Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Endometriosis and Mood Disorders

Endometriosis, by definition, (Google's) is "a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain."   According the the National Library of Medicine, it's "a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the womb (uterus) grow in other areas of the body. This can lead to pain, irregular bleeding, and problems getting pregnant (infertility)."  In short, it's not fun.

In 1992, I had laporoscopy surgery, which confirmed that I had endometriosis.  It was determined to be a mild case at the time (which really makes me wonder what some women with worse cases must go through!).  But it was bad enough.  I don't know how the disease has progressed for me for sure, because I only had the one laporoscopy, which is when they actually insert a camera and look around. However, I can tell you that I've always had irregular and painful periods.

I'm at the end of a cycle today, and I'm finding that although my pain is gone, I'm still agitated.  I'd say I'm being a little testy.  At about this time of month I often wonder how much of my "moodiness" is caused by my hormonal imbalance and how much is caused by by my neurochemical imbalance? To what extent, if any, I wonder, does my endometrial hormonal imbalance exacerbate my bipolar mood swings?  

I did some research on this topic and didn't find anything really satisfying.  It's not uncommon, it seems, for women with endometriosis to have mood disorders as well, but which is the chicken and which is the egg at menstruation time?  I haven't been having mood swings to speak of lately and it's not unusual to be a little down during your period, but I want to know if the endometriosis can kick off some bipolar depression?  

I don't have an answer.  I just know I don't like the way I feel.  And neither one of these conditions (endometriosis or bipolar disorder) have a clear cause. Both are thought to be genetic, but there is no cure.  I would like to see more research done on the relationship between these hormonal and neurological imbalances.

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