What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus implants abnormally outside of the uterus in the pelvic cavity, and in some cases, other locations in the body, to form lesions, cysts, nodules and other growths.

These growths can be found on every pelvic organ and surface including ligaments, bladder, ovaries, tubes, uterus, ureters, bowel, and other peritoneal surfaces. More rarely, endometriosis has been found in the lungs, diaphragm, nasal cavity, and other locations throughout the body. For each patient with endometriosis, the specific locations of the endometriosis lesions are different, giving rise to a disease that can present uniquely in different patients.

Symptoms:

– Internal scarring
– Formation of adhesions (bands of scar tissue that can connect organs inappropriately)
– Severe cramping
– Painful bowel movements or urination
– Painful periods
– Chronic pain around the back, abdomen and pelvis
– Diarrhea or constipation
– Nausea
– Infertility
– Fatigue
– Painful intercourse
– Depression

In addition, patients coping with symptoms without a diagnosis can sometimes face dismissal of their symptoms from friends, family, and even medical professionals. This can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression.

What are the causes of Endometriosis?

The cause of endometriosis is unknown. 

Some theories include:
– The body’s inability to breakdown back-flow menstruation
– Congenital origins
– Metaplasia
– Circulatory or lymphatic distribution of endometriosis lesions
– Or a combination of more than one of the previous causes

Although heredity plays a role in the development of endometriosis, it can affect any individual of any race from puberty to post-menopause.

What are the traditional treatments for Endometriosis?

On average, it takes seven to nine years of discussing symptoms and advocating medical professionals for an individual to receive a diagnosis of endometriosis. Therefore, earlier diagnosis and treatment can help mitigate years of unnecessary suffering. Sometimes endometriosis can be seen with an ultrasound or MRI, but many times these tests are negative even when endometriosis is present.

While there is no known cure for endometriosis, there are many different treatment options to consider, including the standard of excision surgery for treating the endometriosis itself, as well as various approaches to find relief from related symptoms. Many patients find better relief from combining medical and/or surgical treatment with natural approaches.

Medications: 

– NSAIDs (Ibuprophen, naproxen)
– Birth control pills
– Progestin therapy (Visanne)
– GnRH agonist (Lupron)
– GnRH antagonist (Orilissa)

Surgery: 

– Laparoscopy
– Excision surgery
– Ablation surgery

How medical cannabis can help with Endometriosis?

CBD-medical-cannabis-endometriosis-endocannabinoid-receptors

The endocannabinoid system is crucial in regulating many key aspects of your physical, emotional, and physical health including:

– Appetite, digestion & hunger
– Inflammation
– Pain
– Mood regulation
– Reproduction & Fertility
– Sleep

To assist with symptoms associated with endometriosis, new research has shown cannabinoids can not only assist with pain relief and inflammation but potentially also:

– Slowing cell duplication & cell migration
– Modulating the immune response
– Desensitizing nerves

Apoptosis is a process of programmed cell death in which cells are normally organized to be removed by the body’s immune cells. Unfortunately, this process seems to be impaired in those with endometriosis. This is where cannabinoids, specifically tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can assist in preventing unwanted cell growth. This has been most commonly recognized in assisting with the limitation of unwanted cell growth in cancer patients.  Similar research in mice has shown that activating THC receptors inhibit endometriotic tissue from growing and spreading. 

Researchers have studied what is known as an “endocannabinoid deficiency”, which is a lack of endocannabinoid activity in the brain. The term “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome” is thought to be linked to medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, endometriosis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), seizure disorders, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, and more. One local Australian survey/study has shown that women using cannabis to treat endometriosis were finding relief in their symptoms. 

How can Apollo help

Apollo Cannabis Clinic is an evidence-based clinic that has been conducting observational research on medical cannabis and conditions since 2014.

We offer free appointments to all Canadians, 7 days a week. Our healthcare professionals and patient educators are here to support you along your journey, from booking your first appointment to setting you up with a dosing schedule and helping select your products (medication). 

To book your free appointment, you can fill out a form here, or give us a call at 1-877-560-9195. If you have any questions, you can email us at Booking@apolloresearch.ca.

How can medical cannabis help with Endometriosis?

Medical cannabis has been found to provide symptom relief for Endometriosis including reducing pain, reducing inflammation, and improving mental health. Some individuals state they have been able to reduce their use of pharmaceutical medications prescribed for Endometriosis.

What forms of cannabis are available and most commonly used for patients with Endometriosis?

Ingestible options (Oil and/or gelcaps) are often recommended. This is because their effects can take effect in your body for up to 8 to 12 hours and provide patients with extended relief throughout the day or night. There are also other options available that include dry flowers, edibles, beverages, and more. You can work with your Apollo healthcare practitioner to find and decide what is going to work best for you and your personal preferences.

Can I take medical cannabis alongside my other medications?

Individuals looking to use medical cannabis as a treatment option for Endometriosis may use it either alongside other medications such as pharmaceuticals or as their primary medication. It is usually recommended to be taken consistently to be effective, but there is generally no immediate harm if doses are missed. Please always consult with a healthcare professional before starting or stopping any medication.

How do I dose medical cannabis for Endometriosis?

Our physicians and patient care specialists work 1-on-1 with you to find your optimal dose. As every person’s body is different, we start slow and create a personalized dosing schedule for you. If at any time you feel like you need to make adjustments, we are here to support you by phone and email 7 days a week.

Find out if medical cannabis is right for you.

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