Tomatoes help Endometriosis?

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As promised, more on alternative treatments for Endometriosis sufferers.

As readers of this site know, Endometriosis causes Pain due to the tissues that would normally be found in the womb being found elsewhere in the body, various complications surround this, such as adhesions due to the body reacting to the tissues presence etc..

However a study has found (preliminary results) that the chemical found in tomatoes (and watermelons) which is responsible for their red colouration may help to reduce symptons.  The chemical Lycopene has been known to be an anti-oxident for a quite a while, and has been linked to having benefits for cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

The specific aspect which may give relief is in the preventing of adhesions, these are formed around damaged cells, often thought to be part of the bodies immune response to injuries.  With the higher stages of Endometriosis it is not unusual for a surgeon to see webs of adhesions binding internal organs together during laproscopic surgery due to the Endometrial growths.

The Lycopene appears to inhibit the growth of these, therefore inhibiting one of the major suspected causes of pain in chronic sufferers.  The study was undertaken on culture cells, by Dr Dbouk, the cultures measured the formation of proteins which the body uses as markers for iniating the adhesion cell growth, in the cultures these proteins were reduced by 80 – 90%.

Dr Dbouk told the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in San Francisco “What we found in our laboratory study is that lycopene can help with the adhesions that these conditions cause,” he said. “One of the major complications of endometriosis is that it causes inflammation which induces adhesions.

“The inflammation basically causes scarring. What we did was to look at protein markers that could help us trace the activity of the abnormal cells that cause these adhesions. The lycopene worked to reduce the abnormal activity of these cells.

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“This means that you would not get the adhesions, which suggests that lycopene could work to mitigate the complications and ailments of endometriosis. So, hypothetically speaking, we might be able to reduce the adhesion effects of endometriosis.”

 

At this time there has been no study done to determine how much of the chemical is actually transmitted in the body from consumption in the diet, so whilst theoretically it is possible to postulate that the chemical may be available in high enough quantities to make a difference to Endometriosis sufferers there is no clinical evidence yet.

 

However you can take one very good bit of news if you don’t like raw tomatoes – ketchup contains the chemical as well, so there’s no reason to stop using it!

 

This story has been reported by many sources, including Marie Claire, Times Online, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail.  As a result we are confident that this story is valid and people can indeed carry on eating Tomatoes.

Alternative treatments

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Starting a new series of articles – we are going to look at some alternative therapies that may help endometriosis sufferers.

Whilst these are largely conjecture – we hope to help inform people and give reasons for these therapies working and back it up with any study data we can locate.  

This is to counter the crack-pot “cures” that do not exist and are proliferating the Endometriosis communities now, especially “cures” which are deamed authoritive because one person got relief, with no science behind them or cures.  Often these can be more dangerous if the advice is followed naively.

As they say… stay tuned for this series which will be semi-regular, in that we will update it when we get the information ourselves!

An Article about Chronic Pain

The following link will take you to an article that discusses some new decisions that have been made in regards to educating the public about Chronic Pain.
Article

Click on the link to read the article.

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