10% of women of reproductive age suffer from endometriosis,
a painful disease in which the tissue that normally lines
the uterus, the endometrium, forms outside the uterus and
develops into small growths. Besides pain and inflammation,
this disorder may cause infertility, and based on a recent
study in Human Reproduction, it may also be associated
with other disorders.
The study compared immune-system-disorder, chronic-pain,
and allergy prevalence in over 3,500 women with endometriosis
to women in the general population. It seems this condition
keeps bad company. Women with endometriosis were found to
be significantly more likely to suffer from multiple disorders,
- chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - more than 150 times more
- fibromyalgia - almost twice as likely;
- hypothyroidism - seven times;
- rheumatoid arthritis - 1.5 times;
- allergies - over three times;
- asthma - more than double the risk;
- multiple sclerosis - seven times; and
- lupus - over 20 times more likely.
Despite pelvic pain and other symptoms of endometriosis,
many women are not diagnosed with the disorder for many years.
Women should be aware of the symptoms, such as extreme pain
during periods, heavy or irregular bleeding and fatigue, and
discuss any concerns with their doctors. Also, if you suffer
from any of these conditions, it may not be a coincidence
that you also suffer from different disorders.
Sinaii N, Cleary SD, et al. High rates of autoimmune and
endocrine disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
and atopic diseases among women with endometriosis: A survey
analysis. Human Reproduction 2002:17(10), pp. 2715-2724.
For more studies related to women's health, check out http://www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/women.