Dr. Marchese explains that while the exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, family history, diet, and an altered immune system may influence the development of this condition.
Well, in terms of what causes endometriosis the exact cause is classified as unknown, but we have some new studies and new research and new theories out. We do know that there can be a hereditary component. So if mom or a sister had it that might be a reason that my patient sitting in front of me has it. We also know that there’s an immunological or an immune component where some people’s immune systems are altered and they tend to have higher rates of endometriosis.
I always say you can’t come to the naturopath and not talk about dietary factors and there are some studies linking dietary factors to endometriosis. We know that women who have a high meat and dairy diet, which are very inflammatory foods, they have about an 80% increase in risk of endometriosis compared to women who eat a diet higher in fruits and vegetables. Those women actually have a 40% decreased risk of endometriosis.
So diet, just with any condition, is very important with endometriosis, and then of course there’s a hormonal component because when you think about what makes the lining of the uterus grow, we know it’s the hormone estrogen and so, when we ask ourselves, “Well what is making the lining of the uterus grow on the outside of the uterus?” again we ask, “Is there a hormonal influence?” There are numerous studies linking environmental hormones to endometriosis.
About Dr. Marianne Marchese, N.D., L.L.C.:
Dr. Marianne Marchese is a clinician, author, and educator. She graduated from Creighton University in 1990 with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy and specialized in neurological and orthopedic conditions while working at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Dr. Marchese received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM) in Portland, Oregon in 2002. She completed a two-year postgraduate residency in Integrative Medicine and Women's Health and completed a six-month post-graduate training in Environmental Medicine.