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WillPowders Rein Endometriosis and PCOS in!

Hack Your Hormones

WillPowders Rein Endometriosis and PCOS in!

What is it about women and the suffering that they are expected to endure?  Eve really screwed her sisters over when she ate that bloody forbidden fruit, didn’t she!    

If it’s not doing everyone’s thinking for them, or possessing some kind of superpower to see into the future and prevent disasters from happening, or carrying the mental load for her entire family and beyond, or keeping everyone alive whilst trying to have it all, it’s dealing with her female biology which is sometimes very difficult to love and celebrate. Yes, she’s amazing; yes, she can grow and feed another human; yes, she has the stamina of a thousand men, but FFS!  It’s not easy to suppress the urge for her to just completely lose her shit and think she must have been a complete arsehole in a previous life when you think of all the challenges she is faced with everyday.  If it’s not societal, it’s biological. 

If it’s not dealing with our first period, or trying to find our way through postpartum hell, we’re perimenopausal or dealing with the in-between hormonal havoc of oestrogen dominance, PCOS, endometriosis…the list goes on! 

We See You!

At WillPowders, we want you to know that we see you! We know exactly what you face, achieve and have to overcome every day, often when just getting out of bed feels like a slog.  If we could just give you a day where the yin and yang was perfectly balanced, a day where the only thing you had to think about was self care, a day where everyone that relied on you just buggered off for a bit, a day where you didn’t feel sub-par or like you were losing your mind, or a day where you went to the doctor and they gave you a bullet proof solution to all of your hormonal woes, we would do it in a heartbeat, but the truth is, finding the magic solution or one shoe fits all scenario isn’t that easy.

Instead, our aim is to help you step back into the light, fully equipped with the knowledge to take control.  We spend our days researching, trialling and testing what nature has to offer in the hope that we can offer you some of that much needed elusive reprieve, and in this instance, reprieve from endometriosis and PCOS pain.

What is Endometriosis and PCOS? 

Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)  are different, but they do have some things in common, and they can really affect how a woman feels day-to-day. While they are distinct conditions with different underlying causes, there is some evidence to suggest that oestrogen dominance may play a role in both. 

Endometriosis is when tissue, that’s a lot like the stuff lining the inside of your uterus, starts growing in places it shouldn’t, like on your ovaries or fallopian tubes. This can lead to swelling, scarring, and some serious discomfort. The main things women might notice are pain in the pelvic area, really tough periods, trouble getting pregnant, and feeling super tired. The prevalence of endometriosis in women of reproductive age is approximately 10 to 15, and 70% of women with pelvic pain are reported to suffer from endometriosis.

Similarly, PCOS can be caused by hormonal imbalances, including elevated levels of androgens (such as testosterone) and oestrogen, and how your body uses insulin. PCOS can mess with your periods and cause cysts (little fluid-filled sacs) to grow on your ovaries, making ovulation torturous. Women with PCOS often deal with irregular periods, skin breakouts, putting on weight, growing hair in places they might not want it, and also having a hard time getting pregnant. 

Even though endometriosis and PCOS are their own things, it’s possible for someone to have both. And because they share symptoms like wonky periods and fertility issues, figuring out what’s going on can be a bit of a puzzle. Research shows that if you have one, you might be more likely to get the other, which is why it’s super important to keep learning about them.

Now, it’s all well and good knowing what they are and being diagnosed with these hellish conditions, but how can we manage them naturally and without the use of synthetic hormones, which can sometimes exacerbate symptoms rather than cure them?

A - Z list of supplements

Managing Symptoms Naturally

While conventional treatment options for endometriosis and PCOS include medication, surgery, and hormone therapy, natural approaches to manage symptoms are possible. These include diet, exercise, biohacks and supplementation, which all need to be a focus to truly take control of your body and fully embrace the WillPowders Way! 

Now, before we introduce the plethora of supplements that are known for offering much needed support when trying to manage, what can be debilitating conditions like endometriosis and PCOS, because there are many, we would like to preface it with we’re not trying to bankrupt you! Most of the listed supplements work to reduce inflammation, so choose wisely.  Here, you will find ingredients that WillPowders products already include, which may be a great starting point before you start experimenting with the A-Z list of supplements, which we have popped in a downloadable PDF for you, that have been known to offer some relief to some women. Don’t be overwhelmed by the vastness of the list; maybe, pick one or two that call out to you and you can always build up your stores if you feel the need to. 

