS, the low FODMAP diet may help to reduce symptom severity. An anti-inflammatory diet approach (ie Mediterranean diet) and consuming sufficient fibre may also help.

If you have endometriosis and IBS, work with an expert health care team (GP, dietitian, pelvic physiotherapist, psychologist) to develop an individualised strategy for you.

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