WillPowders products that you may already have in your stockpile…

Spice, our best turmeric and curcumin supplement for inflammation, is a non negotiable for us, whether you suffer from endometriosis or PCOS or not.  Inflammation can remain undetected, but we all have it and our diet is often to blame.  Studies suggest that curcumin supplementation may help reduce inflammation throughout the body whilst also alleviating symptoms of endometriosis and PCOS more so than over the counter or prescription meds; however, some questions still linger about its bioavailability.  This is why Spice, WillPowders Curcumin supplement, contains piperine, a black pepper extract which helps the body to utilise the magic of turmeric and MSM, a potent anti-inflammatory which adds that additional immunity boost we all need.   Its ability to reduce systemic inflammation in the whole body may also improve gut health (which can be hindered by prescription anti-inflammatories).  Your gut integrity is associated with your overall health and well-being, supporting your immune reactions and function, which can be absolutely key when it comes to your hormonal health. For more information about the benefits of Spice, check out our dedicated blogs: Spice, a Turmeric and Curcumin Life Saver and Spice up Your Life with Turmeric for Inflammation and Brain Fog

WillPowders Milk Chocolate Protein Powder

Clean Protein

Clean protein powders that are rich in collagen and amino acids taurine and L-arginine support muscle recovery, energy levels, neurological function, cardiovascular health and circulation to the pelvic area which have been found to help with the pain associated with endometriosis and PCOS.

More, more, more relief...

Ah-Ha contains, Niacin, a B vitamin that plays a role in energy metabolism which can support symptoms associated with fatigue, as well as Ginkgo Biloba which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, so not only can you support your memory and banish brain fog, you could also be supporting those pesky pelvic pains. 

Rise & Shine contains a whole host of ingredients that have been suggested to support endometriosis and PCOS, especially the pain associated with these conditions: Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is involved in hormone regulation and neurotransmitter synthesis. Some research suggests that vitamin B6 supplementation may help alleviate symptoms such as mood swings, fatigue, and bloating associated with endometriosis and PCOS. Vitamin B6 is also found in Progesterone Support, Ah-HaSpice and ElectroTide, so there’s plenty of opportunity to up your intake regardless of which products you regularly use. 

Not only this, these aforementioned hero products also contain Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that supports immune function and helps protect cells from oxidative stress. Some research suggests that Vitamin C supplementation may prevent the onset and recurrence of endometriosis as well as helping to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms. 

Rise & Shine’s hero ingredients also include Milk Thistle, which contains silymarin, a compound known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and N-acetylcysteine, a precursor to Glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidative stress. Research highlights NAC supplementation as a trojan when it comes to reducing inflammation and oxidative stress associated with endometriosis, leading to improvements in symptoms such as pelvic pain and infertility. 

WillPowders Insulin Support Supplement

Insulin Support

It turns out that Insulin Support  is a bit of a legend because it includes many ingredients that are suggested to manage endometriosis, but also limit the risk of PCOS as it is associated with how the body uses insulin. Holy Basil and Ginseng, adaptogenic herbs found in Insulin Support may help support stress resilience and hormonal balance. In addition, Astragalus, an adaptogenic herb and Cordyceps, a type of medicinal mushroom may help support immune function, fatigue and reduce inflammation. Furthermore, Berberine, a compound found in several plants, including goldenseal and barberry, with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties may support symptoms such as pelvic pain and inflammation.  

Whilst these ingredients will offer your body a multitude of benefits the real star of the show may be the Myo-inositol in Insulin Support! Myo-inositol is a type of sugar alcohol that is naturally present in the human body. It is involved in various cellular processes, including insulin signalling, neurotransmitter regulation, and lipid metabolism and it has shown promising results in preclinical studies and small-scale clinical trials, gaining attention as a potential treatment option for several conditions, including PCOS and endometriosis. The studies highlight its anti-inflammatory effects, its impact on ovarian function and therefore fertility and reducing pain. Hoorah for that and snaps for Insulin Support.  

But wait! There’s more…

Progesterone is often prescribed for endometriosis because it helps regulate the menstrual cycle and suppress the growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. It works by inhibiting the growth of this tissue, reducing inflammation, and alleviating symptoms such as pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. It also helps stabilise the endometrial lining, preventing abnormal bleeding and reducing the risk of endometrial hyperplasia; however, when prescribed, via the mini pill, also known as progesterone only pill, or the Mirena Coil, there is no getting away from the fact that it is a synthetic hormone that has the power to completely derail your skin, mood, weight management and general hormonal harmony, which is why you may want to consider a natural route forward first.

Hello Progesterone Support…

Progesterone Support contains Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress associated with endometriosis and PCOS; however, Zinc, an essential mineral that plays a role in immune function, wound healing, and hormone regulation may just be the key ingredient here. Some studies have suggested that women with endometriosis may have lower levels of zinc compared to women without the condition, so it’s time to top up, ladies!

Finally, B-complex vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin) found in Progesterone Support, play a role in energy production, nerve function, and hormone metabolism, as well as Magnesium, also found in ElectroTide, a mineral that also plays a role in muscle relaxation, nerve function, and hormone regulation. Therefore, Progesterone Support is packed full of nature’s power to help you overcome the misery of what can be completely derailing conditions. 

If you have already gone down the route of the mini pill or the Mirena coil we get it and you’ve got to do you! There’s nothing like the fatigue of searching for a solution when you’ve completely succumbed to a life of pain and constant discomfort. However, there’s nothing to say that you can’t maximise your chances of managing pain, flares, or simply preventing regrowth of endometriosis with natural remedies too, and this is something that we would absolutely champion!

Oestrogen Boost Supplement

Eh...Oestrogen?

Oestrogen Boost may feel like a weird supplement to suggest given that both endometriosis and PCOS can be triggered by the hormone oestrogen, but what’s important to remember is that there is bad oestrogen and good oestrogen and these conditions are inflamed by the bad.  For further reading, check out our Hacking Your Hormonal Health blog.  Oestrogen Boost contains Wild Yam which contains diosgenin, a compound that may have oestrogen-like effects in the body. Some women with endometriosis or PCOS may find relief from symptoms such as hormonal imbalances and menstrual cramps. Paired with Oestrogen Boost’s Dong Quai, also known as Angelica Sinensis, a herb traditionally used in Chinese medicine, may further put an end to the crampy nightmare. Finally, Black Cohosh, a herb native to North America, has also been used traditionally to alleviate menstrual discomfort and hormonal imbalances, as well as offering some relief from hot flashes and mood swings associated with endometriosis and PCOS. Aaaah, the power of oestrogen - it really can make you feel like a superhero or a villain - the key is getting enough of the good stuff! 

Thyroid Support Supplement

Magic Thyroid Support

Thyroid Support could be key given that dodgy oestrogen can be the root cause of a dodgy thyroid.  Thyroid support includes Gotu Kola, an adaptogenic herb that may help support cognitive function and reduce stress, supporting your body to shut down the brain fog and anxiety associated with all things inflicted on us by our uterus. Not only this, Thyroid Support also contains Forskolin, a compound found in the root of the Indian coleus plant. Forskolin may help increase cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels, which could have anti-inflammatory effects and potentially alleviate symptoms associated with endometriosis and PCOS. Thyroid Support is also riddled with Selenium, an essential mineral that plays a role in antioxidant defence and thyroid function. Some research suggests that Selenium supplementation may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body which is key when trying to overcome the symptoms of endometriosis or PCOS. 

Proceed with Caution

Whilst Testosterone Support contains Maca Root, an adaptogenic herb that helps support hormonal balance and energy levels, helping some women with endometriosis find relief from symptoms such as fatigue and mood swings, proceed with caution if you suffer from PCOS as well. Make sure you have your hormone levels tested before taking Testosterone Support as PCOS can be inflamed by androgens.

Hydrating with ElectroTide, which contains Dandelion Root, a herb that supports liver health and detoxification can support suffering women by flushing out water retention and alleviating bloating, which can be the final nail in the gynae coffin, convincing us that excess water is in fact weight gain, so flush away whilst hydrating like a champ!

MCT Keto Powder Supplement

Good fats are key for hormone transportation, ensuring they don’t all gather where we don’t need them.

MCT Keto Creamer is a source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which will not only stop you from snacking, preventing unwanted weight gain associated with endometriosis and PCOS, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms. The magic of GOOD fats can help women find relief from pelvic pain and discomfort because they help to keep inflammation at bay. 

Whilst this is an extensive list of ingredients, some that you may already have, that may support you in managing symptoms associated with endometriosis and PCOS, it doesn’t end there. For other supplements and ingredients that may help you to navigate the challenges of being born a girl, we have put together a shopping list of other supplements known to support these conditions for you.  Please remember, no one is telling you to go out and try all of these ingredients - we know you’re not a lab rat; however, we didn’t want to leave any stone unturned when it comes to combating the hideousness of these conditions.  

Diet

Now, if you’re not down with the supplement world and wish to tweak your diet to support symptoms, here are our top choices on the menu.  Just be mindful that the bioavailability of nutrients differ in certain foods, so supplementing with a clean bovine collagen will aid your absorption and allow your gut to squeeze out all the good stuff. Ours is award winning, just sayin…

  • Limiting Ultra Processed Foods and keeping it organic is key.  UPF’s and non-organic produce can cause inflammation in our bodies and are often riddled with sneaky sugars, synthetic hormones and pesticides that can play havoc with insulin levels, hormone balance and your gut health.
  • Up your intake of Omega- 3 fatty acids: fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation associated with both endometriosis and PCOS.
  • Rich in iron, calcium and Vitamins A, C and K, dark, leafy greens contain compounds that may help regulate hormone levels and support detoxification processes.
  • Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They may help reduce inflammation, support immune function, and regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage contain compounds like indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and sulforaphane, which may help support hormone metabolism and detoxification.
  • Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts such as almonds and cashews are sources of healthy fats. These fats can help support hormone production, regulate blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation.
  • Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Adding turmeric to dishes or consuming it as a supplement may help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms associated with both endometriosis and PCOS. Check out our Spice recipes for some inspo: Spice, Olive Oil and Coriander Dressing for Meat, Turmeric, Ginger, Raw Milk Chia Seed Pudding, Spiced Latte, Shakshouka, Turkish Eggs
  • Green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and regulate blood sugar levels. Drinking green tea regularly may help support overall health and reduce symptoms of both conditions.
  • Fermented foods such as yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi contain beneficial bacteria that support gut health and immune function. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome may help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms of both endometriosis and PCOS.
  • Ginger is a root herb known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Some women find relief from menstrual cramps and pelvic pain associated with endometriosis by supplementing with ginger capsules or consuming ginger tea. Check out our ginger recipes: Ginger and carrot soup, Ginger, Lemon and L-Theanine Fizz and Turmeric, Ginger, Raw Milk Chia Seed Pudding
  • Fennel seed is an herb that contains compounds like anethole, which may have oestrogen-like effects in the body. Some women with endometriosis find relief from symptoms such as bloating and digestive discomfort by supplementing with fennel seed extract.
  • Lycopene is a carotenoid found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables that has antioxidant properties. Some research suggests that lycopene supplementation may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation associated with endometriosis.
  • Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant found in certain types of algae and seafood that may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress associated with endometriosis. Some women find relief from symptoms such as pelvic pain and fatigue by supplementing with astaxanthin.
  • Bilberry is a fruit rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Some women find relief from symptoms such as pelvic pain and fatigue by supplementing with bilberry extract.
  • Pineapples, rich in bromelain, have been known to reduce inflammation, especially in the gut. 
  • Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, ginger, and raspberry leaf tea can be super relaxing and may provide soothing relief from menstrual cramps and pelvic discomfort.

Biohacks

A combination of diet, supplementing and hacking is the true WillPowders Way, so we’ve put together some additional suggestions to help you help yourself!

In order to manage any aspect of your health, regular exercise is key; however, we know that time can be scarce.  Check out our To Move or Not to Move blog for ideas of how to incorporate movement into your day with little faff or when your energy levels are non existent.  In addition, stress management techniques, such as breathing exercises, like the Wim Hof technique, can be useful when trying to overcome and detract from bouts of pain as well as acupuncture, an ancient Chinese healing practice, which has been shown to reduce pain, regulate menstrual cycles, and improve fertility in women with endometriosis and PCOS. Alternatively, giving acupressure a whirl may offer some much needed relief.  This involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to relieve pain and promote relaxation. Some women find relief from menstrual cramps and pelvic pain associated with endometriosis by gently massaging acupressure points such as the Spleen 6 (SP6) point, located on the inner ankle. 

Other alternatives include pelvic massage techniques, such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy, which may help relieve tension in the pelvic muscles and reduce pelvic pain associated with endometriosis. Working with a trained massage therapist who specialises in pelvic floor therapy can provide targeted relief, and they may even be able to teach you an at home version. Alternatively, a more convenient and less invasive option may be wearing pelvic support devices such as pelvic belts and abdominal binders which may help provide support and stability to the pelvic area, reducing pain and discomfort associated with endometriosis. These can be worn during physical activity or throughout the day if needed.  

If you’re feeling really brave, you could give the old vag a steam! Vaginal steaming, also known as yoni steaming, involves sitting over a pot of steaming water infused with herbs such as rosemary, basil, and lavender. Some women believe that vaginal steaming can help improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pelvic pain associated with endometriosis.

A textured piece of paper on a blue background reading "QUALITY SLEEP IS SELF CARE". The edges of the paper and background fabric are torn and layered.

Don’t underestimate the power of sleep and rest!

Prioritising enough restorative sleep each night, is crucial for hormone regulation, immune function, and overall well-being. Establishing a regular sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine can promote better sleep quality. If getting enough sleep feels like an impossible feat, check out our ‘Why Can’t I Sleep?’ Blog or How to Ask the Experts about Sleep guide for some hints and tips. 

Cold, Castor and Community

Embracing the hot and the cold could be a winner. Whilst submerging yourself into sub zero temperatures may not be at the top of your to-do list, the benefits really do outweigh the goose bumps!  Cold water can help numb pain receptors and reduce the perception of pain. Cold water has vasoconstrictive properties, meaning it can reduce blood flow to inflamed tissues and lesions associated with endometriosis, potentially reducing inflammation. Exposure, such as standing under a cold shower for 30 seconds, stimulates the body's stress response, leading to the release of endorphins, which can help manage stress levels and improve mood; however, simply applying cold to the lower abdomen or pelvic area during menstruation or when experiencing pelvic pain may alleviate cramping and discomfort as well.  It’s not all shivers and nipples like bullets though! Alternating between cold and warm water (contrast therapy) may improve circulation, supporting overall pelvic health and potentially reducing pain. If you do fancy a cold dip and don’t know where to start, check out our Cold Water Therapy blog for more information. 

Castor oil packs seem to be all the rave at the minute, even though it was probably your grandma’s go to hack when anyone in the family felt a bit off.  She was so wise because there's a good reason they have earned their popularity.  Believed to help reduce inflammation and pain associated with endometriosis or PCOS, applying a cloth soaked in warm castor oil to the lower abdomen and covering it with a heat source may help improve circulation, promote relaxation, and reduce pain. Including some castor into your self care routine could be the best thing you do. Thanks Granny!

And finally, finding an emotional support team could not be more important.  Dealing with endometriosis and PCOS really can make you feel like you’re all alone and utterly fed up with womanhood.  If you’re not ready to branch out of the house, Facebook groups like The Endo Spectrum and The Endometriosis Support Group might just allow you to find fellow sufferers with some more great advice. 

From all of us at WillPowders (some of whom share in your quest to rid our bodies of the dreaded endo and PCOS), we really hope that, one day, you find some much needed relief and, in the meantime, we will continue to dig deeper to bring you latest research, hacks and advice! 

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